One of my worst nightmares has happened. I am stuck looking after the baby for a week because she’s too infectious to be at nursery and all the grandparents are away!
This means fitting all of those 8 million jobs I have into nap times, but even worse, it means I have to spend hours every day keeping a very mobile and slightly cranky 9 month old happy and out of trouble. I realise as I’m writing this that many mothers adore spending time with their babies. I’m also aware many mothers who lost their babies would pay almost any price to have their babies back with them, just so they could hold them again and be mothers again. I’m tearing up thinking about that.
But the fact remains, I find babies annoying, even my own. I don’t like being constantly interrupted. I don’t like being unable to arrange my day without consideration of nap times, snack times, medication times, nappy times…. That’s not why I had children. I had children so that they could grow into lovely little people – people I can talk to and they understand – people I can reason with and explain things to. I never wanted the little shouty things that are either asleep or needy. I only wanted the nice little girls (about 3+ is when they seem to get more fun and less needy), that can develop into even less needy and more wonderful people, and eventually wonderful grown ups that leave home and make you the needy one.
This week is going to drag, but I know I’m still lucky to have her. And one day she will be less annoying.
I recently played hostess to a family of five for a weekend. Three children under five years old and their mum and dad descended on our house like a whirlwind of noise and activity. You can imagine how well I coped when the children woke me at 5.30 one morning, and turned my house upside down just by being themselves. They were nice, polite children (and a baby). I like their parents a lot and they really made an effort to be good, thoughtful house guests. But…
(There was always going to be a “but”, right?)
…it made me think “how could anyone cope with more than one child?” This is not a new thought for me, but it’s a recurring worry, because I know my husband would like more children. He sees a family like that and just thinks it’s normal, and happy, and wonderful. I see a family like that and think ‘thank God it’s not me’!
I can’t imagine any happy or positive way for me to have more children. But could it be wrong to refuse? Who do you choose – yourself, or ‘them’? Is it selfish to have only one child? Is it better to roll up your sleeves and accept a life of running around after little ones?
Just thinking about it makes me more exhausted. Surely I have the right to keep my family small without worrying about socially damaging my child, or spoiling my relationship with my husband?
Warning: This post contains strong language.
When I started this blog I wanted to be positive. That’s why I called it Acceptable Face – because I was presenting the acceptable face of Aspergers – I would be showing how Aspies can live well and overcome difficulties. Today I am filled with doubt again. There is a hurdle and I really don’t know if I can get over it.
My toddler is not yet two. So far I think I’ve been doing a good job, but this last week has given me doubts. This last week has made me think, either it’s her illness making things awkward (she has a bad cold), or a natural phase, or it’s something I’m doing / not doing that’s wrong. She can’t tell me. So what if it’s me? What if I keep doing it? What if I’m changing the course of her whole life for the worse, right now, without having a clue?
How can I be a good enough parent when I can’t figure out what’s going on?
When I was a kid, I didn’t want a baby because I knew I wouldn’t cope well with spending that much time around a needy human being. Then I got older and thought maybe it’ll be OK. My hormones seemed very keen for me to have a baby. Now I have two issues. The problem I foresaw as a kid, and this new problem of ‘O shit, maybe I’m screwing up her life with my Aspie-ness’.
Because let’s face it, if I don’t know what’s wrong, it’s probably because I struggle to understand things from her perspective. Or it’s because she’s worked out that sometimes I get very irritated by her behaviour, because I want my own space. Either way, it’s the Aspergers getting in the way.
All I want is to be a good parent who doesn’t fuck up her child’s life. She’s not even two.
Has anyone else with Aspergers dealt with this?