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?