parents who can't live independently

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Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 494

09 Aug 2015, 9:06 am

I worry about whether I will be able to cope with a child. In my case, I find things like shopping offline and cleaning difficult but can do them.

I'm interested in working with children once I graduate and have been gaining experience to help me do this. I've discovered that I'm actually quite good with children with special needs (to the point that I now have parents who request me to be the 1:1 carer for their child).

I find working with older NT children more difficult, particularly as their conversations tend to be more complex but I can manage it. I'm not as funny as other people, but the children like we well enough and I can keep them safe and happy.

However, I've also discovered that working with children is exhausting. I have to adapt to routines not being followed, deal with conflicts between children (which will happen if your child has playdates or even if they want to talk about an argument after school). When I'm working 1:1 with children it can mean watching that child constantly for 10 hours with no lunch break (because I can't trust the other adults to cope with the child properly and the fallout is more difficult than just supervising in the first instance). It means constantly being alert for minute signs that means the child may be upset/meltdown impending and deciding on the best course of action. It means that dealing with meltdowns which, when I'm tired or feeling unwell can be stressful, and putting those feelings aside to make sure I'm ready to bounce back when the child it ready.

It means talking to other people to ensure that they understand the needs of the child and reiterating their needs discretely whenever a situation arises.

It means that often when I get home I want nothing more than to have some quiet time to myself.

Raising a child is different to providing childcare, yes, but not because providing childcare is harder. If I had my own children, getting a break would be much harder to come by. Having a child is much more responsibility, especially when I consider that the odds of me having a disabled child are very high (if not autism, then I've been told my chances of having a deaf child are as high as 50/50 - so my wife has signed up for a sign language course).

If you have a relative with children, could you possibly do some extended babysitting for them? I could understand if they were apprehensive about leaving you as the sole carer but possibly they could take a more 'fly on the wall' approach - such as being able to step in if you couldn't handle a situation. Or maybe volunteering at a club for children?Then you might be able to get an idea of how much effort it might take you and which skills you need to develop before you have children.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Age: 31
Posts: 8

30 Aug 2015, 12:11 pm

Ettina wrote:
I'm 26 years old (as of two days ago) and high functioning autistic, but due to executive dysfunction, I can't live independently. I'm working on independent living skills, but I don't know if I'll ever succeed in living on my own, nor am I certain if I want to. I'm also aromantic asexual, so it's unlikely I'll find a partner to live with.

However, I've always dreamed of being a mom. I don't feel that my life would be complete if I never have kids. (Even if my brother has kids, he's made it pretty clear that I would be an aunt rather than another parent, and that's not enough for me.) Plus, everyone in my family agrees that I'd make a really great parent. I've done a lot of research on how to get a kid (adoption, sperm donation, etc), but I've found a lot less information about what I should consider in terms of family arrangements once I have the kid.

Is there anyone here who is a parent while still dependent on family members for daily living? Do you know of anyone in this situation? Do you have any insights to share? (The closest I've found are teen moms, but their pregnancies are typically unplanned.)

I know kids can be raised in all sorts of unconventional family arrangements and turn out fine as long as they get good parenting from whichever parents they have. But it would really help to hear from someone who's been there.

If you lack the executive function to live independently, having kids is not a good idea. Could you play a bigger role in the lives of your nieces/nephews? Be godmother to a friend's kids? Be a Big Sister to a kid via Big Brothers + Sisters?