Reply To: Should I become a mother

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I too have ADHD with a strong emotional disregulation component. I was only diagnosed in this year of my life, and I’m 38. I have 4 children ranging in age from 12 to 17, one of which is diagnosed with ADHD, but the other three have components of it and are likely on the high-functioning end of the spectrum.

I am so thankful to be a mom! I know I wouldn’t be as successful as I am without my accommodating, loving, kind, nonjudgmental husband (who is also a great dad). A supportive spouse is so important! But children make a person grow and stretch to become more generous, more kind, less selfish, and less self-centred, and I know my husband and I are much better people than when our first was born.

We’ve had to make accommodations for my ADHD shortcomings. We’ve chosen to live on my husband’s income so that I can handle the demands of family life and the demands of my shaky mental health. I’ve held small part-time jobs in the past but they’ve always ended up being temporary, necessary for getting us over financial humps. I don’t volunteer for groups or activities and we don’t let our kids participate in every group, sport, skill, or activity because a healthy mom is more important for raising well-rounded humans than extra activities are.

I know I could never handle a full time job, even if I didn’t have kids, but a full time job is much different than parenting. A job, no matter how much you enjoy it, is a means to an end. A family is work too, but it’s motivated by love and fulfilling relationships, and the demands are constantly changing. There’s no time to get bored and even when life is overwhelming you won’t be a failure in your children’s eyes because no one can give to them or love them like you can.

I don’t know your situation, and only you can decide if you want to go down that road, but I wanted to share my own experiences. In my low times I’ve thought that I should not have been a mother, but when I come out of that low, I realize that my children have made me a better person and that I am contributing something priceless to the world through my beloved, healthy, functioning children.

I hope that helps somewhat.