ADHD-without-the-H but with some impulsivity here, 40, with OCD-without-the-C husband and an adorable but possibly proto-ADHD 2-year-old. (She’s a late talker, and the speech therapist says she’s also inconsistent with shared attention and eye contact.) How does it work?
1) Supportive husband, helps that he’s also neurodiverse but in a different and largely complementary way, much like the ADHD-ASD couple on this thread. In fact, my first serious boyfriend was ASD, but not dad material and not willing to move for my career, so didn’t work out in the long term.
2) Making the decision “backwards” – instead of wanting kids, I eliminated my previous reasons for not wanting one, such as fear of postpartum depression, concern over lack of domestic support through daycare/nanny/non-sexist and non-workaholic husband (in Covid lockdowns I have often had to make do with only the third one but it’s enough), concern with whether I could raise a disabled kid ok, concern with excessive direct criticism of my choices. As I relaxed about these things as my ducks got in a row, I was ready to take the chance.
3) Self-assurance with regard to life choices. I know that if I didn’t have the guts – or really, the sense of deep need to maintain my sanity – to actually follow popular advice to do what I love and marry whom I love, I couldn’t have pulled off this good enough (except in my RSD moments) life and would likely have comorbidities.
4) Sanity management, aka treatment. Last October, when I realized I probably hadn’t outgrown my ADHD or been misdiagnosed, I started behavioral techniques to organize myself, restarted therapy regularly with my husband’s trusty therapist who also has ADHD, and got stress toys and a vibrating timer watch to help me better manage my time use, sense of past and future (by default my past feels irrelevant unless further proof I currently suck and my future either distant or bleak and all-too-soon), and emotions.
If you can create these kinds of conditions in your life while still able to conceive or willing to adopt, great. If not, find other ways to engage with youth and feel no shame about not having kids. One in 5 people don’t, including my menopausal best friend. She enjoys her single life and her friends’ kids.