*Article by Stay At Home Zookeeper
Autism changes the whole family. It changes the dynamic, your “normal,” your sleep, your time/relationship with other kids, finances, schedules, and more. Because of all these things combined, deciding to have more kids can be a difficult decision.
It is not easy to say having a child with a diagnosis is a factor in deciding to add on to your family, but it genuinely is. There is so much put on the family that it can be life-altering to add to that family.
Autism is genetic. From my reading, my next child will have 25% chance of having Autism. Our daughter did not. That means, again, this child has a 25% chance of having autism. Does this factor into a decision? Yes. Does it mean I would love this child any less if it would have autism? No. It just means I have to take a full plate and rearrange to to fill it further.
Having an autism diagnosis doesn’t just mean ABA therapy. It snowballs into other disorders one must look into as well. All those are also factors in an autism family’s “plate” of things to take on. Autism and other areas to explore HERE. Neurology is another linked area to explore, your child’s brain. It can be scary to think how different your child’s brain may be. More on the link between autism and neurology HERE.
ALL those things considered, I have always wanted to be a mom. I have known that my whole life. I also feel (thought I make mistakes, have bad days, and some days such) I am a good mom. I weighed all the mentioned factors, and decided I am meant to have more kids. This is something I am meant to do. Though it will be tough and I have some extra factors on my parenting plate, I am ready and willing to take them on. I know the joy and love my heart can have for another child will overcome any strain that will come along with it.
Is that scary? Absolutely. Does it deter me from wanting another child to love? No. This past week of worry (we had to go through some neurological testing and insurance problems, you can read that HERE, HERE, and HERE), spending the night in the hospital for tests, finding a sitter for our daughter and the dogs, packing for everyone, and not sleeping at all really made me scared. Can we do this? HOW are we going to do this? Was this a good idea?
Too late. Ready or not, baby is coming. My faith tells me I don’t know how I am going to manage, but I know I am. It’s going to be tough, I mean TOUGH. I will cry, I will feel like a failure, and then I will laugh and I will love and I will feel like the best mom ever who is blessed beyond measure. I do know that this child’s whole early life I will be anxious to watch for signs, worried when they do somethings that “could” mean Autism. I will wait for their second birthday to breathe and know we are going to take what route. I love my life, I love my children, and I know I have my work cut out for me but no matter what this road looks like, no matter the worry I am going to have along this path, no matter the work it will be, I am ready to keep on momming the best I know how.
About the Blogger:
What started as a journal to keep the family from afar informed on our life, turned into a blog to help unite moms of all kinds. We are all zookeepers of our own zoo we created our selves and no matter how we mom, we are all doing the best. With our son’s autism diagnosis, I also try to spread awareness of autism to those who may not otherwise be exposed but to also support the parents who have a child with special needs as well.