Hi, I'm new here.
Self-diagnosed (high-functioning ASD), I have an assessment booked quite soon so I'm having kittens whilst waiting for someone who doesn't know me to have a crack at telling me what I already conclusively know, I'm not NT.
My current level of stress is predominantly focused on other people's expectations. After a recent bereavement, and subsequent departure of a sibling emegrating overseas, I am left at a stage of life unfamiliar to me - no close family, just my partner and me in a new city, with all of life's expectation sat on my shoulders.
Whilst I try to run a business, commute, and build a new life in this city (this alone is exhausting me daily), I am expected by my partner and aging parents to now want to add children to this situation. Something I have been wrestling with for a while.
I like kids sometimes, but the idea of having that as a new responsibility on top of my business, immense social isolation, and chronic IBD that is triggered by stress, has left me often feeling suicidal. My anxiety is pumping around my body daily and I have panic attacks each time I get on the train, the long commute leaves me exhausted and I have to psych myself up to even go to the station, so I'm so exhausted by the time I've done it twice and get home. How children would be as an addition to this frightens the life out of me.
Just wondering, how do others deal with expectations like having children when you already feel you completely deplete your reserves daily just trying to live?
I love my partner so maybe I should love her enough to let someone else love her? I just don't think I can survive without her, we've been together for over a decade and that relationship is the best thing in my life. All my friends moved away, the others have kids and no longer respond or venture out. I'm finding meeting g new people very hard
NAS50498 said:I love my partner so maybe I should love her enough to let someone else love her?
Far better than being treated like a disposable utility.
I'm in a similar position to you. I have Asperger's, I've lost both my parents & most relatives are the other end of the country so I'm basically alone. I'm married with one child. I too have terrible IBD and also, most of my friends have retired and moved hundreds of miles away.
I'll be blunt - kids are a load of stress - but they are also more fun than you can shake a stick at - way better than a dog. They give you the excuse to buy loads of toys and play with them with your kids. Watching them grow up is amazing. They are also your legacy - it gives you purpose.
There is one thing you might want to think about - odds are you 'mask' (present a nice user-interface to the world to cover your social inadequacies). This doesn't work with kids - they change so fast that you will not be able to adapt the mask fast enough so it might cause difficulties relating to your kids - normally when they get to 7+ and they start developing individual personalities.
You need to be really honest and talk to your wife about the practicalities of splitting the responsibilities of dealing with the kids - you will be excellent at the 'low emotion' stuff like playing games with them (and losing to boost their confidence), playing rough and tumble, helping with homework, taking them places, teaching them skills, doing fun bathtimes, long cuddles before bedtimes, reading them stories etc.
Your wife will be much better at the 'soft skills' like dealing with their emotional development, dealing with cuts & bruises, listening to their problems, dealing with school, other parents, organising birthday parties, knowing who their friends are - all the social, emotional stuff.
We've turned out a perfectly well balanced child.
Personally, I joined meetup groups to get more social life in a low-commitment way.
I certainly don't consider her that, but appreciate the sentiment. I've been discussing it with her and she knows I am struggling in life at the moment
It sounds like you have a lot on in your life at the moment and thinking sboyt children is adding to your anxieties. Dont underestimate how much you are going through. Msybe deal / get through with one thing at a time. When things have settled you might have more headspace to think about it. Anxiety can magnify absolutely everything.
As a 33 year old female i have been wrestling with thoughts of having children. This was set off mainly by partners 3 best friends having children each within 6 months of one another. Theyre busy people but what i can see is that they just get on with it. Things fall into place because they have to. Life changes but they have adapted. For me well... It takes all our time for me and my partner to look aftrr us and the cat. I cherish my sleep. I often feel more tired than i think i should be. I dont know how i would fit a child in between work, chores and my own down time. I said to my partner the other day im worried if we leave it any later i judt wont have the energy. But im not ready yet. Parents i know said "there never is a right time" for it. I worry that a screaming child will tip me over the edge. Or a child who doesnt shut up. But as we arent very loud people id like to think it woukd be brought up like us. Ive always thought "id regret not having one but id not regret having one" because you cant then chsnge your circumstances once they are born!
As for expectations, im lucky in that my parents said its my choice (as an only child they dont have any other grandkids) but its other women i find difficult. A colleague with a very sheltered life once said "whats the matter? Dont you like children?" I refrained from saying "no, not particularly".
At the end of the day its between you and your wife. Not even your parents in law.
I think sometimes we do have lonely patches in life esoecislly as we get out of sync with our peers. As for meeting people maybe see your friends who have kids ("im sure you need a break from being a parent") it might mean having a beer at their house instead of going out but if you maintain friendship then when the kids are older it could change.
Sorry ive rambled on im not sure if its any help.
I just wanted to say that your comment regarding the comment, "What's the matter? Don't you like children?", certainly hits a nerve. It's like others have expectations of us and somehow we're expected to just fit into these expectations.
A colleague where I used to work once asked me, "Are you gay?". So, as a man, I've struggled with social situations, myself, relationships, others and through it all I'm being interrogated as to the fact that I must be gay if I haven't found a woman to marry yet. I suppose the only positive was that it wasn't asked in a negative way and I'm sure she would have been fine if I had even said yes to the question. It was then followed up with her telling me that I shouldn't be trying to look for the perfect woman or to set unrealistic expectations on what sort of woman I was looking for. It was a conversation that was just beyond me because she was making all sorts of assumptions about me and viewing me from her own set of expectations.
Well it hit a nerve with me too! Ive often wondered if the issue of children is easier for men but it sounds like it isnt, and if in a relationship there is still the expectation.
Your colleague was assuming you were wanting to find a woman and settle down...Everyone makes assumptions and we all measure everybody on our own expectations. I said my colleague had lived a very sheltered life....my own assumptions about her based on my own experiences. She would probably disagree and see she has lived a fulfilling life with her family.
My foreign students think im strange at my age i dont have kids but its because they dont know any different. They think its strange ive been with my OH for 15years without marriage. Its nobody's business. If i knew one way or another about kids i would have a good comeback. But for now i just say "maybe in the future". I will say that experiencing beteavement last year has taught me the value of family and having your own children to help you ferl connected to the world.
Thanksffor the response. I agree with your point on expectations, I think there is this natural progression to life that more and more in the west people are deviating from.
With stresses and illness around I am finding making any sort of decision an impossible task. There doesn't seem to be a solution that doesn't in some way hurt someone, and that's making the despair magnify.
So how does your partner feel about the casual 'maybe one day's approach? At some point you might have to decide, the body only ticks for so long
I have never been in relationships so I suppose it's never seriously been considered. My parents are well aware that I have no intention of getting married or having children. They seem fine with it. Other people are more difficult, they do have that expectation that I will have a conventional relationship and do everything that comes with that. I just don't think it's on the cards for me. When people bring it up I just say why! Why do I have to do that just because it's the expected "norm"? This usually stumps people.
I understand it's slightly different when you're in a relationship. The only people that can make these decisions are you and your partner and you need to make them together. I hope you feel able to talk honestly with your partner. You don't have to give them a child to show how much you love them.
I know full well I couldn't deal with a child in my life. It would be too much.
I can relate to the anxiety and difficulties meeting new people.
Of course we will have to decide at some point. It is this which gets me stressed. I have to weigh absolutely everything up before i make a decision (as another example ive been researching AS for 2 years, can identify with a lot but still havent been to my GP). Making no decision is a decision in itself. I dont ger these people who 100% know their own minds from the off...i suppose that coukd be admired really. At least they know what they are aiming for.
Ive been thinking about your question today and its hit home a bit more actually. My partner is very supportive and can see we have had so much on recently we just cant entertain it yet. In August things built up (not just child related) and everything compounded into some sort of panic attack/"meltdown" (i have no diagnosis so not sure if i can use the term meltdown and not sure if it actuslly was one but it felt like one). could you not talk to your wife and say you need to let things settle and then can start thinkin about it again? From my experience so many situations had built up over a few months everything was snowballing and i felt i couldnt cope in my head. My problem is i often think things but dont say them. So it all builds up.
I hope I haven't rocked the boat for you... but I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone. I analyse everything, so much, that I often never do anything. I'm then driven to dispair that results in tears most recently, or panic attacks usually.
Are you planning an assessment? The one I have booked privately is only £250 approx. Then £140 for each session there after. I hope it is worth it. Feel like it might help explain a lot, to my family more than anything.
I think it is so easy for us to over think, thus building tension and anxiety, then keep it quiet to appear normal, until we are a little bubble of mess. Maybe having a child should be like it used to be, a natural incident rather than an analytical plan?