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Dd said she wouldn't want a child like ds

(20 Posts)
DorothyL Mon 29-May-17 11:42:38

Is it just one of those things teens say? She's 13

I feel so heartbroken by it

coffeemachine Mon 29-May-17 15:52:07

does your DS have SN?

My oldest has severe ASD and my DC2 (7 years old) is NT
I think they often see and experience the struggles and battles that go with a child (or their sibling) with SN.
My 7 year old is very clear that she never wants children (as she does not want a child like her sibling either). she says she loves her sibling but she doesn't want to have my life. TBH - I wouldn't wish my live onto her as well (my life consists of caring, constant battles with all kind of services and financial hardships - there is not much quality to be fair). if it is obvious how hard things are for a 7 year old, I'd think a teen will even have a clearer view.

Msqueen33 Mon 29-May-17 18:36:45

She probably sees how hard life can be. Doesn't mean she doesn't love her brother. I've often thought I'm not sure i would want any of my dc having children as two of them have autism and its been a complete struggle and has in many ways spoilt parts of our lives and I wouldn't want my children to struggle.

zzzzz Mon 29-May-17 22:34:06

Why are you heartbroken? She has her own life to lead, just because you wanted to be a Mum doesn't mean she has to surely?

Shybutnotretiring Mon 29-May-17 23:49:34

Msqueen I echo your sentiment but suspect my two will be so good looking and charismatic that grandchildren are bound to turn up! But perhaps that's the usual maternal partiality talking.

craftyoldhen Tue 30-May-17 00:33:01

I don't think that's a bad thing to say is it? She's just been honest.

I've said many similar things to my counsellor about my own children blush. It doesn't mean I don't love them and do my best for them every single day.

CheeseCrackersAndWine Tue 30-May-17 11:21:58

I think that's a fair thing to say to be honest, especially from a 13 year old. DD1 is 8 and has already realised the struggles we have with DD2 who is only 21 months and has said she will never have children as they are too much hard work. This doesn't stop her absolutely doting on her little sister. However, I take this with a pinch of salt as I also said no kids until I was in my 20's and now have 2.

If she did have kids, I would agree and say I wouldn't want her to have kids with additional needs as they are all consuming. If I could make DD2 complete NT then of course I would. However, I have accepted she isn't and love her the exact same and will continue to do my best for her at all times the same as I do for DD1.

I don't think it's a bad thing to say, however, I do understand the upset.

zzzzz Tue 30-May-17 15:37:34

I wonder if it would help to know just how common this is? I have 5 children, one has significant sn and wants to marry me grin when he grows up, one never wants to get married or have children, one just wants to be a mummy when she grows up, one say she's sure she will but looks bored, and one just blushes at the whole thing.
They have their own lives to lead. Show them all sorts of ways to be and let them choose.

PandasRock Tue 30-May-17 21:08:49

My dd2 is not sure she wants to have children, as she doesn't want to end up with my life. Fair point, really, it's not what I would have chosen either.

She may or may not have children when she grows up (she's only 10; eldest dd has severe ASD, dd2 has AS, ds has HFA). What she has had is a much bigger insight into the potential pitfalls of having children than I ever had (I am the youngest child in my family, and had virtually no contact with young children/babies before I had my own), and so whatever she decided will actually be a more informed choice than the one I made.

I do feel a bit upset (guilty, probably) that maybe she feels like this because the example of homelife she has is not always a great one, but there is little I can do to change that - we are who we are, as a family, and that is all there is to it.

Mind you, I was absolutely adamant as a child that I would not ever, no way, never have children. Uh huh. Never.

Then I woke up one morning when I was 17, and just realised what crap I'd been spouting, and knew I'd have children one day (hadn't even had a boyfriend at that point!). I did (obviously!), and well, here I am - not the glowing picture of middle class housewifely Home Counties wholesomeness I was anticipating, but we muddle through and it's not all bad.

Whatever dd2 decides (and ds, in his turn - he's only 4!), it's her life, and her decision to take.

notgivingin789 Tue 30-May-17 22:13:11

Show them all sorts of ways to be and let them choose.

That's a beautiful phrase.

DorothyL Tue 30-May-17 23:18:07

I think you misunderstand me - I totally support her in wanting to live the life she wants. What upsets me is that she seems to have such a negative view of ds, when he in spite of everything is so loving and lovable, and of our family as a whole, when I strive every day to minimise the impact of our situation.

zzzzz Wed 31-May-17 00:02:25

What she wants for herself is not a rejection of you or your choices.

PandasRock Wed 31-May-17 07:32:20

If I had grown up with a sister like dd1, it would definitely had an influence on how I saw life. It can't not.

Dd2 and ds do lead a very different life because of dd1. Not worse, but very definitely different - different from their friends' lives, different from how I had planned our life would be, different from what I know we would be doing as a family if dd1 wasn't severely autistic.

It has limited us in many ways, it has excluded many activities and experiences. It has also made us take part in things we wouldn't have done otherwise (and enjoyed them!) and made us consider alternatives and choices we wouldn't have looked at (and again, enjoyed).

Dd2 made me laugh the other day - her current dissatisfaction is that we do too much grin Dd1 needs to get out and about every day - staying at home is really difficult for her, and so we do. Days out, cinema, even just having lunch out. Thinking back to my school holidays, the thing my children never experience is day after day of entertaining themselves - no long stretches of boredom. But apparently it's 'not fair' that we are always active (dd2 is too young to stay at home alone, so has to come along too). She longs for lazy days at home with nothing to do (apparently - she'd be bored within 4 hours and desperate to do something!). In my view, she's lucky we do as much as we do (varied, not always 'big' days out - local park, quick picnic, shopping, wildlife places, as well as bigger days out) both out and at home (there's always baking or craft going on as dd1 needs activities) and we play so many board games, but she sees it differently. I think when she is old enough to choose, she'll still come along on most of our days out, for want of anything better to do! We'll see!

zzzzz is right, what she wants isn't her ejecting you or ds. It's knowing what she wants for herself. It doesn't mean she doesn't love her brother, or see any of his good qualities. It just isn't a choice she would (currently) make.

It isn't a choice that many people make in full knowledge/awareness. I had no idea what having dd1 would mean for my life, and if I were to choose now (faced with a huge almost-teen, with many quirks and foibles, not a tiny baby with the same high needs as many babies) I might choose differently, but that isn't how life works - once you are pregnant the choice is very different from a hypothetical choice, and once the children are here it changes again. She is seeing a huge picture, all at once, not the day-by-day build up, the normalities mixed in with the differences, the things that become our 'normal' as they creep up slowly over the years.

CheeseCrackersAndWine Wed 31-May-17 08:49:41

I am sure it's not that she sees her brother negatively (although she possibly does as I, at 13, definitely saw mine negatively and he was NT so even if she does, it will just be normal sibling stuff)

I know my DD absolutely adores her little sister but she is very bright and also sees how much hard work she is for myself and her Dad and how much having her has changed our (relatively) easy lives before she was born. We kept telling her the hard part doesn't last long with babies but currently it seems never ending, so I am not surprised it has put her off. However, I fully expect she will make her decision on having kids as an adult without even taking her sister, and our struggles into consideration.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 31-May-17 13:59:14

Let's be honest - we all love our children SN or nt unconditionally. We cannot imagine our lives without them and spend inordinate amount of time caring for them, researching, make adjustments and juggling appointments and fighting for services.

Do you think anyone looking in from the outside is going to think "wow - I'd love that life!"

Above posters are right. It's not about rejecting her brother or your lifestyle. It's about realising how hard it is and not wishing it on anyone - including herself.

DorothyL Wed 31-May-17 15:32:09

But I hate the thought that everybody including my dd thinks "what a shit life"

Because what does that say about my life??

CheeseCrackersAndWine Wed 31-May-17 16:01:01

I am sure no one is thinking you have a shit life. However, life with ASD is difficult. There is no denying that. Taking care of their needs, juggling the many appointments they need to attend, the lack of sleep... Then add to that keeping life as uncomplicated as possible for other children. It's not easy. However, it's also not shit. And no one thinks that. It's rewarding in ways that many people will never understand. It's still unlikely to be the life many would actively choose, that doesn't make it shit. Just different to how you imagined.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 31-May-17 16:03:32

If you'd have had a chance to chose your life would it be what you have?

I had all sorts of plans for when my baby boy was born. Not one of those plans has been followed through grin

Doesn't mean I have a shit life or I'd change it. But this not not the life I'd have chosen.

PandasRock Wed 31-May-17 16:21:43

I get you. I really do.

Even with all the crap, I'd choose my life over most of my friends'. Sure, I get envious about the ease with which they can book babysitters, have a casual pub lunch, have a lazy holiday with brunches and lazing around the pool, etc. But they don't have my dd. And I'd rather have my family, than be easily able to do all that (even though, at any given moment, I may really, really want to do that)

Choosing something different doesn't mean that your dd thinks your life is shit. It means she wants something different.

I can't think of anything worse than being a dentist, but lots of people choose that (and enjoy it!) for their careers.

Even without disability, I'd have chosen to be at home more with my children rather than having a high flying all hours career. That doesn't mean I think all career parents have shit lives, or make shit choices - just means that choice wasn't for me (just as well, since I wouldn't have been able to do it anyway, as it turns out!).

My best friend is childless by choice. I don't understand her point of view, but she's happy. I'm sure she thinks part of my life is shit, but she also knows how much I enjoy my children.

Have you discussed this with your dd? Tried to find out why she feels that way? (I don't mean you should sit her down and quiz her about it, but gather thoughts and views while idly chatting, over a period of time)

It could be that she is scared she wouldn't manage.

It could've that she doesn't want children at all.

It could be (as a pp said) that she's just currently hates siblings, because, you know, she just does

It could be her trying to see what you'd think if she didn't want children.

It could be that she said the worst thing she could during an argument, because she knew it would hurt as you are (naturally) protective of ds.

It could be that she was trying to find a way of opening a discussion about whether you think people can work and have children (I could be wrong, but I seem to think you are a sahm?), and even do so when there are disabilities.

She might just be having a teenage angst 'I hate my life' interlude, and she'll get over it.

I don't think here's any reason to think that these views will be her final choice re: having children. She's 13. So many things change once partners arrive on the scene, and love, and biological clocks etc. She's at the very beginning of working out what she may want as an adult.

DorothyL Wed 31-May-17 17:02:55

Ds is with his dad and I have a rare moment of enjoying (sort of) freedom and I feel all emotional. PandasRock, your post really resonates with me, but thank you to all for taking the time to reply xx

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