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I Only Have One Kid, So Why Am I Stressed?

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I have a friend who has seven children. (Let that sink in.) Her first five kids range between seventeen and six years olds. Recently she had a set of beautiful baby girl twins. I have no idea how she does it. I mean seven children…that’s a reality show!

Because I only have one kid and I’m always stressed.

I have big kid seven-year-old boy feet resting on my shoulders. Literally. I am sitting on the sofa trying to type and my son Norrin’s feet are kicking on my shoulders while he’s happily playing on his iPad.

There is a pile of laundry that needs to get done and a sink full of dishes that needs to be washed. There are toy cars and Lego bricks in every room of our two-bedroom apartment. I have medical paper work that needs to be filled out for Norrin and somewhere in the bottom of his book bag, there are homework pages that still need to be completed.

I got home from work less than two hours ago and Norrin’s just eaten dinner. In a few minutes my husband Joseph will help Norrin with his bath and get him ready for bed. I’ll have time to read him a five minute story or two.

Raising a son with autism, while working full time outside of the home (and blog writing at night) and going to graduate school is beyond demanding. Most days I wake up between five and six in the morning. I rush around trying to get Norrin on the school bus and on his way before seven before running off to work. I get home with barely enough time to cook dinner (or order take-out, depending on my mood).

I am lucky I have a husband who helps me and a mother who is always willing to step in when I need extra support. There are always appointments to get to, IEPs to read and therapists to work with. Something always needs to get done, yet there is never enough time.

There are moments when I really want another child, but I wonder if I’m up for it. How would a second or even third child impact our family dynamic? As it is laundry is my Sisyphean task  what would my hamper look like with another child? I shudder at the thought.

Earlier this month Babble Kid blogger, Devan, wrote about how having three kids is the most stressful. Devan’s post was based on the TODAYMoms.com survey that polled 7,000 mothers. Devan focuses on the survey results and shares her own personal experience:

…when we added a third child to the family, I didn’t find this transition nearly as difficult as I did going from zero to one. That was the biggest adjustment for me as I was learning how to mother, how to read cues, function on little sleep, navigate all the conflicting parenting information, and trying to find my groove…By the time I had three kids, that transition was the easiest for me because I already felt like I knew what I was doing.

So are three kids the charm? Or is it the number that sends a mom over the edge?

Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.

And don’t miss a post! Follow Lisa on Twitter and Facebook!

photo credit: iStock Photo

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