Anybody with kids with ADHD in this bowl? Can you provide words of encouragement or wisdom?

Desperately want to start a family but also terrified of how it would impact my life and work performance

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Yes, both children with ADHD and a partner with it. (I can’t tell if you’re asking if people with ADHD have kids with it or if people with ADHD have kids) Early diagnosis and learning as much as you can about neurodivergence will help. When a parent and child both have it, it can get complicated, but nothing to worry about. ADHD has many benefits when parenting, including handling stressful situations and jumping into action, working under pressure well, hyper focusing on things that are fun, etc. becoming a parent is stressful but well worth it, and ADHD shouldn’t scare you out of it. Most important thing is tons of love- which you’ll have to give and receive from children. The rest you figure out and use your resources.

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Ah, got it. Medication is super helpful. Get as much help as you can, especially therapy support for executive functioning. And don’t be afraid, being a parent is overwhelming, but great. You got this!

I have a stepson. Can’t tell you how it would be with a baby BUT having adhd helped me realize the signs and get him diagnosed. I also get to pass on what I’ve learned to manage my symptoms and it’s nice to see him have those hacks at 11 since I never did.

I set auto reminders on his phone and do things like put his flossers in a clear container in his bathroom so they aren’t “out of sight, out of mind”.

Now for my scary thoughts… getting off of my meds to successfully carry a child and then staying off of them for 6 months breast feeding.

My plan is to prove myself at work and then consider a baby. I’ve been here a year already so hopefully one more year.

Managing work while taking care of my stepson while my husband leaves for months at a time for military training is rough BUT honestly I’ve found that PwC has been very flexible.

If you want a fast track you will have to kiss that goodbye. It’s a trade off.

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Yup. Schedules are critical for me and maintaining my sanity. I also think that sticking with a schedule brings a sense of stability that kids need. My kid is in middle school. He knows I have adhd and that I take medication daily. He also understands what my strengths and weaknesses are. I don't look to him to pick up the slack and/or help keep me organized so I don't lose things, but he knows what things are hard for me and he knows I have moments when I'm hard on myself because of it. It has been important to me to be open with him and my challenges, so he knows that those moments when I'm struggling and get huffy aren't about him. I make a point of telling him in the moment so he doesn't internalize my frustrations. It's something we talk about almost daily. It's not a big deal unless you make it one. I would never not have kids because of my adhd. Me: mid-40s, diagnosed in grade school, but no medication until college when I could get it without my parents' permission

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This was me 4 years ago. Crippling anxiety at the thought of stopping meds while pregnant and then even more anxious thinking about life with a baby and juggling work. My OB ultimately said it could do more harm than good to stop cold turkey so I remained on low dose throughout my pregnancy, healthy 8 lb baby. No judgement please, it’s what was best for me and in turn baby. After I stopped breastfeeding which didn’t last long despite trying, I ramped my meds back up to normal dose. Some days are harder than others, but with my meds, endless outlook calendar reminders (literally for everything), and help with domestic type things (maid, occasional food delivery, etc) it’s for sure manageable and so worth it.

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More on meds-I would recommend you get a referral to an MFM obgyn from you're normal
OBGYN, and I would start pestering your doctor about that referral before trying to conceive. Basically, an MFM is the most equipped to advise you on how you can manage meds while preg and that's your best bet as not all physicians feel like they can assess the risk (which usually leads to a blanket no). I have the double whammy of ADHD and narcolepsy-so I have already asked about this as pregnancy could derail my whole life .

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My kids are 15 amd 12. Both have *extreme* forms of ADHD that manifest differently. My oldest's doctor once wrote a letter to the school system with words something like "In my 20 years in medicine, 12 of which at this practice and eight at children's hospital, he is the most extreme case of ADHD I have come across...."

Seeing those words the first time was a relief, knowing that neither my partner nor i were crazy, but... seeing those words... this is it... this is / was what hard looks like. I think my second caught wind of that letter and thought the toddler equivalent of "hold my beer"... because... wow the first was so easy comparatively- once we established services.

Your kids will not be easy, but they will help you better understand yourself, this disability, and how to advocate for it. We've been through bullies, low growth, behavioral challenges, chores, medication shortages for everyone, and so forth. And the pandemic? Wow, that was tough on them in every sense. We have helped get their education back on track, because it hit for each of them at major social and emotional milestones.

It has made me slow my career asperations, and my wife gave up her business to get them back on track during the pandemic. But yeah, I've been back at full travel for the past two years. I can't stress enough how important making them whole has been both of our focuses - career be damned. (Also, my boss leverages me for the hard stuff, so he's mostly in my corner when I need something.)

In all likelihood, if your and your partner have ADHD, your kids will have a form of it too. The expenses of replacing stuff, various medical appointments, and extra organizational things still allow us live well comparative to many, but my direct peers / colleagues and I live *very* different private lives. I do not chase their dreams. Most importantly, get a weekly housecleaning - just trust me on this one - get it early on during the first pregnancy and never stop it.

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I wouldn’t worry about it at all. Everyone who starts a family has to adjust life and work performance. Your experience might be a little different than others, but there are so many more resources now for people with ADHD than there were a few years ago.

One of our twins was diagnosed with ADHD. He got extra help in school but never a formal 504 plan. He had a couple of tough years when he acted up in class but we got past that and he did great in HS and is now a college sophomore just like his sister, who had her own issue to deal with — stuttering. They both are thriving in college. Good luck!

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