On Mondays and Thursday I’m still a part time nanny and I’ve been working with my favorite family for probably over 2 months. This baby always greets me in the mornings with the biggest smiles! So a little back story here but years ago I decided not to have children of my own because of my Bipolar Disorder and it possibly being hereditary.
Bipolar disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition. Bipolar disorder is the most likely psychiatric disorder to be passed down from family. If one parent has bipolar disorder, there’s a 10% chance that their child will develop the illness.https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/bipolar-disorder/causes/
Twin studies have established that bipolar disorder is among the most heritable of medical disorders and efforts to identify specific susceptibility genes have intensified over the past two decades.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3637882/
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts not only do I have Bipolar but my mom does too. There was a time that I struggled daily because it was so challenging for me to try and take care of my mental health, my self-care while trying be supportive of my mom during her very frequent Manic episodes. I honestly don’t know how I managed all that plus teaching full time and going to grad. school.
I’ve always been open about dating men with children. In the last 10 some years I actually have preferred to date men that have children of their own, be it 1-2. Last year I was talking to a guy in particular for months and I even made exception to my own dating rules because I liked him so much and he had many qualities I’m looking for in a man. He has 3 children 2 boys and 1 girl. A few years ago I wouldn’t have dared to date a man with 3 children but I’m okay with it now as I’m just getting older and men my age have often been with someone at one point long term or married and divorced.
A bit ago as I put the baby to sleep I thought I’m never going to experience this and it was a sad moment for me. Then I listened to the song below by Reik and now every time I listen to this song I’m going to think of this moment when part of me really wanted a baby of my own.
I’m 42 and probably pre-menopausal already and I’m not even dating anyone right now, but why can’t I have a baby if I want to?! There are options besides having my own, adoption, having a surrogate, etc.
I don’t know if it’s because this baby is one of my favorites to take care of, he’s usually in a good mood and not fussy plus he likes me a lot but I hadn’t thought about having children of my own for a long time. I honestly thought it was a closed subject for me. I use a dating app. here and there but lately haven’t made much of an effort as I started a new job plus I’m trying to focus on myself and getting healthier and more comfortable in my own body.
Obviously people with mental health illnesses can and do have children without any mental health issues being inherited. But even if my child is mentally healthy some days I’m not myself. Some days especially in the Fall and Winter I’m freaking depressed and unmotivated about everything and just want to lie on the couch or my bed while having a pity party just me, myself, and I.
If I were to have a child I would prefer to have one with a partner. Props here to all the single parents out there, but sometimes managing my mental health plus everything else in life gets to feel like a lot so I think it would be best to take this big step with someone I love next to me. I think if I’m going to do this I want to do it with my best friend. He will know all about my struggles and we’ll be prepared for days that I’m anxious as hell or depressed and crying in bed.
We will have a safety plan of sorts in place for days like this. Since I was a Kindergarten teacher I’m going to steal the term “emergency plans”. If I have a partner who is accepting of my mental health and he knows the whole spiel of what is my life and the mental health struggles I’ve been dealing with for over 20 years he will be understanding. He will love me unconditionally and accept me as I am, defects and weaknesses included. So together we will make a safety plan so we are prepared for days when I’m not the best version of myself.
I haven’t done any research at all and I don’t even know if I can adopt or foster a child because of my mental history. Is there anything written about this? Besides a background check will I need character witnesses that can vouch that I am a good person and mentally stable? I have no idea but all this is something I’ve thought about at one point or another.
I have more to say on the subject but for now this is what I have and I’m posting this to share to see if any other woman out there has ever had these same doubts and thoughts.