Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

To be a Parent or Not to be a Parent

Should I have a child or should I not have a child, that is the question.

And I have an answer:

Thanks, but no thanks. Or, to be clearer: No, I do not want to have a cute, little adorable one of my own; I do not want to nurture or raise a baby of my own.

This question has come up more times than I can remember and my answer has always been the same. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I have felt a little sentimental and thought, oh what would it have been like to raise a small child into an adult, but then as soon as someone says ‘Hey, you’re not too old’ well, that just ruins the whole thing for me and I remember, quite quickly in fact, that I do not want to have a baby. Nope. Yes, accidents happen, but ADHD or not, I am clever enough to not let such an accident happen. There are some things I can focus on quite well.

I have always been up front about my decision and I have absolutely no qualms about it. Yes, I have stopped relationships from blossoming because the desire to have a child was so strong in the person I was seeing. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. I choose the word: fair. It’s better to be honest than to skip around it and say how nice it would be, when I really don’t mean it.

I like to think I am a practical person. When you have ADHD, learning to be practical is a big step in the right direction, as far as I am concerned. Yes, I do allow way too many whims to take control of me from time to time, but this is one that has never caught hold and I have many good reasons why. If you own my book “One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir” (it’s affordable and might save you even more than you realize) then you have in your possession more reasons as to why not than I can possibly ever convey in a blog post. Even so, let me explain myself a little bit here. I highly recommend anyone with ADHD and co-morbid conditions considering children to read my book first! Not necessarily to sway you, but rather to give you the other side of the story, sort of speak.

I have ADHD. I have co-morbid PTSD and Depression (well, the depression isn’t as much a factor as it once was thanks to therapy). It is my belief that when one (me particularly) decides to have a child it is not just a desire to reproduce and carry on my name. It is much more than that. It’s a decision about the rest of my life, but even more so it is about the life of the child, notably the quality of life he or she will have. It’s well known that ADHD is hereditary, as well as many other health conditions. Can I maintain and care for a child with ADHD? The answer is simple and clear to me: No. Even before I knew I had ADHD, long before that I already knew that my inherent issues with distraction, impulsiveness and forgetfulness would not be conducive to creating a home environment that would benefit any child, with or without ADHD.

Maybe I am not giving myself enough credit? Perhaps you are right, but I am not willing to put it to the test and what’s more, I do not have the desire to put it to the test. I may talk about how I have come to see my ADHD in a positive light and how I can use many of my ADHD traits to my advantage and that’s all true, but let me be as clear as possible, I still would not wish my conditions on anyone (except for maybe my charm, you’d enjoy that)!

A few weeks ago my decision came through to me clearer than anything ever could. My young nephew, who has ADHD something fierce, especially the “H” part, finally pushed himself too far and hit his head with such force that he had bleeding in the brain. I can never describe the few days that passed agonizingly slow for my family and especially my younger sister. We didn’t know what would happen next and he went into a comma. I am happy to report that he is now at home and doing much better. I will be honest with you, I don’t know how my sister does it, but she does, and amazingly so. She’s better suited than I am, in more ways than one.

Yes, it is true that we don’t know what we are capable of until we try, but it is my humble opinion that I must evaluate my situation before I decide to have a child and I have done that. I have met too many people who have let desire take control of them, passed on their hereditary conditions and then get in so deep that disaster after disaster strikes, some have lost their children either to the law or in some cases, even death. And I have seen some of those same people decide to try again with the same results or even worse. I know I am being rather extreme here and this will upset more than a few people, but it’s important to me to seriously consider all aspects which may be possible given the circumstances. At the same time there are resounding success stories. Both my nephews, from my little sister, have ADD and ADHD respectively (each their own), and they are the most wonderful kids in the world! My sister is truly blessed to have them and I am just as blessed to have them as family. However, I could not do it and such a decision is not something to just ‘try out’.

Am I so wrong? Actually, that’s not really a question is it, because in this decision I would never truly ask, especially not in the hopes that someone would sway me. Each person must make their own decision on whether to have children or not and it’s a very personal decision. I can’t control (nor would I ever want to), who looks at what facts or what considerations when it comes to creating a human being that must be cared for, nurtured and raised into a healthy, vibrant adult. However, I do have control over my own and it’s my choice. Joan is already a wonderful mother to a brilliant young adult, and she understands, appreciates and agrees with my decision. Although I know she would take up all the slack and take care of our baby as if it ruled the world, but – would that be fair to her? We are happy together, as we are.

I have far too often been told that I should have children so I can know what is like to raise a child and be a responsible parent. Is that really a reason I should have a child? I think not. Again, not fair to the child, the mother or even, for that matter, me.

I have the greatest, most profound respect for mother’s and father’s the world over, especially of children with ADHD, ADD and LD’s, Autism etc… You are the most amazing people in the world! I wish you the utmost of success and happiness, that’s just not for me and in this respect, for those of you who can do it and do it day in and day out, you are wonderful, courageous people, indeed. Hat’s off!

Aww, don’t make that face at me. 🙁