Parenting has been an adjustment for “Little People, Big World” stars Zach and Tori Roloff.
The couple welcomed their first child together, Jackson Kyle on May 14, and are now opening up about the challenges and joys of parenting in a new interview with People.
“We knew we were leaving our previous life behind, but we were okay with that,” Zach told the magazine.
“We’re not doing things on our schedule anymore. We’re on Jackson time!”
According to the couple, “Jackson time” means feedings with mom 11 times a day and the couple is running on about four hours of sleep a night.
“I’ve learned I can exist on no sleep,” Tori joked. “Zach is having a bit of a harder time with that.”
The couple shared that their son was born with achondroplasia, like his father. Achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism and the couple knew they had a 50/50 chance of passing the gene on to their child.
“You have to encourage a dwarf child a little more because it will take them five steps to do what others can do in two,” Zach said. “But I knew, dwarf or not, I was going to parent my child with the mentality that not everyone gets a trophy. You have to earn it.”
Men born with achondroplasia grow to be 4’4″ with a normal lifespan. Babies born with the condition could have trouble breathing or delays in muscle development, but, the parents are ready to handle all of that.
“I want people to know that he’s just like his dad: being a dwarf is just part of the whole package of who he is,” Zach told the magazine.
Zach and Tori knew about their son’s diagnosis during the 34 week ultrasound and told their family right away. They decided to wait until after the birth to discuss the diagnosis publicly.
“We knew our chances of having a dwarf, but it didn’t matter,” Tori said. “We just knew we wanted to be parents, however God wanted it to happen.”
Now that the story is out there, the new parents hope to help educate and provide comfort to parents of dwarfs. Zach said that he has already received emails from concerned parents who found support in watching their TLC reality series.
As for their own son, Zach and Tori hope to give him a full life and have started setting simple goals for their future as a family.
“I just pray that he’s caring and thoughtful, like his father,” Tori said. “I just want him to be a good person.”
Zach added, “Whatever he wants to do in life, we’re going to find a way to help him do it. That’s our job in life now.”
“Little People, Big World” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.
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