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DH and I disagree about number of children - how to resolve

(32 Posts)
BadPenny Sun 24-Aug-14 23:39:58

Any words of wisdom from anyone who's been through this? DH is all done after 2 children, I would like one or two more...

Don't really want to push the issue but what subtle steps could I take to change his mind - or indeed mine?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 24-Aug-14 23:42:46

Im of the opinion that the one who doesnt want any more gets the final say. So the next step for you would be coming to terms with the fact that your family is complete.

ArsenicyOldFace Sun 24-Aug-14 23:43:31

Moratorium? Just agree to shelve the issue entirely for a year, preferably two.

How old are you both and the existing DC? Ca you 'afford' a pause?

MajesticWhine Sun 24-Aug-14 23:49:39

We couldn't agree after two. I desperately wanted another, he didn't. After a few years I was pretty much over it. Then he got interested again. And we eventually had our 3rd with an 8 year age gap. Time will resolve it one way or the other. I wouldn't try and promote the idea of another at all, subtle or otherwise. Just back down for a bit and see what happens.

BadPenny Sun 24-Aug-14 23:55:11

Hacked, I agree with that... Sadly for me!

Could hold on for a year... Is only 2 yrs since DC2 but I wanted another straightaway. I am very smitten with our 2DCs - they are lovely!

Majestic, you give me hope... I suppose I'd better drop the whole idea and see if he comes around naturally. Just finding it so hard as I'm not far off 40 and worry if we wait too long I won't have the energy for a baby.

ArsenicyOldFace Sun 24-Aug-14 23:59:06

Well whatever you do, forget 'subtle steps'. No such thing with such a big decision, you just run the risk that he'll feel manipulated.

I do understand the temptation.

How about a fertility check to give you an idea of ovarian reserve? As to energy levels, surely another year would help?

gamescompendium Mon 25-Aug-14 00:05:48

A relative and his wife couldn't agree, he was happy with two, she wanted more. They now foster. Not necessarily the best 'compromise' for everyone but IMHO they are fabulous parents - so calm and their own kids are lovely.

DaisyFlowerChain Mon 25-Aug-14 10:39:54

The one who doesn't want any more has the final say. Forcing or tricking someone into a child they don't want is wrong for both the parent and child.

He may change his mind or he may not but it's his choice.

WildBillfemale Mon 25-Aug-14 10:51:35

You go with the lower number - the one who doesn't want anymore has the final say.

and no tricks or 'accidents' with contraception to get your own way........

kaykayblue Mon 25-Aug-14 11:00:24

I think there should be leeway up to two children if the parents have sufficient time/resources to knowingly go for it. If one person is adamant they want no children, then they want different things and they should move on. With one child, I can definitely see tangible benefits of having a second, so I think a very serious discussion should be involved with both parties. And to be honest, I think the benefits outway most of the problems, unless there are very severe underlying reasons not to go ahead.

I think after 2 children, if one person wants more, it's just a question of greed (that's a provocative word to use, and I don't mean it with the nasty connotations, but I can't think of a better way to put it). In all honesty, I think after two children, then there are no substantive reasons to have more unless BOTH parties want more children. If one person doesn't, then that's the end of the line.

However, if your partner is very serious about no more children, then he should be the one to take responsibility for getting sterilised. Otherwise even if you are completely honest and above board, if an accident happens then you will be ecstatic, and he will resent you. So his responsibility.

dadwood Mon 25-Aug-14 11:11:45

This might open a major can of worms, but I don't think people should elect to have more than two children in a world so overpopulated. It's really wrong IMO.

BadPenny Mon 25-Aug-14 11:30:06

I would be open to fostering - DH not keen.

As for overpopulation - the DCs' 4 grandparents (just biological i.e. not counting steps, not that it would make a difference) only have 2 grandchildren between them with little prospect of more (neither of our siblings are in relationships/married) so we're not exactly taking over the world.

Some would argue any number of children is selfish/irresponsible but hey, you can't please everyone!

Thanks for all the thoughts... Definitely no plans to cheat or have accidents - I am very careful about contraception as keen to avoid any bad feelings.

dadwood Mon 25-Aug-14 11:37:18

Thanks OP for not flipping over my stance on no. of kids. I'm really impressed that you have already taken it into consideration. I realise what an emotive subject it is!
Could you work with kids as your day job? Would that be enough of a mothering substitute for you?
I am really sorry if this sounds trite.

dadwood Mon 25-Aug-14 11:39:33

For full disclosure I am a SAHD of a child with special needs and would like another child myself

BeckAndCall Mon 25-Aug-14 11:45:08

OP may not have flipped at you dadwood but others will feel like it.

so i should have stopped at two should i? and having three was greedy was it kay? as a matter of interest, what are your thoughts on the rights and wrongs of the Chinese one child policy?

and what about second families - are they 'allowed' more in your scenario? and what if, heaven forbid, you lose a child? how many are you allowed then?

Sorry OP - nothing to do with your question

dadwood Mon 25-Aug-14 11:48:48

I knew it was a can of worms! I may start a thread one day, or you can now, BeckAndCall if you want, I'll definitely engage on the subject. I think I'll bow out of this thread unless the OP wants me not to. We'll derail it otherwise.

neart Mon 25-Aug-14 11:57:45

Its up to him really. I would say that that supporting 3-4 children is very demanding so his position is not unreasonable.

googoodolly Mon 25-Aug-14 12:02:08

You have to go with the lowest number. It's really unfair to pressure someone to have more children they don't want, and it's especially unfair on the child.

I want three DC, DP wants to stop at one or two as he already has three from a previous relationship. I've said I'm happy to stop at two but I couldn't commit to just having one from the start (if we can only end up having one, that's different). He agreed and we've settled on two for now.

If you husband is admant that two is it, then that's it, I'm afraid.

weegiemum Mon 25-Aug-14 12:06:30

Dh and I disagreed - he wanted 2, I wanted more.

Our compromise was that I'd get a mirena and once we were sure we were done, he'd get a vasectomy.

I went through awful PND and severe jealousy when one of my friends decided to have No3, but worked through it (with counselling).

I then had some decidedly odd symptoms, was sure I could feel the coil, had a couple of half hearted periods (had nothing since it was put in 6 weeks after ds was born in Feb 2002 - this was March-ish I think. He was just 1 and dd1 spoiler was 3. I saw my GP, was booked for an ultrasound to check it, and we used condoms - was too late. Even before the u/s I was feeling queasy, being sick and incredibly tired. Then I had a really severe symptom I'd had in the previous pregnancy with ds (renal colic and passed a small kidney stone).

The test was +ve! the u/s was rescheduled with the obstetrician rather than the radiologist. I was more shocked than dh!!

Our dc are now 14.6, 12.6 and surprise dd2 is 10.9. We can't imagine life without them all. I was horrendously unwell all through the pregnancy and for 18 months afterwards at least. My kidneys were so badly affected that dh was able to have his vasectomy before dd2 was born, very unusual. Another pg would have cost me my left kidney.

How can I put it? If I was told tomorrow I could go through all the hell of kidney illness, depression, giving up some of our dearest dreams due to the affects on my health and have another baby, I'd say no. If I was told tomorrow my past could be re-jigged so that I was well, but dd2 would never have been born, I would reject that totally. Dh is a fab dad to all 3 dc, dd2 was born just after his Grandma died (3 weeks) and has her name.

This probably isn't helping, and I didn't mean it to be so long. Our #3 was unplanned but it worked out. My dad and mum had their #3 to save their marriage, and it didn't work, and my mother walked out when my db was 4 (leaving me, and my sister and brother).

I'd never suggest you should have more dc than one partner wants. We know we were incredibly lucky that for us, it worked out.

Lweji Mon 25-Aug-14 12:12:05

As for overpopulation
It's not the Western hemisphere that has an overpopulation problem. Or even really population growth. I think the odd family with 3 or more children is quite alright. To compensate for those without children or just one (me).
In fact, to replace the population we need an average over 2, which means more or less an even number of 2s and 3s.

Lweji Mon 25-Aug-14 12:14:27

Is he dead against another child, or just preference?

I'd keep asking every year or every 6 months, for example. Or agree to leave it to chance if he could contemplate the possibility of having a 3rd.

Sickoffrozen Mon 25-Aug-14 12:29:09

My best friend is having this issue now. She wants 2, he only wants the one they have (he has another from first marriage).

She is getting very resentful but to be fair to him, he did say right from the start that he would only have one. She could have walked away but didn't and now has got what he wanted ! She regrets agreeing at the beginning but acknowledges that his view hasn't changed. It's hers that has.

I sympathise with both. He is 48 now too and doesn't want to be a grandad at the school gates dad!

It's messy and could split them up!

sanfairyanne Mon 25-Aug-14 12:32:24

most third babies i know were genuine accidents so i would say the onus is on him to sort out v v reliable contraception

Lweji Mon 25-Aug-14 12:35:59

Agree. If he really doesn't want more children, he should condom up or have the snip.
You should not be responsible for contraception.

kaykayblue Mon 25-Aug-14 12:43:49

BeckandCall - congratulations on not overreacting at all to other people's comments.

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