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AIBU to tell my husband that I don't want a second child

(37 Posts)
Toughtimemum Mon 19-Nov-18 23:19:16

My husband is hinting towards a second child and I just don't think I can do it again.
This is going to sound terrible...the reason I don't think I can have a second child is because he was so completely useless with our first. The first nine months of my daughters life were absolute hell for me, I couldn't leave my daughter with my husband for any length of time (not even a few hours without him calling me to come home), i did and still do all the night feeds, all the meal prep, I had no time for myself to just sit and reflect, I deffo had PND and feel that I do still suffer with anxiety etc....I basically did everything where our daughter is concerned. He changes the odd nappy.
Looking back I had no recovery time for my body or mind to recover from pregnancy or birth. It was very rare that I was able to meet my own basic needs due to his lack of support, showers were maybe 2-3 times a week if lucky, I only ate if he put food in front of me. I was living away from my home town at the time and felt vert isolated and had no support.
I physically and mentally don't know how I made it through the first 9months of my daughters life.
Whilst now our daughter is older (15mths) my husband is a fantastic dad and I couldn't ask for more....but again I can't relive those initial 9mths, I don't think I would make it.
I don't want to tell my husband that he is the reason why I don't want a second child as I think that would really hurt him and I also don't want to take the risk of having another baby and history repeating itself.
I like the idea of our daughter having a sibling and I would like another baby but I just can't take the risk.

Singlenotsingle Mon 19-Nov-18 23:24:23

There's no hurry anyway. Leave it another year (or two) and see how you feel then.
Tell him you just can't cope at the moment, and maybe you'll think about it again when he's ready to do more parenting.

(Tbh a single parent has to cope alone so you're one of many (not that that helps)).

PickAChew Mon 19-Nov-18 23:27:14

Perfectly good reason not to have another child with him. A child has 2 parents but it sounds like he forgot about that.

Not that you need any excuse not to want to carry a baby for 9 months.

flossietoot Mon 19-Nov-18 23:29:24

You either were quite depressed during the first nine months, or are being a bit melodramatic. Yes, in an ideal world husbands would be hands on and super helpful, but the reality is a lot of the time you just have to get on with it. Why were you only showering three times a week?! I used to put the baby in the car seat and have a quick shower with her in the room with me when I was particularly anxious. I appreciate I probably seem harsh but like someone said above- lots and lots manage on their own.

Toughtimemum Tue 20-Nov-18 01:09:27

I completely appreciate that there are single parents out there, I am the product of a single parent upbringing. And yes, they have no choice but to take on the role of two parents and "get on with it". I entered parenthood in a partnership with my husband and I naively assumed that he would take on his fair share of the responsibilities once our daughter arrived. It is fairly uneasy to simply "get on with it" when you have BASIC expectations of another that are not being met.
Meeting my own basic needs came second to everything else that needed doing. My husband took no paternity leave so time spent showering/ washing was often spent washing clothes, running around the hoover, cleaning, changing bed linen, walking the dog...just general house crap that needed to be done. In the event that I managed to then find time to shower it would be a quick in & out job whilst my daughter screamed the house down from the bouncy chair on the floor of our en suite - not ideal conditions for a bit of self care.
Maybe a little melodramatic as suggested but it was my reality.
And yes, potentially maybe I did suffer with a little PND but this wasn't helped by the lack of support from my husband - hence my reluctance for another child.

flossietoot Tue 20-Nov-18 17:05:07

It is tough being a mum. But sadly what you have written is the reality for myself and the vast majority of my friends with young families. You will drive yourself mad expecting your husband to suddenly become husband and father of the year if he has shown no sign of it up until now. My advice would be to let it go, get a good support network of other mum friends and enjoy your baby. Not very feminist but I personally would rather have an easy life than be constantly raging with my husband.

TwinDadJonny Tue 20-Nov-18 17:07:19

I think you're being more than just a little bit harsh there @flossietoot. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect men to share the load and I don't think that finding it a struggle without that help makes you melodramatic. Yes a lot of women go it alone, but they've either chosen parenthood on those terms or found themselves in that position through no fault of their own. Why shouldn't a couple set parameters before making these decisions?

It sounds like you've gotten things to a manageable place now @Toughtimemum so there's probably no point in dwelling on the past, but I don't think it's in any way unreasonable for you to set expectations before going ahead with it. You're both parents after all.

RandomMess Tue 20-Nov-18 18:35:39


Perhaps tell him if he desperately wants another you will return to work after 6 months and he can take paternity leave instead...

Thebluedog Tue 20-Nov-18 18:41:13

YANBU... i agree with the above poster who said tell him he has to take paternity leave, I’d take it a step further and tell him he has to do at least 6 months, do all the night feeds and also start to do more for the one you’ve already got. It’s greatsayinghes a good dad but if he’s only changing the odd nappy he’s more of a Disney dad

MrsL2016 Tue 20-Nov-18 18:46:24

I think a few other posters are being a bit harsh. Regardless of whether other people have to deal with way worse or on their own and 'Just get on with it', doesn't mean the op should. She has done it once and knows it won't be good for her to do it again. You are definitely not being unreasonable. I think when you have expectations and they are not met that can make it even harder. I really struggle with being a mother to my DS (7 months) and that has made me think I won't do it again, even though I really wanted more than one before children. That's expectation vs reality in my eyes.

TwinDadJonny Tue 20-Nov-18 18:46:55

@Thebluedog Ha! Disney Dad. Haven't heard that one before. But I'm borrowing it. smile

SoyDora Tue 20-Nov-18 18:50:04

It is tough being a mum. But sadly what you have written is the reality for myself and the vast majority of my friends with young families

Not for me, my DH pulled his weight. He wanted a family too.

Loopytiles Tue 20-Nov-18 18:53:30

Not a “terrible” reason at all.

I know two women who have one DC for this reason: one is still with her partner, and he is a decent parent but doesn’t share the domestic work. The other LTB.

Why are his potential feelings about some justified criticism of his very poor parenting and partnership more important than your feelings, or wellbeing? (And the wellbeing of your DC).

zighazigha Tue 20-Nov-18 18:56:05

Can't believe I'm reading that this is normal and women should just have to put up with it. Shame on you. If we don't challenge the status quo our sons will grow up expecting their female partners to do everything and our daughters will grow up expecting no more from their male partners.

RandomMess Tue 20-Nov-18 18:57:51

No way does it represent my experience DH more than pulled his weight, if he hadn't no way would I have pestered him for #3 & 4. He became a "victim" of his own success so to speak but he doesn't regret it.

Dontknowwhatimdoing Tue 20-Nov-18 19:00:50

I think you really need to speak to your DH about this. You can't not tell him why you don't want another one. You need to sit down and have a proper conversation about this. He wasn't too concerned about your feelings when you were struggling for months without his help.

PotteringAlong Tue 20-Nov-18 19:01:07

You only ate if he put food in front of you? You never ate when he was at work etc? If nothing else that won’t happen again. You have to feed your older child so you just make some for you at the same time.

EssentialHummus Tue 20-Nov-18 19:09:23

I think it's worth explaining all this to him. DH was useless/borderline malevolent when DD was tiny. Partly not understanding what I was going through, partly getting overwhelmed by anxiety and fluffing it. It got better, but IMO a huge part of the "getting better" was me saying things like "If you see me in this chair with a boob out, bring some coffee over. If you see that x or y needs doing/replacing, do it rather than telling me about it. There's rhyme time on Sunday mornings, off you fuck with the baby, see you after." And so on.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 20-Nov-18 19:12:56

No fucking way is this ‘the normal’.

DP got up on the night to change nappies and carried the baby around if she was restless and not sleeping despite being fed.
He cooked and cleaned and made sure there was food in the house I could eat by heating it quickly in the microwave or shove in the oven.
When he went back to work he’d take over in the evening when he got in so I could shower and rest a bit.

When things got manageable and I healed I was more than happy playing stepford wife and cleaning the house and ensuring hot meals were ready for him and older dc.
Altho MIL was furious and felt that he wasn’t pulling his weight and gave him what for🤣

I would tell your DH exactly why you don’t want more children. And give him practical examples of his behaviour historically and also currently. List out some of what you currently do and then tell him you aren’t prepared to add to the chaos with the physical & mental trauma of a new baby into that.

And I was a single parent for ages, it was not by choice, had I had the choice I would not have added dc to the mix as I had problems taking care of myself let alone taking care of the needs of two very young and vulnerable dc. But we managed because we had to.

OP doesn’t have to.

TwinDadJonny Tue 20-Nov-18 19:21:36

Amen @zighazigha! For a moment there I was worried that this was more normality than I thought.

darceybussell Tue 20-Nov-18 19:21:50

Tell him. He sounds like a complete arse!

schopenhauer Tue 20-Nov-18 19:23:57

Why wouldn’t you tell him?!? Communication is so important. He probably thought he was doing fine. I would have complained loudly and made him pull his weight.

roundtable Tue 20-Nov-18 19:27:50

Not normal and a perfectly valid reason op.

Thank God DH isn't a useless sack of shit like some of the 'D'P's featured on here.

SinkGirl Tue 20-Nov-18 19:28:02

Ignore those with such a low bar - that’s really depressing.

My DH was not perfect (he’s made bottles about twice in two years!) but he certainly pulled his weight with night feeds, wake ups, changes etc. You need to tell him the truth - why are you scared of hurting him? He should feel bad!

TwinDadJonny Tue 20-Nov-18 19:28:14

I don't think you necessarily have to tell him that "he's the reason". Just outline your needs and expectations and take it from there. It has to be a joint decision.

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