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How to persuade dh to go for baby no 2?

(33 Posts)
MumToH Sun 07-May-06 22:55:40

We have a ds who has just turned 5. Virtually since he was born, I've had the dilemma of 'do we/when do we have baby no 2?'. At first it was too expensive while ds was at nursery but he's been at school since last Sept, plus we had marriage issues to sort out. I've just turned 40 and have decided that I would like baby no2 - lots of reasons, main ones are I would like ds to have a sibling and I'm worried if I leave it any longer I'll have missed the boat. Finally broached the subject with dh tonight - can;t say I'm surprised at his reaction but I'm disappointed. Basically, he doesn't want baby no 2, reasons (until he thinks about finances and comes up with some more) are: he doesn't think he could give as much to baby 2 as he does to ds, I'm too old, there would be too much of an age gap, ds could have so much if we don't have baby no 2, his job takes him away, how will I cope? Thing is, I think that if he refuses to go for it, I will feel SOOOO resentful, as I would be deprived of something that I won't have the chance to go for again if we don't do it soon. If we split up, he could still have another baby with another partner but I couldn't. When we were trying for ds, he was resentful at times, and worried about finances, but now has said he wouldn't change things for the world. I'm sure he thinks that the discussion we've had is the end of the story and I won't raise it again. However, I want to try to persuade him - has anyone else been in this situation? Any tips??

Hattie05 Sun 07-May-06 23:02:48

Have you told him how you feel? Exactly as you have written it here.

Every parent worries that they won't care for no.2 child as much as no.1, but i think most parents will tell you the worries all vanish as soon as baby no.2 comes along ( i have yet to find out! ).

My personal opinion is that all children need a sibling or two (pls noone take offense, it is my opinion only and i respect anyone who thinks differently). But i think growning up as a single child can have downsides - less time to learn about life skills such as sharing etc, less companionsip and also when parents die, an only child can be left feeling very alone, yet a sibling will be there for support.

I think you really really need to tell him how resentful his decision will make you feel. Ask him to turn the tables and consider how resentful he might feel if he agrees to go for no. 2. I bet his couldn't compete.

MumToH Sun 07-May-06 23:10:30

No, I haven't told him yet, just asked him how he feels. You are so right with what you've said, esp about when parents die. My mum died 2 years ago and that made me REALLY think about how ds needs a sibling for when he's faced with that situation (I've got a brother and sister - much older than me as I wasn't planned and came as a surprise). He has a sister but they're not close at all - he never makes any effort with her (nor she him actually). I just worry that I'm putting him under too much pressure if I tell him I'll be resentful - the last thing I want is for us to have baby no 2 and for him to be resentful. That could just get so ugly, and I think partners need to support each other. I think I need to talk to him more, I just need to tackle it the right way.....

milward Sun 07-May-06 23:16:14

Tell him how you feel - & say that you want a baby & he has to respect this. Give him a time limit to consider what you've said & then if he still says no would you consider other options like donor insemination?

MumToH Mon 08-May-06 08:49:56

But don't I also have to respect his wish NOT to have a baby??

Donor insemination - immediate reaction is 'no way', so I guess that means I want a baby with dh. That said, if he really won't go for a baby I'm not sure I could stay with him as the resentment would be so great.

Didn't sleep too well last night thinking about all of this - his reaction's bothered me more than I thought it would, as I was fully expecting him to say no (but secretly hoping he'd be up for it).

Hattie05 Mon 08-May-06 10:06:56

Yes you do have to respect his wish.

But seriously, you weigh up the differences you will both feel.

Not having a child - you will feel resentment to him, and regret for the rest of your life perhaps?

Having a child - he will feel ... a bit concerned about the financial side...not love the baby? That is highly unlikely isn't it. Its ok to say such things now, but when he sees you bring another baby into this world, how is he not going to love it? And in what way is he going to suffer personally? - none is my answer!

Theres a big difference to the extent at which you both may be affected by the different outcomes, and i feel his is far far far less than yours.

Good luck

MumToH Mon 08-May-06 10:15:03

You are absolutely right Hattie05, and you've put it really well. I will use this reasoning when I talk to him - thank you.

mythumbelinas Mon 08-May-06 10:48:21

mumtoH, dh and i used to think we would just stick with dd1 .. she was approaching 4yo, we still lived in 2bed flat, dh job unstable .. and he said financially we couldn't afford to, as too much to worry about if we had another, so no.
We loved dd1 to bits and was quite happy just to have the one. However, i did find myself pg just as dd1 started f/t schooling and i was looking for a job.
We have since moved to a 3 bed semi with 2 dds and i am still SAHM. Money has been tighter at times, but really .. you cross the bridge when it comes.
You can't plan everything and we have never regretted having dd2, she is so different to dd1 in every way .. dd1 really wanted a sister and had actually told us she felt lonely being a single child!
Hope it all goes well for you

MumToH Mon 08-May-06 11:00:35

Thanks mythumbelinas, glad it's all worked out for you. I'm sure if I was pg accidentally dh would be supportive, it's just that when he has to think about things, and make decisions, he doesn't like it.

DS keeps saying to me that he wants a brother or sister but even that doesn't sway dh! I was more or less brought up as a single child (brother 18 years older and sister 13 years older) and it did me no good. I was spoilt, and got my own way and even now find it difficult to get used to not having what I want (as you can see by this thread!). Seriously, I do think having a sibling would benefit ds, and me and dh too. And at the end of the day, the work burden would fall on me anyway which I'm prepared for. What has surprised me is that dh's first reason for not having baby no 2 wasn't money - I really thought it would be. If it was that I think I could argue the case more effectively, but I feel a bit more on dodgy ground dealing with his emotions. Anyway, I'm not giving up!!

mythumbelinas Mon 08-May-06 11:24:35

so you are dealing with his emotions .. and the fact he doesn't get on with his only sister doesn't help.
About ds could have so much more if you didn't have baby2 .. actually ds could gain so much more in the company,love, care and sharing he could give (and get in return) by having a sibling.
The age gap shouldn't be a problem as it isn't too huge at the mo. Some do prefer a small gap, but my dd1 was such a great help when i had dd2 .. she was at that age ready to be a big sis

outdoorsmum Mon 08-May-06 15:06:23

I am in the same situation. DH is sure he doesnt want another one. DD is 3 and 3/4, I am 39, DH is 47 - age is main reason, alos finances, and energy. I talked about this with him a lot. He is sure he doesnt want any more. DH is a fantastic father to DD.

I really feel so sad about my situation. I would so love another child. I really would. I really don't have any ideas how to persuade someone else.

MumToH Mon 08-May-06 21:17:32

Oh, I really feel for you . If I can't persuade my dh I don't know what I'll do. I will feel so upset, but I guess I'm lucky to already have one ds and at least I still have a chance to talk dh round. Thanks to everyone who's posted so far it's been really helpful.

christie1 Tue 09-May-06 00:07:29

I will tell you this story to share with dh. At my doctors recently i had the baby in and he asked how many children I have. When I told him 5 he beamed. He said people do not realize the regrets they will have later in life over not having more children (to care for you in your old age and just more joy, grandkids, sharing their exciting lives etc). He went on to say that on a daily basis he saw lonely people who had no, or only 1 sibling and they didnot get along or 1 had died and parents were now dead and they were completely alone. He was very frank when he said that he saw so many people so alone with no one to care for them except the occasional doctor visit and how lonely this people were and that parents should have larger families. I don't say this to make anyone feel guilty for a small family and only share it because I thought the doctor was being very honest and telling it like it is. Something for dh to consider.

Helenemjay Tue 09-May-06 10:45:58

Hiya MumToH, my dp didnt want any more after our ds was born and we had many heated discussions over it, but being an only child is LONELY!! yes they have ALL your attention and you can concentrate more on hime rather than sharing your time between him and siblings, but is that such a good thing? i believe a child benefits far more from having siblings to learn to share with to take in turns with to appreciate other peoples feelings about things, than they do from having mum and dad all to themselves and to live in an adult based household with no ther child to interact with on a regular daily basis, my aunt has just one child, a daughter, and obviously we all respect thats her decision, but her dd is now nearly 11 and she does regret not having more me and dp did have more we now have 3!! and we are both pleased we did but it did take a good few very heated discussions its not that he didnt want more he was just worried that he wouldnt love them all the same, that money would be a big problem and that we all wouldnt cope as a bigger family, but i can assure you it is far far better then we could have predicted, from the moment ds2 was born we just became more of a family, instead of a couple with a son, we were a family, and then we went on and had a dd and we have so much fun with them all! dont give up on having another baby mumtoh, i agree with hattie05 you should sit and explain to your dh exactly how you feel, and i cant imagine that your dh would ever feels resentful of any child you have together, im sure he will be surprised at how natural another baby feels in your family!

MumToH Tue 09-May-06 12:14:21

Thank you christie1 and helenemjay - this has made me more determined than ever to persuade dh! I take heart from you helenemjay that you have been down this route already successfully - what exactly was it that changed your dp's mind???

Helenemjay Tue 09-May-06 12:27:38

Well i come from a very large family, i have 2 sisters and a brother and 2 foster sisters!! and i am the youngest, we are all very close and spend many hours doing lots of things together we all know whatever happens we will always have each other like christie says no matter what happens you have your siblings and i can more than say the more you have the better i wouldnt be without them for all the world!! but dp is the opposite and comes from a small family of only him and his sister, other than his mum and dad and his uncle he has noone else and thats normal to him but since meeting me and my family he recognises that having a large family around you is far far better and the more sisters and brothers you have the more love there is to go around! thats the thing with having more children, you dont have to share the love it grows bigger and bigger the more you have dp admited his fear of having more than one child stoppe him and now he doesnt know what all the fuss was about your dh is probably the same my sister had to bribe her dh for there baby no.2 she said he could have a new honda he wanted if he agreed to have another baby - it worked! lol

MadamePlatypus Tue 09-May-06 20:27:52

I think you do have to take into consideration your DH's feelings - I think it is highly unlikely that he wouldn't love the baby, but if I were in your shoes I would hate the pressure of bringing up a child 'alone' because it had been 'my' decision.


If your DH is anything like my DH he may not really have thought it through. It is very common to think that you won't be able to give as much/love 2nd baby enough. However, mums tend to spend large amounts of time reading about/chatting about these issues with friends (on-line or in RL) and therefore tend to have a much more rounded view of how things will really be. If this is the first time you have spoken to him about it, it may have been the first time that the idea has entered his head, and you probably need to give him more time.

Theresa Tue 09-May-06 20:43:54

We have dd aged 7 1/2 & ds 4 1/2. We both agreed that we only wanted one child, people admired the fact that we were so certain, we thought we only had enough love and time for one. I joined every toddler group etc I could find as we realised that having an only child meant they needed lots of friends, we gave away/sold all our stuff, cots, prams etc. Then a friend at work was talking to me one day about the problems of dealing with an ill and aged parent by herself (she has no siblings) & that set me thinking. 'These days' not everyone automatically ends up married & with a family & i hated the thought of our daughter possibly being alone in the world, having to cope with us in our dotage and being left with possibly no family after we'd gone (yes this sounds very depressing doesn't it?). So I broke the news to dh when dd was about 2 1/2 that I wanted another one. He was very shocked and I asked him to think about it and said that if he really didn;t, that would be fine as that was what we'd agreed,(not sure what would have happened if he'd said no!) but when he thought about it (for maybe a week, I can't remember) he agreed with me & now we have 2 fab children to look after us in our old age!

MumToH Sun 14-May-06 22:35:39

Have just finished a long, heated and tearful discussion with DH about my reasons for wanting another baby (reminder - I am 40, feel it may be too late soon, and feel strongly that DS needs a brother or sister). Foolishly, before tonight I'd started thinking there was maybe a chance he'd have thought about it and changed his mind - no way. He is adamant he doesn't want another, and cannot understand my reasons for wanting one for me and for DS. I feel so so sad about this. He has got it into his head that if he doesn't say he wants one I will leave him and immediately get pregnant with someone else. I have stated several times that I want another baby with HIM, to add to OUR family. Without going on and on about it on here, basically I've asked him to think about it for a couple of weeks. I have been honest (he asked me) that if he says no I will feel very upset, regretful and probably resentful towards him, but that doesn't mean I will automatically want a divorce. I have said I don't know how I'll feel in 6 months, which he's interpreted as I will leave him.
I just feel he's being very selfish about this, as he won't even think about how DS may feel if he's on his own dealing with (possibly ill) and aged parents. He hasn't been in that situation so can't see it - I have. His reasons remain that he feels we're too old (we now, not just me) and it's 'just not something he wants'. I really don't know what more I could have said or done to persuade him, but at least he knows how important it is to me. I've asked him to think about the (happy) consequences of having a baby and not just what he fears will happen if we don't. I really don't know what he's got to lose. Feeling very very sad about the whole thing, and not optimistic at all.

outdoorsmum Mon 15-May-06 21:08:00

I am so sad for you about your talks with your DH. I don't have anything to say except I really honestly am in a similiar situation - in my earlier post I had mentioned this. My DH is adamant he wants no more. In fact I had posted on mumsnet about this last november. I am still struggling all the time to come to terms with it. It is almost constantly on my mind, sometimes I feel OK about it, then other times I feel dreadful.

at least your dh is going to think about it, you never know he may change his mind.

One thing I take great comfort from my post last year were people who said to simply enjoy family life as it is now, not to waste away my child's childhood wishing it were different and to make sure we enjoy our family life now.

Do CAT me if you'd like too. I would be really happy to talk.


prettybird Tue 16-May-06 10:45:57

I'm in the same sitation as you MumtoH, the only differecne bieng that I am now 45 (dh will soon be 47), so time really is running out. I've also now had two miscarriages - the first was an accidently pregnancy 3 years ago and the second was lat year, when dh had very reluctantly, agreed to try for a baby (and in fact, on Clomid, it had been twins - but they stopped developing at a very early stage).

I'm the one who has difficulty talking about it, (in my ind, I've said it all, and he know s how I feel, and even if it is not logical, I can't change how I feel) and for the last 6 months, dh has shown the more incredible self control, so there is no chance of me becoming pregnant

Dh and I are at an impasse. There will be no winner - only a loser.

MumToH Tue 16-May-06 13:56:55

outdoorsmum and prettybird I am so sorry for your situations too. It's devastating when you just can't agree on something like this with your partner, and you feel such despair. I'm only in the early stages of what you have both gone through but already feel a lot of heartache, and I'm positive he won't change his mind. I try to think how lucky I am to already have one ds, and I know it's selfish but all I seem to think is how much better it would be with another. Like you outdoorsmum sometimes I feel ok and other times really upset.

Outdoorsmum - will CAT you in next couple of days

prettybird - so so sorry for your losses <<<<hugs>>>>

wannaBe1974 Wed 17-May-06 13:47:35

I do think it’s sad when one partner wants another baby and the other one doesn’t, but imo in that situation I do think that it is unfair to refer to only one partner as selfish, isn’t there also some selfishness on the part of the partner who wants the baby but can’t/won’t understand why the other partner doesn’t?

PrettyBird am so sorry for your losses, and tbh can symmpathise more with your situation as your dh had actually agreed and then changed his mind after a m/c – imo that’s like giving you a baby and then taking it away which is selfish imo.

I also think that you should never decide you want another child for your already existing child. Just because children have siblings, doesn’t necessarily mean they will grow up in a loving sibling relationship and will support each other through hard times, I know of many siblings who just don’t get on and even in the case of aging parents, one sibling has been left to deal with the care etc of that elderly parent. The decision to have another baby should be made because it’s what you want. Also, if for any reason you were unable to have another baby, not only would you feel the sadness of not being able to have another baby, but you would also feel the guilt of not being able to give an existing child a sibling, guilt which imo isn’t necessary as the existing child wouldn’t know what it was like to havea sibling so wouldn’t really know what they had potentially missed out on.

Mistymoo Wed 17-May-06 13:53:52

Not sure if this has been mentioned but I know of a friend who said he difinately did not want baby no 2 as he loved his first dd so much he didn't think he could love another one the same. He said that when dd2 arrived he realised that his love just grew and there was no need to share the love, there was plenty.

He and his wife are now looking forward to no 4 in 6 weeks time!

MumToH Wed 17-May-06 14:10:39

wannabe1974 I can see what you're saying about there being selfishness on both sides but what I'm getting at is that he wouldn't even attempt to understand what having another member of the family would mean to ds, he could only see it from his point of view. His only reason for not wanting another child are that he feels he's too old (at 40). DH has never made it clear to me previously that he only ever wanted one child, and I think that was unfair of him when he knew that one may may not be enough for me.
And perhaps I didn't make it clear enough, but I'm not considering another child ONLY for ds to have a sibling - I want a baby too. DH is the type who just goes along in life, never planning anything - I was the one who suggested we married and had a child; left to him it would never have happened and we would have missed out on so much, he's admitted this.
If I can't have another baby (physically) of course I will feel regret, that we possibly left it too late but I don't feel that this will disadvantage ds.

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