Where do I begin? Long story short, I want a baby and I know my husband doesn’t. He will flip if I confront him about it. We’ve been married 6 years now and when we began dating we both decided that kids were not what we wanted. He’s 9 years older than me and already has an adult daughter from a previous relationship. I was focused on my career, seeking a stable partner in life, and didn’t want the responsibilities and burdens of rearing a child. I wanted the freedom to travel, shop, do nothing if I so chose, so when my husband and I started dating, it was the ideal situation. I’ve grown used to the freedom, but now I have the “itch.” My co-workers are always parading their kids around and showing pictures from their kids’ functions. All but one of my girlfriends is a mother now and they go on and on about the joy of motherhood. Now I feel as if I’m missing out on something and I’ve been selfish. I want to feel and have what they have… but how do I convince my husband? Please help.
Dear Baby Fever,
Thanks for reaching out and hopefully my response will help in your decision and thought process regardless of what direction you decide to take. You said you have the “itch.” No disrespect, but could it be a passing phase? You’ve been surrounded by mothers and their kids in both your professional and personal life and I’m sure you’ve been asked more times than not, “When you are going to have a little bundle of joy?” No different than high school, peer pressure can be a strong influence and cloud our decision-making and rationale. Is that feeling you’re having more of wanting to be part of the seemingly in-crowd or is it truly a maternal instinct that is longing within?
It appears you and your husband had an in-depth conversation regarding the possibility of children and collectively, you agreed children were not in the equation. But that was then… Now you feel differently and are contemplating the idea of having a child. As a man, I cannot completely understand that internal, innate feeling that you were born with to nurture, rear, care for, and love another. It is a strong gravitational pull that stirs within and from all studies and observations, never goes away. Being a mother is instinctive and is a job that never stops. Is that what you really want? Are you ready to turn in your freedom for long-nights, dirty diapers, crying babies, terrible 2s, PTO meetings, bake sales, teenage attitudes, and so much more. For this is a task that will require you’re ultimate attention and all of your time. There are no trial periods or return policies. This will be your life – FOREVER!
Based on the brief description of your husband and the time you’ve been married, I would presume that he is a gentleman in his mid to late 40s. If so, it’s understandable that now that he is entering into the middle years of his life and already having raised one child, he is ready to kick back and enjoy all that life has to offer. Is it fair to him to now turn a 180 and nullify an agreement that you made together? Is having a child more important than the stability and peace of your marriage.
If having a baby is truly what you want and it’s not a passing phase or knee-jerk reaction to what’s going on around you, you need to speak with your husband right away. Maybe a weekend getaway, somewhere quiet and romantic, that is conducive to communication, but by all means, please let him know why you are going. You don’t want him to feel ambushed and go on the defensive, but you do want him to know how much you love him and respect his opinion. Make sure that he understands and knows this will be a joint decision and you’re not pressuring him into anything. Write down the pros and cons for both of you and how having a baby will affect both of your lives positively and negatively. Be honest about your feelings and engage him about his feelings. Listen, comprehend, and listen some more. Your husband may surprise you and may be totally on board… and he may “flip” as you put it. Either way, it’s a conversation that needs to take place sooner than later.
Take the time for yourself as well. Re-evaluate your reasoning for wanting to have a baby and if you’re willing to make that sacrifice. Are you ready to change your life and provide for someone who will be completely dependent on you? A baby is a joy and will provide years of laughter, happiness and fond memories, but they are also a huge responsibility that will try ever fiber in your being and take you on a rollercoaster of emotions never imagined or felt before. Fevers go away, but babies are forever. Babysit for one of your girlfriends and be a great “auntie” if it’s only an itch. If how you feel persists and the itch turns into a burning desire to give life and mold the future of someone else, and you are clear and ready to change you and your husband’s world forever, make the best choice for all involved and speak with your husband soon.
Peace & Blessings,