16 Feb I Want More Children…But My Husband Doesn’t
Do you want more kids but your partner doesn’t? You’re not alone.
I have two children and I know that I want more. My youngest just turned eight months old and she is a delight. She is at the age now where she is interacting with me more, and it makes my heart melt. I love my children so much, and I want to add to my brood.
I decided to speak to my husband about it one morning, just before he left for a business trip. I approached him in the bedroom and said we needed to talk. He finished knotting his tie, and looked at me apprehensively. He followed me into the kitchen, and as I went about making breakfast, I quietly asked him how he felt about having a third child. He was silent, and for a moment I wondered if he had actually heard me. I turned to look at him, and repeated my question.
He looked at me and said, “Five won’t fit in the bed”.
I smiled at him, and we both laughed. Lately, our son and daughter had been joining us in bed at night, and we’d always wake up to find ourselves falling out of bed.
He leaned over and kissed me and then went back to getting ready. I stood there unsure of how I was meant to take that response. Was that a yes or a no? As he was already running late, I didn’t want to bother him anymore, so I left it at that, and excitedly started planning for a third.
I had always wanted a big family – in my family there was just my sister and myself – so the option of having a third baby had always been on the table. It was the thing that was most constantly on my mind, and my heart ached. I truly was ready to become a mum again.
I also wanted to know where my life was heading. I felt like I needed to plan for my future. If I was going to be a mum for a third time, then my plan to go back to work when the kids were at school would be put off for another few years until the third child was at school.
If there was going to be no baby number three, then I had to decide what to do. Did I want to change my career and go back to study, or did I just want to re-enter the workforce as I was?
As the days went by, I thought about it often, and I decided that the answer my husband had given me wasn’t really one. Was it a yes or a no? I needed to know. So I simply asked him again: “Are we having a third baby?” He said, “No, not at this time”.
I was gutted. I turned away from him so that he couldn’t see the tears welling up in my eyes. He did say that in a year we could revisit the idea of perhaps having a third baby, but who’s to say that he won’t say no again. I could spend the next year building up my excitement and hopes up that we are going to have a third baby, only for him to have the final word, with no third baby joining our family.
My heart was broken in two, and I had to leave the room.
I felt like I was suffocating and I needed some time out. I stood in the bathroom, my face buried in my towel. I just had to take a step back and sort out this situation.
I can’t fathom not being pregnant again, not being able to experience the wonder of a new life being created in my womb. It simply had not crossed my mind that he would say no. I wonder if I am the only mum who feels this strongly about wanting more children, and whether I am strong enough simply to say, ‘Okay, we will just leave our family at two’.
I don’t think I am.
I look at my pregnant friends and I am envious. I look at mums with newborn babies, and my heart yearns to experience this again. I want to be a mum for the third time and I don’t know how to stop my heart from breaking – because I know deep down that my husband doesn’t want any more children.
Where do you draw the line? Who decides on something this big? Do you throw a coin and yell out ‘heads’ hoping that your side turns up? It can’t be a decision that one person makes, with the other person getting let down.
As I was falling asleep that night, my son cried out. Feeling an extreme rush of affection, I went and scooped him up and put him in our bed alongside my husband and daughter. As our son pushed and rolled around until he was fast asleep, my husband turned over, looked at me and said, “Five won’t fit in our bed”.
I guess that means no.
Words by Katrina Dall