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Another Baby?

Another Baby?

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Dear Rachel,

My husband and I are happily married and have two beautiful children. The problem is that I really would like to have a third, and he is very happy with two. I know I should be grateful for what I have but I really want another child. At the same time, I don't feel this is an area where I can push him. Any suggestions?

D.L.
Denver, CO

Dear D.L.,

You are right, this is a hard area to push a person. Having a child clearly is something that involves both of you and something that you both need to want. However, helping your husband maybe see that he could want this is a possibility.

I actually have a friend who was in this situation. She sat down with her husband to see what his real concerns were. Basically, he felt he no longer had the energy to deal with a crying baby, diapers, bottle feedings, etc. That was really his biggest hesitation. So they drew up a contract, where she assured him that for the first year of this child's life, he would not have to change a single diaper, hold a crying baby, give a single bottle, or basically do a thing. I kid you not, they drew up and signed this contract.

Needless to say, the moment this little girl was born, he fell madly in love with her. And to my friend's great surprise, specifically because she didn't ask at all for her husband's help, he was more than willing to help out. If anything, he changed more diapers and was more involved than he had been with their previous two!

My suggestion would be to speak openly with your husband and see what his fears and concerns are. Why doesn't he want another child? What can you do to help counter his issues? If they are legitimate, help think them through with him and help come up with suggestions or alternatives.

At the same time, let him know how important this is to you. Let him know that you find having another child with him the greatest way to express your love for him and how badly you want to add another child to your amazing family. The Torah teaches us that every child is an entire new world. What greater blessing to both your family and the world at large than by creating another precious Jewish soul?

One last thought perhaps to share with him, is to ask him if he knows anyone or has any friends that have regretted not having children or more children? Better yet, if you do have friends in this situation, perhaps ask the man to speak to your husband. Maybe hearing from someone else "I felt the same as you but it was a big mistake and now it is too late…" will make an impression on him. And nothing hurts in reiterating the well known adage, that it is very easy to regret not having a child when we are able. But how often do you hear people saying after they have had a child that in hindsight, they really could have done without their baby girl!

Ultimately, remember that the most important thing for yourselves and for your children is that you have shalom bayit, a peaceful and loving relationship. This decision, like all others, should be based on that love and it should be a decision that will hopefully only bring you closer. I hope you are able to communicate openly and lovingly and that you reach a decision that you both share and believe in.

Rachel

"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Cindy April 26, 2015

Very depressed husband says no way We have one child, a 13 year old boy. I desperately want another to the point where it is all I think of and I’m very depressed. I hate seeing pregnant women. My husband says no way. Now I’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and have to have a hysterectomy. FML. Be happy if you were lucky enough to have more than 1, I cannot. Reply

Esther Sweden August 15, 2013

Don't give up! You should absolutely push your husband, in the nicest way possible of course. A woman's window of opportunity in the baby making department is a very short and precious one, so it's important to make sure that when the window closes, we have done everything that we can and that we'll have no regrets. You and all other women in the same situation out there should put your hands up to the Heavens ready to receive Hashem's blessings. I am now B"H the proud mother of five healthy children so far. My husband had enough after two but I told him that this, i.e. raising a big family, was one of my biggest Dreams of my life and that I wasn't prepared to give up on it for anything. He is a very proud and happy father indeed, and couldn't imagine life without all of our precious little neshamas. I Think his biggest fear was that I would give up on my dreams of becoming a solicitor, but I haven't and received my degree two years ago. He could even imagine having more... Reply

Anonymous Usa August 11, 2013

Babies are a blessing, But! I understand where your husband is coming from.
Although Babies are a blessing, They are also Expensive.
Not so much as a baby, but as they get older with every pasting year.
Maybe that is what he is frightened about!

Being that I'm older, and have Grandchildren, who I can't love enough:-)
Shouldn't we be grateful for the children we already have?
I can remember those nights and days with my children how much fun they where, but I also remember when your life is almost put on hold. If there sick, if we want a little peace and quite, not having to get a sitter to watch them just go out for a quite dinner, and visit friends with only my husband..
There are Great Rewards in having children and being a Grand parent.

Be Well... Reply

Anonymous Utica, IL December 19, 2009

Evpanding the Family I was recently married and have two beautiful sons from my previous marriage. I to want to expand my family and have children with my husband. My husband was a bit hesitant about starting a family within a year of getting married but I expressed the yerning desire I was having (Day and Night) and he is on board with it now (either that or just exausted) I would talk to your husband and tell him how you are feeling and how this is affecting your emotional balance and see how he feels. Good luck and remember it is better to make an impacting statement and leave it alone than to nag. Let him feel like he is making the decision and not being forced. Reply

Lisa Providence, RI October 28, 2008

Another Baby? It's NOT wrong to want a third child, but you can't force your husband to give you another baby against his will.

Some people think two children - especially a boy and a girl - complete a family. If you have 2 boys or 2 girls, talk to your husband about the possibility of a third child being your first boy or girl.

I can't guarantee your husband will reconsider, but it's worth a try.

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Anonymous August 27, 2008

Another baby? I have been happily married for 14 years and we have 2 girls now 10 and 12. I've enjoy being a mother and I want another child. My husband says he is done but this feeling is so intense I can't bare it. Am I wrong for wanting another child after the girls are older? What should I do? Reply

Tehillat H' Yedaber Pi July 29, 2008

I did it, I pushed my husband because I did not have a choice. My yearning for another child was so immense, I felt like I was suffocating. My husband's main argument was that, thank G-d, we were already blessed with healthy boys and girl so why take another chance? The 'pushing' took me about 4 years. I prayed and prayed and prayed and cried. It was G-d and me on the one side and my husband, parents and friends on the other. My husband saw how sad I was and in his love for me, overcame his fears and gave in. G-d helped us all the way through because, in His mercy, saw to it that another healthy child was born to us. No words can describe my gratefulness to Him (and my husband!). Looking backwards I think I had to go through this tough test to be able to feel the anxiety of couples yearning for a child. Reply

Anonymous July 8, 2008

Another Baby? I was there... and I gave in...now he is sorry...now he apologizes...now I cry...I think you are getting good advice and you need to try and work on this. When you hit 50 and your kids leave home and you are not ready to stop nurturing, all that's left is you, your husband, who will be sorry, and the dog. Reply

YS July 8, 2008

dear DL, I feel your pain through your lines. maybe it will help if you emphasize that it might anyway take time till you get another child. I myself have T"G two girls and was expecting my third, when it's heart stoped beating ...once I went through that I realized how much each child comes when G-D decides and that it may take time...we only have the opportunity to try and do our part of the equation. good luck
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