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?

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.