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February 20, 2019

I would love to have one more child

Hi Valentine,

I have been married for almost eight years and we have two children. My issue is that I want more and my husband has refused. He says they are too expensive and he wants to do other things with his life. I want to name at least one of my parents. How can I convince him to have just one more? One of my friends suggested that I just get pregnant and he will get used to the baby. What do I do?



Well Anita, you are in a difficult yet common position. It’s funny you should write this now because I just had this same conversation with two of my male cousins. I cannot tell you what to do because ultimately you and your husband will decide what is best for your family. I can however, point out some things to consider as you talk this through and make your decision.

When a woman gets pregnant, she gets very excited about the baby. The changes happening to her body keep her occupied, as does planning for the baby – giving birth, clothes. Fathers, while right next to the mother and perhaps even very hands on (think clinic visits, shopping for baby, preparing the nursery etc) are still a step removed from the process. Their immediate thinking and responsibility is financial. My brother is a new father and he told me recently that since his son was born, he always knows exactly how much money he has at any given time.

For many men, a family exists in terms of numbers because they were socialised to provide. You might work and even share the financial burden but your husband sounds like he believes that ultimately, provision is his role. He might therefore feel the pressure to provide adequately for another child is too much. Ask him how he would like his family to live/go to school/ go on holiday. Compare that to where you are right now and you might start to understand him better.

Pregnancy and maternity usually mean less sex, sleepless nights, confinement to the home, and weight gain among other things. Men can feel ignored as their wives nurture and bond with babies. Now that he has you back, your man might simply be done with that stage of life.

As for your deceitful friend, please ignore his/her advice? Conceiving a child without your husband’s consent is a huge breach of trust. Imagine if the contraception was in his hands and he got you pregnant? Would you appreciate that? Sure you would love your child, but could your marriage survive? Remember that as much as you love your kids, they are on transit. Successful parenting means that your children will leave the nest; won’t you want your husband to be more than just a co-parent? Won’t you want him to trust you?

Being someone’s life partner means listening to them and trying to accommodate them and their views even when the stakes are as high as having a baby.

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