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Cannot Agree When to Have Children

Group Therapy: We Cannot Agree When to Have Children

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

We have been married a year and a half and I have a 6-year-old daughter. We are both 26 years old, and he has been a great stepdad. Before we married, he had said he wanted siblings for my daughter to grow up with and I agreed and wanted more children as well. Now he has changed his mind and said he doesn't want children until he is at least 30. He wants to start his own business, which could take years, and doesn't want children until he feels personally satisfied with himself. I'm trying to be understanding, I just didn't imagine having children into my 30s and I feel sad that my daughter is going to miss out on the family life I've so desperately wanted for her. We cannot seem to find common ground, and I feel devastated. Any advice is welcome.

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Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 5 years
My goodness he said he wanted to wait awhile what's the problem? He didn't say he didn't want kids you already waited to have more since your daughter is 6.
Wylee Wylee 5 years
My major issue with this is that he says that "he doesn't want children until he is at least 30". Guess what? He already has a kid! That's what being a step father means. If he doesn't want kids until later in life, maybe he shouldn't have become a father already? His attitude kind of makes me nervous that he doesn't consider his step daughter as a "real" daughter, which would obviously be very harmful to her. It would be particularly harmful when a sibling did arrive and she could tell that he treated it differently than he treats her. If he's worried about another child purely for financial reasons, though, that's a completely different story. Starting a business is a huge financial burden and maybe it's wise to wait until the business is more established before you have another mouth to feed. Perhaps, instead of waiting 4 years to have another child, you could compromise at 2? That way, you would still be in your childbearing prime, your daughter would still be young enough to get the full family experience, and your husband would get to spend two years working on his business before he made another financial commitment.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Get counseling. Your husband has made a unilateral decision that is not what you both had previously agreed upon. That is never fair, and if you don not renegotiate this situation with him, resentment will build on your part, and he will never realize that in a partnership, both must make the decisions, not just one or the other. That is the hard part about being in a relationship. A good counselor can help you both to navigate, can help you to find the boudaries and the way to negotiate decisions about your family and your relationship.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
The way you word it, it sounds like he agreed to start a family right after marriage, and then all of a sudden decided to start this business instead. Which is totally unfair to you. It sounds like you AGREED on this major life decision- having kids soon- and now that the ring is on your finger he's backing out to pursue HIS dream, while leaving your MUTUAL dream on the shelf. His happiness is important, but so is yours and your daughter's. You shouldn't have to toss your dreams aside so he can fulfill his. Maybe he's feeling 'tied down' and is having a mid/early life crisis. Not sure what your financial situation is, but it's not impossible to raise a kid and start a business. I would suggest counseling, it sounds like maybe you have some communication issues as well.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 5 years
Perhaps it's not that he's selfish, perhaps it's just that he would like a chance to recognize his dreams before bringing in a second child. A lot of men do not like being tied down, or like feeling more financially stable and like a good provider before adding to the family. Though I personally feel that it's your heart and not your bank account that should govern your decision, it's a decision that should be made together and not lightly. He did not say he didn't want to have a second child, he said he wanted to wait; 30 is not a dead end age for having children. In fact many parents who are in their thirties when they have children report feeling more mature and in control of their lives. Perhaps that is what he wants, and if the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn't you want him to be considerate of your dreams? The best thing you can do is to just discuss your thoughts, feelings and fears with him and then he can discuss his feelings with you. It is most important to work together. When he feels that his dreams are acknowledged then he is more likely to acknowledge yours. Who knows? He may change his mind sooner than you think.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 5 years
Perhaps, it's not that he wants to put off the second-child, only that he wants a chance to pursue a dream...a lot of men like to feel financially stable and like a good provider before they will consider adding to their family. I personally believe it is your heart and not your bank-account that tells you you're ready, because let's face it, there will never be a PERFECT time. However it's a decision that you both need to make together. As far as I read, he did not say no altogether, he's asking for time to pursue something he'd like to do first. Most of the men I've talked to put off the second child because they don't want to feel too tied down before they pursue their dreams. If the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn't you want him to be understanding of your dreams? Communicate with him a little more about both of your dreams and his feelings or even fears. Perhaps if you are willing to at least acknowledge his dreams, he will acknowledge yours.
Quriosity Quriosity 5 years
It seems like the key point here is, yes he told you before you two got married that he wanted more children so your daughter have a sibling to grow up with, HOWEVER did you guys not agree WHEN to have more children?? Why did you say he "changed" his mind when he basically didn't, from what I understand you wrote, because he just wanted to wait til he's 30? Unless you two agreed that you'll have children as soon as... but if you didn't discuss when then it's miscommunication, then seems like both are at fault. I agree with both sides... yes he's selfish, but I can also understand why he needs to do it...yes you're not considering your husbands point of view, but your daughter will be at least 10 year old when/if she has a sibling.... so this isn't very helpful. But I will agree with the poster who said you should get counseling. Maybe that will help get down to the feelings, or underlying issues. Either way, NEVER bring a child into the world when not both of the parents are ready, for the child's sake!!
steph1234 steph1234 5 years
This is not an easy thing to deal with. I know you want siblings for your daughter...but whatever you NOT pressure him into having more kids. You guys are so young still...and if he wants to start a business, support him. If you pressure him into having more kids...which will probably either prolong or cease his business plans and professional fullfilment...he will resent you and the kids. You don't want that. Enjoy your marriage and the daughter that you do have. Don't forget...with more kids come sibling jealousy, fighting, rivalry etc. You have to be realistic and not just think having another child will be rosy and happy for your 6 year old. That will be a huge adjustment for her as well and she may have a hard time adjusting to sharing the attention she gets. Enjoy what you have content...and when it's will be on the same page and can move forward.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 5 years
i don't think it's selfish at all to want to wait until you're thirty to have a child. i DO, however, think it's selfish to bring a child into the world before you're prepared to be a good father. I don't think it's uncommon at all to want to wait until your thirties to have a child. There are a lot of things people want to accomplish that just can't be done nearly as easily once you have a child (continuing school, moving up in your job, traveling to places you've always wanted to see, etc.) I also don't think it's wise to try and pressure someone into making the biggest commitment of their life (yes, a much bigger commitment than marriage) before they are ready. That said, I understand your concern for your daughter. I think you can definitely have a happy, well-balanced family without numerous children. Get her involved in activities with other kids her age, plan get-togethers with her friends at school, etc. Good luck and I'm sorry that you and your husband don't agree on this issue. I just feel strongly that no one should have a child when they are not 100% sure/ready to have one (your husband).
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Get counselling. There will never be a perfect time to have kids, or to do anything else for that matter. He is immature and selfish to not be willing to double-down on what he sees as necessary in order to accomplish his ends so as to accomplish yours and your family goals.
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