{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My husband and I agreed to have two kids before we got married. But after one, I’m not sure I want two anymore. I might be done. I keep hinting but he seems to not want to accept the possibility of a one and done situation. How have people handled something like this? Are two babies worth the strain - financially, emotionally and physically?", "post_id": "60a54ee6e7a1bb002ab05b7d", "reply_count": 84, "vote_count": 13, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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My husband and I agreed to have two kids before we got married. But after one, I’m not sure I want two anymore. I might be done. I keep hinting but he seems to not want to accept the possibility of a one and done situation. How have people handled something like this? Are two babies worth the strain - financially, emotionally and physically?

likehelpful
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I have a 2.5 year old and a newborn, but I struggled with this too. You can see which way I went!

I could have definitely been happy with one kid, and I wasn’t sure if I was one and done for a while. I don’t know how old your kid is, but I just waited it out and all of sudden I just wanted a second kid so bad. My husband wanted two and I always did too, but he wasn’t in any rush or pushy.

Depending on the age of your first and your age, I would say you could just wait a while and see how you feel in a year or two. But you’d have to get your husband on board with waiting too...

I think there isn’t really a bad decision here... but if you have a second kid, I doubt you’d regret it. Because you love them once they’re here, of course. For me, I just thought about how I wanted our family to look long term... and I wanted two kids opening presents on Christmas and two kids for family dinners and family vacations. If you see having those memories with one kid and it feels complete for now, then just wait.

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You need to tell him. List out the reasons why you only want one child. He might feel the same way after you list your reasons, or he might not. If you’re concerned about finances, emotions, and physical toll, it means you’re already feeling it with the 1 child. Does he feel them too? Does he understand what you’re going through? It’s a marriage, and he can’t read your mind. Tell him how you’re feeling. Share your concerns.

Go into it with some thought though. If he is still adamant on a second child, what are you willing to do - have another? Adopt? Divorce? Can one of you look for a better job to prepare for the extra finances? Can you go to therapy or counseling for the emotional toll? Can he help take care of the kids more because you’re exhausted?

Marriage is about teamwork, communication, and compromise. Tell him how you feel then work together to find a solution that works for both of you. Good luck.

likesmarthelpful

Good response- also if your husband is feeling as much of the strain from one child it might be a time to address if there is an equatable division of labor with the one child. You sound tired and your partner sounds ready for the next one that sounds like division of labor is off/ not fair to you.

Studies have actually shown often times when men either take on majority or even equal role in raising kids family sizes are much smaller. He might be taking on less work right now so he's seeing another kid as no big deal or a minor change in labor but meanwhile you'll footing all the extra work.

If you assess the labor division and it's imbalanced a resolution could be hey for me to even consider the idea of baby #2 you have to step up and take more of an equal part in raising our current child/ keeping the house running (cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.).

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Another pov: your kid will grow up with a sibling. That's invaluable

likesmart

I’m an only child, I loved everything about it and still do ;)

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You could always get a surrogate. Or you can get a divorce.

It’s not complicated. No one can force you to carry a child for 9 months, if you don’t want to.

likefunny

Hopefully you and your spouse got married for more reasons that “you want 2 kids”.

Have a conversation about why you’re hesitant to have another child. When you “agreed on 2 kids”, you didn’t have all the information about what that would entail. I agree with others that bringing a child into the world that you’re not interested in having is a recipe for disaster. What value would another kid even add?

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Can’t give great input on emotionally or physically, but seeing that you work at BCG, I think you’ll be fine financially. Not trying to be rude. Kids just aren’t expensive enough to offset that salary.

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Sorry but raising 2 children living in the 1% is still very reasonable. If poor families can raise 5, OP will be fine financially.

They never stated they were going to send their kids to the most expensive private school in NYC or buy their children a Lambo. If they do, that’s their choice, but that’s going about 10 steps above just “having a child”.

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We have one. A 9 year old. Considered having another one about 4-5 years ago, but love the fact that we can focus on our careers and still spend significant, quality time with our son.

A couple of our friends have similar careers to us and have two kids. They say that one would have been perfect in hindsight but of course have no regrets ☺️

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Sounds like you need to have a direct conversation & talk about what your concerns are. It sounds like you haven’t really made up your mind yourself, so there’s nothing for your partner to really agree on.

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Agree with this. Also you could ask your husband to pick up more of the childcare slack if he is insistent on a second. A number of my female friends had kids bc the husbands wanted them more than they did, and the husbands are accountable for most of the childcare duties (while my friends focus on their careers).

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As others have noted, you could always consider surrogacy or adoption if you are worried about timeframes. Personally I think no one can force you to have a baby you aren’t ready for, and you should take your time and see how you feel down the line. But also - seems like a great time for some couple’s therapy sessions if you haven’t already!

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I’m going to suggest that couples therapy might be useful just as a way to help discuss this decision

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You should post in the Consulting Moms bowl, I think you’d get a lot of great advice there.
I have two kids and I found the biggest difference between one and two (other than finances) is that they play with each other! I might have lucked out but seriously, I think raising two is easier than raising one. I am so glad I had two getting through the pandemic to entertain each other otherwise it would have been one kid attached to my leg all day every day.

likehelpful

I have one. I wanted five, had that delightful child and stopped. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve asked him about being an only and he’s no worse for the wear. There are pros and cons to every situation but I wanted to be able to give him the opportunity I didn’t have (if he wanted them). He’s going into his senior year of college as a well adjusted human being with a kind heart and family and friends that love him dearly.

Do what’s best for you. ❤️

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How old is #1?

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You don't need to have Irish twins. My wife and I are in the same boat - we're just going to wait and see, then discuss how we feel down the road.

It's overwhelming with very little ones but as they get older, they can help - and we both think our lives are better for having had siblings. This way they still have family when one day, inevitably, you and your spouse are gone

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I’m a big fan of not planning this kind of stuff. My boyfriend now was previously engaged and his ex fiancé broke up with him because he wouldn’t promise to have a certain amount of kids even if it meant them getting a surrogate. We’re both saying that if we get married it’s because we want to be happy together and not using each other as an ends to a means (ie he is my ticket to having 5 children). We’re also very aware that while 3 kids may seem ideal in our imaginations maybe we have a hard time getting pregnant, or I have a rough pregnancy, or were exhausted after 1 or 2 kids. There’s no point in planning until it happens and it’s not fair for anyone to force you to have another child if it doesn’t feel right. I think you should be aligned on initial goals for your future but be flexible as life happens.

like

“Hinting” is never a good communication strategy. You should sit down with him and have an open conversation where you can put your concerns on the table. If he doesn’t respect that then you can think about marriage counseling.
Only because you agreed to have two kids before getting married he can’t demand you have a second child if you don’t want to. Or did he pay some camels to your parents when he married you?
You both need to review what you want and make a new decision for your future family life. It doesn’t matter what others here think is the best. It’s your and your husband’s decision only.

likesmart

After having our daughter, my husband wanted to back out of having two. He was overwhelmed. But then we realized with a sibling she would always have someone to hang with her and we would get some adult time together! We had our son, and it’s AWESOME. They are both in high school now and growing up they had each other and always will regardless of where we are. Best decision ever for two, my husband says frequently!

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Also how much time has it been since you had your first? If you had a difficult pregnancy or PP, totally understand what you’re feeling, but you might also want to give yourself some time and distance before “deciding.” Also, unless one of you wants to get a vasectomy, this isn’t necessarily a final decision, this could be a “let’s put this idea of a second kid on pause because I really don’t think I can go through that right now” type of conversation.

likehelpful

Just from an only child perspective- I am super close to my parents and they are my best friends. Growing up I thought it was so nice not having siblings but now as they get older I do really wish I had one more sibling. I feel like it could be easier to navigate life and have someone there as your parents get older! But you should never feel any pressure. My mom worked two jobs and my dad a small business owner, so they didn’t have the time and resources for another and I think that’s totally okay. I know they regret it now sometimes but either way 1 kid or multiple kids I think you should only do what you think you can handle and makes sense. All over the place but hope that helps!

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I am so glad we had two. Yes it’s expensive and a ton of work, but they are best friends. And kids need someone their age to grow up with IMO.

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If you are only hinting, I’m not sure why you would blame him for wanting to keep the door open. It sounds like you both need to have an honest conversation about where you stand on this issue. It’s totally reasonable for you to change your mind on this, just communicate.

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