Having More Children or Not: A Male Perspective

November 7, 2019

Before we had Alice, I put up a blog post titled, “why only two?” a topic I felt necessary to touch on as even though I was pregnant with our second, people often asked when we were planning to have our third. We weren’t. In fact, we had a moment we weren’t sure a second was even in our future. 

Let’s me go back and share for some of you who may not know our story.  

When JJ and I first started dating now over 10 years ago (weird) we were the type of couple who moved rather quickly in our relationship. We officially lived together after 6 months yet were attached at the hip the moment we became a couple, and often fantasized early on about the future. Marriage, kids… what they would look like, claiming certain names we liked, etc. We both knew we wanted to have children… at that time, having two siblings ourselves, we both set our minds on having three. Three is the perfect number anyway, am I right?

On October 21, 2016 our world forever changed. We became first-time parents to our Vivienne. Although she was a good baby and we were seriously in love with every aspect of being parents… we also admitted out loud that this was way harder than we even imagined. At the time, I worked full-time in an office and to keep Vivienne out of daycare, JJ took the position to work from home while also taking care of her. It was a lot and we often said, “maybe we just have one?!” 

Months went by and our groove got easier and we decided we DID want another baby. After all, not only did we want to have a sibling for Vivienne, but we saw ourselves having more than one child. Yet… we decided that two would be enough for our family, no matter the gender.  

As you already know, we had sweet baby Alice on August 30, 2018 and life couldn’t be better. Sure, it’s hard juggling both at times but we had done this 22 months ago and decided to go into it with more of a, “we got this” approach. Not only was the second time around easier because we knew what we were doing, but we were in a way better place financially, allowing me to quit my 9-5 job as an Executive Assistant and work full-time on the blog. Life is good. 

When Alice turned about 8 or so months, my feelings of having only two took a turn. Maybe I wasn’t done? How do you know you’re done? Were questions I often asked others. As (some) women, do we ever feel done? Knowing how lucky we are with the two beautiful girls we do have, being on the rise with our careers… it felt possible to have more. Yet, there were also many moments that I felt the opposite. Kids take a lot of work, juggling schedules, expenses, and not to mention it takes a full VILLAGE to get anything done… why add more to our already crazy lives? 

Photo by Emma Wynn Paul Photography

I’ve talked a lot about how I feel, as I know this is my blog and all… but I found an interesting point of view when discussing this topic with JJ and I thought I would share another perspective.  

Do we actually care what men think?

I’m sure some of you will laugh and go, hell no… “it’s my body.” “I’m the one who gives birth.” “I’m the one who does majority of the work.” Yet some of you may be on the opposite spectrum of this topic, your partner being the one who wants more children, and you feel complete, yet society feels, “you should give her another baby.” “You need a boy.” “Have three and you’ll be complete.” 

Bottom line. JJ feels that men don’t actually get the say that they deserve, and it doesn’t seem fair how we (some women) rationalize the conversation. Sure, it’s our bodies… but don’t you want a present husband who can help you take care of your kids? Who WANTS to be a dad to more? Do you want to make your partner choose a path that they don’t necessarily agree on or can commit to? Do you want a wife who is excited to go through another pregnancy? Then, you want to be on the same page. Of course, we are aware that ALL babies are a blessing and I’m sure will make you super happy at the end of the day… but we have realized when having this conversation ourselves that being on the same page will cause a lot less issues down the road in your marriage. So, what is important to you? For JJ, he wants a family, but he also wants a good marriage, time to travel, and social life. It may not be that way for you, but everyone has different goals and for him, he feels that he can be the best dad this way to two. 

Just a little perspective from a male point of view. 

So, how do you mutually decide? Recommended by a follower, JJ and I did a pros and cons list. In the end, we took a look at our situation and our two beautiful girls and agreed that keeping us as a family of four will make us happy. I won’t bore you with the list, but I think seeing both sides and even coming up with cons (and pros) of my own… you see perspective. 

Is it selfish to take siblings away from your children? Honestly, no. I feel they only know what they grow up with… whether that’s being an only child, having one or three siblings. No matter what, they will be happy with good (and present) parents. 

Will he get a vasectomy? Eventually, yes. 

What if you change your mind? I think you cross that bridge when you get there. Life happens and maybe in a few years’ things could change… but I would recommend not making any final plans until you decide for sure.  

If a boy was definite, would you change your mind? No – JJ. 

Photo by Emma Wynn Paul Photography

I asked followers to give some feedback on what they have done being in this situation. See answers below: 

  • “Talk about it more, give it time.”
  • “We got a small dog. She will always need to be fed, walked, and sits in my lap.”
  • “If either parent says no, the answer needs to be no.”
  • “Went to therapy”
  • “Sit down and discuss the pros and cons”
  • “Rock, paper, scissors. It’s fair and doesn’t leave angst.” Haha
  • “Focus on the kids you do have” 
  • “We are both trying to stay realistic as kids are expensive”
  • “Communicate about why you want more and why you want to be done”
  • “Set conditions to open the conversation later on- career goals, financial goals, etc.”
  • “Give yourself a timeframe to make the final decision.”
  • “He was 100% sure he didn’t want more kids. I was like 80%. I sat down and made a list of the pros and cons around the time E turned one and my cons list was long. My pros list had 2-3 things on it. It made me realize there were so many reasons not to have more for me personally and for us as a couple. Makes me feel better to this day about our decision to not have kids.” 
  • “Made a list of pros and cons. Financial, schedules/time, balance, house, cars… all of it. When we made that list, I saw the stress on my husband’s face when a third was part of the discussion and I decided we were done at that point. I didn’t want that stress to burden our marriage and family, so we decided (permanently) that we were done. Happy to be a family of 4!”

I hope that was helpful to some of you having this conversation in your own home. At the end of the day, don’t do anything sneaky… have the conversation, debate if you must, but get an understanding from both perspectives and make the decision off what will make you all the best and happiest parents. 

Photo by aMaes Photography

xoxo, Lola