It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Wants a Second” who desperately wanted a second baby while her husband did not. “He’s thought a lot about it and he really, really just wants one,” she wrote. “How do you think I should approach convincing him to have a second (if we get lucky again and can have one)? And failing that, how can I move on, not feel resentful, and just find happiness with only three of us?” Keep reading to see whether she and her husband were able to find some resolution on this issue in the fourteen months since she wrote in.
Instead, as a result of the advice, I took some deep breaths and really backed off to just enjoy our family, and I hoped for the best in the future. I never brought up having a second child with him. Ever. My husband would bring it up occasionally in terms of, “And how would we do X with a second kid?” or when our son threw a tantrum, “And you really want another one?” I knew he was thinking about it and he knew how I felt, but I let it lie.
As we got closer to our son’s second birthday last fall, he brought it up more often. It’s really clear how much he’s enjoying being a father and how much he adores our son. And it’s only increasing (for him) as our son gets older and is more playful and interactive. We had a couple serious discussions recently (initiated by him) and I had a chance to talk about why I thought I wanted a second while he shared his concerns. We never came to a conclusion, but it felt like he was more open to the idea than he had been. We had our most serious one over Christmas and he said that he wanted to go for it and try for a second — that he was still nervous about it but wanted to add one more to our family. So, that’s what we’re going to try to do. Hope for the best and cross our fingers that we have a new addition some time in 2016.
Incidentally, while I’m pretty much 100% sure in my gut that this is the right thing to do, having gone through 2.5 years with my son has made me a little wary, too. Warier than I was when he turned a year old. We’ve now got a pretty great balance in our lives. And it’s only gotten more challenging with him, just as you said it would. There’s more fun, more laughter, more genuine delight and heart-meltingly awesome toddler love and hugs, but it’s also more challenging. I think about the toughness of going through all of this again, now with a toddler in tow, but I think that it will be worth it in the next 5, 10, 15 years. Deep down, I feel like we’re meant to be a family of four. Of course, that’s if I’m lucky enough to get pregnant again! If not, then we’ll be a very happy family of three (plus dog).
I’m almost afraid to have you publish this. I’m afraid of getting ahead of myself and jinxing the whole thing. But now that I’ve written it all out, I feel like I should send it anyway.
Wish us (and me) luck!
Good luck, and thank you for the update! All your feelings are totally normal and valid. And I also know what a relief it can be to be on the same page as your spouse and to make a decision to move forward, one way or another. I hope this time next year your family will be happy in whatever direction your decision — and fate — takes you. Keep us posted!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.