My oldest son (now 20) has a joke. The more kids we have the more mom wants and the less dad wants. The reason this is funny is because there is a lot of truth to this.
I’m 45 years old. I don’t have the energy I did just a couple of years ago. I’m constantly tired, and not just that “parent of a young child” kind of tired. My body doesn’t work the way it used to. I sprained my ankle back in January and it still hasn’t healed completely. Middle age is kicking my ass. I love all my kids. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Well, a lifetime supply of chocolate. But only for one, and I get to choose. Point is, I have 5 kids and while I don’t regret having any of them, I don’t want to have any more.
My wife, however, does.
She is 41. Her last pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. It was not her first. One of the things she regrets is that her reproductive “career” would end on a bad note. And she does want more kids. So we come to an impasse. And here is where we veer into “too much information” territory.
You’ve been warned.
Having sex has now become an issue. I want to use a condom or get a vasectomy. Actually, I was supposed to get one a few years ago, but my wife changed her mind about it. No, I’m not going to sneak out and get one without telling her.
She’s been keeping track of her fertility cycle, and while she has not been trying to get pregnant, keeping track of “safe” times, I feel that using extra precautions would be good.
If my wife were to become pregnant and have another child, I would not resent the child, but instead be happy for the love and joy that would enter our house. But, I can feel that I would not be able to be the father I want to be, and I don’t want to begin to even remotely resent my wife for another child.
Our solution? We don’t have sex anymore.
No, I’m not joking. I wish I was.
Did your ideal family size change as you began to have kids? How do you know when you’re done having kids? How have you and your wife handled this discussion? What have you done if your wife moved the goalposts in the middle of the game (to use a sports metaphor)? How have you resolved it if you both have different ideals?
Discuss below in the comments, and join us this Wednesday on Twitter as we have a Live Chat about this topic at 6pst/9est using the #DadsRT hashtag.