Menu

I’m ready for another baby—but he’s not

It’s rare that two people are ready at precisely the same moment. 

I’m ready for another baby—but he’s not

Having another baby is, without question, one of the biggest and most life-changing decisions parents can make. It’s rare that two people are ready at precisely the same moment. It can be frustrating—and maybe terrifying—when you’re ready to take that leap and he is not.


Here are 7 strategies that can help the two of you navigate this challenging scenario together.

1. Listen with an open heart

This is actually a vital component of working your way through any marital dispute, or, for that matter, conflict with anyone else in your life. Most of us are so busy trying to get the other person to see how right we are that we fail to take into account the other person’s reasons, emotions, perspective.

Ask him why he wants to delay, what his hesitation or concern is about. Try to set aside your own views temporarily (which is really hard to do!) and just listen—pretend he’s your best friend talking to you about a spouse who isn’t you. Reflect back to him what you’ve heard him say, and ask if you’ve accurately captured his perspective. For most people, feeling heard will immediately lower the tension level, and make them more open to hearing your viewpoint.

2. Acknowledge your own concerns about becoming a parent again

Many people are reluctant to acknowledge any ambivalence—it’s somehow not considered socially acceptable. But as I always remind clients, it’s really the only non-reversible decision that we make in life. You can always change your career path, sell your house, or divorce. But how often do you make a life-long commitment to someone that you’ve never met?

Parenthood brings with it a loss of sleep, loss of personal or free time, a shift in marital dynamics and financial pressure as well as joy. It’s far too great of an undertaking not to have at least a few flickering doubts about jumping in again. Maybe he’d feel better if he knew he wasn’t the only one with some ambivalence lurking in the shadows.

3. Explore family legacy issues and other concerns

People who have been raised in an intact family where there was a lot of happiness, fun, and love might feel ready to embark on parenthood without a lot of exploration. People who had less than ideal circumstances might have some baggage they need to sort through before feeling ready.

Maybe there’s a fear of repeating negative patterns of emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. Or maybe your partner is watching friends grow their families and is worried that your relationship will end up like what he sees around him. Whatever the concerns, they’re worth exploring, whether that’s in conversation with each other, in a journal, with each of you reflecting quietly on your own, or in counseling.

4. List the obstacles, and then brain storm possible solutions

Define the criteria. “We don’t have enough money for another baby” is different than “I want to have X in our savings account before we conceive again.” Is it important that you live close to extended family for support and help with childcare, and you currently don’t? Does one or the other of you need a job with better benefits or more job security? Maybe it’s a trip he wants the two of you to be able to take that wouldn’t be feasible with more kids, or some changes to the house.

It can help to be specific about goals or criteria that you both agree to meet before conceiving, while also remembering that life is full of the unexpected, and there is never a perfect time to have a baby.

5. Take breaks from hashing it out all the time

Endless protracted conversations—especially if each of you is just reiterating the same points over and over again without any progress in compromising or understanding each other—are counterproductive, with each person tending to just dig their heels in more firmly.

You might agree to table the issue for a given period of time and revisit it again at agreed upon time intervals. Some internal shifts are likely to occur during those “break” periods.

6. Enlist the help of a therapist if need be

If the two of you are both entrenched in your positions, having trouble hearing each other, or if the issue is beginning to cause real tension and unhappiness in your marriage, a neutral third party can be very helpful in sorting out the issues and developing a plan with you.

7. Remember the places where you are aligned

Perhaps it’s on the very concept that you do both, in fact, want to have children at some point. Maybe you agree on the way in which you want to parent your children, the values and beliefs that are important to you about how you raise your children. Remind yourself about the big picture. Having another baby is important, yes, but so is making sure that your marriage is on solid ground before you take the plunge.

In the long run, you will be on much more solid ground because you waited until both of you were feeling ready—or as ready as anyone can be for such a momentous change.

Join Motherly

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

Keep reading Show less
Life