The Unkindest Cut

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a 37-year-old mother of two, ages 18 and 5. I really want another baby, but my husband had a vasectomy immediately after our second child was born. At the time, I was exhausted and fighting post-partum depression, so when he came in an announced that he was getting the surgery I agreed. But now, when I tell him he can get it reversed and that we could start trying for another baby, he just says, “oh” and leaves the room. What can I do to change his mind?

A: Unfortunately, there’s no quick solution to your problem. It sounds like your husband really has no interest in having a third child and it’s entirely possible that you won’t ever be able to change his mind. Either way, though, this is too big an issue to ignore. The two of you need to have some long, serious discussions in which you both listen carefully and respectfully to each other.

I’m sure each of you has a perfectly sound reason for wanting (or not wanting) another child and neither of you is any more “right” than the other. Keep in mind that this is a topic that involves a lot of emotion and passion so if you aren’t able to work through things on your own, don’t be afraid to schedule a few sessions with a family therapist who, at the very least, should be able to act as a referee and facilitate a more productive discussion.

Dear readers: With the holidays looming, I’m already getting requests from people looking for the perfect gift for the dads in their life. Some advice: The last thing he wants is another tie. Most dads tell me that what they really want are games, ideas, or other activities to help them build stronger relationships with their spouse and kids. As you may know, we created the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval to help families find exactly that. And we’re now accepting submissions for our Holiday list. Information and applications are at mrdad.com/seal.

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