Boyfriend and I Disagree on More Kids

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend has a child from a previous marriage. Well ive been feeling like “my clock is ticking” i know im only 22 but i cant stop thinking about having a baby. I dont know how to talk about it with my boyfriend and when i try he doesnt understand where im coming from and he says “i already have one” and it hurts my feelings cause its like hes saying “well i have one and u dont and too bad for u” and he says he wants more kids but when hes ready and then sometimes he say if i got pregnant it wouldnt be a problem and he wouldnt care cause he wants to have a baby with me and it will be just sooner rather than later. It confuses me. So how do i bring up the subject and see if he would rather have one now than later since he says it wouldnt be a problem anyways?

A: You don’t bring it up. Neither one of you is ready to have a baby. Your focus should be on each other and making your relationship as deep and solid as you can. Babies need to have parents who are fully committed to making a life together. Nowhere in your letter do you mention such a commitment or marriage.

At 22, your biological clock for bearing children is certainly not ticking. I have a guess that the talk about babies is more about wanting to pull your boyfriend closer to you. He does have a big commitment elsewhere. His other child will always be his first one. He will always have responsibilities toward that child. You can’t compete with that and you shouldn’t.

At some point, you will also be one of the adults in that child’s life. She or he will be spending time with the two of you and there will be times when you will effectively be a co-parent. It’s important for you to embrace that as an opportunity to love and make a difference in another young person’s life. Your relationship with the child and with your boyfriend, and your success as a parent to your own biological child will be affected by how you manage it.

When your boyfriend says he already has one, it is probably his way of telling you that he isn’t ready to add emotional and financial responsibility for another child to his life at this point. You should be in full support of his involvement and financial support of the child he already has. How he manages those obligations will be reflected in how he handles parenting a child you eventually have together.

Unlike your boyfriend, I don’t have trouble telling you that a pregnancy at this point is a very big problem. It’s unfair to your boyfriend, to your future child, and to yourself. You have more growing to do before you can be the kind of mother every child deserves.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Boyfriend and I Disagree on More Kids. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/07/boyfriend-and-i-disagree-on-more-kids/