The Sassy Housewife is weekly advice column on Momaha.com by Danielle Herzog. She’ll cover the adventures in housewifery — from parenting, entertaining and recipes to the interests of a been-there-done-that and somewhat-know-it-all wife. Sassy Housewife runs every Saturday. Have a question for her? Email email@example.com
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Dear Sassy Housewife,
I’m a stay-at-home mom to three children who are all under the age of 6. My husband and I always talked about having four children, but after my third, I knew I was done. However, my husband isn’t. He really wants a fourth child and I don’t. How do I get him to understand how hard taking care of three children all day by myself is? He’s stayed home with them before for a few hours but he has no idea what it’s like day in and day out. Help!
One Tired Momma
Dear Tired (Wow! We have the same name!),
Is it bad that as soon as I read that you have three children I felt a desire to drink a shot of vodka? I have two children and am constantly amazed by anyone who goes for more than that. I have only two hands and am not sure how I would grow an extra limb in time to hold a third. So kudos to you for taking care of three!
Now as for your husband, well I think it is high time he is in charge for longer than a few hours. My suggestion? Mommy needs a mini-vacation. Grab some girlfriends and go away for a weekend. Not only could you use a break, he needs to truly experience what a few full days of life with the kids are like. I’m talking about him having to figure out all three meals, snacks, transportation, clothing, snacking again, sleeping, snacking again, activities, and of course, snacking again. I’m guessing he’ll quickly realize that a fourth means even more snacking and even more patience lost.
And if that doesn’t work, it’s time to be honest about why you don’t want a fourth. Let him know that your plate is full, that you can’t be spread any more. Let him know what you want for yourself for the future and how having a fourth child might postpone that. It’s OK to have dreams and desires for your life that go beyond children. And it’s OK to have a plan for that.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with big families – I’m in awe of them all the time. However, it takes BOTH parents wanting a large family to work, not just one.
And heck, at the end of the day if he still wants a fourth, well then perhaps he should consider being a stay-at-home dad. Though, after a weekend with the kids by himself, I’m putting money on the fact that he’ll be rushing to work first thing Monday morning and probably bringing flowers home to you that night.
Danielle Herzog, a married mother to two children, blogs for momaha every Wednesday. She served as a student counseling advisor in the Washington D.C. area prior to moving to Omaha. She’s currently completing her master’s degree in counseling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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