How can I tell my boyfriend that I want to have a child?
December 21, 2005 4:20 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to tell someone that you want to have a child with him?

Obviously this varies by individual, but I want to express my desire to have a child to my boyfriend without freaking him out. I want him to really consider it as a possibility and not overreact to the idea. Any suggestions for approaches? I've been subtle -- enjoying other peoples' babies, etc. This is a good time in my life - I'm between careers - and it is a good time in his life, in my opinion. And, by the way, we generally communicate very well and openly with each other.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total)
If your communication is open then "What do you think about having a child?" should be a fine opening gambit. It gets the idea out there that you're interested, but also solicits his feedback rather than simply coming off as a flat demand.
posted by kindall at 4:27 PM on December 21, 2005

I agree. He's not going to pick up on those "subtle" clues, so just ask him.
posted by stst399 at 4:43 PM on December 21, 2005

I'd start by asking him more generally how he feels about having children--if he'd like to have kids someday, what his opinions are about how to raise a child, etc. Based on the answers he gives you should have a good idea as to how your soon-to-be stated desire will be received.
posted by divka at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2005

Do you live together already? Babies are really kind of a make-or-break thing, don't pussy-foot about the question with him. Your interest in having a kid "with" him indicates that you're interested in a longer-term sort of thing... or?

Best to get everyone's cards on the table.

Kindall said, "if your communication is open...," but I would have to say that if your communication with him isn't open, one might have some bigger questions to ask of yourself before this one.
posted by mimi at 4:54 PM on December 21, 2005

I speak from experience when I say that you getting pregnant right now would certainly force the issue.

I really, really don't suggest that approach.
posted by cmonkey at 4:59 PM on December 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

Are you contemplating marriage to this guy or is he just a sperm donor? I think anything in between is not fair to a child. If you are contemplating marriage I think you lay your cards on the table; let him know you want to have kids with him and you want to get married. If this freaks him out, he is probably the wrong guy, although he may take some time warming to these ideas. If you want to have kids with him, stay with him while you raise the kids and not get married I think you are setting the kids up for a fall. Every relationship hits rocky times, especially when kids are in the mix. Sometimes it is the marriage commitment alone which holds you together long enough to get over the rough spot. My point is by not getting married, you increase the chances that your child's father will leave not just you, but your child. A true sperm donor who plays no part in the child's life would be better.
posted by caddis at 6:54 PM on December 21, 2005

Wait until marriage. Whether you ask him or vice-versa, it's the best course of action BEFORE having a baby. And of course, no offer of marriage should be made until you BOTH know where the other stands on the issue of making a baby.

You two need to talk: it can be casual and non-threatening, or it can be Serious and Deep. But you need to talk.

Good luck.
posted by davidmsc at 8:31 PM on December 21, 2005

Forgive me for not being all hip and urbane, but I think caddis has a very good point. If you want a kid without getting married, go to a sperm bank. If you like the guy well enough to have his baby, shouldn't you like him enough to marry him?

If you do want to have his baby regardless of any future relationship you might maintain, set it up as a sperm donor situation. It's not fair to expect him to pay child support (which you could sue for otherwise in most states) if you aren't in agreement on it.
posted by Geektronica at 11:04 PM on December 21, 2005

If you do want to have his baby regardless of any future relationship you might maintain, set it up as a sperm donor situation.

Good Luck with that. For him, no matter what y'all do now, a court can overthrow it because it is "in the best interests of the child." In the US, at least.
posted by Monday at 11:25 PM on December 21, 2005

You need to tell him directly.

Remember, everybody wants things.

Are you prepared for him to tell you 'no effing way' when you say you have a case of wannabaybee?
posted by pieoverdone at 4:34 AM on December 22, 2005

Forgive me for not being all hip and urbane, but I think caddis has a very good point. If you want a kid without getting married, go to a sperm bank.

This is very wrong. Lots of people, particularly same-sex couples, have kids through surrogate mothers and fathers that are close friends. This method should always be preferred over a spermbank. It's much better for the kid if he knows right off the bat who her biological parents are and the nature of her relationship to them. It's also great for the kid if the surrogate is involved, to an extent, in her life. Frankly, the way I see it, a kid can never have too many parents.

But, yes, you do need to think hard about your future before you speak to your boyfriend. A kid is not a one-time big decision. It's a lifetime commitment. You'll have to decide now whether you want to spend the rest of your life with your boyfriend or whether you want to do the single-mother thing or whether you want the whole family package. This is a decision only you can make. There's no real point talking to him before you've decided what you want. If you do decide you still want the kid, you can float the idea to him. Instead of telling him you know for sure (though you do) just tell him you're strongly considering it and you'd like him to give it some serious thought. You might also set aside a weekend for you two discuss it in depth. Don't give him an ultimatum. Don't tell him directly as this amounts to an ultimatum. This isn't a 'yes' or 'no' thing. It's best just to get him talking and thinking and get the subject on the table first. Eventually though, if he's against the idea, you will have to decide if you want the kid more than you want him.
posted by nixerman at 6:11 AM on December 22, 2005

Maybe it's because of the region I'm in (Deep South) but any male can automatically assume that a woman of childbearing age wants to have children. The only women I've ever met that did not have children were either homosexual or biologically incapable. And yes I realize that you will be able to find a woman that does not want to have kids and is not homosexual but around here they are about 1 in 10000. And no I'm not bitter, why do you ask?
posted by Justin Case at 10:07 AM on December 22, 2005

Just chiming in to say that nixerman's advice is great.
posted by scody at 11:56 AM on December 22, 2005

Gee, Justin Case, way to stereotype. For the record, it's not fair to assume that he knows you want kids (Hey! I'm from the South!! Born here!! Want kids like I want a hole in the head!! Thanks!!) because, completely in spite of what some people would have you beleive, women do not enter puberty and all want to procreate like rabbits immediately. It's not fair to take Justin Case's stance as an excuse to get pregnant and then be like, "I'm a girl. Of course I want kids!!"

Frank and honest discussion. That's the only ticket.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:53 PM on December 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

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