Ask Dr. Meg: “I Do Not Feel Ready to Have Kids”

Apprehensive at the prospect of parenthood? Dr. Meg offers words of wisdom for this stage in life.
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Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
June 24, 2016
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2
Minute Read

Hello Dr. Meg,

I am writing to you because I have a burden on my heart, and I am not sure how to address it. Here goes (sorry if this is long)…

My husband and I have been married for a few years. We have had a really rough first few years of marriage (especially this past year, when I discovered my husband’s struggle with pornography and his affair). He has repented of this sexual sin, and we have been going to a Christian counselor to address our issues for the last 7 months. We have been doing much better the last few months especially, and I have healed a lot while relying on God.

Lately, my husband has brought up his desire to have kids in the near future (next few months). At this time, I do not feel ready to have kids, and I’m not sure when I will be ready. I still struggle with trusting him after everything we have been through. While we are both Christians, I still don’t see him stepping up to be a spiritual leader for the family.

I have been focusing on trusting God in this manner, but I am struggling with knowing how to address this with my husband. Part of me feels I am being selfish in my reservations – I want to see more change in my husband before we have kids. I know I need to leave my husband in God’s hands and I want to respect his God-given leadership role.

Is it selfish to tell my husband I want to wait longer? Is this disrespecting my husband’s role as leader of our family? Any advice you can provide on how to approach this respectfully would be appreciated!

Thank you!

Dear One, 

You are a wise and compassionate woman and the short answer to your question is: no, you are not selfish to want to wait longer. Y

our question reminds me of the man standing on a cliff waiting for God to rescue him. A helicopter came by offering help and he said, “No, thank you, God will help me.” Then another came and another and each time he refused help. He was very disappointed and finally asked God why He didn’t help and God replied that he had – he sent many helicopters.

Your intuition and pause that you feel is God’s way of helping you so don’t doubt this.

You have very good reason to wait and see if/when your husband matures because he needs to grow up here. Wanting to bring children into the world is a serious responsibility and it won’t make your marriage better.

In fact, having a child stresses marriage and your husband needs to show you that he’s seriously ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a child, being honest and truthful and show you that he has changed his ways. Having an affair and being involved with pornography are offenses to a marriage that take time for both you and your husband to overcome.

A period of months doesn’t do it- you need to see how he conducts himself over a year or two. The last thing you want is to be caring for a 6-month-old child and your husband relapses.

Stick to your instincts and quit doubting yourself, God is at work here.
Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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