Amy Hunter grew up in the suburbs of Long Island singing Barbara Streisand hits into her hairbrush. When she’s not writing her hilarity-fueled parenting memoir as The Outnumbered Mother, she’s a Naples-living, butt-wiping, soccer-team carting, gourmet-chef attempting, tennis-skirt wearing, non-tennis playing, self-proclaimed bad mamma jamma to three sons and a very understanding husband. You can find Amy online at the Theoutnumberedmother.com.
Q: I’m happily married with two kids but I’m dying to have a third baby, and my husband won’t even consider it. Should I take matters into my own hands?
Amy: Whoa. I’m just gonna assume that you are asking if it is morally corrupt to sabotage your current birth control method to have another child against your husband’s wishes, and the answer to that is a resounding yes. Look, while there is a percentage of birth control failure, I think it is beyond reprehensible to put your husband, your other children, and a new baby in a place where you deliberately caused a situation like this. Going from two kids to three is no joke, and I would hate to have the situation forced upon me if I was in your husband’s shoes.
Maybe you need to explore the reason your husband doesn’t want to have more children. Is it finances? Or fears he’ll have to share you for longer? And what is your reason you feel your family is incomplete at its current size?
As a mother of three, I can empathize with the idea of a “magic” family number, but I think being on the same page with you spouse is key to that magic. That being said, if you’re really at an impasse on this situation, it might be time to take a long hard look at your “happy” marriage if neither one of you are willing to compromise on the choice to bring another life (and another mouth) into your family. If your union really is an equal partnership you need to treat it as such. Having another child will do nothing for you if your life partner is adamantly against it.
Q: I’m trying to potty-train my 20-month-old daughter, and she won’t have anything to do with it. Her older sister was potty-trained at 19-months, and I can’t understand why it isn’t working this time around. Any suggestions?
Amy: Here is my wonderful empirical advice, are you ready? Stop attempting to potty-train a child who isn’t interested. You are wasting your time and frustrating the both of you. When she’s ready to potty-train, she will tell you. Personally, potty-training didn’t work at all for any of my kids until they were almost three. I know this probably isn’t what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth from my experience. Every kid is different, some use the toilet earlier than their peers, and some don’t. That’s just the way life is. I can promise you one thing, though, she eventually will be potty-trained, and you won’t be walking her down the aisle in a diaper when she gets married.