Relationships––Ask Dirk

Relationships Ask Dirk

A guy’s perspective on matters of the heart and home

Dear Dirk,

My wife is dying to have another baby, and it’s not working out for us. We’ve been trying for about four months now, and no dice. This is concerning her because we’ve never had to try this hard in the past (we have three boys). The truth is that I only half want another kid and have second thoughts all the time. I am worried that my inability to get excited like her at the prospect of another child is part of the reason we’re having no luck. I don’t know if I should tell my wife or just let it play out. If I tell her, she may think that is why we aren’t able to conceive and blame me, but if I don’t say anything, I’m afraid I might get “buyer’s remorse” once she does get pregnant. What would you do so I know what to do the opposite of?

––Anxious-maybe-dad Bill


Hey Anxious,

I’m glad you asked me to give you bad advice on this one, because boy, do I have some for you. First off, I think a lot of men (me included) have experienced this self-doubt when second-guessing when a baby might be on the way. I think it’s natural to have fear and uncertainty. I mean, it’s a human life we’re talking about––one for which you have to be responsible for a very long time. And this is not to mention that babies grow into people and some people are just awful. Chances are that one of yours will be, too (especially with you increasing the odds going for four). Even so, the doubt fades away and everything smooths out, and then you have a beautiful little baby that is part of your legacy and, of course, a bigger family.

Once on a sales call, a wise Hindu man asked me how many kids I wanted, and I told him three. Then he asked how many kids my wife wants, and I said four. Then he let me in on a little secret, which was, of course, that I actually really did want four children and that I shouldn’t be confused by the number three that had mistakenly gotten into my head.

What I gave you isn’t advice but perspective. Good luck having that fourth kid you(r wife) want(s) so badly.



According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to raise a child born in 2013 (no doubt, the costs have increased since then) to the age of 18, it will cost a middle-income couple just over $245,000––not including a college education.

Here’s the breakdown:

Housing and transportation: $107,970

Child care and education: $44,400

Food: $39,060

Clothing and miscellaneous: $33,780

Health care: $20,130

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