MY girlfriend and I currently live together and have a two-year-old child. Recently, she’s been hinting on us having another baby and I really don’t want to. I don’t think I am a good father as it is. I love our little girl but I’m not exactly what you’ll call a hands-on dad, changing nappies and stuff. I dare not tell her because it would break her heart, but I miss the life we used to have. Now, we don’t go out any more, and when I go out to be with my friends, she screams that I’m selfish for leaving her alone with the kid. One more baby and I think I’d leave home for good!
Jacob, by e-mail.
Your girlfriend needs to know your true feelings. It sounds as though you’re being more honest with me right now than you are with her. Truth is, she probably would not want another child with a partner who doesn’t want the same thing. Even now, she may suspect that there’s something wrong with your relationship, and she might think another baby would help. So it’s not fair to keep her in the dark. Tell her how you feel, as sensitively as you can because this revelation might be really devastating.
Selfish or not, in one respect, you’re dead right – you really should not try for another baby. You say you are not ‘hands on’ and refer to your child as ‘the kid’ – so perhaps you’re not a good dad material right now. Some would even say you’re brave for admitting it. But you already have a child, so you cannot just go back to your former life. You have responsibilities, and even if you don’t love your girlfriend any more, you owe her financial and emotional support. It would be nice if you could learn how to change a nappy too! Once you have talked it through – and there will be tears – you must then decide on the future for all three of you. Do you stay together? Can you learn to love being a dad? And if you want out, how are you going to support them? These are massive issues, but you must face up to them now.