Prince William Doesn’t Want More Children – What Happens When Your Partner Doesn’t Want More Kids?

How do you navigate a situation where one of you wants more children and the other doesn't?


by Rebecca Reid |
Updated on

It’s hard enough knowing when it’s time to settle down and start having kids, but almost as soon you’ve made that life changing choice, it’s time to make another one - when to stop having children. And to make life even more difficult, there is no guarantee that you and the person you’re having kids with will agree on the ‘right’ number.

Of course you’ll probably chat about how many children you want before you start the whole nappies and sleepless nights routine, but it’s impossible to really know how you’re going to feel about the whole thing until you’ve become parents.

It’s a conversation that some of the UK’s most famous parents - Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge - seem to have had. In an extremely candid statement earlier this week, Kate told crowds at the Khidmat Centre that William didn’t want any more kids, telling a woman who had sent congratulations cards after the birth of all three Cambridge children, ‘I don’t think William wants any more.’ However the duchess has also previously said that she still feels ‘broody’.

Proof, perhaps, that even being royal doesn’t protect from tricky conversations and compromises within marriage.

Coco*, 34, found herself in the same situation. ‘I’m one of four children’ she tells Grazia: ‘I wanted to have four myself. My partner had every excuse under the sun not to. He claimed we couldn’t afford it, that we were too old, even tried jumping on the environmental bandwagon despite the fact that he drives a Diesel car and barely recycles. He wanted our freedom back. In the end we compromised on three. I still feel that I was deprived of another baby. He still feels that he lost two years when we could have been nappy and bottle free.’

It’s a common dilemma. Mumsnet is full of threads from women who are desperate to have more children, or women whose husbands want more kids while they are unwilling to put their minds, bodies and careers through the process again. The most common Mumsnet consensus is that whoever wants two children is correct, and that whoever is pushing to have one, three, or more, is wrong. Which is probably because two is the most common number of children for UK couples to have.

But what if compromising on two children just isn’t something you can imagine making peace with?

Georgina*, 38, took a bolder tack. ‘I wanted to have a third child and my husband wanted to stop. We had two of the same gender and I was hoping we’d get the opposite. So I came off the pill. I sort of told him, but I didn’t suggest we start using condoms again or anything. Lo and behold, nine months later we had another baby. Of the same gender as the rest, of course.

Unsurprisingly, relationship experts are not queuing up to suggest tricking your partner into having another child with you.

The most common answer from the dozens of agony aunts who have answered this question online is that you need to be honest about your feelings and explain why having another child is important to you.

It is apparently very possible that the person you’re having kids with might be too shell shocked from the existing parenting to even consider doing it again, and that you should compromise by agreeing to wait a while, consider the options and return to the discussion when the children you already have are somewhat older.

Fertility is a complicated beast, and even if your partner does agree to the idea of another, there are no guaranteeS that fate (or biology) will play ball.

Experts also seem to be at a consensus that you should try to focus on the children you already have, grounding yourself in your existing reality, rather than getting attached to the concept of another hypothetical child.

*name changed

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