One to One Coaching

I offer free 30 minute telephone/Skype consultations for people wanting to find out more about coaching on the 'baby decision'. Email me at mailto:beth@ticktockcoaching.co.uk and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit http://www.ticktockcoaching.co.uk/ for more information about my coaching services.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Just before Christmas, I was interviewed on LBC Radio to discuss the findings reported in Women Twice as likely now than 30 years ago to be childfree It's so interesting how much more choice we have now and that is largely due to feminism and the great advances made for women. However, as I have said, one of the unintended consequences of this is that the decision of whether to have a child or not is much more agonising and much more common.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

I'm glad I froze my eggs

An issue that sometimes comes up is - if a woman doesn't have a current partner should she freeze her eggs to keep her options open for longer? A woman has explains why she is glad she made this decision in this article. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/14/glad-froze-my-eggs-childless-baby

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Is deciding to have children like deciding to buy a porsche?

This comment piece appeared this week. Apparently a harvard professor said that women should not be offered decent maternity leave because deciding to have a child was like deciding to buy a porsche! I thought this was a great response to him. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/01/harvard-professor-maternity-coverage-children-porsche

Monday, 25 November 2013

Making the decision to have a second child - looking at the Chinese experience

Now that China has relaxed it's one child policy, it's interesting that many Chinese parents are weighing up the decision to have a second child or not.   So that even if the policy is relaxed, it does not follow that everyone will be flocking to have another child.

http://www.bjreview.com.cn/nation/txt/2013-11/25/content_579841.htm

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Is it worth having IVF if I am not sure if I want children?

I am getting an increasing number of clients coming to me with this very question.  Do I want children OR want them enough to go through IVF?  I thought this was a very honest and enlightening article on that very topic.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/16/30000-ivf-for-baby-didnt-want

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Will I regret not having children when I get older? Will I be lonely?

One thing I hear a lot of from client is a fear that they might be lonely when they get older if they don't have children. A professor at the Open University decided to explore this topic - fascinating!

http://www.open.ac.uk/platform/blogs/onboard/what-do-we-know-about-being-old-and-childless

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Men who decide to be single fathers by choice

This is a fantastic article -- looking at single men who decided that they wanted to become dads and decided to do it on their own and become single fathers by choice.
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/02/men-single-dad-father-surrogacy-adoption

In the case of the men in the article, they decided to go it on their own after their partners said they didn't want children.  In my coaching practice, it is mainly women who come to me because they are trying to decide whether to have a child as a single parent.

Excellent article!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Being married and childfree

Countering the usual notion that a marriage is not complete without kids, in this article Meet the couple who say that the secret of a perfect marriage is not having children a couple present a positive view of being in childfree relationship.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Women feel judged for leaving trying to have children till they are older

A report has been published today Why women feel 'stigmatised' for not having children

As pointed out in the report, often people leave approaching doctors when it might be better to speak to a doctor as soon as you start trying for a child.  One thing I often recommend to clients coming to me - particularly if they are over 35 is that they do approach their doctor for basic advice/tests which could highlight any fertility issues.  Below is a good point made in the article:

"Tim Child, medical director at the Oxford Fertility Unit at the University of Oxford says people are leaving it too long before going to see their GP about their fertility problems.

"When couples start talking about their fertility, that's the point to speak to a healthcare professional.

"Good advice can be given early on about weight, diet, alcohol intake etc which could help, but many couples try for years before seeking help and before they know it they are in their late 30s - and in some areas that's too old."

He says that women wrongly assume that IVF is a good fallback solution when in fact the success rates are 40-50% for the under-35s, dropping to 20% for the under-40s and just 5% for women aged up to 43."

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Japanese young people - turning away from relationships and having children

For many years, the population in Japan has been in decline.

This interesting article talks about a new trend amongst Japanese young people - turning away from relationships and having children.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Sensitive advice to a woman whose partner doesn't want to have biological children - but wants to adopt.

I thought this was an interesting dilemma because usually in these situations a partner says they do not want children at all.  Personally, I think adoption is a great option - but only if people are really wanting to and committed to the adoption process.  It is a very long and challenging process so it's really important to work out all the issues you can within the relationship before embarking on adoption.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Not sure if you will want kids in the future?

Psychology today just published this article Not Sure If You Want Kids focused on egg freezing as a way to resolve the decision if you are not sure if you will want children in the future. 

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

I want a baby but my boyfriend doesn't. Should we split up?

So this is one of the reasons many of my clients approach me for coaching - they know they want a baby my their partner or husband doesn't.

This was a useful bit of advice in a column called I'm 31 and want a baby but my boyfriend doesn't.  Should we split up?  Although I do think leaving it 5 yeas might be a mistake as if the boyfriend doesn't change his mind, then this woman could find herself at 36 with the decision to leave and start over again even more difficult. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Answer to the question 'Who will look after me when I am older if I don't have children?'

One of the fears that women who come to coaching with me express is 'Who will look after me if I don't have kids?'  This lovely blog post Childfree 97 Year Old provides a very postive answer to this question.  Excellent story - it's something I like to do with my clients, explore alternative possibilities to answer their fears.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I might want kids in the future but my partner doesn't - what should Ido?

A gay man writing into the advice column of the Boston Globe reflects a common problem faced by many of the clients I see. What do you do if you are in a relationship, don't know if you do want kids or might want them in the future but your boyfriends or husband has said they don't want children? Do you stay in the relationship or not?  

I might want a baby but my boyfriend doesn't want children.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Would you choose not to have children?

Good morning all! I am most definately feeling the chill in the air as autumn comes to the UK.

An interesting blog post by Joanna Goddard on the topic Would you ever choose not to have children?  I like the interviews that she includes with women who have made this choice.

So, now I'm off to do some coaching with women who are not feeling so clear about whether they want children or not! I'm often asked if I have availablity for new client and, although sometimes my client list is full, more often than not I do have spaces.  This is because as people are coached, they do find themselves either making the decision or realising that there is something else they need to address first.  Clients tend to be with me anywhere between 3 months (i.e. 6 sessions) up to a year.  Although some can be with me shorter periods of time and occassionally longer (this is often because we have moved on to look at other issues such as work or confidence, etc.) So if you are interested coaching, do get in touch.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Advice to a woman in her 50's

Mariella Frostrup gives a woman in her 50's some great advice - the woman has written in because she feels depressed and wonders if she had had children would things be better?  As Frostrup points out, having children doesn't not ensure you are protected against depression or loneliness and, there are opportunities to look after children and young people that older people can have if they want to (i.e. fostering, adoption, mentoring).  Very positive and reassuring.

I'm 51, have no children and feel depressed and lonely

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Coming out as not wanting children

More and more people are being open about their decision not to have children and to be childfree.  Here is one woman's account of what happened when she 'Came Out' has not wanting to be a mother.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/01/living/parents-irpt-zorka-no-kids/?hpt=us_bn2

Monday, 7 October 2013

Just a quick blog post now - pop singer Taylor Swift has said she may not want children.  Good to see another celebrity reflecting the decision making process many women go through - the decision to be childfree is certainly a viable one women can make.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Personal reflection

Following on from my recent blog post on having children as an older mother, I found this short personal reflection What I'm really Thinking: An Older Pregnant Woman from an older pregnant woman which I thought was interesting.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Celebrities who don't have children

It's always good to see positive examples of people who have decided to be Childfree - here's an article about 12 celebrities who don't have children.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Becoming a mother over 40

As you get older, trying to decide whether you want children or not becomes more pressing as we become aware of the limitations of our biological clock.   I see a number of women clients who are in their late 30's and early 40's who have additional concerns/worries about whether they would be able to cope with motherhood.  I found this website Mothers Over 40  aimed at mothers and those thinking about being mothers in mid-life - I think it's important to see positive examples of people who have taken the decision to be mothers outside of the 'normal' age bracket.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Doctor makes judgement on women who decide not to have children

Wow! Talk about making judgements on a woman's decision not to have children. This doctor in New Zealand  refused to give a woman the contraceptive pill as she hadn't done her duty to have children.  This is pretty extreme!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Deciding not to have children is NOT being selfish


One of the most pervasive myths about people who decide not to have children is that they are selfish.  It's something I try to combat every time I'm interviewed on the radio or for a newspaper.

In August, this great article The choice to be child-free is admirable not selfish by Jill Filipovic was published.  In it, she points out that through allowing the choice to be child-free to be seen as a viable one, we actually allow people to make the choice to have children in a more thoughtful and considered way.

'Substantial numbers of people choosing not to have children also makes clear that having children should actually be a choice for everyone. Encouraging women and men to really assess their own lives, circumstances, values and desires, and evaluate whether a child is an addition they want, not only helps individuals to make more informed and affirming decisions, but sheds light on the many factors that make reproduction so fraught.'

An excellent and well written article!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Weighing up the cost of having kids

So, we all know that having children is expensive but do people really weigh up the cost of having children when they are struggling to decide whether to have children or not?  I have found that finance can be a factor for some people in making the decision but funnily enough it is not usually the main driver for many of my clients, 

This article looks at the costs of having children vs not having children. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Things people say if you think you might not have children

One the very frustrating things for many of my coaching clients who are thinking about not having children are the unwanted comments and advice they receive on their childfree status. Really people should try not to comment on other people's reproductive choices!

This is a short but good guide on what not to say to people who are either childfree OR who are thinking about not having kids. 

Things NOT to say to people who are childfree

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Is making the decision to have a child a rational one?

Yes, the decision to have a child or not is not a rational one - as I say to my baby decision coaching clients, if it was, you wouldn't be struggling so much!  That's why I really appreciated this article Is it possible to reason about having a child?   One of the reasons that I use coaching exercises that are creative or use metaphors, visualisations, and body centred techniques is that they help clients access the 'non-rational' self, the emotional side, the intuitive part which plays such a big part in this decision.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Does your personality affect your decision to have children or not?

Now, this is definitely something new! A new research study has shown that personality traits affect your decision to have children or not.  A newspaper report about the study says that men who are extrovert and open are more likely to have children than men who are moody and women who are rated as conscientious tend to have fewer or no children.  Looking at the original abstract of the report entitled 'Personality Traits increasing important for male fertility', the authors say that neurotic men (popularly know as moodiness are less likely to have children. The authors say that  'Men that have certain personality traits may increasingly be avoiding the long-term commitment of having children, or their female partners are shunning entering this type of commitment with them'  I really find this interesting!

 

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Motherhood Conundrum - to have kids or not?


Hello all - I had some problems with the formatting of my last two blog posts - sorry about that for any readers who stopped by the blog yesterday. 

So, I found this good 1st person piece in the Telegraph newspaper called The Motherhood Conundrum - To breed or not to breed?  It reflects many of issues that my coaching clients come to me about.  The author mentions that at 34 she doesn't think she wants kids but this could change.  Personally, I think it's a very good idea to try to work through the issue and the decision as much as you can before your late 30's because, as the author of this article points out, fertility does get more tricky as you get older. Obvisously, I do see clients who are in their late 30's or early 40's.  And then, sometimes the decision can also be about whether they want kids enough to go down the IVF route or be willing to look at adoption. 
.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Why have children

An interesting article  The Benefits of Having Children responding to the Time article - this from a woman who decided to have a large family despite not initally having maternal instincts.



Friday, 9 August 2013

The Childfree Life - article in Time magazine

I'm coming late to the Time article on being child free as I have spent the last few days on an island with no electricity or wifi - bliss!  Anyway, here is the link to the article called The Childfree Life

It seems to be a fairly positive piece - although one commentator I read felt it was stirring up conflict between the child free and parents. What do you think?

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2148636,00.html#ixzz2bDWe74Yf

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Intelligent Women less likely to have children

Great commentary in the Guardian this weekend which critiqued a report which was critical of intelligent women who choose not to have children

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/07/smart-women-not-having-kids?CMP=twt_gu

I particularly like her ending paragraph

"Anyone who is genuinely concerned with falling birthrates should be supporting policies such as paid maternity leave, subsidized day care, flexible work schedules, affordable health care and so on that would make it feasible for more women who want babies to have them. As for the women who don't, we should be grateful in the knowledge that they are intelligent enough to make the choice that is best for them and then back off with the judgement"


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Should I have a child if I have a disablity or chronic health problem?


An interesting and thoughtful article on a difficult subject Should Disabled People have Children?  The author Elaine Benton has two chronic diseases and decided on balance, that having a child was the right decision for her.

I sometimes have clients who come to me and one of the reasons they are debating whether to have children or not is because they have a health condition or mental health problem.  I always recommend clients speak to a doctor if they haven't already.  And usually they have been given the medical 'go-ahead' to try for a child but often the clients have fears around whether it is fair on the child or whether they would be a good mother or not. 

I like this article because it is very thoughtful and positive about the decision she made.


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

50 years old & having a baby

I found this article from a few years called Why I'm having my first baby at age 51

For me, one of the interesting things about the article is how she describes how the indecision of herself and her partner played out.- neither felt ready to have children till she was in her late 40's.

One of the issues the author points to is the great difficulty in getting pregnant later in life.  Indeed, the author says in the article:

"It's a terrible modern conundrum, and I'm a little reluctant to be seen as a beacon of possibility because Pete and I have had so much heartache and we're incredibly fortunate to have made it this far. (I'm not alone in this. Another first-time mother in her early 50s declined to be included in this piece because, she said, "what we have is miraculous but we are in the minority to have healthy, normal babies... Nature is against us and I'm not sure I want to be part of encouraging women to leave it so late.")"

I have worked occasionally with women in their late 40's who are considering having children - I think it's important to look at all the issues around fertility and also, explore the potential of adoption or fostering.  Another solution one of my clients was looking at was that of using a surrogate parent.

I think it's important to get away from judgements that society makes about older women having children as well as being aware of the difficult fertility issues.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Interview on BBC Radio Newcastle - On choosing to be childfree

Hope all my readers are well and enjoying the sunshine!

This week, I was interviewed on BBC Radio Newcastle as part of a discussion on the decision women make to remain childfree.  It was a great discussion (despite the title of the show which was Childfree: Sane or Selfish?)- and the hosts had a very positive approach to being childfree (which is not always the case!)

If you would like to hear it, I have put a copy of it on my main Ticktock Coaching Website.  Go to the home page, and then down to the section called 'Beth in the Media' and click on the link beside BBC Radio Newcastle.

 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Access to Family Planning and Making the Decision

One issue that I have been re-miss in addressing is the importance of access to contraception and family planning is to making the decision to have children or not.   If we do not have access to this, then we do not have the power to make the decision.

As the author points out:

'Lately, almost every week somebody asks me when I'll have children. Sexist? A little. Annoying? A lot.

When or whether to have kids is a deeply personal, life-changing decision. Luckily, I have all the tools I need to decide for myself. I have access to family planning methods, and an income to pay for them. More importantly, I have the power in my relationship, my family and my country to choose to use them, without too much pressure (besides subtle hints from mothers).

I'm not a victim of sexual abuse or domestic violence, so I feel safe at home. I know, for now, that I'll have an income even if I get pregnant, and I'll be entitled to benefits through work or social insurance. I have health insurance. I know that if I have a girl, she'll be warmly welcomed into our family. I can have 10 children if I want to – and if I choose to have none, that's also OK. Millions of women and girls aren't so lucky.'


http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/jul/08/contraception-family-planning-womens-rights

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Are parents morally responsible for their children?

Fascinating article 'Are parents morally responsible for their children? appeared recently on the Salon website.  It looks at cases of how parents of murder's have responded - often making apologies and taking on some responsibility for the actions of their child.  Yet, as the author points out, we can there are many things that are outside of our control and she makes an analogy to sporting injuries and other accidents.

 'Isn’t it the same when a host of chance events come together to make one imperfectly-parented child a killer and another imperfectly-parented child a well-adjusted adult? When deciding whether to have children, many people think about what mark their child might leave on the world. But they might not consider that they will have limited control over their children’s behavior, yet could very well share the guilt for anything those children do wrong. If we decide to have a child knowing that we are certain to be imperfect parents, we are a little like a person who decides to drive a speedboat without the kill cord in place. We rely on good luck to save us from terrible blame.'

I think this is a very helpful view.  I find many of the women (and sometimes men) who come to see me getting worried about 'the unknown', and what they cannot control (i.e. how their child will be, how they will relate to them, etc. etc.).  And letting go of the idea that we can possibly control everything - every way our child will turn out is very reassuring. I think the poem below says it all!

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Atlantic Magazine on the question 'How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?'

An article was printed in the Atlantic on the question of whether women's fertility is really reduced after 35.  The author states that no - looking at the research, women between 35 - 40 do not have a reduced risk of infertility.  I found it a really interesting article.  And yes, it is what every woman wants to here that you still have time.

This is a great quote from the article:

"The data, imperfect as they are, suggest two conclusions. No. 1: fertility declines with age. No. 2, and much more relevant: the vast majority of women in their late 30s will be able to get pregnant on their own. The bottom line for women, in my view, is: plan to have your last child by the time you turn 40. Beyond that, you’re rolling the dice, though they may still come up in your favour. “Fertility is relatively stable until the late 30s, with the inflection point somewhere around 38 or 39,” Steiner told me. “Women in their early 30s can think about years, but in their late 30s, they need to be thinking about months.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/2/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-wheeler-johnson/atlantic-fertility-story-told-women-what-the-want-to-hear_b_3474704.html

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

June Ticktock Coaching News



Dear all,

It's been a couple months since I've sent an e-news out - a reflection on how busy I've been OR how I've let the business of life take over, as many of us do!

MY BOOK
As many of you know, I finally finished my book 'Baby or Not? Making the Biggest Decision of Your life' and it has been selling well on Kindle - it's available as an ebook and if you would like a copy, you can go here to get it!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BC5GC1S

CONSCIOUS/LEADERSHIP EMBODIMENT WORKSHOPS - LONDON,UK
Conscious/Leadership Embodiment is a powerful body centred approach which seeks to enable us to recognise our reactive patterns & to then develop our ability to 'recover to centre' in ways that allow us to have more compassion, presence and connection.  The dates for my next workshop are: 

Day One - Friday 20 September 2013  10 - 5pm and Day Two -  Friday 11 October  10  1:00pm

Book your place by going to this website - http://lelondonsept2013.eventbrite.com/#

I have also been bringing this work into the corporate sector. I had a lovely testimonial from RBS about a workshop I led - you can read it by going here: http://www.bodycentredleadership.com/testimonials/

INSPIRING WORDS - Embrace our Contradictions
As many of you know, I am often refer to polarities and paradox in my work as a coach.  Developing our ability to be with paradox is one of the most powerful things we can do. The wonderful Josh Whedon has delivered a powerful commencement speech on this very issue.  Here is a link to the speech he made:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn866ryQ5RY 

Thanks for reading - I'll be getting back to normal 'Baby or Not?' blog posting tomorrow!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Baby or Not Book - Reviews now coming in!



My book 'Baby or Not? Making the Biggest Decision of Your Life' has been on sale since February and I've started to get reviews!  This was a great review on the US Kindle Shop website.  It was from a man and I really like what he had to say. 

'This is an excellent book for women and couples struggling to gain clarity as they make the decision about children. The author helps the reader arrive at a place where she can make this decision not out of fear, or based on others' expectations, but from her own desires. My wife and I found this book helped us listen to the voice inside and do what was right for us, and helped dispel the idea that there is any perfect path to follow, or that only certain types of people do or do not have children. A great book for all thirty somethings in this age of angst and uncertainty. '  

I'm so glad people are finding the book useful to helping them make the decision - the difficulty for me as a coach and a writer is knowing how different everyone's individual situation is.  So I know the book can't address everyone's issues - but I hope that it helps people, like this reader, get a good sense of how they can begin to listen to that 'voice inside.' 

You can see the review and order the book here:  http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Making-Biggest-Decision-ebook/dp/B00BC5GC1S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370605552&sr=1-1&keywords=baby+or+not

 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Worried about not giving parents grand-children

Sometimes guilt about not providing grand-children for our parents - particularly for those of us who come from more traditional cultures can play a part in the struggle to make the decision to have children or not. This was good advice from a columnist in the Saturday Guardian. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/24/cruel-to-give-parents-grandchildren

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Challenging the stereotype of childfree people as 'not being capable'

This is a great article 'I can take care of myself and I still don't want children' which challenges the notion that childfree people are somehow not about to look after themselves, that they are somehow less responsible, less mature or less able.

I think this is a really important point to make - both for childfree people and parents.  Because if we perpetrate the myth that parents are people who are more 'together' then we do a disservice to both groups of people.  One common fear I hear amongst my clients who are considering having children is that they are not good enough to be parents, not together enough.  For me, that's a big saboteur thought - many people who do have kids are not totally 'together,'  mature, sorted etc. etc.  And they can still be parents - imperfect as all parents all

Equally, people choosing to be childfree are equally capable of being responsible, together and mature - except when they are not of course!  No one is 'perfect' - we all have failings.

Accepting that to be human is to be fallible is important - and our life choices we make in regards to having children or not don't reflect whether we are 'good' and together people or not.

One of my aims as a coach is to facilitate people to accept themselves and their imperfections - regardless of whether they have children or not.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Found this short letter on the choice to have children.  The problem is that very, very rarely does anyone make the decision for purely financial reasons.  In fact, I can think of no coaching client who has come to me for whom finance was the main reasons they were struggling to make the decision.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/children-a-choice-685052/

Monday, 15 April 2013

On not being a parent

This weekend in the Guardian,  Ruth Wishart talked about the decision she and her husband made not to be parents.  Her story is a more difficult one for some readers of this blog as she did feel some sadness at not having had children.  And yet, despite this, the writer reflects on the many positive and rich aspects of her life.  For this writer, the death of her husband at a relatively early age (in his 50's), did trigger feelings of sadness that they hadn't become parents. It is a beautiful piece and I wanted to share it with people who read this blog.  But with the caveat that this is just one woman's story.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/13/we-could-have-been-parents

Friday, 12 April 2013

Changing priorities

Here is a young women's perspective on the decision to have children or not.  She points to the change nature of how women are viewing marriage and children - as I have always said, this is a very contemporary dilemma!

http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/marriage-and-children-are-no-longer/

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Adopting a child as a single mom

This article 'Adopting a Baby from China' appeared in the Guardian weekend magazine. 

I think it is a great personal look at the issue from a woman who decided as a single person that she did want to adopt.  Some of my clients are women who have found themselves in relationships with men who do not want children and have split up with them because of this.  Although this is a painful and difficult situation, articles like this help show that there are options for women who are willing to go it on their own as a parent.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Is the decision to have children a rational decision?

I really loved this article.  Many people come to me who have been struggling to decide whether to have children or not.  Most have tried rational decision making approaches and have failed to resolve the decision.  That's why I use a range of techniques including guided meditation, mind mind mapping,  looking at 'mind-sets', and the inner critic.  I also often work on how clients can be with the unknown - because, as this article points out, this decision requires a certain amount of being able to leap into the unknown.

http://www.wnyc.org/npr_articles/2013/mar/11/is-having-a-child-a-rational-decision/

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

How does 'Maybe Baby' coaching differ from therapy or counselling?

One of the questions I sometimes get when people approach me about coaching is 'What is the difference between coaching and therapy?'

There is no black and white answer to this as some forms of therapy/counselling are more similiar to coaching and some coaching techniques are like counselling/therapy techniques.  Emotions are also part of the coaching process - it's human to cry or feel angry and we hold our cliens as creative, resourceful and whole.  So it's not uncommon for a client coming to me about the baby decision to cry - after all, if emotions weren't part of this, if making the decision was purely a rational choice, you would have made it by now!

However, one thing coaching does not do which therapy/counselling does do is to focus on  or explore the past.  In coaching, we work with where you are now and where you want to be.  So for example, my 'Maybe Baby' clients who are coming to me wondering whether to have children or not might have had a number of experiences from the past that impact on their present ability to make the decision.  For example,  having had a difficult childhood themselves sometimes can make people question whether they do want children themselves.  This experience provides an important context for the work but we don't delve into the past to discuss the past or analyse it.

What I do is look at how the client is feeling now - or how that experience is impacting her in the hear and now.  We would look at the clients fears now and shine a light on them.  And then, we look at where the client wants to be - and the coaching is all about the journey from where the client is now to where they want to be.

If a client really needs to look at and explore the past, I will suggest clients explore seeing a therapist.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

So you don't have children? Now what?

If you are in London, you might fancy going to this event 'So you don't have children? Now What? at the South Bank Centre.  Part of the WOW series for women it focuses the implications of being child free for women.  Included in the panel is Jodie May, founder of Gateway Women.

Looks like a great event!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

How to tell people you don't want children

I saw this article called How to Tell Your Friends (and Boyfriend) in the on line magazine Jezebel.

Good advice from the author!

I often coach clients who have decided to be child free but find it difficult dealing with the questions and advice from others.  I really love helping clients get really confident and clear in their boundaries. What my clients find is that when they get really confident and clear they can deal with 'nosy' enquiries in a much firmer but calmer way.  This can really help reduce the pressure and those clients that do this find that people back off rather than keep on prodding!


Monday, 25 February 2013

Working women in India consider egg freezing

The subject of egg freezing for a possible future pregnancy is becoming more of an option now.  I hadn't realised it but it is also something that women in Indian are taking more seriously.

In this article called No time for babies, working women freeze their eggs in an Indian newspaper reports that more women in their 30's are choosing egg freezing. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Not wanting kids is entirely normal


One of the great things about hearing from parents on the whole 'baby decision' thing is that you soon realise that there is really no consenus on parenting.  While many people wax lyrical about parenting, many of us who do have children are honest about the downside.  I myself know that if I hadn't decided to have children, I would have had an equally - but different- fulfilled life. 

Author Jessica Valenti has written a book called Why Have Kids? and this excerpt called Not Wanting Kids is Entirely Normal. was printed in the Atlantic Magazine.

Very thought provoking!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Having a child with a friend - co-parenting

As readers of my new book 'Baby or Not?' will know, I am a big fan of alternative family arrangements.  The NY Times has recently run an article Seeking to reproduce without a romantic partnership on having a child outside a romantic partnership or co-parenting.

Great quotes from people who are raising kids this way! Also the article has links to websites where you can meet other people looking for a co-parent.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Irish USA playwright writes play on the decision to have children or not

Just found out this on the Internet 'Watertown's Bridget O’Leary directs 'Lungs' at New Repertory Theatre'

This is such a great subject for a play and I'm surprised that the subject has been taken up by more writers for plays or novels!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Perspective from a childfree friend

In the Weekend Guardian today, What I'm Really Thinking - The Childfree Friend appeared. 

Interesting perspective from someone who has decided to be childfree.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Choosing to have a child or not if you are gay/lesbian

Over the years, I have had a growing number of clients who are in lesbian relationships.  In the past, being lesbian or gay meant that it was assumed that you wouldn't have children and therefore, wouldn't be going through this dilemma.

However, many lesbian and gay couples today are choosing to be parents.  This online article Choosing to be lesbian parents goes through the various options that may be considered.  One of the options - co-parenting (where you have a child with a man who you are not in a relationshiop with i.e. a friend)  is something that I encourage heterosexual women who are thinking about having a child on their own to look at and think about as a viable option for themselves. 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Should I have a baby?


Good ole Dr. Phil (of Oprah) has come good advice on the above question here.

Should I have a baby?

(And is it just me or is Dr. Phil a dead ringer for Jeffrey Tambor who played Hank Kingsley on the Larry Saunders Show?)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Helen Mirren speaks out on being childfree

Helen Mirren has always been a powerful role model for childfree women.  I was heartened to see this positive piece in the Telegraph this week  Helen Mirren confronts the final female taboo 

Many women make a positive choice to not have children and be childfree.

Earlier this week, I was on Talkback on BBC Radio Ulster where we discussed the issue of choosing to be childfree. which got very lively when one of the callers said that she could see nothing more fulfilling than being a mother!  Sadly, that viewpoint is still all too common.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Baby or not? - My Book is now available to buy on Amazon

I'm excited to announce that my short self-help book 'Baby or Not: Making the Biggest Decision of Your Life' is now available to buy on Amazon!  Click on the link below to buy for only £4.00! The book is also available on Amazon sites for countries in Europe, North America, Japan and India.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BC5GC1S

US residents - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BC5GC1S

Canadaian residents - http://www.amazon.ca/dp/http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BC5GC1S

The book is also available on other countries Amazon sites - you should be re-directed to those if you click on any of the above.

So pleased that the book is done and ready for sale!





Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Writer seeking your views and experience!


I've been in touch with Katherine who is working on a fascinating project.  If you'd like to take part, please read her request.  I have spoken to her myself and she is taking a thoughtful and sensitve approach to the decision.  Here is her request:

I am an experienced journalist/writer and I'm researching and writing a
book about women and our relationship to motherhood. I am looking to
interview women and men who consider themselves to be, more or less, in the
following categories (interviewees can remain anonymous):

- Women in their 30s and 40s, single or in relationships, who feel they've
been somewhat 'caught out' by feminism and fertility, who may have built up
careers, earned their independence - only to realise they may be running
out of time to be mothers because of their age

- Single women who think they would like children and are finding dating in
their late 30s/40s challenging because men overlook them in favour of
younger women. Also women who find it challenging being around so many
other women with children

- Women, single or in relationships, who've decided to become solo mothers
or to pursue motherhood through IVF, sperm or egg donation, co-parenting or
other means, because they feel they left it too late to have babies
themselves, because they did not find the right partner in time or because
their partner did not want children

- Women who are wondering whether to stay with a partner who does not want
children or to leave in the hope they'll find someone else to father their
children or to pursue motherhood on their own (the classic 'should I stay
or should I go?' dilemma)

- Men who have opinions about the male biological clock, about the
difficulties of dating or being in relationships with women who are anxious
about their fertility or men who are/were ambivalent about children, until
the child came along

You can reach me at katherine@katherinebaldwin.com or on 07990 567767. I
promise to treat my interviewees with sensitivity (I am 41, single,
childless myself) and to respect anonymity if it is requested
.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Being a Godparent & not having your own children

I was contacted recently about the above topic by the writer of a blog aimed at new mothers.  She has written a post on choosing a Godparent which she thought my readers might enjoy and this can be found at http://www.newborncare.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-godparent-that-isnt-a-family-member/   As this website is very much aimed at new mothers and on choosing a godparent, it doesn't really have much resonance for this blog.  HOWEVER, it got me thinking - what are the benefits to taking on the role of Godparent if you don't have children and are thinking of being childfree?  So I did some googling and found alot of blogs about the role of Godparent - particularly church based websites.  It was this post on the Episcopal Digital Network that I thought I would share as there are quote from god parents who talk about the benefits on being a godparent.

http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/02/22/it-takes-a-community-to-godparent/

In the article, a gay childfree couple speak about their experience.

'Both Garner and Mikrut, 55, said the role has been especially meaningful because they don’t have children of their own. “We’ve been together 32 years. Now, it’s much easier for gay couples to have kids. I’m grateful to Rick and Ruth to have provided a little bit of that to us by making us god-dads and being able to be involved in Matt’s life from the time he was born.'

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Single Girl's Guide to Egg Freezing




One option that you can explore if you are really stuck and struggling with the decision is to freeze your eggs for the future.  Now, as I have said elsewhere in this blog, I think that this option does have some downsides.  However, it is something that is worthwhile exploring to see if it is right for you.  I got this email from Effsie who has written a book about this and she would like to share it with readers of this blog. 

"The Single Girl's Guide To Egg Freezing" looks at my decision to have my
eggs frozen, along with the emotional and practical journey that came with
it (with quite a few road bumps along the way). I wrote it as I wished
there had been a similar resource available for me to use when I started on
my journey, so I created this book to pass on everything that I learnt to
others who may want to follow a similar route.

Do feel free to share it as a resource with anyone who you think stands to
benefit.

You can read the opening chapter here
http://eggfreezingsuccess.com/#/free-chapter/4549303191

With very best wishes Effsie.


It looks like an interesting guide written by someone with personal experience. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Should I have a child on my own?

The question of whether they should have a child on their own is one that clients sometimes bring to coaching.  Usually this is because a relationship has broken down (often due to disagreeing on whether to have children or not) or because they haven't met the right person to have a child with.  It can often seem like a daunting idea and women who are exploring this as an option may find themselve not receiving support from friends and family.  That's why I think it's important to find good role models of women who have done this.  I recently came across this short piece called 'I choose to have a child on my own and I wouldn't change a thing'  from a women who decided to 'go it on her own'.  Interesting article!



Friday, 4 January 2013

Offbeat families - Couple breaking up over the decision to have children

I found this great little website called Off Beat Families.  In this article, a couple has produced a music video on the breakup of their marriage due to not being able to agree whether they will have kids or not. 

http://offbeatfamilies.com/2012/12/couple-breaks-up-writes-song

I also love the idea of a website featuring different kids of families - I always like to recommend my coaching clients find different examples of different types of families and ways to be a parent.  Sometimes my clients actually do want to have children - they just don't want all the baggage that comes with feeling like they have to fit into a traditional, conventional parenting role.

Yay for Offbeat families!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013 - the year you make the decision to have children or not!


Welcome to 2013!

I've had a two week break - hooray!  I'm now gearing up to start writing on this blog (alot more often than in 2012!) and have a week full of seeing coaching clients who have committed to resolving the 'baby decision' this year.

SO, what would you like to resolve to sort out this year?

Is this the year you will finally make the decision whether to have children or be child-free?

Will you finally end the continual loop of 'will I/won't I' that's going round in your head?

Some of my blog readers find all they need here on the blog or through reading other books/blogs to help them make the decision.  And some blog readers find one-to-one coaching helps them make a decision and move on from the state of limbo (which is often accompanied by stress/anxiety/worry) by one-to-one coaching.  If you would like one-to-one coaching, I offer an initial free 30 minute consultation via Skype or telephone.  You can then decide whether you want coaching.  I see face-to-face clients in London, UK and I also see telephone/Skype clients from all over the world. Check out my coaching website at http://www.ticktockcoaching.co.uk for more info about me and how I work.

Looking forward to connecting to you all through the blog during 2013!