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.

Monday, 31 October 2016

No Maternal Desire But Still Thinking About Motherhood


Many women are ambivalent about having children, many women are not sure they  really want to be mothers.  And yet, there is still pressure on women who feel little maternal desire to have children. I often have clients approach me for coaching because, although they don't have a strong desire to be a parent, feel that they should children.  Many of these clients feel under pressure to have children for a range of reasons including:  feeling like they 'ought' to want children, worries about regretting not having children, having friends who are mothers talk about how wonderful being a mother is, and feeling as if they would not be a 'real' woman if they didn't have children.

This weekend, a friend sent me a link to this article Modern Love - My Biological Clock Can't Tick Fast Enough . I thought this was an honest, poignant, and authentic account of someone in this situation.   She talks about going through the process of trying and failing to have children, while all the while not being convinced that motherhood is something she wants.

People sometimes commend me on how “brave” it was for us to not have children. I laugh, because to my mind, I arrived at it in just about the most cowardly way: I lucked into childlessness (if having a defective uterus can be considered luck). Deep down I didn’t want to have children, but I kept limping toward motherhood anyway, because I thought I should want them until, in the end, my anatomy dictated my destiny.

What would it be like if we lived in a world where women felt they really were able to make a positive choice not to have children?  How great would that be to be able to make that choice without all the guilt, stress and shame?   Part of what I do as a coach is help people let go of these unhelpful feelings so that they can make a truly life affirming choice.

Friday, 21 October 2016

When is the best time to have children?

It's definitely autumn now in the UK - the nights are getting dark earlier and earlier.  Today happens to be Apple Day! In celebration of this great day,   I thought I'd post a photo from The Orchard Project of some beautiful apples at a community orchard!  It's amazing that there are so many orchards in cities - I had no idea before I started to do some work with this fantastic charity.  If you live in a city,  why not take a moment to appreciate any fruit trees growing near you?

So, back to the topic of this blog!  This week, someone asked me the question which is the title of this blog post - Is there a 'best' time to have children?  Is there a right age to have children?      A few years ago, commentator Kirstie Allsopp caused controversy when she said that, with all the problems associated with fertility, women should consider starting a family as early as they can ( see this article in the Guardian Kirstie Allsopp tells young women: Ditch university and have a baby by 27 ).

Personally, I think that there isn't RIGHT age to have a child but there are pro's and cons to having a child at each age as I've outlined below:

20's - The big bonus to having children in your 20's is that your fertility is more likely to be in a good state during this time and you are more likely to get pregnant than if you waited.  You are also more likely to have more energy and need less sleep!  The downside is that if you are not yet established in your career which may make taking enough time off for maternity leave tricky. If you are in your early 20's, you might find many of your friends are travelling, socialising and doing very different activities that you are able to do as a mother

30's - In your 30's, you are more likely to feel like 'now is the right time'. You'll have more life experience and will probably feel like you are ready for a new phase of life.  You will be more established in a career or work path and feel able to take time off from work without it damaging your career too much.  The downside is that if you are in your late 30's, you may find yourself facing some fertility issues.  Another issue has been highlighted in this short article 'It's a Tough Time: Challenges for Women in their 20's and 30's' - as the author points out, this is a time women can feel overwhelmed by the many life choices they have to make.

40's - You are likely to feel as though you have the life experience and maturity to be a mother.  You might be more senior in your work which can make it easier to organise flexible and family friendly working.   You may also feel more financially able to have children at this age than when you were young. If you are considering having a child on your own, you may feel that you have the means and ability to do this now.   The downside of having children in your 40's is that it may take longer to get pregnant and that you might feel more tired and have less energy than when you were younger.

I think the important thing is to start considering whether we want children or not as early as possible. Particularly when we are looking at choosing our life partner we need to consider whether they are on the same page in wanting or not wanting children.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Are More Women Deciding To Have Children Today?

I've had a couple weeks off from the blog - with the colder weather, I was struck down by a wretched cold which meant I had a backlog of work when I returned.

I was wondering today about what statistics there are on the numbers of women who are thinking about and planning to having children.  I had assumed that, because of the falling birth rates that more women continue to make a decision to be childfree. However, when I went to look into this question, I found an across an interesting article by a writer called Megan Thielking,  More US Women Plan On Having Kids in the online magazine Stat saying that current research is showing that more women are planning on having children than they were a decade ago.

I found this surprising, as it appears that more and more women in the US, Canada and Europe are choosing to be childfree.  Some statistics put the number of childfree women at around 1 in 5.  And, according to the 2014 US census, 47.6% of women between 15 - 44 have never had children, which is the highest it has been.  (Huffington Post A Record Percentage of Women Don't Have Kids ).

The Stat article points out that the birth rate fell dramatically in 2008 when the US and other countries were experiencing a major recession.  

'Having kids is not an inexpensive life decision,” said Dr. Hal Lawrence, the executive vice president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “When people are concerned about the economy, they shy away from having children or more children.”

Fertility rates fell dramatically in the US in 2008, which experts have said was closely linked to economic insecurity brought on by the Great Recession. But as unemployment rates continue to fall, Lawrence said, potential parents could be growing newly comfortable with the idea of having children. And indeed, in 2014, for the first time in seven years, the birth rate increased in the US.'

The articles author Megan Thielking, points out that other factors in the US might also be at play. When Obama Care was brought in, it made health insurance more accessible, taking away some of the strain of the worry about the cost of giving birth.