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Thursday, 10 January 2008

How to hold the contradictions within this discussion?

I've been really reflecting on the contradictory nature of this blog!!

And that highlights a key problem that I need to address if I'm going to write a book on this topic - can I actually 'hold' the contradictions that come up when discussing this issue?

As I mentioned before, in my first post, the nature of the decision to have children or not means that women are coming to the discussion from wildly different points on the continium - all the way from being 'pretty much want to be childfree' to 'pretty sure I want kids'. As I'm dealing with the individual 'where they are' - the coaching isn't the same for all women facing this dilemna - I'd suggest different things for women at different points in the continium.

Sure, the common point is my main belief that the important thing in life is that you live a life that is in alingment with your values, that whatever you decide to do - what is important is that you feel that you are living fully, that you are living your 'Big Agenda'. You can do that regardless of having kids or being childfree.

But then, there are decisions we need to make in life that feed into the Big Agenda - and having or not having kids is one of those decisions. And if you think you want something - like you are learning towards having kids but something that is within your control is stopping you then I think you should be able to reflect, look at the issue, identify what you want and go for it!

When I'm writing these blog entries - I'm aware that the things I want to say to women who are in different situations is of course completly different. i.e. What I would say to a woman who pretty much wants to be childfree but worries that she might regret her decision is different from what I would say to a woman who wants kids but whose partner doesn't.

But of course - sometimes this might appear that I'm saying contridictory things, that I'm giving off contradictory mesages!!

A friend of mine pointed out last night that it's very difficult to find a common message across women who are facing this decision - without the usual 'Do what feels right'. Which isn't particularly helpful!.

So my question to blog readers is 'How can I hold all these contradictions within one book or blog?'


Kaycie said...

I think the only way that you can address this is to say the answer to the problem is different for every woman or every couple and use case studies to illustrate the different decisions that clients or people you interview for the book have made.

To me, this isn't that dissimilar from psychology, in that there will be cases that fit certain patterns. Once you have done your interviewing and reviewed your client histories, you should come up with some really broad groups that you can address in order to provide more generic advice.

I would think the point of the book would be to illustrate choices others have made, the categories that those tend to fall into, and give your readers the information they need to make a decision for themselves according to their circumstances. In other words, you're providing a jumping off point for people who make the decision after reading your book.

I don't know if I've answered the question you asked or not, but I hope this helps.

Beth said...

Kaycie - you have totally hit the nail on the head!! And in my orginal proposal I hinted at this in having different chapters around the different categories and I've started the interviews with women in different categories. But I think in starting to write this blog, I've paniced a bit because I was reading the posts thinking 'Gee, does this all sound abit contridictory or what??'

It's firmed up my belief that the first step is to get on with the interviews - do alot more with a range of women and have a range of case histories.

But I think this blog is helping me get the issues out on 'paper', get feedback, etc. etc. 90% of it will probably not even appear in the book but will help me process the issues.

Kaycie - thanks so much for your words of wisdom!

Kaycie said...

You're welcome, Beth. I'm really pleased I helped. When I finished writing, I wasn't sure that I was even communicating clearly!