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 and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit for more information about my coaching services.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Finished the Sample Chapter!

As regular readers will know, I've been working on a self-help book on the issue of trying to decide whether to have children or not. My literary agent - having pushed me to write a 40 (!) page book proposal. Once I had done that and revised it till she thought it was great, she then asked me to write a sample chapter before she would take it around to publisher.

Well, I've done that now - just finished and I've emailed it off to her!

I've sure she'll have lots of useful comments as I feel it grew into a bit of a monester. But having worked on it for this past month, I can't even 'see' it anymore to edit it down.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

More from an economist on the decision

I am fascinated by an on-going discussion on the Econlog (see blog links) about the decision to have children or not. One of the economists Bryan Caplan, posted this summary of a lecture on 'Selfish Reasons to Have More Children'

It's very interesting - although, as I've said many times before and particularly in this blog post I don't think that happiness can be boiled down to whether or not you have children or whether or not you have more or less children.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Grad school and the decision to have kids or not

I've noticed lately that grad schools are actively encouraging students to discuss and think about the issue of when it's right to be a parent. The Chroncile of Higher Education discussion boards regularly have discussions around this issue.

I also found this great posting from Grad Mommy on seminars she has been to on the decision.

It is great that this is a discussion that is being held in universities!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Freezing your eggs as an insurance policy

I've blogged about this before but there was an interesting article in the times about freezing eggs this weekend.

The woman featured has a very similiar story to a woman I've recently interviewed, Em. Em was married in her early 20's and now divorced. In her early 30's, she is aware that she might not have much time. But although she is in a new relationship, it's far to early to be thinking about having children.

A colleague recommended egg freezing - but she is doubtful.

That's my main worry - that the technology has flaws and women may spend alot of money to find it still doesnt' work.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Do you settle for Mr. Good Enough or quit stressing and enjoy life?

I read two very interesting articles from two different perspectives published in the Dallas Dailey News:

In the first one called ‘ Don’t be afraid to settle for Mr. Good Enough’ Lori Gottlieb basically encourages women to settle for a good enough partner – not wait for ‘Mr.Right’. Interestingly, she talks from the point of view of someone who decided to have a child on her own by AI. But she says she has realised the difficulties of having a child on her own and feels it is preferable to be in a relationship.

The other article by, Catherine Cuellar called ‘Quit stressing about finding Mr. Right and start enjoying life’ puts the perspective that women shouldn’t be panicked into getting into a relationship that isn’t right for them. One of the most powerful quotes from this piece is this one:

‘Whether I reproduce, adopt or abstain; am step-, foster-, or godparent; or just love my neighbors, I'll teach children in my life they are precious, unique individuals who should respect themselves enough to enter a relationship only if they find a worthy partner.

Meanwhile, I'm active in church; practice yoga and meditation; and have worked with a therapist and a personal trainer – so if an ideal mate comes along, I'm ready. In my professional and volunteer work, I pursue my passions, surrounding myself with people who share my values and interests. I don't believe it humanly possible for any one person to meet all my social, emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Rather, I live in a gracious and generous community with married and single people, some with and others without children – some by choice, others by circumstance. ‘

I do understand where Lori Gottlieb is coming from – the reality of long term relationships is that you do have to accept that it is not a whirl of romantic love. It is a steady love – a partnership. And if you are always holding out for the fairy tale notion of love and relationships, you are bound to be disappointed. It is also stressful for women who have always wanted children in the context of a long term relationship. As Emma, one of my interviewees for my book pointed out ‘I was married at 27 and divorced at 29. Now I’m almost 31, and I’m aware that if I want to have a child, I need to start in a few years. But although I have a boyfriend now, he is just into having fun and not being committed. So what do I do? I never imagined life without a family, without children.’

So it is a tough one.

However, Catherine’s article really resonates with me and it chimes with one of the key messages of my book and my coaching. That you can have a fantastic and fulfilled life – regardless of whether you are married or not, whether you have children or not. You can live a life in alignment with your values whatever choices you make, whatever life throws at you. That’s why in the coaching I do, I always ask people to step back from the decision and look at their vision of life 20 years from now and at their values.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Gender and the decision to have children or not

I found this interesting blog piece on a blog all about ecomomics. Basically, it points to a survey done which shows that there is different expectations on men and women in a relationship/marriage when it comes to the decision to have children or not. A survey asked the two questions:

'If the husband in a family wants children, but the wife decides that she does not want any children, is it all right for the wife to refuse to have children?' and

'If the wife in a family wants children, but the husband decides that he does not want any children, is it all right for the husband to refuse to have children?'

Survey says: 82% affirmed the wife's right to refuse, but only 61% affirmed the same right for husbands. Men and women are almost equally likely to have the same view with 83% of men (versus 81% of women) affirm women's right to refuse; 60% of men (versus 61% of women) affirm men's right to refuse.

The blogger asked the question why would there be such different expectations of men and women's duty in this matter?

My answer and that of some of the other posters is that the decision affects women disproportionately either way. A woman has to bear the brunt of carrying and having the child and will have to take on more child-caring during the first few months (maternity leave, b'feeding, etc).

Because a woman has limited fertility time available, she will also be serverely affected is her partner/husband says no. As a friend of mine pointed out, if her partner keeps saying he isn't ready yet, she is going to have to leave him as she only has about 6 more years of optimum fertility time left. Whereas, if he changes his mind, even at 60 years old, he can still find a younger woman to pro-create with!

On another matter, I wish I hadn't been put off studying economics in high school - it seemed so dry and boring. But over the past few years, I've been realising how important the subject is - how it applies to all aspects of our livses. Probably reading Freaknomics had something to do with this change of heart.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Relationship between amount of child-rearing/housework done by men and the decision to have a second child

I found this very interesting article today on the above topic!

And, I've been featured in the Japanese magazine AERA!! I've put a link to this article on the homepage of my website - it will allow you to download a JPEG of the article. Go to my site at and the link is half-way down the page.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Sensible advice on the decision to have a baby or not

Some sensible advice found in the Telegraph!!

A very excellent piece of advice to a woman feeling pressured into the decision to having children can be found here with a mixture of good and not so good comments.

Anyway, just a quick update on the book for all regular follower of the blog - I finished my extended book proposal and this met with the approval of my literary agent. I am now working on the sample chapter!!!