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.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Tteaching about infertility in schools?

One of the issues that some of my clients come to me with is resentment at their sex education classes in school. A typical conversation with these clients goes like this:

'At school, I was told that it would be the most dreadful thing in the world if I did get pregnanat and that I would get pregnant the second I neglected to use contraception.

And now, I'm finding that I'm bombarded with hysterical newspaper headlines that say that I've put my chances of ever having children at risk by leaving it till my late 30's!'

So I was very intersted to read this article about how the new head of the Human Embryo and Fertizalisation Authority is urging young people to be taught the issues around infertility in sex education and to prepare them for the fact they might not get pregnant!

I'm kinda thinking - though while it would be useful for young people later in life - it might simply increase teenage pregnancies!!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Academic Women less likely to have children

Thanks to the blogger Quirky Economist for pointing to this research showing that women academics are less likely to have children.

Particularly relevant I think is this quote from the article:

'Key differences were found with regard to work/home balance: men in the field are more likely to be parents, but women are more likely to be more responsible for child care or other family obligations. For instance, of men who experienced a career interruption, 7.4 percent cited child care as the reason and 3.7 percent cited the experience of being a “trailing spouse,” one who moves when a partner is hired elsewhere. Of women who experienced career interruptions, 22.9 percent cited child care and 9.1 percent cited being a trailing spouse. And women were much more likely (52.9 percent to 5.6 percent) to anticipate a future career interruption due to child care responsibilities.'

As I've mentioned before, women shoulder a disportionate amount of the responsibility for childcare . And we know this as women. We know that if we have kids - it's likely that we are going to be the ones doing more childcare, or sorting it out. So if you are a woman with a glittering career in academia ahead of you, I can see that the decision to have children or not, would be weighted down by the knowledge that it is likely to be your career that faces difficulties, not your partners.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Deciding When To Have A Child, If Ever: The Impacts Later In Life

I've just come across this article with the title above

One of the points the authors make that it's not if you decide to have children that impacts on happiness - it's whether you have someone in your life to love that impacts on you later in life.

"Whether a woman has had children or not isn’t likely to affect her psychological well-being in later life," said University of Michigan sociologist Amy Pienta. "What is more important is whether or not she has a husband, a significant other or close social relationships in her life as she ages."

They also point out that women who waited to have children untill later - i.e. late 30's where more likely to be happier than women who had children earlier in life.

I can see how as humans it makes us feel good to love someone else. And that may be a child or it may be your partner or it may be a significant other or close social relationships.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

More research into the decision to have children or not

I found this article about whether deciding not to have children can be considered a selfless act in order to save the envrionment. It also looks at whether research that shows that having children leads to greater unhappiness in marriage is valid or not.

I have been interested in the phenomena of some environmentalists calling on people to have no or fewer children. It does seem like a plausible arguement. But this author debunks that. I don't really agree with his views that not having children is a reflection of our selfish society - as I've said elsewhere, I think there are many, many ways that people who are childfree can live out selfless and giving values - like volunteering, caring for older people, mentoring etc.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Is there a 'good time' to have kids - particularly when thinking about your career?

It's a question that I do hear - when is the right time to have kids? Is it when I've reached a certain stage in my career? The blogger Grad Mommy, who I mentioned before, has this to say in this post:

'There is so much consternation amongst graduate students about when the best time to start a family is. I’ve heard it everywhere along the grad student - tenure continuum: wait until after classes are done, no, wait until you’ve defended your proposal, no, wait until you’ve landed your first position, no, wait until after you’ve gotten tenure. I remember a professor back in my freshman year of college saying,
'There’s never a good time to get married or have children. Just do it.'
I followed his advice.'

She then talks in the post how it is more difficult with kids but it is all doable.

My feeling is that while you do need to weigh up the pros and cons of whether you want to do certain things before having kids (for example I would love to do a programme called Leadership in the US now - but I'm not willing to leave my 3 year old to travel out there 4 times a year for a week each so I'll have to wait till he is abit older), at the end of the day, if you do want kids, if you know you want them in your future (but just aren't sure when), I'd have to say, yeah, just go for it!! The problem is - when will you know it's the right time? As Grad Mommy says above, you could go on forever. In my case, I could have thought 'oh, just after my coaching course, oh just after Leadership, oh just after I land a few great coaching contracts.'

And before you know it, my biological clock would have been running down.

It's a tough call. Not to be made lightly.

But, then if you want to make it work - you will.