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.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Keep your friends

And here is a more light-hearted approach to the discussion, in another contribution to the Canadian Paper The National discussion on this topic Keep your friends - don't have kids

Saturday, 29 August 2009

This week, the National newspaper in Canada is having a debate around the merits of becoming a parent. This writer Robert Fulford, discusses his thoughts here - for him, parenthood was definately worth it.

Yet, what I like about this writer is that he points to the very personal and subjective nature of the decision to have children or not.

'There's no generalized one-size-fits-all answer to this intensely personal question.

Some people desire passionately to have offspring, and all of Maier's satiric hectoring won't budge them. Others do not much want to be parents. Their choice demands respect, for the best reason: We should have children only if we want them. No matter how things go, parenthood brings a blizzard of large and small difficulties. To enter it reluctantly can be a route to disaster.'

The focus on respect is so important - often women who I coach report that friends/family often don't seem to respect choices that they are planning on making. If they are leaning towards being childfree, then they find they are met with disapproving comments.

Friday, 28 August 2009

From being a couple to being parents

This article came out in an Indian magazine this week - it is primarily aimed at people who have decided to go ahead and have children. But I thought the advice on what to think about before having children was equally applicable to someone trying to make the 'baby decision'

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/parenting/From-couples-to-parents/articleshow/4046853.cms

Saturday, 22 August 2009

I just discovered this web based forum today - for women who want to have a baby but whose partners doesn't.

It's one of the common themes I see emerging for many women (and sometimes men) - being in a relationship where one of them does want children and the other one doesn't. It is a very difficult place to be in a relationship.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Personal Finance and the baby decision

Many of the women who come to me seeking coaching on the 'baby decision' often cite concerns over the cost of having children. Often, they are dealing with partners who also give this as a reason not to have a child.

Yes, having children is an expense! Nina, blogging on the question at this blog discusses the key issue of finance in relation to their arguements of whether to have a second child or not pointing to some key facts:

'A report (PDF) by the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion released last week indicates a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17. This averages out to $13,000 per year although annual expenditures typically increase with the age of the child. Housing is identified as the largest single expense, followed by food and child care/education costs.'

But as I've said before here on the blog - if everyone truely thought about the cost of having children - no one ever would have a child!!! In my experience of coaching women on this decision over the years is that no one ever truly makes the decision based on finance alone.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Signapore and the baby decision

Following on from my last blog posting about the declining birthrate, a regular reader of this blog in the Far East send me this link to an interview with the Prime Minister of Signapore, Lee Hsien Loong

The article is quite long and goes into issues not all my readers may be so interested in and so, I've reproduced the section where he disscussing the question of why women aren't having children here:

'You made a statement on the problem with young women not having babies, and you have encouraged them to have children. Can you elaborate on this?

I can explain but I can’t solve. (Laughs.) This is the problem of many developed countries. In Kuala Lumpur you have this same phenomenon except that you are a bigger country; you have the rural area so taking Malaysia as a whole, birth rates are okay.

In developed countries and particularly in the cities, many of the women are working, are professionals, and if you tell them to have one more child, they would say that it’s a heavy burden. Because it’s a heavy responsibility, not just a financial burden, because you want the best for your child; give him or her the best. That’s a very heavy responsibility because having made the baby, you’ve got to make sure he is properly brought up, educated, guided. You can’t just leave him to maids or even to tutors.

And, therefore, responsible women are saying, ‘I’ll just have a few, two, maybe one,’ some don’t even want to start. If everybody decided that, [then] I don’t have enough children. So we are trying to encourage them to have children with not just the financial incentive but also the overall social spirit; the ethos so that people welcome you when you have kids; when you turn pregnant, they fuss over you, they ask if it’s a boy or a girl. At work they will make adjustments, they will give you a room to breast-feed, reasonable time off, and you can still participate while fulfilling your responsibilities as a mother. So these are adjustments that we must make in our society, but it is very difficult to reverse the trend and get more babies born.'

So, an interesting point he is making at the end I thought - that the ethos must change.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

More signs of declining birth rate

More evidence of a declining birth rate reported in this Detroit newspaper

The article, 'Where have all the children gone?' looks at the sharp decline in the birth rate in the state of Michigan which has had the highest drop in population and asks why. One of the reasons given is the economy and another, is the move of young people out of the area.

Although the issues in this state seem linked in with the economy and people migrating from the area as well, I think there are two key reaons generally why the birth rate is declining:

a) living a child-free life is now much more of a culturally acceptable option, people do not feel as pressured into have children

and

b) women are putting off having children now till much later - this can mean that some of these women may find that they are unable to have children - resulting in people becoming child-free but not by choice.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The debate on having children and the envrionment continues

Does having children hurt the environment? There is an on-going debate whether people should have children at all from a green perspective. Radical environmentalists are adament that people should choose a child-free life to help save the planet.

One green blogger is definately not of that opinion!

Personally, I think that there are many other factors that are damaging the environment - industrial pollution for instance - that need to be addressed as a matter of priority.

But, if you are deeply committed to environmental causes and are also struggling with the decision to have children, this debate could impact on the decision making - or maybe it would influence you to look at other options like fostering or adoption?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The main headline article of the Sunday UK Paper 'The Observor' was this '

Women urged to test for fertility at 30:Expert calls for 'fertility MoTs' and education

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/09/fertility-mot-children-nhs

And this related two page article appeared as well.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/09/fertility-biological-clock-ivf


The article -which included a double page spread inside - addresses so many important issues for women making the baby decision. One of the key reasons why women are delaying having children is the issue of discrimination at work - many women are aware that it is difficult to get back on the career ladder after having children and so are choosing to delay having children untill they are more established in their careers. However, this has massive ramification -with women finding their fertility has decreased as they become older.

Reducing discrimination against women with young children and pregnant women will make the decision whether to have children or not easier and more straightforward.