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, 31 December 2014

My parents keep asking us when we are going to have a baby

Spending extended time with your parents over the break can bring out the inevitable question.

It can be annoying, stressful and very frustrating to constantly have to deal with questioning on having kids when you haven't made up your mind yet about the baby decision.

This humorous article looks at that very issue in a lighthearted way!

If you can find ways to approach these questions in a centered and calm way, that can help end the constant questioning.  One of the things I often work with clients to do is to help them develop ways to deal with intrusive and frustrating questions from relatives.  

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Questions to reflect on for the new year

2015 is almost here - and a new year is a good time to reflect on our lives and look at how we can move forward.

If you have spent a good part of 2014 struggling with the decision of whether to have children or not, 2015 is your year to move forward.  Here are some questions you might want to reflect upon.

1) What is the biggest challenge I am facing right now?

2) How would I like to be different in one year from now?

3) Imagine yourself one year from now having resolved this question, what advice would you give to yourself on how to move forward?

4) Who or what resources could I call upon to help me move forward?

These are just some initial general questions to help you get started - I offer free 30 minute consultation sessions if you would like tailored one to one support.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Ambivalent about having children

I just read a powerful & personal blog post about the journey one woman went on called I was ambivalent about having kids until I wasn't 

 I have worked with client who found themselves in similar situations who had been ambivalent about children untill they found themselves in a life shifting event.

Particularly if someone has had a miscarriage, they can find themselves grieving in a way they hadn't anticipated. I always advise seeking crisis counseling after a miscarriage but after that coaching can help work out whether the client does want to try again and have children.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

You don't need to have children to be fulfilled

Recently Jennifer Aniston has spoken out about all the judgement cast on her decision not to have children.

One of the common assumptions made is that a woman who doesn't have children will somehow feel unfulfilled.

I know this to be untrue.  As a coach, as well as seeing clients on the 'baby decision', I see a number of clients exploring work/life issues and in organisations who do have children. I also have one child myself.  I can say from the heart that many people with children also can have a sense of wondering what our purpose is, dissatisfaction with work that isn't fullfilling.  There are many factors that lead to being fulfilled and happy and having children is not a gurantee of this!

This is what the author of this recent article in Time is saying in this thoughtful piece. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

When friends all have babies

If you are Childfree, it can start to feel strange when your friends start having babies.  Often clients come to me to check out whether they have made the right decision or not at this point. Women report feeling like they have lost their friends, like they are seen as the different one and also worry that they might be missing out on an important life experience.  Here is one woman's views on being in this situation.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Why does anyone have children?

Interesting piece here in the New York Times from a few years ago Why Does Anyone Have Children?

In the short piece (in which readers are invited to comment) the writer outlines the common split she experiences between her head (logical rational side) and her heart (emotional, intuitive side).  When I'm coaching, I often ask my clients to really explore and embody each side in this polarity.  It can help to see where we are split and then, what do we know or feel when we feel more aligned and less like the rational and emotional parts of ourselves are at war.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Should I have a baby?

An article appeared in Time magazine this week - a US psychologist explored a way to answer the question 'Should I have a baby?'  It reminded me of a slightly similiar technique I use when coaching clients looking at this question.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Should we wait to start a family?

Often the difficulty people face when trying to make the decision to have children or not is actually around whether to delay having a family now or not as this article from celebrity magazine Hello points out:

Monday, 15 December 2014

The generation that can't afford to have children

In the UK, as house prices escalate and the unemployment rate languishes,  commentators worry about a generation that may have to put off having children till too late.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Ambivalent about having a baby?

Many women who come to me for coaching are ambivalent about having a baby. In this article,   talks about her experience of having deep ambivalence around the baby decision.

'Do you want children?”.... If you’re in a settled relationship and are moderately solvent, people only really understand one of two answers: yes or no. Even “I don’t know” is usually translated as either, “You should get on with it, then,” or, “That means you don’t want them”. Actually, the truthful response to this all-pervading question is less concrete. If I were being honest, my real answer would be: “I don’t mind” – which appears to be incomprehensible in our mummy-obsessed world. '

Advice to university graduates - living with your partner before marriage is a great way to find out if you are compatible - including working out whether you both want kids or not.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Complicated paternity case

The recent case of Stuart Anderson Wheeler and Phobe Manners highlights how complicated the decision to have a baby or not can be - particularly fir women who feel that the biological window for them to get pregnant is closing. Admittedly it is an extreme case study! 

In this case, when they were in a relationship Manners & Anderson-Wheeler went for IVF treatment where Anderson-Miler donated his sperm, agreeing it could be used for several IVF sessions.  After they split up, Manners had another session of IVF using his sperm.

My husband doesn't want kids but I do: Shall we get divorced?

Advice for a Canadian women in this difficult situation in the Globe and Mail. It's one of the situations that some women who come to me for coaching on and it can be very difficult.  Often women come to me before going into couples counselling because they want to really explore whether they do want children enough to leave the relationship.  Or they have found their partners reluctant to go to see a counsellor together.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

I find that it is particularly difficult for women from cultures where family's are highly valued - this Jewish women writes about her experience as a childfree woman.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Great article (with strong language!) on the judgement women who have decided not to have children get.  

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Don't leave having children till too late

A British newsreader Kate Silverton has warned women against leaving having children until too late.  

“A lot of women I know are having huge difficulty trying to conceive and many are losing out by virtue of the fact that they can’t see beyond their career, yet when they do come to a point where they are ready to start a family it is potentially too late,” she said in the newspaper article published in the Independent yesterday.   For the full article, go to

Monday, 24 November 2014

Client Perspective

I think the best way to explain how coaching helps women make the decision to have children or not is through the experiences of my clients who have been through the coaching process. 

 Here's the perspective of one client on how coaching helped her.

'I came to this coaching practice in an utter panic, pushed this way and that on whether to start a family by relatives, friends and my husband, all of whom had definite (and different) opinions on what I ought to be doing. The decision to start a family is extremely personal, yet even strangers seem to have perspectives on it, and it's easy to feel badgered and bullied even by well-meaning people. Beth helped me separate my own feelings from those of the people around me and to assess clearly what I wanted. I found the experience very calming. I would recommend that any women ambivalent about whether to start a family go through Beth's process - particularly if she feels she has no disinterested party to turn to.' ~ Virgina, 38, Writer

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Claire's Story

I interviewed women who were struggling with the decision to have children or not when I was writing my book.   I wanted to include case studies from women who had made different choices and found different solutions to the dilemma.  Below, one of my interviewees Claire, tells her story.

“I had married very young but we divorced before we had a chance to have children.  I was in other relationships – in one relationship, we had been trying to get pregnant but nothing happened and we split up.“When I was 40, I was in a serious relationship and knew that I wanted kids.  But the man I was with didn’t want another child.  He already had a little girl from a previous relationship and we spent a lot of time together.  We were essentially a family.  But it was a sticking point for us – the fact that he didn’t want to have a child with me.  With his first wife, he had been dead set against having children but she really wanted a child.  He then became a great dad but he didn’t feel he had the emotional energy for another child.  So I took the decision to end the relationship.”Around the same time, I was feeling burnout from a high pressure job as CEO of a charity.  I was on a 6 week sabbatical which gave me time to reflect.“I always wanted to be a mum but I didn’t need to be a biological mum.  I never felt the urge to physically have children but I always thought I would be a mum.  I decided that I was still going to have a child even though I was on my own.  I had always wanted to be a mum but hadn’t found the right relationship.  I thought that if this is what I am meant to be doing, I should do it.“I decided to register with a foster parenting agency and test the water with fostering.  I got accepted as a foster parent and then, I handed in my notice at work.  The week I left, I got my first foster child who was 2 and half years old.  Fostering is an amazing experience but very challenging.“The biggest challenge in fostering is the care system.  It can take days to get a decision from the system that affects your whole life.  For example, if I want to go away for the weekend and take the child I’m fostering, it is a huge thing – we can’t just go on a whim or in the spur of the moment.  For example, if a visit is arranged to see the child’s mum on the weekend you want to go away, the mum can just say no, you can’t cancel my visitation and your weekend is cancelled. Fostering as a single person is tough.  You can’t leave your child with anyone else without that person being checked 15 times!  The system stops any kind of spontaneity.  There are some other difficult things – if the child you are fostering has been in an abusive relationship, the child is not allowed to get in your bed in the morning for instance – because of their confusion with boundaries and because it puts you in a problematic position.  However, those are the rules which are very different from the practical realities when you have a crying 4 year old in your room at 3 in the morning.  “The biggest role you play in the life of the child you foster is preparing them to see their parent and helping them deal with it when they come back from the visit.  You are the rock for them.  And gradually they realise that.”Another challenge for me, as someone who had been quite senior in the Voluntary Sector was that I went from being seen as a bright and respected professional – from being an equal to senior managers in the system to being a low rated foster parent. “I’m now in a committed relationship and we are getting married.  He has mucked in with the fostering and is keen to be a foster parent as well – but he doesn’t want any more kids biologically.  That’s ok for me now as long as he is up for the fostering.“There is such a massive need for good foster parents.  It is a full-time job though.  I manage to combine work with fostering but that’s because I freelance now.“The thing everyone thinks is the hardest is saying goodbye.  To be a good foster parent you have to quickly bond with a child, love them and then say goodbye.  You get masses back – it isn’t just a job.  Yes, it is hard and awful saying goodbye and packing up their stuff.  But a month after saying goodbye to my first child, I was chomping at the bit to foster again.“The difference you will make to their lives will be massive.  But you need to be selfless – and let them go.”

Monday, 17 November 2014

In this short article, the author lists amongst the 14 thing that women shouldn't fear  1) being unsure if they want children or not  and 2) feeling like you have to choose between a family and a career.

It's reassuring advice!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

New Book: Couldn't Wouldn't Didn't

One of the worries that clients coming to see me who are not sure if they want to have kids is fear of regretting the decision when they are older.  This Australian author interviewed women who didn't have children as she was worried about that very issue.

Actively choosing to have children..... or not

I was having coffee with a new friend this weekend.  I was explaining about the work I do, coaching women who are trying to decide whether to have children or not.

'That's so interesting... but I never thought it was actually an active decision.  I thought it was something that either just happened or didn't. But actually, it's a bigger decision than getting a new job or buying a car and we spend a great deal of time thinking over those decisions so why not the baby decision'

It's very common for people to be surprised that the decision to have children is a really active decision that many people do indeed struggle with.

One of the key reasons for this is that there is still a default assumption that people do want to have children and will eventually try for children- and that if they don't, it is because they can't because of fertility.

But the more and more, this assumption is being challenged - particularly by those who are struggling to make this crucial decision.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Judging Childfree Women

One of the fears that women who are trying to decide whether to have children or not is around the stigma and judgement that people who decide not to have children face.

Here a women who used to judge women who don't have kids talks about her prejudice and how she changed her views.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Postponing the decision to have children or not

An increasing number of women are postponing the decision to have children or not are having children till after the age of 35.  In this article, a number of older mothers discuss their decision later in life. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Women with more children are more productive at work

So this is interesting -a new study has found that women with more chikdren are more productive at work - challenging the stereotype that when a woman becomes a mother her committment to her work will suffer. 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

We broke up because he didn't want kids

Great advice here in this column to a woman who wrote in with this problem.

I often work with women who are going through a similiar situation to the woman writing here - usually at the point where they are considering leaving the relationship or have just left.  That is often the most difficult time and it is a time where coaching or talking to someone outside your immeditate situation can help.

It is heartbreaking but as the advice columnist says here, it can help to focus on your future - what are you moving towards? What are you embracing and saying yes to by leaving this relationship?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Difficult to combine motherhood & career in Japan

'In Japan just 34 per cent of mothers with children aged six or under work – compared with 55 per cent in Britain. Seventy per cent of women in Japan leave the workforce after having their first child. Many never return.
It is not hard to see why. Between work, cleaning, cooking and looking after the children, Sasaki sleeps for only three hours a night. She and her husband, a financier and traditional type who leaves the household chores to her, have lived in America and Hong Kong. She says that Japan is the hardest place of the three to be a working mother, but is adamant that she will not give up her job. “I want to do something for myself,” she insists.'
In Japan, the decision to have children is made even more difficult by the traditional role women have to take in the family.

Mother seeks advice about her daughter's decision to be a single mother by choice

A mother writes into an advice column concerned with her daughters decision to become a single mother by choice.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Risks of egg freezing

This article echoes many of my reservations about egg freezing

Happy with being childfree

It's still baffles me why choosing to be Childfree is controversial. This writer talks about why he is  happy with their choice in this article.

Becoming a single mom by choice

If you do decide you want children but your partner doesn't or you haven't met the right partner, one of the decisions you could be wrestling with is whether you want to become a single mother by choice.  The website Single Mothers by Choice  is a great resource for all those thinking about becoming a single mum by choice.

I often work with women who are just starting to consider this option.  It can be very difficult to contemplate it however because it often means giving up on the dream of having a child with a partner - this is particularly difficult if you have just finished a relationship with someone who doesn't want children.   It's important in the coaching to give space to mourning and acknowledging the sadness of letting go of this dream before moving on.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Can a woman be happy without having children?

Its a shame that this is even a question  in this day but this is a great positive article from a woman who is happy to be childfree!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Perspective from one of my coaching clients

'I had come to a point in my relationship where I was going to have to make a tough decision either way, and I wanted to make sure that firstly it was the right one (although I was sure it was), and secondly how to go about doing it in a calm and controlled manner.  Beth was completely unbiased, which I really appreciated as this isn't the case with my family, friends, and partner.  The coaching gave me tools to go through my decision making process, alongside anxiety-reducing techniques.

I needed the space that Beth provided to look at myself and my future, and how I was going to make it what I wanted with or without my partner.  It felt very selfish but the result has been for the benefit of both of us and I would absolutely recommend her services to anyone going through the life-changing decision of whether to have a child or not.'   ~ Sarah, health care worker, 33

(from a testimonial written by a client who recently completed coaching with me)


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Eight Years of TickTock Coaching - Anniversary Newsletter

It's hard to believe that it's been eight years since I started TickTock Coaching.   Eight years ago, I was very uncertain about whether it was possible for me to develop a viable coaching practice - particularly one with such a unique niche! But, after being featured in a few media pieces and through developing my Children or Not blog, clients who needed my services were able to find me. Thanks to all of you - clients, former clients and colleagues who have helped me make my coaching practice a success!

And now, what's new with me and TickTock Coaching:

Feature in the Times and Media Requests - I'm going to be featured in the Times newspaper in a few weeks, I'll be featured in a profile in the T2 supplement for my work coaching women (and occasionally men) trying to decide whether to have children or not.  I'll be sending round another email with a link to the article when it comes out.

I sometimes get asked if any former clients would speak to journalists - if you are happy to be interviewed by a journalist (often you can be anonymous in the articles) please get in touch as I am putting together a list of clients who are happy to be contacted about media requests.

Leadership Coaching & Training in Organisations - In addition to my life coaching work, I also coach people within organisations and I provide Leadership workshops. If you are interested in finding our more, please contact me or go to my website

Life Coaching - The mainstay of my life coaching work is coaching around the 'baby decision' but I often see former clients (or their friends who have been referred to me) who want coaching on other issues such as life/work balance or career so don't hesitate to get in touch.

Inspiring Video - As regular readers of my e-newsletter know, I always like to leave you with a poem or inspiring video.  This is a great video on relationships from Dan Savage! I love his notion that you need to identify a handful of non-negotiable's  in relationships and then, after that be prepared to compromise  You can view the short video here:


Monday, 20 October 2014

Excellent article on the problem behind the Apple and Facebook offer to pay for women to freeze their eggs.

Motherhood wasn't for me.

Great article in the Guardian Family Section this weekend from  woman talking about her decision not to have children in this article Motherhood Wasn't for Me


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Paying Women to Freeze their eggs - A Sticking Plaster over the issue of Inequality in the Workplace for Mothers

So this was just announced today that Apple and Facebook are going to pay women employees to freeze their eggs so they can have children later and not worry about being railroaded in their career track.  

I really feel this is problematic on so many levels.   Surely we as a society should be asking ourselves why is it more difficult for women to have a successful career once they have children than it is for men.

I also think it might give women a false sense of security - there are many factors leading to infertility and I just don't think the data is conclusive that freezing eggs leads to a massively increased fertility when you are over 40.

As a coach, I do think it would be more beneficial for these companies to pay for coaching to help women work out what they are wanting for themselves in terms of having children or not before paying for an expensive and invasive medical procedure.

But my main issue is that there are structural inequalities and discrimination faces by women and mothers needs to be addressed first.  This feels like an ineffective sticking paster on a much larger issue.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Can I persuade my boyfriend to have a child with me?

A common dilemma for many of my coaching clients - starting a new relationship this women in her early 30's is wondering if she can persuade her boyfriend to start a family.

Thinking of having a baby?

This article has some useful tips for couples who are thinking about starting a family.  Particularly useful are the 'red flags' listed towards the end.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Plantonic parenting arrangements get popular

 Research doesn’t yet exist on platonic parenting; it is too recent a phenomenon for that. Elaine Gordon, a clinical psychologist specializing in reproductive medicine in Los Angeles, says she looks at studies of other types of nontraditional families, such as same-sex couples and extended family members — aunts, uncles, grandparents — serving as primary caregivers. “I think if anything is done right, it’s probably going to be fine, but we don’t know what’s right yet,” she says. “There would have to be long-range research.”

In my book 'Baby or Not: Making the Biggest Decision of Your Life', I dedicate a whole chapter to the topic of co-parenting.   When you enter into a co-parenting arrangement, you are having a child with someone who you are not in a romantic or sexual relationship with.  It has been gaining in popularity as it is a way for people who do want children but don't have a partner to have support while raising a child.  I wanted to explore this in my book as I feel it a creative and interesting option that many people will not heard of or considered.

This article talks about about the development of coparenting websites in the US.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Are we too panicked about women's fertility?

Barbara Ellen on fertility panic & egg freezing in the Observer today.  I don't completely agree with everything she says in this article  but I do agree that egg freezing is such an unproven and expensive procedure that encouraging women to use it as an insurance policy is probably not very helpful. There is no guarantee that older women using frozen eggs will have a higher success of fertility and it would be even more devastating if women had counted on this as a definite option for the future.  I think prior to this support or coaching to help women work out their options and also to focus on the bigger picture - how they want to live their live, what their vision is of the future.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Is there a 'right' time to become a mother?

'Currently, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that the national average age for women’s first birth is 25, which can be higher on a state-by-state basis (in Massachusetts it’s 28). However, there’s no doubt that the numbers of women who wait are growing. In 2006 about one out of 12 first births were to women age 35 and over, compared to only one out of 100 in 1970. The American Fertility Association (AFA) uses an even higher number. It reports that 20% of American women now wait to have their first child until after age 35. ' from the Forbes Article When Should You Become A Mom?

One aspect in making the the decision to have children or not is whether there is a 'right' time to have children.   As the above quote shows, many more women are waiting to have their first child until after the age 35.  And, as expected, there is no consensus on when is the 'right' time to have children.

Sometimes, women who are feeling unsure of whether they want children or not feel pressured because they feel they need to have children before they are a particular age.  I do agree with this article that because it does become more difficult the older you are, it is good to try to make the decision earlier rather than later.  But I also know there are many options women can pursue if they do want children - including adoption and fostering.

Susan Sarandon - On being an older mother

'There were, she says, advantages to having a child at that point in her life.  She had sufficient resources to quite work for a while, and didn't feel guilty at leaving the Hollywood rat race.  "Because I was old - 39 when I had my first and 45 when I had my third - and my profession had been demystified.  I thought that being with my kids, at that time, was so much more interesting."  Susan Sarandon  in this article

I am finding that more and more women in their late 30's are considering the decision to become a mother (or not)  They are aware that if they do want to have children they need to make the decision fairly soon but sometimes can have fears and concerns about being a mother later than they expected. But as Sarandon points out, there are advantages to having children in your late thirties.  Often you are more established in your career, you have more life experience and as Sarandon points out in the article above, we are often searching for something 'bigger than ourselves' to give our lives meaning. And, as Sarandon says in the article, this does not have to be having children.  It could be volunteering, activism, political work.

Jennifer Ainston hits back

Why should women have to put up with speculation on the baby decision?  Jennifer Ainston has a great response. 

I want children but I don't want to sacrifice my own goals

A common tension women struggle with is how to pursue our goals and be a mother.  In this interview, an actress talks about the baby decision:

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Women deciding not to be mothers

'Today, there are many more choices - or more openness. To have a baby out of wedlock. To have a baby without a father. To have a baby and return to work. To have a baby and give up work. To have fertility treatment, and then a baby (or not).  But what about not becoming a mother at all? Studies in the UK, Europe and the United States show this is now the choice of significant numbers of women.
Once this was considered insane or unnatural. Even today, it is viewed with suspicion - women with no desire to procreate say they sometimes face awkward questions and disapproval.'  For more - go to the full story here

 A few years ago, I had the good fortune to appear on Women's Hour, a BBC Radio 4 talk show to discuss the issue of women deciding not to have children.    (to listen to this discussion, go to my website and find the link on the home page)

It was an important and fascinating discussion.  One of the arguments that another panelist used was that she believed that nurturing and caring values were very important and that the best way for this value to be lived was through mothering.  My counter-argument (and firm belief) is that those values can be lived in a wide range of ways - not simply through being a parent.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Why making the decision to have children or not really is tiring for our brain

'Why is making a determination so taxing? Evidence implicates two important components: commitment and tradeoff resolution. The first is predicated on the notion that committing to a given course requires switching from a state of deliberation to one of implementation. In other words, you have to make a transition from thinking about options to actually following through on a decision. ' - From the Article 'Tough Choices: How Making Decisions Tires Your Brain.

A common reason women (and sometimes men) approach me for coaching is that the often say they are feeling tired and exhausted by constantly exploring and considering the options in making the decision.

Making decisions has been proven to be a tiring process.  The article in Scientific American,  Tough Choices: How Making Decisions Tires Your Brain explores this and looks at what might be happening when we are struggling to make a decision

It appears that once we have committed to a decision, there is a sense of acceptance, and, as the article points out, we move from considering the options and the trade-offs to actually implementing the decision.

Another point the article make is that unrelated activities have an impact on our decision making process.  It is good to make decisions when we have more energy and are in a more energetic mind-set.  This chimes with the coaching approach I use where I am often using a number of different techniques to enable clients to have more energy when they are making the decision.

At the end of the coaching process, I find clients often express relief that they can move forward.  Even when the decision isn't ideal, there is a sense of acceptance of the trade-off that has to be made in making the decision and a feeling of purpose, of knowing which direction they are headed.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Coaching: A solution focussed approach to making the baby decision

One of the key differences between coaching and psychotherapy is that coaching is a solution focused approach.

So when a client approaches me for coaching around the baby decision, I use a series of techniques and exercises that help clients work through the problem that they are struggling with to find an answer.

A therapist might take an approach which is about helping the client get insight into their past and past problems which might be at the heart of their indecision.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Mother Question

This is one of the most powerful stories I've read from someone living in that gray area of 'The Mother Question' or as I call it the 'baby decision'

She describes the ambivalent feelings beautifully.  Her re telling of her experience of working as a child advocate or mentor was also extremely moving.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Monday, 22 September 2014

Coaching all over the world - helping women make the 'maybe baby' decision

Happy Monday!

It's a beautiful but slightly chilly autumn day here in the UK.

One of the things I really enjoy about coaching clients from all over the world via Skype is hearing about what the weather is like where my clients are based - although when I am coaching a client in sunny Australia and it's damp and cold here in the UK I can feel slightly envious

What does a typical coaching day look like for me?  I often wake up to coach a client from Australia or New Zealand first thing in the morning my time (evening their time), a client in Europe last morning,  a client on the East Coast of the USA (NYC)  in the early afternoon my time (morning their time) and then a client on the West Coast of the USA (California) in the early evening.   On one day a week, I see face-to-face coaching clients at my practice room in the City of London, near Bank.

 It's a great privilege to be able to coach women all over the world on this important decision - and I like knowing that no matter where someone is, if they are struggling with the decision, I can work with them through Skype.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Why you need to discuss whether you are having a child or not with your partner before getting married

Good article on the 5 key financial decisions you need to make before getting married - great point that you need to discuss whether you are going to have children is not.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Why coaching helps if you are struggling with the 'baby decision'

Why is coaching helpful for women who are struggling with the decision to have children or not?  Here's the perspective of one client on how coaching helped her.

'I came to this coaching practice in an utter panic, pushed this way and that on whether to start a family by relatives, friends and my husband, all of whom had definite (and different) opinions on what I ought to be doing. The decision to start a family is extremely personal, yet even strangers seem to have perspectives on it, and it's easy to feel badgered and bullied even by well-meaning people. Beth helped me separate my own feelings from those of the people around me and to assess clearly what I wanted. I found the experience very calming. I would recommend that any women ambivalent about whether to start a family go through Beth's process - particularly if she feels she has no disinterested party to turn to.' ~ Virgina, 38, Writer

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Would anyone have a baby with me?

This was a very interesting request I saw recently - a woman whose partner doesn't want children has asked if anyone would co-parent a child with her.  This is an option I discuss in my book 'Baby or Not?' in a chapter dedicated to exploring the concept of co-parenting where you decide to have a child with someone who is not your sexual partner - a male friend or, as in this instance, a stranger.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A woman wrote into the Globe and Mail asking about advice on a problem I see quite abit in my coaching practice.  I want a baby but my husband doesn't


Friday, 5 September 2014

As I've said many times before, it is unfair that women are too often defined by their choice whether to have children or not which this article aptly points out. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The pain of wanting to have a child when your partner doesn't

Very often, I am contacted by women who do want children but their partners or boyfriend or husband doesn't.  This is a very difficult and painful situation to be in as this posting on a discussion board from a woman in that situation shows.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Should I have a baby? Do I want to be a mother?

Here's a short piece from a woman who suddenly re-considered her decision to become a mother - asking herself the question 'Should I have a baby?'

No Baby Boom

More and more people are deciding not to have children.   This article the No-Baby Boom explores the trend.

Monday, 1 September 2014

I just saw this fantastic video from Dan Savage on compromise and long term relationships that I wanted to share.  It's called The Price of Admission

Although it's not directly on the baby decision, I've posted it here because a key issue for clients of mine who do want a baby but their partners don't is whether the 'baby decision' is a non-negotiable OR area of compromise. 

In the video above, Dan Savage is encouraging us to get clear about non-negotiables vs the usual irritations. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

What do parents wish they knew before becoming parents?

So today, I found this nice article - aimed more at people who have decided to have children but I thought this this in 10 things I wished I had known before becoming a parent is pretty good for those trying to make the decision as well.  And I do agree with much of the list - particularly point number two!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Jennifer Ainston: Questions about children are not fair

Jennifer Ainston recently gave an interview where she spoke out against the constant speculation on whether she was going to have children or not.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Your greatest achievement

Sometimes parents say that having children is the greatest achievement of their lives. For this woman, not having kids was her greatest achievement.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Interesting discussion in the decision whether to have kids or not here - in some cultures and communities the idea of having a choice is not even considered.,1359154,1359154

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Egg Freezing Parties

Well, this is something new to me..... I went to an egg freezing party

So egg freezing has been around for a while and it seems to have become more popular of late. As the article notes, a wide range of women are interested in exploring this option:

'The Eggbanxx event was not filled with women waiting around to be inseminated, but women who had serious questions about the opportunity costs and rate of return on a potential investment. The tone was less "I can't find a husband," and closer to, "I can't be bothered to look for one."
Or maybe you do have a husband. Or you don't have one anymore. Or you don't want one. Or you have a wife. It's not just single women who are exploring egg freezing. Gay and straight couples are also utilizing the technology. Several attendees at Eggbanxx already had children, but were investigating the option of freezing embryos -- an egg fertilized by sperm outside the body -- to relieve the urgency of having more kids right away.'

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Respecting each other

This article is SPOT on!  Can't Parents and Non-Parents Just Get Along?

We need to respect the different (and equally valid choices) that people make around deciding whether to be a parent or not.   

When to say 'I do not want to have kids' to people I am dating?

In this advice column, I don't want to have kids a man asks for advice when he should tell women he is dating that he does not want to be a parent

I would STRONGLY advise to anyone in this situation that the topic really needs to be bought up as soon as possible - it is better to let women who do want children know this from the outset - it will save many a painful and difficult conversation later.

I see a number of clients who do want children but find themselves in relationships with people who don't.    Sometimes the childfree partners have been clear all along.  Sometimes they haven't realised they didn't want children when they started the relationship - this is understandable as many of us aren't totally clear what we may want in the future.

But if you are clear and do know you don't want to have children, have the conversation early on with your partner. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

How to make a decision

Great advice here on 'How to Make a Decision'.

I agree with much of what this article recommends.  I'd add however that sometimes it's difficult to do some of the points - particularly to have confidence and believe in yourself AND to approach the decision in a positive frame of mind.

That's where coaching comes in - much of what I do as a coach is about helping clients find ways to  shift their mindset from a negative or stuck place, to a mindset which is a more positive place to explore the decision.

I also help clients become more confident in themselves and believe they have the answer within them. 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Monday, 4 August 2014

I was recently asked my opinion ion whether there is a best time to have children in ones life - it's for an article in Cosmo UK that should be out in a few months.  But I recently came across this article that is very pro having children when you are in your 20's which is not often an argument I hear.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Intuition and the decision to have children or not

It's often downplayed but intuition plays a strong role in most major decisions.  I recently went to a coaching conference where the hey speaker was a neuroscientist spoke about the role that intuition plays in executive decision making and how top leaders report using gut instinct to make many decisions. 

When I work with clients who are trying to make the baby decision to use a number of exercises to help clients connect to their intuition or gut instinct which many of us have become disconnected from.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Having a sterilisation

Some women who are very sure that they do not want children take the decision to have an operation commonly
known as having your tubes tied.  One woman talks about her decision:

Monday, 21 July 2014

A reluctant dad speaks

In my experience, many partners who are initially reluctant to have children but agree to will eventually come round to the idea of being a parent.  However, this is not always the case as this short case study from a father who entered into parenthood reluctant.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

I want kids but my husband doesn't

A difficult dilemma faced by many clients approaching me for coaching.

Don't rush to make a decision on being a parent

Lovely little piece of advice to a reader to this advice column with a question on the baby decision. I would have liked to see  the advice columnist focus more on  helping the writer explore the potential and possibilities of a fullfilling childfree life.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Carmeron Diaz talks about her decision

Carmeron Diaz talks openly about her decision not to have children.

Sigh. If only it was that easy!

If only making the decision to have children or not was a simple as taking this quiz.....

And if it really was that simple, there would be no need for my services, helping people make what is usually the biggest decision of their lives!

It's funny - sometimes clients say that they feel embarrassed that they need to enlist the help of a coach to help them make this decision.  Yet in most other areas of our lives, we are more than happy to call upon the support of a professional.  Who would buy a house without speaking to a mortgage broker or estate agent?  Would you sign up for a college course without speaking to an advisor at the university or college first?  And yet, for this major big life changing decision, we somehow think we should do it on our own - that we should be embarrassed to ask for help!

Monday, 23 June 2014

How having a baby simplifies your life

A very amusing article ..... 

Deciding to be a single mother by choice

An excellent resource for single women trying to decide whether to have children or not is the website Single Mothers by Choice.  This post talks about making the decision to be a single mother by choice.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Reflections on the Popes recent comments

A reflection on recent comments by the Pope by a Childfree blogger. I was recently interviewed on the radio about this and was very interested to read the perspective of this blogger.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Pope comments on childfree couples

Today I appeared on BBC Radio Tees to discuss the recent comments made by the pope that couples that choose to be childfree were not living fulfilled lives - I obviously disagreed with that perspective ! Have a listen here at about 54:36

Monday, 2 June 2014

Kirstie Allsopp gives advice to young women to have children in their 20's

Television presenter Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the baby decision debate by telling young women to put having a baby ahead of their career.  I understand her reasoning.  It is true that fertility drops sharper after 35 and many women who have started to explore having children after 35 are often shocked when there are difficulties due to age.  Saying that if she had a daughter, Allsopp  says that she would advice her not to go to university but to work, buy a flat, get a boyfriend and have a baby.

While I think the discussion on when to have children is important (and very important for women in their late 20's when they are talking about the future with potential partners), I don't think that having children before continuing with education and career is necessary!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Annoying things people say to childfree women

I might have posted a link to this before but someone sent it to me yesterday and I think its worth a repist! It's very frustrating for women trying to make the decision to have to deal with thoughtless comments on what is a very personal decision. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Friday, 2 May 2014

I want a child but my partner doesn't

A common dilemma I see a lot as a 'Maybe Baby' Coach is when one partner wants a child and the other doesn't.  This was a question one woman had on the Net mums blog - the twist is that she already has 4 children from a previous relationship.  The issues are similar for women who don't have any children however which is why I am making a link to the discussion threat Partner doesn't want a child but I do

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Women having children later in life

The average age that women have their first child is increasing. This article talks about this and how women are making a conscious choice to delay motherhood.  

Monday, 28 April 2014

Just one conversation to decide not to have children?

New research carried out by Middlesex University shows that 1 in 3 couples who decide not to have children have just one conversation about it!  This is not surprising as if both individuals are in agreement, not much discussion needs to be had.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

How coaching can help

I recently received this testimonial from a client who had coaching with me for just over 9 months.

'I originally went to see Beth to help me decide whether to start a family. As our sessions progressed it became clear that my life was seriously out of balance and was over dominated by work. Beth helped to guide me through some decisions which though difficult, have ultimately helped me to re balance my lifestyle and to improve my health. I would recommend Beth's service without hesitation to others looking for help.' - Cora, 37, England

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Practicing loving kindness and compassion to ourselves

One of my clients sent me a link to this blog post called 'The Awesome side effects of practicing self love'  It discusses importance of practicing loving kindness and compassion to ourselves.  She found it very resonate and moving.  This is such an important thing for all of us to be able to do - but it is particularly important when you are under alot of stress and pressure - which is the experience of many of my coaching clients.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Leadership Embodiment Fundamentals workshop London , UK

In addition to my life coaching work,  I also run Leadership Embodiment workshops in London, England. This is an approach which can help you deal with stress, develop your confidence and find ways to recover to your centre. My next workshop is running on June 6th (day one) and July 4th (day two) - for more info and to book go here:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

When the holidays are difficult

If you are struggling with the decision to  have children or be childfree, holidays such as Easter which tend to be focused on children and families can be difficult.  Clients report that they can feel marginalized at family occasions if they don't have children and for those people who do want children but feel that their circumstance prevents this, it can be painful to have people at family occasions ask when they will have children.   I work with clients to find ways to deal with these situations - usually through finding ways to 'recover to our centre'.  This can be done by simple breath work and through imagining that there is a little more emotional distance between us and whatever is triggering us to feel badly.  If you are going to be at a big family gathering this weekend, take a moment and imagine that you are surrounded by a bubble of energy.  Anytime some distant relative asks an intrusive personal comment, imagine their words are landing in the bubble - not in you!   And make sure you arrange some time over the weekend to do something you enjoy - that creates space for you to look after and nuture you!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Exploring adoption

I recently worked with a client who said that, while she had never had a strong desire to have a baby, she did often think that she would love to have older or grown up children around her when she is older.  One of the options we explored was adoption and fostering.  You can adopt and foster as an older person - indeed you can adopt over 50 as long as there is no more than 10 years between you and the child you adopt.  In the Uk, there is a moving TV programme about adoption.  It is definitely an option well worth considering.  For my client, knowing that this could be possible in 10 years time, made her current situation (where having a child would be difficult due to circumstances)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

It's not often that the shadow side of motherhood gets talked about but many women who do decide to have children find the early years tiring and tedious. This article talks about the reality of parenting a young baby.  In my coaching work, I think it's invaluable to look at all aspects of motherhood - the negative side included.

Monday, 31 March 2014

More women over 50 having babies than ever before

This was just published today showing that the number of babies born to women over 50 has doubled in the last four years.  As fertility treatments become more effective, older women are able to have children later in life as they delay the decision to have children for many reasons.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Does choice make us happy?

One of the things I have said over the years that one of the un-intended consequences of having so many more options in our lives - and of being able to make a viable choice to be Childfree is that it ironically makes the decision to have children or not much harder than for the women who came before us.  I would hate to return to pre- feminist days but we have to deal with how we make this choice in the complex world we live in today.  Here is an interesting talk and look at the problematic nature of choice in the modern world. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Advice to a woman who wants a baby but her boyfriend doesn't

I found this advice column today on the above issue.  I do disagree with most of the advice given - although I do agree it's important to ask your partner about his worries and concerns.  I think that at 29 and having lived together for three years, it's perfectly reasonable to say to a partner that you would like to start trying for a child.  However, it is true that turning the issue into a conflict can push the person who is unsure about wanting children away.  A better approach, in my opinion having working with women in this very situation would be to suggest a break from the discussion and a return to contraception for a set period - say 6 months.   But then say that at the end of this period, a frank discussion about the future of the relationship and having children will need to be had.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Savvy Auntie

I love this website! Called Savvy Auntie, it's for women who are happy being childfree but who do like having a connection with children. I mentioned them in my book 'Baby or Not?'  Great idea! 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Childless by Marriage

Just wanted to mention a great blog called Childless by Marriage - it is specifically for people whose partners are unable to have children or who do not want children.  Sue, who writes the blog has also written an ebook - available on Amazon.  I've been aware of Sue's work for a while and I think it's so important.  As I've mentioned before, I see a number of clients in this situation and it is a very difficult place to be.  The more people like Sue are writing and talking about his issue the better as it can make people in the situation feel very along.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Interviews with childfree men

Here's an interesting blog post where six men who have decided to be childfree are interviewed.  Men who decide to be childfree  are less discussed then women so I think it's very interesting to hear their perspective for a change.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Nothing can help you make the decision whether to have children ornot??!!!

I'm sure it's no surprise to hear that I really disagree with the title of this article.  Having helped many (over 150) women make this decision through coaching and having heard that my book is helping others make the decision, I would (of couse!) say that coaching can help you make the decision whether to have kids or not!

However, the main point that they make I am certaintly in agreement with - this is NOT a decision about what will make you happier or not! As the research they quite points out, people are making the decision based on a range of factors including overall life satisfaction.  When I'm coaching women (and sometimes men) we look at a range of issues.

I was also pleased that researchers confirmed a key message I always tell my clients that I believe it is making the choice a deliberate one - and that has been backed up my emails I've received from women who both choose to have children and those that didn't - that because they took the time in coaching to examine their fears,!their visions for the future and other key issues, they felt able to move forward from a place of uncertainty,  

Here is the link to the article:

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A pattern I've noticed  is that a signification proportion of  partners who are reluctant to have children with women who do want children appear to display narcissistic  characteristics or signs they have avoidant attachment style.  I want to stress here however that many,many men and women who decide to be childfree have valid reasons and are often clear and fair and adult in explaining this to potential partners and current partners.  As I have said many times, it's a perfectly good and valid choice to make

However, I have noticed that  when a good percentage of the women clients who do want children talk about their relationship and their partners, certain themes emerge again and again.  The biggest theme is that in addition to not wanting children, the partner doesn't often compromise in the relationship or is reluctant to show signs they are willing to commit long term to a relationship.  I am planning on doing some research around this for an updated version of my book.  In the meantime, here is a link outlining some of the basic characteristics of narcissism.   I also highly recommend the book 'Attached' by Amir Levine which discusses adult attachment styles.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

New comic video - Try not having kids

This amusing video Try not having kids with a serious message about reviewing and thinking about your life choices has been released by a comic group in the States.  Watch it and let me know what you think!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Are You Ready For a Baby?

I'm so excited to be featured in this article Are You Ready For a Baby? which is in this weeks issue of the Stylist magazine.

Glad to see one of the other experts featured concurred with my viewpoint!!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Cheryl Crow on the decision to adopt as a single parent

I was listening to BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour today and heard Cheryl Crow talk about her decision to adopt two children as a single mom.  So I decided to have a look on the Internet to see if I could find anything with Cheryl talking about this decision.  In this interview with Cheryl Crow on adoption she says something I really agree with

'What advice would you give to moms who want to adopt as a single parent?
The only advice I have is that there will never seem like a great time to do it — just like when you're married, it never seems like the perfect time to have a baby. So you dive in and make your life work.'


Monday, 3 February 2014

Is the choice to be childfree harmful?

Interesting article that appeared in Newsweek last year with the title Why the Choice to be Childfree is Hurting America  - I don't agree with all the conclusions of the author but an interesting argument nevertheless!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Testimonial from coaching client

Here is another testimonial from a client I finished coaching with yesterday.  I love helping people articulate and work through what is one of the most difficult decisions to make.

'Even after the first introductory call with Beth I knew she was going to be the right coach for me.  As Beth is an expert coach regarding the ‘baby decision’ she immediately spotted one of the key issues within my relationship and was able to verbalise it in a way that I had never considered before.  With Beth’s help, I have come through one the toughest stages of my life yet with the knowledge that every possibility was carefully considered, and that I have come out at the other side confident in the all of decisions that have been made along the way.'  Vee, 36, United Kingdom

Friday, 31 January 2014

When friends are having babies

When you are struggling with the decision of whether to have children or not, it can be difficult when a friend is pregnant.  In this advice column, a woman asks why her friend seems indifferent to her pregnancy. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Warning for women

A warning that women might end up being childless not by choice if they postpone having children for too long was made earlier this week.  The difficulty is that in the experience of many of my coaching clients, they are often facing difficult external circumstances including either lack of a partner or being with a partner who is reluctant to have children.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Having children or not should not define or divide us as women

The wonderful feminist writer Suzanne Moore wrote this fantastic piece today -

I can't really add anything else to it but to say that I'm so in agreement with her main point that it isn't whether we have children or not that means we can lead a full and fulfilling life!

Monday, 13 January 2014

New research - Couples without children are happier

Today I was asked to go on BBC 5 Live news programme to comment on this story which focusses on research that says that couples that do not have children are happier than those that do.  I always get abit nervy before doing a media interview and never manage to get ALL my key points in response to this story Happier Relationships for Couples without Children
  • The research challenges the old myth that relationships (and individuals) are not complete unless they have children.  My belief is that there are many, many ways to have fulfillment and a sense of purpose in life. 
  • If you do want children, these findings shouldn't put you off.  But you can use what they discovered to ensure that you and your partner DO create time and space for yourselves as a couple.
  • The gender difference is very interesting.  In the research, they found that women who were mothers reported being happier than women who did not have children.  However, in that study a number of the women who would have been interviewed would have been childless NOT by choice.  There would have been a significant numbers of women who did want children but who couldn't have them due to infertility or because they wanted a child but their partner didn't.  This points to the importance of something that I work with clients who initially did want children but finding that it isn't going to happen or isn't going to happen in the way they ideally wanted. - finding ways to make the choice a positive one EVEN if it isn't their ideal choice.
  • I also think the fact that women who don't have children are less happy could be done to the fact that women who don't have children are more harshly judged than men who don't have children.  Clients coming to me still report that they often face criticism or judgment when they mention that they might not want to have children.  Men are not so defined by their status or not as a father.

So, those are my key points on this very interesting piece of research!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Few college age students consider children as part of their future.

An interesting report on the New York Times Motherlode Blog - a researcher has discovered that college graduates today are much less likely to plan to have children.  'The percentage of students planning to have children dropped from 78 percent to 42 percent in just 20 years.'  For more information, check out this article

Monday, 6 January 2014

Testimonial from a coaching client

I just started my New Year coaching with a completion session with a client - after coaching with my for about 6 months, she felt that she was ready to complete the coaching.   At the end of the coaching, I like to carry out a completion session with clients where they can say what they are pleased with, what they felt they shifted or changed and also, feedback on what didn't work so well or what they would have liked more of in the coaching.  This helps me to reflect on my coaching and check that  people are getting value from the coaching.  And then, if clients want, I invite them to write a short testimonial about the coaching.  This is what my client I talked to today wrote.

'What I really enjoyed was having someone listen to my mental wandering, unbiased, without judgement, giving me the reassurance I needed.  Guided meditation helped unlock some hidden feelings.  It helped me realise that the answer was there all along – I just needed to listen and trust myself.'

- Cathy

Saturday, 4 January 2014

A frank look at single motherhood

Anything less than positive views of parenthood are rare. That's why this article from a single parent is so interesting as a frank and less than perfect view of motherhood.  

How many people decide to have children?

One question I get asked alot - often by prospective parents - is how many oft clients go on to have children and how many decide to remain child-free.  I don't keep statistics on this but I reckon that slightly more of my clients, around 60% do decide to try to have children and around 40% decide to be childfree. 

However, some  of my clients go through the coaching and find the gain greater understanding of what is driving their decision and gain greater understanding of themselves but decide they can delay the decision as they don't feel ready to fully let go of one option.  I recently had an ail from a client like this who I had seen a few years ago and she said that she had in the end decided to be childfree and the coaching had helped her be confident in that choice.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Wishes!

It's 2014 and I'd like to thank everyone who has come to this blog. I often get contacted by individuals who have found the blog useful, some who want coaching and some who just want to let me know how the blog has helped them. THANK YOU ALL! I'm hoping for everyone out there who is struggling on making the decision to have children or not finds this year an answer to their questions. Some will find it on their own or with their partner, some will find it through working through my book 'Baby or Not?' and some will find it through having coaching with me or through working with another professional. What is important and what puts everyone out there a step ahead of other people is that you know that you need to resolve this question - you aren't looking to put it aside and hope for the best. You are doing everything you can to work through the issue and move forward in your life. That is something to celebrate!