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, 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.