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.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Step-parenting and the baby decision

The step-parent can be a difficult role in a family.  I've worked with clients who have come to me because they have felt unsettled and unsupported in their role as the stepmother .  This is particularly true as  'wicked step-mom' is a negative stereotype that is still ever present in fairy tales, stories and movies.   For many of my clients who are stepmothers, the additional stress is that they often would like to have children with their partners but, their partners aren't keen because they are parents already. (I also wrote about this issue a year ago in a post Being a Step-parent - Without Having Kids of Your Own)

Some of the issues faced my my clients in this situation are:

- Feeling that they are 'on the edge' of family life.
- Not knowing what their role in the family is.
- Witnessing her partner in a good relationship with his children which can spark resentment about         wanting a child with him as well.
- Having to cope with hostility from his ex-partner

One of the things that can help a great deal is to look at what you are bringing and contributing to the family right now.... even if you are feeling under appreciated at the moment.   Another important thing to do is to talk to your partner to look what your shared vision is for your relationship - as a couple together and how to create that.  And, if a child is an important part of your vision of your relationship together you, be clear, upfront and positive with him about how a child could fit into your family life.    Try see if you can discover what his fears are and how you could both address those fears together.   (note: I'll be writing another blog post soon on the thorny issue of what to do if you want a child but your partner doesn't. which will address more of these issues)

I recently read this very moving and personal account in this article The Day my Step-son said I Love You from a stepmother who charters the complicated life of her relationship with her teenage stepson which I've linked to below.  It show how loving and mothering can exist in this sometimes difficult and always complicated relationship.

'Already wholeheartedly in love with the boy’s dad by then, and knowing how close they were, I wanted to build something special with him too. And, I wanted his approval. I wanted to be part of their existing family.

But, relationships aren’t made; they are nurtured. A seed is planted in fertile soil, dirt with: compost, clay, worms, oxygen, nitrogen, grass clippings, bugs, things I can’t name, things I don’t understand, things I may not even like. Without it, there is no growth, there are no flavors to smell and savor.'

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Is the gap between mothers & childfree friends so wide?


Mind the gap.... between parents and non parents!  Everywhere we are told that these two groups of people are oceans apart with much mis-understanding and prejudice on both sides of the gap. It's true that  tensions between parents and non-parents do exist.  These often show up in the workplace.  This article in the conservative Telegraph newspaper Women Without Children Work Harder in the Office points to some of these tensions.

'A major new survey has found that four in 10 working women without children believe that they work harder than their female colleagues who are mums. In a further sign of the two-tier workplace, forty-two per cent of British women polled who aren’t parents, are also angry that their mum colleagues’ holiday requests take priority. This tension, usually a taboo topic in the office, reflects the ongoing row in Westminster about whether to give all employees the right to request flexible working.'

I've had some clients talking about the sadness they feel when they become the only one of their friendship circle not to have children.   'I sometimes get left out of things that they all do with children, like picnics or trips to the playground, although I always get invited to birthday parties.  It's hard though to do without a child and other moms... who I don't know ask which child is mine.'  And for those women are contemplating motherhood, there is often the fear that they will loose their identity and old friendships completely... they will be just 'somebody's mother' and be stuck in an endless circle of mother and baby groups.

But is the divide between mothers and those who are child free so wide in reality? Can we find and meet in common ground?

That's the question that this article Choosing to have children, choosing not to seeks to address.   It's a very personal look at how two friends - one with children and one without live their lives.  It's also a positive affirmation of the way that women in different circumstances can support each other and their life choices.  In this excerpt, the two women go dancing and the different ways their morning will unfold are described.

'At 2:00 am we left the dancing behind .....We went our separate ways, back to different houses and very different lives. I would be woken in the morning, too early, by the scurrying of feet and the tips of my daughter’s hair on my face. She would be stirred by an alarm clock, perhaps, or by the rhythms of her own body. My day would unfold, for the most part, according to the needs of people other than myself, with all of the beauty that entails. She would rise to a day of her own choosing, with all of the beauty that entails. And we would both be happy.'