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, 11 March 2018

Not Being a Mother On Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in the UK - a time to celebrate mothers and acknowledge the impact in our lives.   But, for many women, Mother's Day can feel painful and exclusionary - particularly if

  • you are trying to decide whether to become a mother, 
  • you're trying to get pregnant but haven't had any luck, 
  • you do want a child but you can't because you're partner said no, 
  • you have simply decided that you don't want children, 

So how can you be on this Mother's Day if you are finding it difficult?

The blogger 'That Girl' wrote an article called  Mother's Day When You Are Not A Mom  had some good practical suggestions and some amusing suggestions of activities you can do on Mother's Day.

Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women (for women who are childless not by choice) wrote this powerful piece for Red Magazine What Mother's Day Feels Like When You are Childless    In it, she talks about the importance of owning and accepting the range of feelings you might be feeling today - the full range from sadness to anger to bitterness. 

Anger has vital work to do, if only we’d let it. I think bitterness probably has a lot more to do with not allowing ourselves to take the actions and have the conversations (both individually and culturally) that anger wants and needs us childless women to be having!  Silencing ourselves for fear of sounding bitter is much more likely to make us bitter. We need to understand that anger is an entirely valid emotional response to the unfairness we’re forced to make our peace with.  -  Jody Day

In many Christian traditions,  Mothering Sunday is often seen as an opportunity to celebrate anyone who has taken a mothering role in some aspect of life.  This might be a teacher, a minister, a favourite aunt, a volunteer and so on.  This article echoes that view http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2017/05/12/mothers-day-marjorie-s-rosenthal

So on this Mother's Day, remember to take time to just acknowledge and be with your anger.. but then, perhaps there is a way you can celebrate your 'inner mother' - the part of you that is nurturing and caring.... whether you have children or not.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

10 Lessons Series: Number 1 - Fear of Regret Keeps Us Stuck

I'm kicking off my series of '10 Lessons from 10 Year of Maybe Baby Coaching' with my first lesson:

Fear of Regret Keeps Us Stuck

Most of my clients come to see me because of their fear of experiencing regret in the future  Many, many times I've heard in my first session the anxious question 'What if, no matter what decision I make, I regret it?'   Their anxious mind goes round and round in circles - working through different scenarios.   The very fear about regret seems to bring about a catastrophising tendency in many of my clients.   It can seems safer to our fearful and anxious minds to not move forward and make a decision - particularly when any decision may lead to disaster. 

As one client said to me 'If I walk through one door, then I'm shutting the other door.  And all I can imagine is feeling regret, and never being able to change it.'  When we look at the baby decision from this perspective, it seems an impossible one. What I have noticed that even though have not yet made a decision that will cause them regret, in thinking and worrying about regret, they often seem to recreate the mindset people get into when they experience regret. This article in Psychology Today, 'The Psychology of Regret'  describes this 'regret mindset'.

'Regret can have damaging effects on mind and body when it turns into fruitless rumination and self-blame that keeps people from re-engaging with life. This pattern of repetitive, negative, self-focused ruminative thinking is characteristic of depression and may be a cause of this mental health problem as well. Other research, reported in the AARP Newsletter, shows regret can result in chronic stress, negatively affecting hormonal and immune system functioning. Regret impedes the ability to recover from stressful life events by extending their emotional reach for months, years, or lifetimes.'

It's crucial that in order to make the baby decision that you break out of this negative, fear based mindset.   There are two very simple steps to help you get into a better mindset to move forward.

1. Interrupt your repetitive and anxious 'what if' thinking .  This can be hard because once you are in the grip of anxious thinking in can be hard to pull yourself out of it.  As soon as you notice yourself doing this, find a short sentence you can say to stop the thinking.  Even 'I'm not paying attention - I'm putting these thoughts in the bin!'.  OR change your environment.  Go for a walk.  You can also use a simple mindfulness technique of simply noticing everything you are feeling and noticing about where you are right now, starting each sentence in your head with the words 'And now I am noticing.... the sounds of the cars, the colour of the sky, etc'

2. Once you've interrupted the thoughts, I invite you to spend some time connecting with TRUST.  This is your sense of trust - trust in yourself to make the right decision for the future, trust that things will work out even if you don't know exactly how yet.  You can connect with trust by shutting your eyes and imagining that you can go inside yourself and see where trust lives in you - you can imagine what trust looks like or feels like inside of you.  You can also discover trust by simply asking yourself the question 'What would it be like if I could have a little bit more trust in my body or my being right not.'

When we have abit more trust in ourselves and in the world, we become less fearful and worried about the future.  We are more likely to believe in ourselves, believe that we are resilient and able to deal with life's challenges.