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, 13 July 2018

Having a Baby on Your Own: An Excellent Choice

Being single is one of the main reasons women have children on their own.  Sometimes, as I explored in my last blog post, it is because you just haven't met your 'one and only'.  Often, clients come to me who have been (or who are) in relationships with men who don't want children.  It can be a painful process deciding to have a child on your own.  For many of my clients, there is a period of necessary mourning that people need to go through.   If you've always had a dream of having a child in a relationship, it can be painful to consider having a child on your own.   But more and more women are choosing to have a child on their own as a single parent.  And for many women, this is a positive choice.

Today, I'd like to look at an article written by Emma Brockes called 'Going it alone: Why I chose Single Motherhood' This is an extract from her recent book:  An Excellent Choice

It's a fascinating story which I think illustrates many of the dilemmas for women who are thinking of having children.  Her story holds both universal truths that will resonate for many women with the unique and specific situation she found herself in.

Unlike many women in this situation, Emma did have a partner, a woman who had decided to have a child on her own.  Says Emma:

'She was three years older than me and told me from the outset that, in the near future, she was planning on trying to get pregnant. Logistically, this made sense; it would be madness to forestall while we flapped about for another two years trying to decide what we were doing. Emotionally, however, it stumped me. According to every relationship model I knew, you could either be with someone who’d had kids before you met, have kids together and separate down the line, or split up and have a baby alone. There was no such thing as being with someone who had a baby on her own. It sounded like a terrible deal: all the stress and anxiety without the substance of motherhood.'

Her partner went ahead and had a baby.  And Emma, was still in a relationship with her and, of course, was close to her child... but was not in the role of mother.  As she explains in the article, 

'I also didn’t want to “help” another woman raise her baby. Unless I was Mother Teresa (I’m not), the only way it would make sense for me to stick around in the event of L having a child was if our relationship became a more conventional union, or if I had my own baby independently, too.'

Emma describes the long and difficult process of IVF which in the end is a success and she has twin girls. Her partner has a son and ultimately, they start to look at a solution to how they can maintain their independent family lives but support each other and their children.  I love the solution that they come to at the end of the article!




Wednesday, 4 July 2018

What if you haven't met your one and only?

Some of my clients come to see me for coaching because they would really like children but they are not in a relationship.  For these clients, the dilemma is whether they want to have children on their own, as a single parent.

Despite the belief in our society that 'there is someone for everyone', many people have not found their 'one and only'.  This article recently published in the Washington Post called Some People Never Find Their One and Only  explored this topic which is not often looked at.

'Just 51 percent of the adult population is married, down from 72 percent in 1960. So we talk about swinging, “Sex and the City” singles and extended adolescences. We talk about the delay of marriage or the rise of cohabitation and single motherhood. Depending on our perspective, we cheer the broadening definitions of family or bemoan the breakdown of the nuclear unit.

But the cousin or neighbour or co-worker who always seems to be on his or her own? We don’t give them much thought.

It’s easier not to. Perhaps as much as religion, our society hinges on belief in romantic love. How many songs and novels revolve around the long search and eventual discovery of a beloved? The phrase “happily ever after” implies a singular outcome: two lives made ever better by virtue of their union.'

As the article explores, although many of the people interviewed, would have ideally wanted a partner, many find their lives enjoyable - not the usual stereotype of the lonely 'old maid'.

For single people I coach who are looking at whether they do want to have children on their own, it can be important for us to do some work on 'letting go' or mourning of the dream of having a child in a relationship.   This isn't to say the client will never have a relationship! But if someone wants to move forward and have a child as a single parent,  one thing that can hold people back is holding on to the anger and grief on 'how things should be'.

Journalist Emma Brockes has recently written a book about her decision to have a child on her own.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/23/going-it-alone-why-chose-single-motherhood and in my next blog post, I'm going to look at her story and explore how choosing single motherhood can work for many women.