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:firstname.lastname@example.org and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit http://www.ticktockcoaching.co.uk/ for more information about my coaching services.
Monday, 24 September 2018
Sometimes we need to let go of a dream - What I've learnt in 10 years of Maybe Baby coaching (Lesson 4)
Sometimes it's the dreams we've held for a long time that are actually holding us back, keeping us stuck. I realized this early on when I was coaching a client who said that all her life she had dreamed of having children within a wonderful relationship. For various reasons, she wasn't in a relationship and now, in her late 30's she was feeling despondent and felt like a failure. She couldn't even contemplate her options which included having children on her own because they didn't fit in with her dream.
As we worked together, we explored ways she could let go of the dream. It wasn't her fault, it wasn't that she was 'wrong' or flawed. Life just hadn't worked out as she expected. In order to move forward, she needed to let go of this dream.
The first stage of letting go involves mourning. It's important to acknowledge the range of emotions that go alongside the death of a dream. Sometimes this is about expressing anger at the sheer unfairness of life, sometimes it's about sadness.
But then there is the release. If you imagined your dream was sailing away from you - like a sailboat - what are your releasing? What are you allowing yourself to embrace? What possibilities are now open to you?
For clients who go through this process there is a sense of release and acceptance. This can allow people to go on and explore other options. Perhaps it's having a child on their own as a single parent or perhaps it's a child-free life? Possibilities such as fostering don't seem like poor shadows of the dream anymore but rich and exciting options. When we let go of a dream that is causing us stuckness and pain, we open up to new energy and new possibilities.
Friday, 14 September 2018
Our saboteur makes us doubt ourselves - What I've learnt in 10 Year of Maybe Baby Coaching (Lesson 3)
We all have one. A saboteur, lurking in the shadows.
When I first introduce the idea of the saboteur, I explain to clients that the saboteur is that part of them that is sabotaging themselves in some way. Perhaps through negative thinking or perspectives. Or maybe the saboteur appears in a pattern of behaviour. For example, I sometimes work with baby decision clients who have a Perfectionist Sabateur who says 'you can't possibly be a mother like YOUR mother/friend/sister is.' A perfectionist saboteur stops us taking risks and trying new things because it can invoke a huge fear of faiture. Or I might work with a client who has a saboteur that is very judgemental, that says 'you can't be childfree because all real women have children.'
What I suggest to all my clients is that we try to bring their saboteur to life so we can 'shine a light' on it, challenge it and ulimately, see that this saboteur is not them. It's a part of you but it's not a life enchancing or helpful part.
What does a saboteur look like? The different forms that my clients saboteurs have taken include:
- A small blue ball called 'The Blue Meanie' that sits on the client's shoulder, whispering mean things in his ear.
- A tall, witch clad only in black - it says little but fills the client with shame and dread.
- A jumping little demon that says to the client 'Oh go on, have some fun, don't worry about that werid thing called committment, you need to ENJOY life!'
- A dark, dark cloud that hangs over the client and it has a paralysing effect - she feels stuck and like she can never get anything done.
Once we identify the saboteur and how it has been influencing my client and their decision, we explore ways to reduce it's power. Often, it can be as simple as noticing the saboteur and telling it go away. A visual image can help - imagine you show it to the door. Once it's out of the way, we relook at the baby decision - once the saboteur is out of the way, does the decision to have children or be childfree look any different?
Often it does and I encourage clients to continue to bring their saboteur to life and then move it out of the way.
Sunday, 2 September 2018
As I was starting to gear up towards the end of my holiday last week, I was more than extremely pleased to an article Sacred to be a parent? in the New York Times a few days ago! It featured the wonderful Ann Davidman and Denise L. Carlini, who, like me, specialise in working with women who are making the decision to be mothers or not. At the beginning of the year, I reviewed their wonderful book The Motherhood Decision and I've had discussions with Denise when she has visited London over the years.
Ann and Denise are indeed pioneers in the work having started exploring and working with women over 27 years ago. When I started Ticktock Coaching over 10 years ago, I didn't actually know what Ann and Denise were doing and it was in the last few years that I became aware of their work. Mainly I think the development of on line tools and communication has increased our knowledge of the other people working in the field. It's also given people more sense of the support they can get and also, that other people are experiencing similar ambivalence and worries.
A statement that resonates so much with me is this one that Ann makes in the article.
'While society has come a long way in accepting those who are child free, those who counsel these undecideds say there is a tremendous amount of shame people feel for not knowing. “Society doesn’t like ambivalence,” Ms. Davidman said.'
I think this is very true. Women who come to me often come to coaching on the baby decision feeling embarrassed they they still don't know what they want. Many times they report that they have been scolded for not being able to decide. One of the most powerful things that coaching, counselling or other forms of support women will turn to in to help them make the decision is the release of shame and embarrassment.
If you've spent this vacation period or holiday time holding on to those feelings, maybe it's time to find some support - use the September back-to-school feeling to propel you to get in touch with someone like me, Ann, Denise or another practitioner (or book) that might reassure you that you are not alone and that you can make the decision!