Saturday, April 14, 2007

More and more women are finding it difficult to decide whether to have children. Can a ‘baby coach’ help?

Ready, mummy? Maybe, baby
Nina’s next decision was, perhaps, a surprising one. She went to see a life coach; one who specialises in coaching women who cannot decide whether or not to have children. Beth Follini . . .set up her business,, a year ago. She soon realised that she’d hit a nerve with many modern women, for whom starting a family is anything but straightforward. The result of this agonising is that unprecedented numbers of women are not having children. According to the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, one woman in five now remains childless, with nearly one in three degree-educated woman never becoming a mother.
. . .
“We live in a kidult culture,” she says. “Some of my clients are in relationships with 35-year-old men who think that they are too young to become fathers. . . . Having children challenges their view of themselves as eternal adolescents. Women are not the irresponsible ones refusing to have children, but in many cases men are making it difficult and challenging for them.”
. . .
“I don’t bring my feelings about parenthood to the session. What I am trying to do is to discover how my clients feel, to find out what they want. They probably do have confidants, but that’s not what coaching is about. I feel that people should be able to find someone to talk to who isn’t pushing their own agenda.”
. . .
In the case of a client who enjoys being child-free but would like to have children in her life, Follini might explore options such as mentoring children. “I have sometimes discovered that a woman who says she is undecided actually doesn’t want children, but is worried about how she will be perceived. A man of 47 with no children is often admired, but a woman may well be pitied or thought of as hard and unfulfilled.”
It is hopeful that her first link is to Kidding Aside, but I can't help but notice a bias in at least the article. It seems to feel that women having children is somehow a problem brought on by indecision. isn't it just as likely that these numbers are offset by women who default instead to parenthood - especially in light of social pressures? It is just as likely that a much-needed approach to this dilemma - the serious consideration that coaching exemplifies - will not change the statistics, just how women are distributed into the two camps. It is also possible that fewer women will have children once a more considered approach is taken.

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