'Are Kids For Me' - What's Been Happening
It is now almost 7 months since I officially launched the ‘Are Kids For Me’ service in October 2018. I was very happy with the launch event itself as there was a very honest, open and affirming panel discussion on several aspects of the debate. We heard from someone who has chosen not to have children, someone who is childless not by choice, from someone who wrote a play about her own decision process of whether to become a mother or not, and from someone who has completed PhD research on single mothers in Ireland. And these are only some of the many speakers I could have included on the night.
It is always difficult to predict how a new business will develop. I knew that this service is new and quite different, particularly in Ireland, and that it would take time to find its place. I was delighted with the initial press coverage of the launch event and service; there was genuine interest and curiosity in what I was doing and why there was a need for it. This has continued and I still get phone calls from radio stations and journalists who want to cover this topic. I am delighted to be involved in these conversations which help to raise awareness of the choice to become a parent or not. My message is always that this choice does exist, that neither is better than the other but that it is very important for people to make the right choice for them and their lives.
I really enjoy working with clients on their decision process. Each client is entirely individual with their own set of circumstances, concerns and way of thinking. I have met a mix of individuals and couples, with a range of ages and locations across Ireland. However, they all are looking for clarity and peace with their decision to become a parent or not. I am delighted to be able to assist with this.
While each client is unique, certain themes have emerged so far. There is often a conflict between what people think they ‘should’ do (based on external societal criteria) and what they want or need to do for themselves. This can be a strong conflict, enough to make them consider overruling their own desires in order to do what they think they should, or might possibly want later in their lives. I’m also struck by how much consideration clients give to their hypothetical child in the discussions we have. They do not want any of their own issues to impact on a child’s quality of life and this plays a large part in their considerations. This is a far cry from the selfish stereotypes often presented in the media of people who choose not to have children.
I have noticed some other themes emerging and I would like to spend some time researching these so that I can write about them in more detail in the near future.
The topic of choosing to become a parent or not will continue to develop and evolve in the Irish context as more people get involved in the conversation and make their own decisions. This is very positive and I am delighted to be part of. Please stay posted for future updates and more regular blogs.