If you’re childless by circumstance, with those circumstances ranging from infertility through to all kinds of situations such as your partner not wanting (more) children, a chronic illness, not being able to find a partner (what is now known as ‘social infertility’), not being able to afford having a baby ‘on your own’ (and not being all that keen about being a solo mother either), thinking you didn’t want children and then realising you did, your relationship breaking down during fertility treatments or perhaps one of at least 50 Ways Not To Be A Mother

You’re in the right place.

Or perhaps you’re still hopeful of becoming a mother but the needle on your fertility clock has been in the red for a while and things are looking scarily like you too are going to ‘end up’ as ‘one of those freakish, twisted, bitter women without children’… (we’re not like that, that’s Snow White and Cruella de Vil you’re thinking of)

Welcome. Pull up a chair. Get a cup of tea or something stronger and make yourself comfortable. Things are just about to get a whole lot easier.

Read the blogs and articles on subjects close to our heart – from coping with the changing nature of your friendships, dealing with Christmas, the daft ‘advice’ people give us, being lumbered with all the weekend shifts at work, worrying about getting old without children and dealing with &*%ing baby showers, etc.

Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfiling Life Without Children, by Jody DayDownload the introduction and first two chapters of ‘Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfiling Life Without Children.’ Published in Autumn 2013 and already a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both Kindle & Paperback versions.  A Kobo (ePub) version is also available for all other e-readers. There’s also a free private Book Club for members of the GW Online Community.

Join our fabulous private online Community A supportive, intelligent, friendly, compassionate, private online community of women like us from all over the world who ‘get’ what it’s like to be a childless woman in our motherhood-obsessed world. As one of our members described it: Support for the hard stuff; enthusiasm for the good stuff.  If you’re feeling isolated and the ‘odd one out’ joining this Community will be the beginning of a new outlook as well as new online and offline friends. We like to think of it as our own ‘school gates’ network. Join in our member-organised events from Manchester to Melbourne, from Texas to Tunbridge Wells! It’s free for the first month and then free/paid subscriptions available thereafter.

Find out more about Gateway Women workshops and events – our life-changing, friend-making, taboo-busting and unique workshops, retreats, talks, meetups and online events. Women from all over the world fly in to attend these workshops, so if you’re in the UK, what’s keeping you?

Join our free, private, global social groups organised via Meetup - we have groups for UK & Ireland, USA, Australia,  NZ and Canada with South Africa coming soon… To join a group, first you need to join meetup.com (if you’re not already a member) and then apply to join the group nearest to you. Memberships have to be approved by Gateway Women before they are accepted so you’ll find that they are safe, friendly and private. Individual gatherings are member-organised so if there isn’t something happening in a town or city near you, as a member you can suggest and host one. It’s not as scary as it might sound and I’m happy to advise if you’re new to it as you get going.

Listen, watch & read some of the interviews and articles which have featured Jody and Gateway Women including: The Guardian, Woman’s Hour, BBC News, BBC World Service, Radio 5 Live, Psychologies Magazine, Prospect UK Magazine, Sunrise TV (AUS), The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Times Style Magazine, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, Woman’s Own, The Sunday Mirror…

Sign up for Gateway Women Updates  and be the first to hear about Gateway Women in the media as well as dates for new workshops and events (they sell out very quickly). Don’t worry, I won’t share your details or take over your in-box – I can’t stand it when people  do that to me and frankly until the cat learns to type I simply don’t have the time!

Welcome to Gateway Women. It’s the club you never wanted to join, but once you’ve got the support you need to get through your grief and out of your isolation, life starts getting fun again
(Yes, I used the “F” word). 



MARCH 2015

The Reignite Weekend: Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th March 2015
Letting go of your childless past and looking forward to a meaningful and fulfiling future
£50 deposit to book : Earlybird £275 before 10th Feb: £295 after

Self Compassion Workshop: Saturday 11th April 2015
Discover how to use self compassion techniques for greater peace of mind and wellbeing about your childless past, present and future
£50 deposit to book : £150 for entire day

Rewriting Your Story: Sunday 12th April 2015
A one-day creative writing workshop for childless women
£50 deposit to book : £150 for entire day

Life Without Kids @ The School of Life: Friday 17th April 2015
Join us to discuss and discover how it’s more than possible to have a great life without having your own children.
£165 for the day including lunch: book via The School of Life website

Wisdom Circle Workshop: Sunday 3rd May 2015
A one-day healing workshop for childless women aged 50+
£50 deposit to book : £150 for entire day (concessions available)

Click here for a full list of all currently scheduled events 


174 Responses to “Welcome”

  1. Johanna February 12, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    Hey Jody. I want to share a talk with you (and with other women without children) in which I tell my own story about not having children. I reference you, Jody, in the talk, because you’re a big reason I gave it. Thanks for your work. Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/jQ6q0cEskBQ

  2. Anon January 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    I have just discovered this book after thinking I had got past this and then realising I have not! Am working my way through the book. Reading the chapter on grief is like talking to someone who understands for the very first time. Thank you.

    • Jodykat January 31, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

      Hello and thank you for taking the time to comment. I am so glad that you are finding my book a support. When I was going through my journey of healing, it was such a relief the day I understood what I was experiencing was ‘grief’. I was so relieved to know that I wasn’t going crazy! I wish my book had been there ‘for me’ but I’m so glad it’s there for you instead. Hugs, Jody x

  3. Julie January 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    I am so pleased to have heard your segment on women’s hour and to find your website. It’s super not to feel alone. I’ve never shared my story but I feel I can here.
    I am a women of 54 and infertile due to a childhood illness. IVF didn’t work for my husband and I and we had many years of smiling sweetly and congratulating friends and family as they had their families. Of course we were happy for them but every new child was heartbreaking for us and gave me physical, as well as emotional pain. I did and said the right things, I became a God Mother many times ( and the kids tell me I’m a great one!) but holding their babies for the first time was so hard and although I always tried to smile I couln’t help the personal feelings of loss welling up inside …. they were always shocked at the tears I shed……to the point that I wasn’t invited to see the new borns and sometimes not even told about people being pregnant until it was obvious. The last few years have got better as the children grew up, although christening are hard. This year as the first of my 7 siblings is about to become a grand parent those old feelings have come back. When my niece told me she was pregnant I wept. Of course I told her it was because I was so happy for her (which I am) but I recognised that the tears were for the babies I never had and the grand children I’ll never have ….I am about to relive those years again and I know that it’s going to be tough! I would swap the interesting career, great holidays, lovely house and life style in a jot, just to feel my baby or baby’s baby in my arms.

    • Jodykat January 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi Julie – thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your story. Becoming a grandparent does seem, for many, to be a fairly joyous experience, free of many of the anxieties of parenthood – and our friends, families and colleagues can get SO swept up in it, and our ‘loss’ so distant, if recognised at all as to be totally forgotten or irrelevant to them… Few of us have had the opportunity or support to grieve the loss of motherhood fully so this next passage can be hard… However, tough as it may be it IS an opportunity to complete our grief work and live the rest of our lives with the loss, but without the heartache It can be done, honest! Come and join our online community to begin with and then, if you’re in the UK, do consider coming to one of my Reignite Weekends if you can. My book has a chapter on grief that many have found very helpful. Welcome and hugs to you – you’re not alone in this anymore. Jody x
      PS: Don’t forget about the other organisation I’m a Founder Member of AWOC (the Ageing Without Children collective), which is what I was talking about on Woman’s Hour.

  4. anonymous January 19, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    I’ve just suffered another IVF loss, and am silently grieving. My husband and I have tried everything and we are still childless after a struggling for years with male infertility, using donors, and going to several different countries for clinical help. We’ve used up all our savings and have nothing left, not for adoption or trying again. We have always been childless, but the fact that we will remain childless is heartbreaking. I found this site through an article about IVF and I’m surprised to see that you charge a fee for your online community. I know am not the only one. My husband is also a suffering from this loss, but finding out that your website is a for profit platform makes us feel shut out all over again.

    • Jodykat January 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      Hi Anonymous

      Gateway Women is a self-funded organisation – it’s me and the cat! We have no funding and refuse all offers from commercial organisations looking to have access to our members. One year agao, I had to either introduce a charge or close the online community down as it was taking 20+ hours a week of my (unpaid) time to run. Now, with the membership fee, I am able to have a paid-for community manager to handle the admin and I can focus on supporting members and leading within the online community.

      However, I absolutely understand that not all members will be able to afford the membership fee at some points in their healing journey, which is why it says, very clearly, at the top of the first page introducing the online community the following:


      A contribution towards these free memberships is made by myself and also members who choose to ‘donate’ a memberships to a sister in need.

      Please do come and join us if you feel the community would be of support to you. You are not shut out.

      Hugs, Jody x

  5. Lyn January 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Saw an article on the news this morning about your organisation and I’m glad to find your website. At the moment I have my 91 year old mum with me, she was discharged from hospital just over a week ago into my care, she has crushed vertebrae from osteoporosis and is in constant pain. My dad is in hospital having had an op for bladder cancer and now has a chest infection and urine infection, but he is slowly getting better. I am an only child, divorced and with no children. I am glad that I’m able to be here for my parents and to speak up for them to make sure they get the care they need, but it has brought it home to me that should I reach old age, there won’t be anyone to speak up for me and make sure that I don’t get discharged from hospital without a care package in place. While my dad has been in hospital I have had to constantly tell the nurses that he is registered blind, and it wasn’t until after a week that they finally put a notice on his door to say he has limited vision. At the weekend I found him sitting in his wheelchair (he is an amputee) with just the thin cotton nightgown on and a cardigan that wasn’t buttoned up and with no sock or slipper on his foot and with an open window in his room. So I got him a sock and put a blanket over him. Two days later I found him shaking in bed with just one blanket on and the cotton nightgown, so I put a fleece jacket on him and found two more blankets, by the time I left the shaking had subsided.
    The thing is, I don’t believe we should have to rely on our families to take care of us in old age, but that the attitude to care for the elderly by hospitals and society needs to change.
    Sorry, I’ve digressed a bit. Although I don’t have children my life is full, I have my own business, work part time one day a week for someone else and am about to start another business venture, so for me it’s work that has helped to fulfill my life and give me purpose.

    Anyway, looking forward to reading the content on here and glad I’ve found you.

    • Jodykat January 14, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi Lyn – glad you saw the segment this morning and yes, seeing up close the care that some elderly people have to endure does bring home how much work there is to do so that all of us can look forward to our old age and to be treated with compassion, kindness and dignity. Do check out the work of AWOC.org (the Ageing Without Children collective) of which I am a founding member; it was 2 of my colleagues from AWOC with me on BBC Breakfast this morning, although sadly they cut the contribution from Robin Hadley whose work focuses on the experience of childless men. Hugs, Jody x

      • Lyn January 15, 2015 at 11:40 am #

        Hi Jody
        Thanks for your reply, I have had a look at the website which looks as though there is a lot of information on there. Please see my reply to Jane below, I really think that we just can’t rely on governments to take care of us, but I would like to see a movement start where we come together to take care of each other. It would be lovely to think that there were some responsible people looking out for you when you need it, sort of like a surrogate family. Small groups that get to know each other, build a relationship and then perhaps formally/legally agree to be part of a small caring group so that they will come together to help if one of their number becomes ill. Maybe food for thought?
        Lyn x

        • Jodykat January 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

          Hi Lyn – these are exactly the kinds of conversations we are having over at AWOC.org! Jody

    • Jane Stevenson January 14, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      Hi Lyn , I have just got back from seeing my Mum who has dementia. I found out about this group this morning on BBC Breakfast so I thought I’d look it up. Your story is the first one I’ve read and I have similar concerns. My mum is in a lovely care home now near me but the past two years I was …I can barely explain what I have done over the last two years – but basically I was behind the scenes running the whole of her life from 250 miles away…I am not the only child but the only one who was actively doing anything. Like you, I came across many instances where the social care system and health system let Mum down and I was there to fight her battles for her. I am in my 40s and my husband is in his 50s. It is our second marriage and we are without children. Your story resonated with me because I too wonder who will fight my battles (or my husband’s) or simply notice the ‘small’ stuff if ever we needed that. If care of the elderly was improved it would be good for people without children and also people whose children live a long distance away or who lack capacity or even kindness themselves. Thanks for sharing and thanks to Jody too for her post below, Jane

      • Jodykat January 14, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

        Hi Jane and welcome too. Glad you saw the segment and my response to Lyn. There is lots of private, empathetic peer-to-peer support for all childless women on the Gateway Women Private Online Community – you can find out more here: http://www.gateway-women.com/community. And of course, do take a look at http://www.AWOC.org !! Jody x

      • Lyn January 15, 2015 at 11:32 am #

        Hi Jane

        Thanks for your reply and for sharing your story. I can relate to yours as well because my mum also has vascular dementia but it’s manageable at the moment. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you over the last couple of years trying to look after your mum from such a distance. If I ever start to wish that I wasn’t an only child I then remember examples where even when there is more than one child it’s often all left to just one, and the rest only appear when it’s time for the will to be read.
        I’m sure there are so many of us out there who do wonder how it will be for us when we are not so capable of speaking up for ourselves. I suppose if you have enough money to pay for private care your chances may be better than left to social services and the NHS. I really appreciate that the NHS does have wonderful staff, and my parents have been looked after and treated very well in hospital on previous occasions, I suspect that this time my dad is a victim of the extra call on the NHS resources over Christmas and the New Year.
        I think we need to start some sort of movement where we can look out for each other in the future, because having done it ourselves at least we’ll know the sort of small things that make all the difference. Maybe some sort of small groups of people in the same situation, who get to know each other, and can come together to look after one of the group if they need it.
        I hope your mum is ok and that you stay well and healthy for decades!
        Lyn x

  6. Faye January 14, 2015 at 10:54 am #


    Just seen the report on BBC news this morning about Ageing without Children & really hit home with me. I’m currently surrounded by pregnancy at the moment my sister & close friend….it’s tough but I put on a brave front. I found this site via ageing without children & thought it would be good to connect with like minded people. Faye

    • Jodykat January 14, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Faye and welcome! Glad you got to see the segment this morning, short as it was! Hugs, Jody x

      • Faye Glen January 14, 2015 at 11:36 am #

        Many thanks Jody, I’m in the process of signing up.

  7. Lisa January 14, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    Omg! Just found out about this group from a tv programme… Skimming this first page, crying! Thank you, thank you….I am a women who desperately wanted children, but now 46, several miscarriages later, now single with a chronic health condition have been facing the reality of my situation. I look forward to reading through this website…. :)

    • Jodykat January 14, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Lisa and welcome! You’re not alone in this. You might consider joining our private online community too – it’s a great way to explore our situations and get support from like-minded, empathetic, wise and funny women. Hugs, Jody x

  8. Jan January 6, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

    Lyndsey – you are not alone. I have the problem both ways: a difficult relationship with my late Mother left me with a gaping hole and a wish for the relationship I never had, plus the feeling that I was too “unstable” to give a child a better chance than I had.

    After years of therapy for depression and eating disorders I have come to terms with many things, but I still feel the lack of the relationship with my Mother and the loss of the life I might have had – children included.

    I know that with my variable mental health having children wouldn’t have been a good idea. I also know I am lucky to have a good marriage. But the feelings about children are still there.

    So cherish you child and know that in dealing with your emotions you are more likely to let them grow up in a happy and free environment, hopefully not suffering like you do now.

  9. Melissa Pastrano January 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    I am 25 years old and for all my life Iv been without a mother to lead and guide me. I was adopted when I was 7 yrs old by my grandparent and I understand it wasn’t their place to raise me and give me the family I should of had. I had to go threw life alone watching my friends and their moms have mother daughter days and it hurt not being able to have that from my mother. My parents are both alcoholics and never had much time for me. I remember times whn I was sick and begged for my mom to please stay with me and help me and instead she left me alone while she went to get drunk I was lef to do for myself. My times I remember my mom making me spend the night with her under bridges Bc we couldn’t go home Bc my dad would hurt her. After I got adopted I still never had the mother I needed my grandparents had to many grandchildren and was always to busy bless their heart!! I went threw school without any mother coming on my field trips no mother to do my hair or help me do my homework no mother to tuck me into bed. My friends all had mothers and fathers and I always told them to always respect their parents Bc I don’t have anything like they did. I guess what lead me to this page was Iv been n search of a mother figure someone I can talk to and count on someone to be a mother a mother that I never had! I don’t even kno if such a person exists but I told myself I wouldn’t give up their has to b someone! If anyone could help me or tell me a website that could help me I’d really appreciate it! It’s been a life goal of mine and I won’t give up God Bless You and thank u n advance!!!

    • Jodykat January 14, 2015 at 10:19 am #

      Hi Melissa – thanks for sharing your story with us. I wanted to let you know about a US organization called http://www.creatingextendedfamilies.com/home which may be able to help you find the ‘mother figure’ you crave. Hugs, Jody x

  10. Susan james December 23, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    It is complete hell. I wasted my years on two relationships!

    • Jodykat December 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      Hi Susan – thanks for you comment and I’m so sorry to hear about your ‘complete hell’. It’s hard looking back and wishing things had been different… Sending you hugs, Jody x

  11. Lyndsay December 21, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    Stumbled across this site by mistake and think its a fabulous idea. Its not actually helpful to me personally though as I have the opposite problem – I have a child, but my issue is due to the fact I never had a good or loving relationship with my Mum. This is something that’s really bothering me now that I’m in my mid 30’s -I really want for once in my life to have a close mother/daughter relationship with a mum!! I’m now having counselling to try and work through my grief for never having had the mother/daughter relationship, and to try and stop myself from forming attachments to older women that frankly don’t need me, as they have daughters of their own! I wish there was a group for ‘motherless adult daughters!’

    • Jodykat December 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Lyndsay – thanks for commenting and I’m sorry to hear that things with your Mum have been so difficult. There are so many things in life that we have to grieve in order to let go of them, and it sounds like this is one of them for you. A book that you might find very helpful in doing so is “The Emotionally Abesent Mother” by Jasmin Cori – you can read an interview with her here. Hugs to you, Jody x

      • Lyndsay January 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

        Thanks Jody, I am now reading the book, and you are correct, I am finding it very helpful. I have also come across a website designed to help adults meet surrogate family members (the parents, siblings, son/daughter figures they never had) -and I am currently emailing a lovely lady who never had children and is looking for a ‘daughter figure’. It is obviously only used between adults, but I thought I would mention I here in case it helps anyone out. Google: Creating extended families. Also, thankyou to Jan for her comment above, I’m sorry to hear that you have also experienced similar to me. Best wishes to all. Lyndsay x

  12. Glenys Goodwill October 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Looking at the IPPR report made me think that we can give each other informal support. I’m hoping to be able to move into a flat where there are already friends in three other flats. There will be some jobs that one of us can do. For instance perhaps I can’t climb a ladder to change a light bulb but I can cook or go to the bank/ post office/ collect something. We don’t have to live together but we don’t have to get someone in to do every job. Sorry I’m being rather inarticulate but that’s because I’m working my way towards the idea. Can someone else refine it or comment on it? I think I’m meaning more than good neighbours.

    • Jodykat October 16, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Hi Glenys and thanks for your comment.
      “More than good neighbours” is a great way to put it!
      In the Gateway Women Meetup Group in the UK, some members are starting to visit dedicated co-housing projects – you might want to join in the research? http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women
      And in terms of ‘refining’ your thinking, that’s exactly what we’re aiming to do over at http://www.AWOC.org (Ageing Without Children) by getting 4 campaigners together and a conference on the issue on Jan 26th to discuss the issue with ageing charities, policy makers, service providers, etc.
      This is one of the key issues of our generation, and sorting it out for childless adults will have a great knock-on effect for all adults in our ageing society!
      Hugs, Jody x

  13. Glenys Goodwill October 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Just listened to Analysis on R4 on the family. Hear hear. What is a retired single pensioner supposed to do in fact of the attacks from brain dead politicians with their fixation on hard working families??
    If Analysis is right about the numbers – 7 million of us, all voters, they want to look out. That’s an awful lot of votes to alienate!

    • Jodykat October 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

      Hi Glenys – thanks for your comment. Here’s a link to a Guardian article about the IPPR report mentioned in the R4 Analysis piece.
      You might also like to check out the work I’m doing as a Founder Members of http://AWOC.org (Ageing Without Children collective) – come and join us! Hugs, Jody x

  14. Andrew October 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Jody, do you or anyone else know of similar sites to Gateway Women that exist for men? I’m going thru your site and reading comments etc and really like what you’ve done – wondering if you were aware of any male equivalents? Keep up the great work!

    • Jodykat October 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi Andrew – all the resources that I currently know of for men (and they are pretty few and far between, as they are for women) are listed on the ‘Resources’ section of my website here: http://gateway-women.com/resources/
      If you come across anything else, do let me know and I’ll add them. Although the focus of GW is the female experience of childlessness, I know that the male experience can be really tough too. Hugs, Jody

  15. woof50 September 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    I am half way through reading your book and already it has made a difference to my well being, I feel more positive and more importantly less guilty. I married someone who didn’t want children and had a very unhappy childhood with a mother who was resentful of my birth, I was always told that if I hadn’t been born she would have had a successful career. I was a professional photographer and enjoyed my work which involved unsocial hours so another reason not to have children! I am now 52 still with the same man who didn’t want children. However I now see it was not only him that stopped me from having children but many other complex reasons. My husband does feel guilty that he made the choice for me, to not have children but maybe I can stop blaming him, as there were many other contributing factors that was stopping me. Thank you so much for writing this book :) Nikki

    • Jodykat September 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Hi Nicki and thanks for stopping by to comment – I’m so glad my book is helping you to look at your situation differently, and hopefully with more compassion for yourself. I hope that you get as much out of the second half of the book! Hugs, Jody x

  16. sheelaghlugg August 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello, I heard the excellent article on R4 on life as a childless couple, which I totally related to. In my case I was in my second marriage to a divorcee who already had 2 children from his previous marriage, so his need for children was not the same as mine. I was 40 and 42 when I suffered miscarriage, my husband, 6 years older, so clocks were really ticking. My step children were in their early teens and lived in the US, so having a ‘normal’ relationship with them has never been easy. Now at 58, I can really identify with Paula Coston’s thoughts….my friends are all becoming grandparents and I won’t belong in that club either. Nevertheless, I have an active life full of travel and experiences I probably wouldn’t have been able to have afforded/enjoyed. I am also determined that I will be a doting step-grand’ma, if the step kids ever show any signs of producing!

    • Jodykat August 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      Hi Sheelagh – thanks for your comments. Yes, today’s documentary on Radio 4 was quite unlike anything I’ve done before and I’m glad you got to hear it. Paula’s thoughts on not becoming a grandmother will no doubt touch many of us who are childless by circumstance. I’m glad that you are enjoying the unexpected freedom of a childless life – it took me a while to get there myself and am now very happy with things. But oh! the getting there! Hugs, Jody x

      • Lisa August 23, 2014 at 10:52 am #

        Hi, I’m not sure how to join this conversation so I am trying this. I have recently been told about this site by my councillor. I am 47 years old and childless, this has recently caused me some upset. The realisation that I it is extremely unlikely that I will have children of my own! I always thought like most people that this would always happen at some point in my 30’s but unfortunately not. I too put my career first and didn’t meet the right person. I met my husband just before my 40th birthday, we got married and a year later I suffered an aneurysm. I almost died!!! It is 4 years later now and suddenly the need for a child is unbelievable, I therefore need to find a way through this as it is not going to happen for us. Yes I have a gorgeous doggy, but that doesn’t fill the gap of a child. After watching your video on you tube I have to say Jody you are amazing, can I have something of what you are on please??


        • Jodykat August 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

          Hi Lisa – and yes, you are absolutely welcome to some of what I’m on! Probably the best way to ‘join the conversation’ is to join our private online community and start realising that things may not have turned out as expected, but there’s still a life worth having, and new friends to support you as you venture into it. Hugs, Jody x

  17. Deetsje August 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Goodness, what a brilliant website Jody Day. If only I had this support years ago. I struggled with becoming pregnant, had many miscarriages and an A& E visit where a miscarriage had gone wrong. Becoming a biological mother was my addiction and the concept that me and husband were not going to be a part of ‘the parent’s club was soul destroying. We would list the endless things that we wouldn’t be included in and try to console ourselves that we would have a great life without a child. I had to watch all my friends become pregnant, share their joy, watch the bump and with a lump in my throat go into Mothercare to buy newborn baby a present. I would have the same conversation “when’s it due; it’s not for me; have you got any, no…” I left full shopping trolleys in Tesco as I passed the umpteenth pram/pushchair. I had the most bizarre conversations with strangers who felt it OK to needle at my sore point. One in the hairdressers asked me once if I was a lesbian as I didn’t have/want children. This was the last straw on that particular day and I snapped. I asked her if she minded me asking her a personal question ‘Do you take it up the ****?’ and she was upset at being asked such a personal and rude question and I replied that I am constantly not supported by bloody women and I too am upset at being asked a personal question. Touche love. But it felt empty. I still wasn’t pregnant and she had been…
    I approached the Sub fertility clinic in our local hospital and we were invited to sit in a grey dull room with pie charts celebrating the success of IVF. The Doctor was clearly keen to put our name down but I didn’t like the idea of IVF, not sure why. My mum had recently died and left us a house… I could have spent the whole money on trying to get pregnant. But I didn’t. If the IVF hadn’t have worked I would feel the same and be a house load of money lighter. I look back at those 10 years and feel exhausted at the level of emotion we went through. Not the happiest times.

    • Jodykat August 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi D – yes, the endless questions and presumptions can wear the politest of us down somedays! I totally get it! (And she didn’t, no surprise there!). So glad you’ve found GW and I hope to hear from you again. Hugs, Jody x

    • less than a woman August 29, 2014 at 6:21 am #

      I just turned 55, my husband is now 70 – we’ve been married 26 yrs. I wanted a child, but due to medical issues it never happened. Where I live you aren’t allowed to adopt if there’s a 10yr difference in ages of spouses. He didn’t feel that having another child was a big deal. Foster parenting went out the window as I had no experience as a mother per the agency. I tried to deal with this hole in my life without support. I went thru various treatments trying to conceive to no avail. After I went into menopause, he quit any physical contact as we are too old for sex.

      Now I am defined as old, childless, barren, good only for a paycheck and caring for my elderly mom and husband. I am have been told by colleagues that since they are the only ones with kids, I needed to pick up their slack and work the duplicate since I had no kids. The boss is big into family, but without children you are defined as not having a family.

      I feel worthless, and depressed. I have been reminded on every family occasion that I messed up by not having children. My parents always agree with my siblings even knowing everything we tried.

      Today I feel as if life is against me and wonder why women have to be so defined by their ability to procreate.

      • Jodykat August 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

        Thanks for your comment and it’s so hard when it seems that society, our peers, our colleagues and our family treat us as ‘less than’ simply because we’re not mothers! I’m so glad you found GW and I hope it helps to know that you’re not alone! Hugs, Jody x

  18. Kate Fereday Eshete August 15, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    I am very pleased to have come across this website. I was childless for many years. At age 41 I emigrated to Ethiopia and married an Ethiopian Highlander I’d known for four years. Four years and one miscarriage later we adopted two abandoned babies (a boy and a girl, unrelated) so at last I had the family I had yearned for. Our wonderful ‘twins’ are now nine years old, and I’m 53. I remember well my long years without children and so I wholeheartedly support Gateway Women. Amongst your supporters you no doubt have other women who were childless for decades (and so they know what it feels like) but who did become mothers at the eleventh hour. If I had not emigrated, I would probably still be childless.

    • Jodykat August 15, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Kate – good to hear your story and I’m glad that adoption has worked out for you and your husband. It’s a trickier route here in the UK and for many women (and couples) who’ve already been through the heartbreak of infertility (and failed treatments), or for single women without sufficient financial means, it’s often too difficult to manage the process emotionally, financially and logistically. As one woman said to me as an answer to why she and her husband didn’t adopt after failed infertility treatments: “We maxed out the heartbreak cards already”. Glad to have your support. Hugs, Jody x

  19. Lisa August 12, 2014 at 4:32 am #

    My name is Lisa. I am a 40yr old female and I have no children. All my friends and family have kids, although I love all of them I feel a little empty inside at family events. I work in the ER of a major hospital. I see patients everyday that are pregnant – ages range from 14 and older. People always say there is something in the water, I never understood the true meaning of that statement until I got this job. I am surrunded with patients with kids but every month a new nurse comes in to say they are having a baby. I am happy for them but can’t help but asking why not me? I love my job but not sure how much longer I can be there and not have a mental breakdown woundering why I can’t experience the same joy as my friends and co-workers…

    • Jodykat August 12, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Hi Lisa – the feeling of being left out of such a profound life experience is crushing – I know it well honey. come and join us in our online community and be amongst those who understand your pain and can both support you and make you laugh again. Hugs, Jody x

  20. Jenny July 14, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    I found this site a few weeks ago when I was having a very bad day. I’m glad I did. I just received a copy of the book and have started the first chapter. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I work with animals and I put a lot of love into it. It bothers me greatly when I have other women tell me that animals aren’t babies and I shouldn’t waste my love on them. Taking care of animals is my outlet. I’m 40 and pregnancy is not possible. Thank you

    • Jodykat July 15, 2014 at 12:17 am #

      Hi Jenny – I’m so glad you’ve found us and that the book is helping. You might like to join our private online community or the private online reading group for my book – it can be great to read it alongside others and share insights and struggles. Welcome to GW. Hugs, Jody x

  21. Jennifer July 2, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    Hi Jody

    You are an inspiration to those of us wanting maternal love for a child.

    You know I’ve been going through depression of knowing I won’t build a healthy relationship with a man and having pregnancy. I’m coming out of denial as well.

    Keep strong…. you’re not alone and so courageous to speak out about this. Also, the stigma of getting left out over social implications. And there is shame I’ve felt. You’ve given me hope for my life as a good Aunt and God does have a plan for me.

    Thanks again,

    Jennifer Davis

    • Jodykat July 2, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Hi Jennifer – so glad you found GW. Coming out of denial is hard, especially when the culture around us tells us that ‘there’s always still hope!’ and we so long to believe that. Sometimes that hope itself becomes the thing standing between us and the life we’re actually living, and not the fantasy life in our head and hearts. And in doing so, we miss out on life. Do check out our Community, we have other GWs in Texas. Hugs, Jody x

  22. Deb June 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    Hi everyone. I wish I knew about this site months ago. I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I will be 60 this year and childless due to infertility. It’s been bothering me more in recent months because those I work with are always talking about their children/grandchildren. I don’t have any friends or family that live nearby. I spend 90% of my time alone. Crying a lot these days.

    • Jodykat June 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      Hi Deb – I’m so sorry to hear how tough things are for you right now. I think many older childless women experience another wave of grief when everyone else starts having (and obsessing!) over grandchildren. Do take time to read some of the article on grief and I’ve sent you a private email as well. Hugs, Jody x

  23. Amy June 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    I am so glad I found you. Today my sadness came on with no warning or incident. Thank you for having this site. Thank you for being here

    • Jodykat June 22, 2014 at 7:52 am #

      Hi Amy – I’m glad you found us on a difficult day. Perhaps you might like to come and join our online community – it’s a great way to cope with good days, bad days and all the in-between ones – being childless can be a bewildering and lonely experience. Hugs, Jody x

  24. Debbie May 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi jody how did I not know about this site before! I do now. I’m 47 came out of a bad marriage late 20’s took years to get over it. I had been told I couldn’t have children as I did produce eggs.then at 41 I meet my soul mate we talked about children I had been for more tests which came back that I did produce eggs. It was too late by then, he has 3 children 1 biological 2 he adopted when he married their mother. And oh yes they all have children too when his biological sone said they were expecting it was a body blow to me, I still thought maybe just maybe but no – now I’m a step mum and a step step mum who somehow has grandchildren.
    My partner understands is very supportive but some days it’s unbearable. Now I know I’m not alone I know it will help x

    • Jodykat May 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      Hi Debbie – welcome! – Gateway Women has only been around for 3 years and I started it because there was nothing around for women like us. Turned out there are quite a lot of us! Being a childless stepmum presents its own particular challenges too… Do come and check out our private online community – you’ll find even more of us and in a secure space where we can be really frank about things – finally! Hugs, Jody x

  25. Sara May 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi Jodie, so happy to just found you… Looking for a ritual or ceremony as a rite of passage to be able to move on xx

    • Jodykat May 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      Hi Sara – rituals are SO important, and another aspect of life that we miss out on because most of the remaining rituals of our culture are focussed around dating/mating/childrearing. Do come over and visit us at http://www.gateway-women.com/community – you’ll find some like-minded souls and that’s a good place to start. Hugs, Jody x

  26. Jane May 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Really feeling pain today and these comments helped me cry. Thankyou, it helped
    Feels like a judgement from whoever god is to have not conceived. I’m healthy, active, non drinker and a nurse, so why me. Work with a whole load of mums and just want to curl up in a corner some days. No one of my family has conceived and I just yearn to hold a baby or be a role model and life feels like it has no purpose. Now separated from hubby, no kids on his family either, stumbling around a bit right now.

    • Jodykat May 8, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      Hi Jane – I’m so sorry to hear you’re having what I call “a griefy day”. Life isn’t fair, and it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I’m so glad you found us – come and check out our online community and maybe together we can turn your stumble into part of the dance?! Hugs, Jody x

  27. Laura Estrada May 1, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m so happy to have found this website. I’m a 37 yr old women who this past summer had a hysterectomy and did not have children but always thought she’d have at least one. But her uterus made her thirties suck and now she is healthy again but unable to have children. Alot of whys right now.

    • Jodykat May 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

      Hi Laura – the “what ifs” and “why me?” can be exhausting… We have a few other women in our private online community who’ve had hysterectomy and it’s takes longer to recover from emotionally than physically it seems. Come over and join us. Hugs, Jody x

  28. Penelope April 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    I just came home from a visit with my extended family including 17 children under the age of 18. This is the first time that I have not come home feeling sad, lonely and alone. I am turning 52 so maybe my hormones have eased the yearning for childbearing. Sometimes I would lay awake at night going over my life, what I did wrong, what could I have done that made my life turn out like this. I played with dolls until I was almost 15, had a list of names that I would name my babies yet my dreams were not fulfilled. I am so thankful to have found this blog. Some nights I will wake almost in a panic and cold sweat with the realization that I never, ever will ever have a family. I also just experienced an in-law make a scathing comment to a family member that ‘at least you have children and have something to show for your life’. Then glared over at me knowing that I always yearned to be a Mother. The horrid insensitivity that some people have still astounds me. Thank-you for having this platform for us to share our grief.

  29. nikki April 24, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Hello it is now about 4am where I live and I am up heartbroken and alone even though I have someone I love dearly next to me I am empty with a open hole deep within I am 25yrs old and I am childless and tired of tring feeling like I’m there and then being let down like I have been dropped from the very top of the eifel tower no matter how hard I pray how much I dream hope I am still left childless I have always dreamed of being a mother buying pretty dresses cute bows and ribbons or buying all the little toy soldiers the cute hats going to baseball games or cheerleading camps I had my life planned but I guess that’s not how god planned it for me but it still breaks my heart that I am a childless woman who wants no more than any woman to be a mother to one of gods precious angels so to all you lady’s who have yet to be mothers I wish u all well that we all may one day be the mothers we dream to be. Thank you for listening u are the first I’ve ever told how I feel good night

  30. Jamie March 29, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I loved this article so much I’ve linked to in on my website. http://www.childlessmormonsupport.com Thank you!!

  31. Clara March 29, 2014 at 1:15 am #

    Here I am again 42 years old, childless and, up late and night looking at this web site again. I bought the book a while ago, read the first chapter then put it down thinking how on earth am I going to complete the project at the end, but a few weeks later I did it and I felt better. After an appauling first marriage I now have a loving and caring husband and feel very lucky, but I still feel empty, the book is now on the floor again, I have lost my father, I am one of nine children, all my siblings have at least two children and now I also have great nieces and nephews. On the day my father passed away my brother said if it was not for the fact that women gave birth they would have no use. Basically I am a mess, I loved my father dearly and we had a very close relationship, he has always been very supportive and encouraging, I could discuss anything with him and he would give me honest advice, he was also good at asking me questions in a way that would make me think about things so I could make a decision. What has this got to do with being childless, I would have asked that question myself 2 months ago, I honestly dont know, but not having any children of my own, not passing on those genes he gave to me, him never meeting my unborn children breaks my heart. Well I have made first contact with people who can understand, I would like to make it to a seminar but that will be big step for me, so for want of a better phrase I am taking baby steps! Thank you to everyone who reads this, I know reading what other people say makes me feel more normal and less alone, sorry for the rambling.

    • Claire April 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      My deepest sympathy on the loss on your father, when u have someone who really understands how u feel it can be utterly heartbreaking to lose them. You shouldn’t apologise for rambling but instead feel proud u found the strength to write something & try to express a little of how you are feeling. We all have our different stories on how we arrived on this page & the baggage we have brought with us but at least here you will always find others who understand, care & never tire of listening. You are not alone xx

    • Sherry April 7, 2014 at 12:21 am #

      I know how you feel. I have lost both my parents and my brother and sister each have a child but I have none. I continue to feel lost and empty but one thing I know is your brother is dead wrong!! I’m sorry but your brother’s attitude is why women like us struggle to find our way in the world. I don’t feel less like a woman I just feel a great since of loss because I know my husband and I would have been great parents.

  32. Helen March 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    I am 46 and became a mother at the age of 45 when I gave birth to twin daughters via a sperm donor. I had been in relationships but they never worked out and I spent many years feeling depressed, despite a great career, a home of my own and many material acquisitions. I went ahead and did it on my own when my mother acknowledged how I was feeling and gave me the money for IVF. To my absolute surprise, it worked first time. But prior to this, I spent many years being ignored and disrespected by some family members and ‘friends’ who would regularly speak over me about their families and how wonderful being a mother was, knowing full well that I yearned with all my being to become a mother. I regularly felt ( and was made to feel)humiliated and ashamed that I had not met someone and become ‘normal’. Even though my children now fill me with unbelievable joy, I have not forgotten those single/childless years. Indeed, I am still single, but my life is consumed (very happily) by my daughters, although I will admit to some occasional loneliness as a single mother. This website is so important, the brave women who post articulate every emotion I felt in the years leading up to the birth of my adorable babies. Yes, I am finally a mother, but I identify with all of you. I respect you all enormously and do not, and will never take your emotions or struggles for acceptance for granted. Being a mother is wonderful. But it does not define you. I wish you all the very best of luck and you have my full support.

  33. Deb March 1, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    Finding this website has been a Godsend. I’ve suffered for the last 10 years with the pain and anguish of being single and childless. 10 years ago I hid the excruitating grief caused by feelings of loneliness and desperate desire for children from family and work colleagues. I totally relate to the ‘Double Whammy’ description and feelings. Four years ago I was diagnosed with a massive benign tumour of the uterus (fibroid). I spent the next 2 years trying a range of conservative treatments without success and eventually made the heartbreaking decision to have a hysterectomy. I went through the pain of trying to come to terms with never being able to have children, whilst having to work alongside colleagues joyfully expecting their first babies. I felt very isolated during that time. Over the last 18 months I’ve been slowly coming to terms with the life I never expected to be leading. I thought I was making good progress until a young work colleague announced her pregnancy a few weeks ago. The pain and grief resurfaced. It is a relief to know that there are many other women in the same situation as me. It is inspiring me to want to come out and share my story.

    • Julie March 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      I completely understand how you feel. I was molested as a child and when I became of childbearing age I had two miscarriages. My doctor thought my incompetent uterus was brought on by being molested at such a young age and when my endometriosis got so bad I ended up having to have a hysterectomy. I lost both my babies right when my friend, co-worker and sister-n-law had theirs…we were all supposed to have ours at the same time. Now it’s an endless burden of dealing with baby showers, grandbabies, etc. I’m always the awkward one out when friends get together because they all about their children and I have a cat. Now two of my co-workers is pregnant, an elder co-worker is expecting a grandchild and now that’s all I hear about. Uhhhhhh!!!!!!

    • Katie April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Deb, I just want you to know I know how you feel. I have had three miscarriages and my marriage is now crumbling and, at 42, I am resigned to never being a mum. I work in a small team. My boss, who’s nearly 40, has just conceived in her first month of trying and I don’t want to rain on her parade but it’s so painful. Sometimes I literally don’t know how I get through the day. Life is very unfair and as someone just said about Bob Geldof, bad things happen to good people. We have to give ourselves a big hug and tell ourselves how well we’re doing. If only people could imagine how we feel. But unfortunately they can’t. xxx

  34. Barbara Pilgrim January 17, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    I love what you are saying, but this is not a new social trend for todays women reaching their 40’s. I am 55 next week and I am childless, not intentionally, but sadly through a series of several of the life circumstances and events you talk about. This is nothing new, there are lots of older women who have had to come to terms with this, unfortunately it’s sometimes how life turns out and I will always regret it.

    • Diana January 17, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      This group may have been founded by someone who’s still (just) under 50 but it isn’t at all age-specific. I’m a year older than you and in similar circumstances.
      The GW community has been very supportive to me over the past few months, since I heard Jody speak on Woman’s Hour, and is proving to be really helpful, informative and fun on all sorts of subjects – not always directly related to infertility, whether medical or social.
      The only novelty in this movement may be our combining to deal with the unpleasant aspects of childlessness but that’s a huge advance in itself. Do consider joining us; you never know what value you may find in this unless you try!
      Best wishes,

    • Sherry February 23, 2014 at 3:08 am #


      I’m one year older than you and also am filled with regret. My husband and I tried IVF alone with all the other treatments but to no avail. Now all my friends talk about their grandchildren and all I can do is feel depressed and empty inside. I’m not think I will ever stop grieving.

    • Helen Louise Jones April 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

      I agree Barbara…I often think of all the generations of women who have gone before us in social silence of their pain,bewilderment and downright unfairness of it all..The lack of voice and understanding around the subject that lead to even greater feelings of an unexplained loss and self doubt …must have been excruciating to bear.They did so with such dignity of their time and in isolation… We now at last will bear witness to an essential turning point for all of the worlds women, past, present and future,for whom childlessness, is the most relevant aspect in their whole lives.

  35. infertilewoman45 January 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Lest we forget how far some of us have come, how many who have recently joined and those who are still to find us… Come on 2014!
    This time last year, I had no idea of Gateway Women. I had been ‘alone’ in my childless story for 28 years and thought I always would be. I have tried really hard, for me anyway… and have lived an interesting life, but rarely happily. But if I’m really honest, subconsciously I didn’t think I’d have the strength to deal with it once I got a bit older.

    Jody Day, your dream and your hard work has, and will, continue to change my life for the good. I have FINALLY received confirmation and recognition from everyone here that my feelings about my childlessness are vitally important, in order to be at any kind of peace with it. I’m pretty sure, that is true for all of us.
    So thanks to all of us.
    Individually we are all amazing.
    Together we are an undeniable force of nature.

  36. Ruthie December 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Im 39 and I have been grieving for awhile now. I feel a little incomplete but I feel much better after finding Gateway Women. My partner and I are just not having any luck. I wish the day will come where I don’t feel like a woman with my tail between my legs. I hate feeling ashamed. I guess today I wish I felt a little more grateful, however, Im glad Im not alone.

  37. Vivienne December 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Thankyou! Started to feel very isolated in my invisible grief. Found your site through Life without Baby blog and feel human again. Still sad but ‘normal’. Thankyou.

    • renata March 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      My name is Renata. I’m 39 years old. I live alone and I’m childless. I feel depressed, but thanks you and others women present here I feel a bit less lonely and I am more understood. Thanks :-)

  38. Lisa Baugh December 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Hi Jody,
    I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for a while and find the posts to be excellent and very useful. I do have one child, born when I was almost 41. So, I had a lot of years being “the childless one.” My younger sister had a baby 9 years before my daughter was born, and I was amazed at how that changed the family dynamics and her status versus mine to my parents. Everything that people have said on here I relate to. I suppose I don’t qualify to join the members-only forum, but I really enjoy reading the public articles and comments. Great work and a great community! Best wishes and cheers, Lisa B. in New Jersey, USA

    • Jodykat December 22, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks Lisa! Great to have a ‘mother who gets it’ as a reader. Jody x

  39. Pickles December 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    I am 60, so I might be too old for this community.
    I wish I had found it much sooner. I never married
    and never had children. I suffer from “oh there’s time”
    syndrome (about many things). I also never really had
    the burning “I really want to be a mother” drive (possibly
    because I suffer from “oh there’s time” disease. I considered
    adoption while in my late thirties, but could not have afforded
    to raise a child alone. I’ve worked in a traditionally low-paying
    field, for one thing. Anyway, I truly did not feel regret and remorse
    about missing the motherhood boat until I found out at 46 I was
    going through menopause. THEN it really hit me, with sadness,
    that I’d never have the experience of being a mother. I remember
    how cold and smug my best friend seemed when I shared my
    feelings about this. (She married and had children quite young.)
    I still have regrets, but it’s more than not being a mother. It’s
    not having created a family, whether that be a traditional one
    or nontraditional one made of friends. I do have friends, but
    they have families they have created, so they are not available
    for holidays and special events. I am relegated to emailing or
    maybe lunch for contact. One thing I didn’t bargain for was how
    the motherhood/family thing as number-one topic seems to
    continue despite getting older. Now, my friends and acquaintances
    talk all the time about their married children and their GRAND CHILDREN.
    I am again left sitting there without similar stories to share. So
    I’m at sea, at 60, and overwhelmed with
    loneliness as the holidays approach. I know I need to just deal
    with it mentally, but have not succeeded. I hope to be able to
    find some insights here and people with whom to communicate.
    I hope I can offer something of myself as well. If this group is
    too young, perhaps someone can suggest another group for
    people in my age bracket.

    • Ali.B. December 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Pickles – there is no age limit to Gateway, the forum has a diverse group of woman, all ages, all stages of treatment/childlessness so you have nothing to worry about, I promise. I’m so glad you found GW, as it sounds like you’ve had a lonely time of things over the years. I’m not sure if you know about the online forum? It’s private and you have to request memebership via Jody, but I’m sure you’d find lots of comfort and support. Why don’t you come over and join us :-)

      • cawfee December 17, 2013 at 8:08 am #

        Hi and thanks to Ali B & Diana for responding. I guess I thought **this** was the online forum, but it sounds like there is another one, the one where you fill out a membership form? I will look for that. I am going through such sadness right now, the holidays, I am overwhelmed by it. I used to fly to other places where family members lived to spend holidays with them, but over time of course they have passed away. The younger ones have married with kids and I am welcome to join them, but I always feel on the outside. I always hear about people who have a big group of friends who do something ritually on the holidays, but that has never worked for me. My friends all seem to have family already and they do things with them. Sometimes I have been invited to dinner at Thanksgiving, and I sometimes go. But it’s so hard sitting there when you are the only one not part of the family.

    • Diana December 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Pickles, I’m soon going to turn 56 and your post could have been mine in all other respects. I’ve been a member of this community for a few months and it’s extremely supportive, so I do hope you’ll join us.
      This GW community is all-embracing and completely non-ageist: I’ve seen support being given to new members of almost all ages, from 20-somethings with fatal infertility issues up past menopause to older ladies of undisclosed ages. Some things in life are slightly different for those of us whose contemporaries are now talking all too loudly about their grandchildren – such as their friends’ infuriating tendency to post too much, too often, about their babies on Facebook.
      There’s also a considerable group of those whose main issues have more to do with being in what Jody dubbed the ‘double whammy’ category, not only childless but chronically or currently single.
      There are increasing numbers of arrangements being made for GW members to meet socially in real life, not just online, so it’s starting to be good for my Christmas diary, too. I hope it will benefit yours similarly.

    • Coral Raven January 20, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      Hi Pickles, I have never heard of the group until I read the Guardian last Saturday where it was mentioned in an article. I am so glad to hear there are others out there like me. I relate to so much you have said, so thank you for sharing so honestly your experience.
      I will be 60 in February, and being single with no children and no family at all is an ongoing issue that I struggle to deal with. Christmas is one of the worst times of the year. I usually get invited by a family in the church but it is to join them with their family and the fact of being single and alone becomes emphasised. It is difficult to make friends because most women have children and family and that seems to be the main topic of conversation. There are various reasons for not having created a family of my own, I have never had any stability or closeness in any relationships, I have been married three times and none of them lasted for more than a year. I have had difficulties with relationships perhaps because I was adopted. It is sad that I have no family of my own to focus on and to think about, and I do worry about old age. It is a lonely life.

      • Robyn Reid May 29, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

        Hi Coral I really resonated with your story, thank you. I am 66 and recently retired I have been divorced for 20 years and have no children, parents or siblings. However, I have many friends but they are mostly married and now grandmothers and I too feel lonely on holiday weekends, Christmas etc although I am welcomed by many.
        Although I am now involved in a couple of volunteer groups this has at times made things worse as other members talk about family and grandchildren most of the time and I often feel lost and alienated.
        I have just come across this website and most grateful for this link.
        I live in Australia but have close links with the UK.

  40. Cat Lover December 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    It is so wonderful to have found other people who feel like I do and understand completely where I’ve been in my head

  41. Carolyn December 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    I’m a single 49 yr old childless women. After having never found the right partner and having a series of failed relationships I now have depression and realise that it’s partly due to never having fulfilled my dream of motherhood. I send out loving wishes to all of us in this community and know that there are benefits to my single life that will never outweigh being a mother but offer me some comfort in between my periods of grieving. Just knowing GW exists is a great. Thank you jody for this.

  42. Shanda G. Morton December 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Gateway Women has been a safe place for me. The community has so many wonderful women in all stages of their journey.

    I have been a member for about a month and the weight that has been lifted. The loneliness of no one “gets it” is gone.

    I have bad days and even if I don’t post I can read the comments and post of others which is so extremely helpful. It’s not just a place to cry or be bitter, (even if one of us has one of those days) it’s truly a place to be around others who want to grow, help each other be strong and heal. I am at the beginning of my journey to Plan B. With GW I know it is possible.

    Thank you so much Jody!!

  43. Amel December 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I’ve joined GW community in Google + for the past few months and I must say that lately it’s one of the big highlights of my days. It’s a comfortable place to share my innermost feelings and then get the kind of support that I need (that my other friends can’t give me). I love learning from all the other ladies and also interacting with them in the community. It’s not just a place to share the sad moments in our lives, but also our victorious and funny, inspiring moments as well as to share tips and tricks. How lovely it feels to have a group of ladies who just “get it”! So THANK YOU, Jody, for providing the community for us.

  44. Justine November 24, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Big sense of relief now I have found your site. your intro video is so funny and true and real. Thank you Jody. I really look forward to being an active part of this community. you are a godsend. cheers.

  45. Ros November 18, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    As one of 4 sisters (2nd eldest) I never thought I’d need to reach out online to find love & support. I thought my biological sisters would always be there for me. Turns out that it’s not the case. I’m now 46 & the 1 in 4 that has neither married nor had children. They all settled into their relationships in teens or early 20s so I became the ‘wild’ one (largely because I had more life experience, as a result of not being settled). I’ve muddled my way through 10 years of this grief as best i can without being able to articulate what I was really feeling. I was doing well too…. just starting to really explore Plan B options.

    This year has been a very difficult one though: beginning with the death of my youngest sister’s beautiful husband and the simultaneous miscarriage of her second child. I grieved for both losses and rallied around her and my 2yo niece daily for six months, while the other sisters put into action plans to come home (one after 27 years absence) to help. We were united.

    However, now that the 2nd youngest is home with her 3 teens girls, the reality is very different. It’s become increasingly apparent that this little family are still suffering the impacts of an ugly divorce. They are compassionate about the the loss of husbands, loss of babies, loss of fathers, loss of future…. but what would I know about that? There’s no support for me (even to get used to supporting and living with my first time out of home, 19 yo niece after years on my own). I’m now considered a drama queen to be avoided until I come to my senses… but they’re all very worried? The teens treat me with suspicion and lack of respect and I no longer see the little one (who I have looked after one day a week – free fully qualified early childhood specialist – since she was 1yo).

    My world has been turned inside out and upside down. Fortunately, my angels led me here.

    Jody, thanks for articulating so clearly what I’ve never been able to before.. I bought and read your book on Saturday night (cover to cover). Rather than making me cry, which I’ve done a lot of this year, in particular, it stopped the tears and empowered me. I’m now going back to do the exercises and have applied to join your community so I look forward to the opportunity of rockin’ with my sisters of circumstance.

    Thanks also for helping me decide what to get each and every member of my family for Christmas! :)

    • Teresa June 4, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Hi – can’t believe what your experiencing from your family – it is exactly the same as mine….lost our mother and my whole world fell apart… I was also made redundant and went into a deep depression. .. whilst going through IVF which was unsuccessful AGAIN. All in the last 3 yrs.

      I have 1 sister and her children which I have helped all their lives – am now being told I’m mentally ill and need help or I’m a drama queen!

      Thankfully I have a wonderful husband of 20 years who has also gone through our infertility journey. NIGHTMARE.
      Without him I think they would have sent me mad!

      Still struggling really but getting there

  46. Lilly November 14, 2013 at 1:26 am #

    I just ended up becoming a mother at age 45, didn’t think it would happen but it did. Anyway, I think this site is one of the most important sites I’ve ever come across. There are tons of sites for moms, but virtually none for “not-moms”. And very often, not-moms actually add more to society than many moms (sad to say). I have never liked the way I was disrespected for years for being childless. As if a woman using her uterus makes her a better person? I mean I don’t mean to be rude, but seriously. The people I can’t stand the worst are those people who only care about either children, or mothers (oh, and men are usually exempt from judgment, somehow). There are many people who have children for selfish reasons, plus if a woman is childless, it usually has more to do with her trying to be responsible. It is worse for her to have had a child with just anyone, that would be unfair to the child. Anyway, you will all always have my support, and respect.

  47. infertilewoman45 October 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Just finally finding this group in the first place !!!…..and by accident. I’d given up that anything like this would exist, to be honest..Theres never has been anything before, not in the UK anyway, I looked for years, the whole of my adult life, I have been dealing with this alone since I was 18 ,I’m now 47.Its been a huge needy hole in the social/medical/support/womens area.

    Thankgod for Jody and her amazing drive, confidence, bravery and skill set…It was always going to take someone with that combination and personal experience..to launch us the success its becoming…I truly hope she receives the kind of support she needs from everyone to keep this moving forward.Its so very important.

    We need to know we are not isolated in our experiences…That one fact alone is enough.

    • Nicole November 5, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Hello, I have also coped with having no one to talk to re being childless from the age of 20 due to serious illness and have had to cope with a complete lack of understanding and discrimination from the world. Some Morhers include you, the majority think you are a spare part or treat you with disdain as you are not a mother, “Are you a child hater” or “what’s Wong with you then, your life must be so empty”…or from the sister in law countless times, “It’s alright for you I have two very expensive children”, or “It’s alright when you are only paying for 2 not 4″. When I finally asked her why she kept saying these things when she knew they hurt she replied that I needed to see a shrink as I had huge insecurity issues and my behaviour was unforgivable. She completely refuses to acknowledge my every day illness, the social isolation and all the pain and heartache my illness brought not just to me, but my whole family. No one chooses to be ill, or in certain situations, but all I know is I am more than happy without kids but the thing that really annoys me is being defined because through illness, I lost any choice to have biological kids. We did go down the adoption route and got passed but felt it wasn’t for us, we also looked into surrogacy but really could not or want another woman to carry a baby for us and give it away, so we “adopted” a few from a charity that sponsors them in a third world country throughout the world and we have regular updates and visit them ……this is enough for us. But I just wish society viewed us as contributing, not a forgotten life just cos we are not Mothers.

    • Regina November 14, 2013 at 3:34 am #

      I’m 50 years old and feel just like an alien. I am an only child never married, never had any children. It seems like I am the only woman in my church, family, and among my few friends who has never married nor had any children. I felt like a curse has hovered over my life, and that something was wrong with me. I have never even really dated any man over a long period of time to really develop a real relationship as other women friends that I’ve known. Then, had a hysterectomy at an early age on top of that. I believe I spoke to negatively about men, marriage, and having children without having a college education, and career to support children. Is there any other women support groups in America like the Gatewaywomen support group? Please reply soon. Thanks

      • Becky November 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

        Regina, you aren’t an alien. I’m an only child, too, without children and very little family. You aren’t alone. I’d strongly suggest joining the Gateway women online community. I’ve been able to gain hope and good insight from the group, and it’s reassuring to be able to communicate with other women who really understand.

  48. CarolC October 22, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    Finally, people who understand what I’m going through. Everything my friends and partners seem to brush off as me being moody. Every so often something “floors” me thenafter a few hours I pick myself back up, but it’s like Groundhog Day!

    I’ve bought the book and can’t wait to work at moving on.

    Well done Jody and thank you.

  49. Munchkin October 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    I DO have children but was moved by the WWH article as it resonated so much in terms of friends I have. I respect and love my not-mother friends and want them to have every happiness. I don’t believe children are the only way to be happy but it is true that our society places masses of emphasis on it, so when you have a child you join an enormous club that somehow grants you a status. This website is brilliant.

    • Becky October 19, 2013 at 3:25 am #

      Hello Munchkin: I’m so happy that there are mothers out there like you who have this kind of understanding! Thank you for this.

    • Ulli October 22, 2013 at 5:46 am #

      Hello Munchkin, thank you for your kind words. It is wonderful to see that mothers like you understand us so well. Even though we are all women this is easily forgotten when it comes to children. You have inspired me to write my first comment on here :)

  50. k.m.blundell October 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Wonderful to hear R4 womans hour recently infact couldn’t believe I was hearing this piece and was supremely heartened. Now I am 7 years past the faintest possibility of child bearing and very familiar with all the above posted heartbreaking comments as I too have been suffering the agony of being childless and all that goes with it for a long time now. I am constantly trying to make sense of it all. My therapy is to immerse my self in endless searching and questing for more qualifications and knowledge. I have a wide range of interests. I am possibly overqualified now, however don’t seem to be able to combine all these different subjects under one heading! I put the lack of satisfaction and feeling unsettled down to my childlessness As I see it, study is a kind of distraction therapy, i.e. never having to face up to the sadness of my situation! My mother died 10 months ago. Her death particularly highlighted my situation. I was very close to her and looked after her for some years, she never made a big production about not having grandchildren but I know she felt the loss too especially when her contemporaries talked about their grandchildren. Thank you for setting up Gateway Women, it is good to know there is fellow feeling out there.


  51. Milady October 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Thank you Jody for giving me some hope for the future, am so glad I tuned in to WWH. I’ve dealt with every kind of cr*p the workplace had to throw at me without batting an eyelid…..but your welcome has just made me cry and cry this evening. Perhaps that’s because it’s something really worth caring about.

  52. Gail October 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    I heard your article on Radio 4 and am so relieved to have heard you. We are just – painfully – coming to terms with being childless and I feel so alone. I seem to be surrounded by people who either have children, or who have >chosen< not to have children. There is the assumption that we are the second category. That I have chosen to have a career (I haven't, like you said, I am a woman with a job!). That I'm OK with my diminishing friendship group as they have children. That it's OK that I don't have children because I love the outdoors (!). That my husband can be posted on extended trips as we don't have children. That it's OK for people to say 'don't ever have children' … I'm looking forward to exploring your website. Thank you.

  53. Rich Armier October 5, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    What a good idea. Great to see it here and aired intelligently. Wish there was a ‘voice’ for your opposite number. 

    In my late fifties, I always wanted kids. Like some have expressed here, never met the right partner. Nowadays recently, there’s something unusual, inexplicable, going on inside, one that’s DEFINITELY different in the past year or so.

    At first I was curious, puzzled, it was so subtle. Now I recognise it’s connected with having kids. Or rather not having.

    Knowing I’ll never be a father is something I’ve reluctantly accepted, but having to bury away simple, casual, natural impulse to smile, interact, even giggle with neighbours kids….

    It’s a ‘no no’ now isn’t it, knowing ya must stifle any expression of delight in children in, say a public park situation. Some call it the ‘Saville effect’ (bloody evil creep).

    Life’s hard enough as it is. Not having kids is a swaying heartache. Burying the conversation as you all have had to do is another ache (but now thankfully there’s this forum). Muzzling an impulsive giggle with my neighbours three-year-old is an ache too far.

    I’ll say it again; What a great idea. Great to see it here and aired so intelligently. Wish there was a ‘voice’ for we men, your opposite number.

    Gals on top. Go for it!

    • Heather February 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Hi Rich,

      Thank you for sharing the male point of view. I think we, even on this site, have forgotten there may be childless fathers out there that although do not face the fertility issues, never found the person they wanted to have a child with.

  54. Stephan October 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Radio 4 is always on in my car, but I only caught a few minutes of your broadcast and thought it was a good idea to read your website. From a single, childless man’s point of view, I do agree with a lot that you have said, but I also see things in a different way.

    Yes, in some ways, I do wish that I was a dad. But for all the wrong reasons. My parents had three daughters, and kept trying till I came along. My father wanted a grandchild to carry on the family name. That responsibility is lumbered onto me because I was his only son. I couldn’t give him a son, so how does that make me feel?
    I wanted a child to mould in my image, and nurture the talents that I always wanted, almost living my life through my child. To nurture a great kid into a well-rounded, educated, talented, sporty, beautiful adult. But what if my child had a serious medical condition? An imperfection? Or worse, wanted to be a second hand car salesman? Would I want them then? Could I cope with their needs in my incredibly busy life? Would I be willing to give up my dreams and aspirations to look after them? I would also worry about my child a lot.

    The other problem I would most worry about at my age of 48 (and 3/4s), is “being an old dad”. My father was in his fifties when I was growing up, and we just never seemed to be on a level par. He was always knackered when he got home, and didn’t seem to understand my culture. Although he would let me pursue any activity I wanted, he was not able to join in or be there for me through the tougher times. My father was a well-respected man, but I never felt that I was armed at a young age with the skills for basic living. Although I do think of myself as being quite young in my head (kill myself in the gym four times a week, willing to listen to gangnam music and The Saturdays), I’m worried about not having the energy to cope with a growing teenager in my sixties. I get mega pissed off when I see kids screaming and running around in supermarkets because parents either haven’t the brain, or the energy to discipline unruly children. Should there be compulsory classes for parents on bringing up children? You read it here first. So that’s the idea that I am worried about; being an “old” dad. My friend has become a father at 47 to twin daughters. So I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses.

    For me, not having children at this moment, is a bit of a blessing. Maybe it was just never in my destiny. I have thought of adoption, but that, like having any child, is a massive responsibility, and again, I’m away from home all day. The upshot is, I just get on with enjoying life the best I can.

    • Marlena Krym January 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      I completely agree with you. Life is too short for wasting time trying to fulfil someone’e else dreams and/or meet society’s expectations.

  55. Anna October 4, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    When I discovered the Gateway women website last week I had a huge emotional reaction. Jody, I read your words of encouragement and solidarity on that first page and I burst into the most hacking sobs – sounds came out I didn’t know I had! The relief of hearing my own experience described and hearing I wasn’t as desperately alone as I’ve felt for so long was so enormous. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I then heard you on Woman’s Hour, which was synchronicity, I thought. Like others here, I usually turn it off I feel so excluded and by extension ‘failed’. It was wonderful to hear your words of wisdom. I can’t believe they have taken so long to get you on. I have written to Woman’s Hour to say the piece wasn’t long enough, was ended peremptorily by (mother) Jane Garvey, and that could they please spend more time talking about this issue. I have challenged them to do a whole week of Woman’s Hour without talking about parenting/childbirth/midwifery/schooling etc etc etc. And as I pressed ‘send’ I heard the trailer for today’s WH and one of the subjects today- how to support your children when they go to university. Off goes my radio!
    Jody, you rock.

    • Gail October 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      I agree with you! The WH was far too short!

  56. Lynn October 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Jody, finding this website has saved my life. I am 41 and have wanted to have a child for over 10 years. I have never found a partner who wanted the same thing and have spent most of that time single and feeling incredibly lonely as all my friends have found partners and had children, who have, understandably become the focus of their world. I felt like I was going mad and no one, even me, understood how I was feeling or why. It became so bad that I have been repeatedly diagnosed with depression and finally was referred to a psychiatrist with suspected bipolar disorder. I was scared. However it is finally clear to me that I have simply been grieving and feeling extremely sad. I have good days and bad days but since reading your book I am beginning to understand why I have been feeling so strongly and finally accept that I will never be a mother. Just over a year ago I went to a fertility clinic and got as far as buying donor sperm and paying for a round of IVF. Ironically I couldn’t start treatment at the time because I was on anti-depressants. The more I thought about it I did not feel comfortable being a single mother in this way and cancelled my treatment. All the IVF drugs are out of date and still in a box under the stairs and this box has been named my ‘baby under the stairs’ until now. Finally I can see it is just a box and feel ready to throw its contents away. Thank you.
    P.S. I am interested in starting a Meetup group in Shropshire, is that ok and do you have any advice for how to do this?

  57. D'Anne October 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Thanks Jody. Just listened to your BBC4 interview – fantastic job, so eloquently & accurately explained :-) Also the 1st time I’ve heard your voice & what a lovely sounding voice it is :) . I am 45 & my husband & I recently finally decided to quit TTC after a very long bumpy journey, v.similar to yours re treatments, me finally being diag w severe endo at 40 & 7 subsequent failed IVFs, 1 incl a miscarriage. We ache for a child but can no longer keep fighting against the odds at our age to put it mildly. Anyway, I’m over here in Aust., doing quite well (w some bad days/moments/events re my childlessness grief) & I would have to say that discovering Gateway Women last year has been a huge help with coping w my heartache & processing of my grief & continues to be a touchstone for me (& to some extent my husband by proxy). Oh & I just bought your eBook, so am looking fwd to reading that! So, thanks again ever so much :) Love & best wishes

  58. Claire Smith October 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a group like this for years. Jody’s workshops are an absolutely fantastic experience and I highly recommend them to anyone struggling to deal with a perhaps unwanted identity of being ‘childless by circumstance’. But more than anything, the GW community that Jody has built is amazing, supportive and completely ‘gets it’. Put simply GW has changed my life and I’ve met some wonderful women in the process. Don’t hold back, come and join the GW community that will transform how you’re feeling.

  59. Em Cee (@emileecee) October 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    I’m 42 and didn’t realise how much I was ‘waiting’ for a relationship and ensuing child to come into my life until I was faced with the truth that it’s just not going to happen. I found Gateway and it has given me the space and the support to actually recognise my feelings, mourn my loss and start to think about getting on with my life. It’s a friendly, funny, honest and totally supportive network that has saved me from purgatory and is slowly allowing me to accept both myself and my circumstances. Thanks Jody. This really isn’t the end, it’s now become the beginning. XXX

  60. Sylvie October 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Thank you. At last someone who understands. I’ve had to turn Woman’s Hour off so many times because it has been too painful to listen to yet another piece on motherhood, the club that I feel so shut out of, so it was such a relief to hear you speak the other day. I’m so glad to have found your site, a place where my experience is valid and understood. Although the few people around me whom I confide in try to be kind, no-one really understands the grief and pain I feel, and the fact that it goes on, and on. My reasons for not becoming a mother yet are complicated, I’m married and I haven’t given up hope yet even though at almost 44 I think I probably should, I think life might be easier if I did. I feel unbearable a lot of the time, the world feels like it revolves around children and at times I just want to shut myself away. I’ve been looking online for somewhere like this for such a long time. I’m not really an online forum type of person, but I’m going to join yours

  61. Patricia Kelly October 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Heard you on Womans Hour this morning – you star! Thank you. :-)

    • Pip Reilly October 2, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      Well done on Women’s hour great issues including both female and male perspective’s
      Pip Reilly

  62. Tamara October 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    As a double whammy single and childless woman in my late 30s, it was a very lonely place to be until I found Gateway Women. All my friends were getting married or partnered up and having children, my social circle shrunk and when I did see my friends with kids, it was all they talked about. Social events with friends usually involved them bringing their kids along, so of course again the conversation was all about them and there were constant distractions. I wondered why I had even bothered going and what there was that I could meaningfully talk about. I started to feel very useless, sad and that I had no purpose in the world – like I was always on the outside looking in at our very family and child-centric society.

    When I found Gateway Women, I realised that my identity as a NoMo (none mother) could be equally powerful and fulfilling as being a mother. I am still working on my plan B and hoping to link up with more NoMos in my area (via the GW meetups). At last I feel that I can belong somewhere and be understood – and that my life isn’t over because I am childless.

    Thanks Jody for creating this community – may it grow, prosper and give us NoMo’s a valuable and loud voice in society!

    • Becky October 1, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

      Tamara: I think it’s great that you feel more encouraged. I also felt like an outcast until I started meeting and corresponding with other childless women. Gateway Women is another way for me to share feelings with women struggling with the same issues.

      Good luck with Plan B.


  63. Razz A October 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    It’s only been a month, but I already feel connected, supported and inspired as woman without a child. This is a real community, where people understand and reach out to each other. The women on this site are wise, with a capital W and so very supportive. Can’t recommend this site enough to anyone who is navigating the road less traveled as a not mother.

  64. Moll October 1, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Just heard the womens’ hour programme – bravo Jody! What a *relief* to find your forum and hear other voices which echo how I am feeling. Thank you so much.

  65. Rachel October 1, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Just heard the radio 4 article, how I resonate with a lot of Jody’s comments – as for friendships diminishing – thought it was just me! And being lonely, yup know that one as well. Looking forward to reading more.

  66. emma slow October 1, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Jody, it was so wonderful to hear you speak so compassionately, intelligently and humourously on Woman’s Hour this morning. Thank you so much for bringing us into the limelight, and claiming our place in society – we really are going to rock the world, and it’s going to be so much fun when others start to rock out with us ;)

  67. Dan October 1, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Is there any support for men?

    • Jodykat November 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for your comment. I am aware that childlessness is an issue for men too, and often dismissed in a very offhand way. People can, if they make an effort, appreciate that being a childless woman might be hard, but they tend to think it’s ‘easy’ for men.

      There isn’t, as yet, a sort of ‘Gateway Men’, but I hope someone will do something one day. I am always open to mentoring anyone who’d like to start an online community as I have.

      Below are some resources you might be interested to take a look at – most of the currently available support is around infertility rather than being childless for other reasons, but both Robin and Ann’s work has a broader focus and I hope it going to lead to some new conversations.

      Academic Researchers
      Dr Robin Hadley – PhD at University of Keele on childless men
      Twitter: @robinhadley1

      Media coverage:
      ABC Radio Australia interview:
      Research webpage: http://www.wantedtobeadad.com

      Dr Ann Dalziell – PhD University of Bristol on Childless Men
      Twitter @childlessmen

      Support Groups
      MoreToLife is a support group for men/women/couples after unsuccessful inferitiy treatmetns

      Mensfe – this is run by a man called Pip O’Rielly. It is for men pre, during, or post, male infertility issues.

      Few Pieces Missing from Normalcy: http://afewpiecemissingfromnormalcy.wordpress.com/
      One Man’s Battle With Infertility: http://onemansbattlewithmaleinfertility.blogspot.co.uk/

      • Pip Reilly November 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

        Dear Dan
        I hope the following helps:
        There are a number of web sites available that focus on male issues and can be easily accessed through Google. One that I am involved in is:
        Mensfe.net is a web site with a focus on men who find communication difficult and do not have easy access to support. Simply, it is an open forum website which provides support and a wealth of fertility related information on male issues.
        We are all aware Infertility affects men and women in approximately equal proportion, worldwide it is generally accepted that the causes of infertility are aprox. 34% male factor, 34% female factor and 32% combined male-female unexplained factors. However I did notice an article in the Sunday Independent 3rd November 2013: Ian Pacey (chair of BIA) is quoted as saying infertility is 50-50 between Male and female.
        However while women have historically been the focus of infertility treatment due to medical necessity, we are fully aware that the male plays a significant role in a couple’s efforts to achieve a pregnancy and the quality of family life that has so far eluded them. It may be said that men in this situation are largely not given a voice, or cannot express their helplessness, despair and concern for their own issues and those of their partners.
        Mensfe is trying to fill what we believe is an important gap in support and information provision. The support is very male focussed but we expect that professionals and wives/partners will also gain insight, as they obtain access to the forums and discussion groups. One of the groups deals with gender communication issues and female involvement is encouraged. Our ultimate aim is to see blighted relationships brightened and future hope restored.
        The Mensfe website has been developed to contain a wealth of fertility related information in common with many other existing sites however the site goes a lot further than other sites.
        Specialist support is provided by eminent clinicians and professionals who specialise in male infertility treatment, and associated psychological issues. There aim is to devote time (when appropriate) to improve the quality of and delivery of male support and infertility care, through more extensive information and explanation being available about specific gender related issues. These include additional coping strategies, detailed self help advice plus a wide range of professional and other sources of help.
        Most importantly the site places real stories, detailed accounts in their/your own words, low mood, despair and crucially their/your strategies for overcoming them.
        It has been the secure areas of the site where we particularly hoped to engage visitors by encouraging participation in small group forums. These groups tend to compromise men with similar issues and questions which they are encouraged to share in much the same way as formal group therapy might operate. A professional moderator of each group reviews progress regularly and helps to keep the group focussed and directed. .
        Best regards – Pip Reilly.

  68. Sarah Rooke September 17, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Thank you for your website.

    I am 45, have never been in a relationship, and when I turned 42 a couple of years ago, I hit an early menopause

    I was devastated, as I knew that I would probably then never marry or have children

    It seemed so unfair when everyone around me was married, or divorced, had children, and I was going to miss out

    Despite people’s best intentions of saying they understood, they couldn’t really as they either had children or had married or both

    My own family kept saying things like ‘oh well, getting married and having children isn’t everything’. Maybe not, but again, they just didn’t understand the heartache

    When I was around my friends, I couldn’t join in with the conversations, as it was all about their children and I felt left out and like a spare piece of the furniture

    Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for your website, and for trying to raise an important issue. We are left out and made to feel isolated in society.

    • Wendy September 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      Sarah, Have you thought about joining the online community? It’s hugely supportive and what you express echoes the experience of several of us who have joined.

  69. Cat Lover September 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    We wanted to adopt went through the first part of the process twice and ss scared us off again so we decided to give up now trying to rebuild our lives but its so hard no one seems to understand they just think we are odd I am sure, we are both
    drinking too much and just need to find a purpose

  70. Lisa Burke September 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Jody I read your article in my magazine this week with interest. I’m 43 and not a mother but the majority of my friends are mothers and all they talk about are their kids. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I love their kids and in fact I have two beautiful nieces of my own who I sometimes talk about as well, but whenever my friends and I meet for dinner, and usually on MY birthday, and the conversation automatically turns to the children, I find myself with nothing to contribute! I’ve known these friends for 30 years and should feel able to ask them to talk about something other than their kids but I don’t because I don’t want to hurt them as they clearly love their kids. My friends haven’t abandoned me because I don’t have kids but I do feel like they have nothing else to talk about which leaves me a bit left out of the conversation and which makes me feel like I don’t want to make arrangements to see them, which surely can’t be right can it? I’d be interested to see what others have to say and I’ll definitely be reading through your website with interest.

    • Becky September 17, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

      I completely understand how you feel about not wanting to make arrangements to see your friends because they talk a lot about their children. I can relate because many of my co-workers have kids, and a lot of the time the conversations are focused on family life. I usually don’t say much to them when they have these conversations because I can’t relate to what it’s like being a mother. My closest friends don’t have children, so I try to hang out with them.

  71. Jill Lawler September 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Hi Jody,

    I am very pleased to find that you have started the website for childless women like myself. As you know its hard to explain to mothers how lost and isolated we can feel. It’s also hard to explain to women who never wanted children.

    My biggest gripe is when there has been a tragedy involving children. A lot of mothers will make comments such as “well as a mother it really affected me”. I always want to point out that as a human being it affected me. Well done Jody and all involved for helping us to feel less like outcasts.

  72. Anne September 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    This is an amazing resource and community. It has made a huge difference to me in my daily struggles to know I am not alone and that I can be a part of a group that understands. Thank you Jody and all of the GW women.

  73. Becky September 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    It is so comforting to know that I am not alone with my feelings about not being a mother. I often don’t participate in conversations with women at work because many times they chat about their children/grandchildren, and I feel a bit like an alien amongst them – out of the loop. I just can’t relate to what it is like to be a mother (except to my 2 cats), and feel like an outsider when I’m around these mothers/grandmothers whose children/grandchildren seem to be the centre of their worlds.

    Now that I’ve found this website, I don’t feel so strange anymore. It is like having a support group right at my finger tips. I wish that I lived close to England because I could go to some of the events posted on this website. Maybe one day there will be more in Canada.

    Thanks, Jody, for putting so much work into this!

  74. Pixie September 8, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Years of feeling so alone vanished almost overnight. Gateway Women is a like getting a big hug from a long lost friend. Knowing that the despair is normal, the bitterness is normal too, but most of all the struggle to find Plan B is the hardest for all of us.
    After so long I finally feel I belong to a community that share the same goals – helping women struggling come to terms with the acceptance of childlessness and getting to know their true selves.
    Jody Day you rock and all the other ladies that have helped me so far have given me back the faith to face this struggle face on and find my reason.
    Thank you.

  75. Rhonda Y. September 7, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    GW is a great forum where I can be transparent and honest, while getting the support I need! GW women understand, care and are ready to encourage!!!

  76. Nina September 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    I joined Gateway Women a few months ago and I cannot recommend it enough. It provides a safe place to discuss all those things that hardly anyone else is able to understand. Be prepared to be surrounded by clever, kind and wise women…

  77. Tracy Bailey September 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    GW offers a safe place where I can share anything from resources, articles & experiences. Being an infertile couple in a baby-centric world is a constant battle of emotions & dealing with other people’s opinions / judgements, so I often find myself discussing GW with my husband so we feel like we are a part of a ‘community’ & not going ‘crazy.’ We are determined not to be society’s failures but move on & find a voice. Thanks to Jody Day for developing this platform & to all those who contribute & care.

  78. Em p September 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Gateway women has literally turned my life around. Amazing community of women who get it.

  79. rantywoman September 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    I can’t recommend the forum highly enough. There’s an unusually sensitive and intelligent group of women on there. I wish they all lived nearby!

  80. Leigh September 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    A place for those of us that don’t quite fit the traditional mould, somewhere it’s ok to share the grief, loss, hope, happiness, furbabies, and sometimes even joy of being childless by circumstance. Jody Day has created a safe, welcoming place for us. Thank you Jody! xxx

  81. Ali.B. September 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Finding Gateway has been one of the best experiences! Jody, you have created such a caring, compassionate and supportive place for women facing childlessness. I never feel alone, and when I’m feeling low I know exactly where to come! GW is a fantastic communtiy full of wonderfully inspiring women! As another GW recently said “logging on to GW feels like applying a soothing salve”. Thank you Jody!

  82. Gigi Q September 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Finding and joining this community has been the best thing that has happened to me this year! I finally have found people that understand my situation and can actually empathize with it. It is an amazing feeling to be understood (for once) and not be made to feel as though it is your fault. It is such a safe and supportive group of wonderful, smart, funny women and I’m so thankful to Jody for making it possible.

  83. Wendy September 5, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Finding Gateway Women a few weeks ago has been brilliant. I finally feel connected with women who share many of the same feelings and experiences I have had for years, but have kept to myself and tried to deal with on my own. I had felt very isolated and this is a very welcoming place to be. The shared experiences of other women is hugely supportive and inspiring. Thank you Jody.x

  84. Zoe September 5, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Joining the G+ Forum for Gateway women has been a revelation. Before I felt alone and struggling through life because I have not had children. There were so many issues that this was causing for me which after hearing from the other GW women I now realise are really common! I am still hoping to become a mother but after many years of failed IVF attempts I am really scared it might not happen.
    Since joining the community (it really is a community, even though that sounds like a cliche!) I have heard from so many other inspiring women and I do not feel so alone. I was actually a little nervous about joining GW but now I am so glad that finally I have found other women who I can relate to and just knowing that you are all out there, all over the world, has changed my perspective forever.

  85. infertilewoman45 September 5, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    A much needed resource for childless women.

    At last…. Thank you Jody for being brave enough and strong to provide this amazing Gateway Women platform for women to find support and comfort. To know that the pain and grief that comes with being childless is universal. Together we have created a sea of love,support and understanding. A movement for the Childless and for the whole world of women.

    Society will have to change and acknowledge this unspoken taboo.

    Gateway Women is the voice for the childless women in the world. A way to move forward and use a very distressing experience of life in a very rich way.

  86. Scrubbysue September 5, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    I love this community. I feel like I finally have a voice and I’m not afraid anymore to face the truth knowing that I’m not alone and I can for ONCE, have a place I feel accepted.

  87. Jane September 5, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    I cant thank all the Gateway Women enough for all the kind and loving words of support I found with this online community. Having already had two meetups with our Sydney group, Ive already made some fantastic friends. Thanks Jody for giving us our power back!!

  88. kazbar75 September 5, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Thank you so much for creating this site and community, Jody. Knowing that I’m not alone, and reading the positive and inspirational articles and comments, really does help me when I’m feeling down about not having children.

  89. Karen September 5, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Thank you so much for creating this community, Jody. Knowing that I’m not alone gives me strength and really does help me when I’m feeling down.

  90. Maria E. Hill September 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Jody, this is a phenomenal community that you have created. I love how committed everyone is to healing, supporting each other and finding their special way to shine anew in the world. Everyone here is a pioneer and I am honored to be a part of the group.

  91. merry September 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Gateway Women has helped me understand why I feel the way I have felt, I had been thinking I was mad for so many years, but now I know I was just grieving. I am in touch with an amazing community of women and I know I am not alone. If I reach out, there is always support available. Thanks Jody, and thanks to everyone. ps Reignite is brilliant, if you are thinking of doing it, you won’t regret it.

  92. Josh July 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Great website – well done, success to you with the book and Blog… ROCK ON!!

  93. happyibtissam July 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    thanks for the efforts to make childless women smile again

  94. Ruth May 8, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I attended the reignite weekend and it was amazing. It was great to find friends who had different stories but the same frustrations, and fears. I was scared of opening up my feelings again and sure enough I cried lots over the weekend but now I feel like a new person and so glad I went to the workshop. Sure I will have bad days but feel like I have friends to talk to now. Thanks so much to my fellow attendees and Jody- you are all amazing.

  95. Tess M May 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Gateway May 2013 Reignite weekend was such a supportive and brilliant course – so great to meet and share time with other Gateway women, and it allowed me to challenge myself and see my way forward to my Plan B. Jody brilliantly guided us with great sensitivity and provided a variety and depth of exercises both for helping us to learn to heal and practical foor Plan B – Many many thanks

  96. Flakes May 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I attended this weekend with some ‘butterflies’ but it’s ended up being one of the best things I could have done.
    I’m more equipped than before I attended the event for moving on and getting to grips with my plan B.

    Best thing though was meeting the other Gateway Goddesses and seeing I’m not alone…

  97. Heather Travis (@HeatherTravis) April 3, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Jody:) This blog and the amazing G+ community you have created have truly saved me. No ‘infertility’ blogs every resonated with me while we were on our journey. They all seemed too ‘baby or bust’ and I knew there had to be another option. And this is the option for me, living a full and wonderful life without kids. I am complete without kids – despite what the majority of society tells us. I cannot thank you enough for your continued inspiration, support, and humour. The blog and community have helped me more than I can say. While I know this journey has just begun to feeling complete – I know where I am headed and that is in good part because of Gateway Women and the inspiration I have found here:) Thank you!

  98. Tracey April 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I never thought I’d say that a website had changed my life, but this one has. My friends will attest to the fact that I’ve been a happier, freer person since joining the Gateway Women community a few weeks ago – not because it’s taken away the pain of being childless, but because I no longer feel alone with the pain; I’m connected to hundreds of women from across the globe who understand, who comfort, inspire and laugh with one another. Jody Day has done something very important.

  99. Linda Bradley April 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi there Jody!
    You are a real inspiration to ALL WOMEN!
    Thank you for creating this group and the blog for so many of us who can relate to the subject issue!
    I’m looking forward to meeting you and other women in London on the 9th April.

    Lots of love,
    Linda Bradley.

  100. Claire Gallagher March 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    I was feeling particularly alone and a bit “weird” at the age of 40 when I decided to do a search for others in my situation last summer. Up came Gateway Women and Jody’s fantastic blogs. I shed a few tears reading them and the responses from other women on here, and I still do, because this is a painful place to be. But through joining the G+ forum I am gradually overcoming my shame about not being a mum, and have found so much support and hope. Thanks Jody and the Gateway Women everywhere. x

  101. Ayshea March 27, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    I too have felt heart ache with hope increasing every month and then only to find I crash and burn when my hope fades as my monthly period arrives ripping hope from me. I can empathise with having turned 40 last year, how it used to feel extreme to hear of these emotions but as months tick by you feel more and more helpless and with that I look at my adorable husband (who i am thankful for everyday) only to feel inadequate as both a wife and a woman when it appears I cannot fulfil the dream I always wished for. My sister has recently had twins (assisted fertility as she’s in a same sex relationship) I feel only love for her which is a blessing as during her pregnancy I worried i’d battle with my emotions. Thankfully I’m not bitter but would be lying if I wasn’t honest to say I do question outcomes and feel that life can be cruel…. I still live in hope at 40 but have given myself till 43 so for me forums like this are important to know support is out there and for that ladies I salute you and good luck to all in our individual journeys …. Be strong xx

  102. nochildrenwhatnow March 24, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    I have found being childless quite lonely, and it often feels very awkward talking to people about it. This community has shown me that I am not alone, my spectrum of feelings are normal and that I can have a great life without children. Thank you ladies, you rock!

  103. kelly March 24, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    hi my mum gave me the write up in woman’s own to read,
    well what can I say apart from every thought and feeling that was written on those pages felt like every one ive ever felt and still feel, I always thought children of my own were going to be part of my life but was never ment to be and that rips my heart out, thankyou for not making me feel so alone. I just hope that some woman who have been blessed with children read this article and think about it just for a few moments!

  104. Susan March 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Hey I just read about you in the “Woman” magazine today and thought finally someone who understands and is standing proud. I’m 47 and have come to terms with not having a child and accepting that biologically one won’t be around soon. It isn’t a position I envisaged either and it’s so comforting to know that there are others out there. In my worst days of depression I used to think that all that was left was the long tunnel leading towards death and I would be just heading down there on my own. I have lots of interests and like to do things, but it is hard when people are busy with their families. I really do believe that there must be lots of interesting, vital women out there who have no children but still want to live a full active and satisfying life. I just can’t wait to one day meet some of you! Thanks for doing this. It is so hard living in a world which does not want to accept you at times and having to actually justify yourself to people because you never had a child! Or worst still the assumptions that you must be a hard nosed career woman, selfish or a child hater! One thing that has really helped me enormously is getting a dog! Seriously I love her to bits. She is my little fur baby! Sending love to you lady! x

  105. Helen March 18, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Before I found Gateway Women and started sharing and connecting with other women my self esteem was at rock bottom, I felt I had failed at life after spending 15 years trying to have a child. As well as connecting through the online forum I also took part in a Reignite weekend. Meeting other women who “got me”, listening to their stories and being listened to by them was amazing. I now have a sense of real hope for the future. Gateway Women has given me my life back – in fact it’s given me a new life and although I don’t know what path it will take I know it will be filled with new GW friends and experiences. Instead of that huge mountain and pressure to do something big, now I see a whole heap of possibilities and opportunities.
    As Jody says – it’s the club you don’t want to join but when you do you’ll find that we actually all rock!!

  106. Kylie March 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    I have only been a member of Gateway Women for a short time and already it has had a profoundly positive impact upon my life. It wasn’t until I joined this amazing, supportive community that I was truly able to start coming to terms with my childlessness. Many thanks to Jody and all the other brilliant Gateway Women.

  107. kate March 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I can’t describe the massively positive effect finding GW and attending a re-ignite weekend has had on my outlook, my life, my relationships, my ability to smile at babies and their mums again!
    I made it my new year resolution to do something active in dealing with being childless so that I wouldn’t turn into the witch from Hansel & Gretel. I am so on the way now with a clear plan B and a real positive frame of mind so much of the time.
    Thank you to everyone involved in GW, especially Jody, and if you’re in this position and you didn’t want to be or mean to be then we’re all here for you. We’re in it together. That is what makes the biggest difference. One, some, or all of us have felt how you feel, thought what you think, and been where you are. GW is the massive support we need to move forward. At last.

  108. Carol Cook March 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Jody Day, you and the Gateway Woman are rocking my world! I feel like I’ve been lifted out of a very dark place and placed inside a safe, loving and inspirational community. Thank you just doesn’t cover it, but thank you so very much.

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