ONLINE COMMUNITY

Welcome to your Tribe

Support for the hard stuff; enthusiasm for the good stuff

Whether you’re still hopeful of becoming a mother, ready to ‘move on’ and get going with your ‘Plan B’ or flip-flopping wildly in the middle (and it varies from day to day!) you’ve found the right place.

The Gateway Women Private Online Community is a very active, compassionate, safe and non-judgmental community. We have members from English-speaking countries from all over the world so it’s active round round the clock.  It’s not on Facebook and all members are ID-checked before joining so it’s as safe as we can make it. That makes it feel very different from any other social media space you might have experienced.

I was in the depths of despair and thinking I was the only woman going through this pain before I discovered Jody and the Gateway Women community. I’m not a big social media person but this Community has transformed things. Being a member has really helped me turn my life around to cope with childlessness and look forward to the future. (GM)
I came across Jody and the Gateway community 2 years ago. At that time I was deep in my grief -although I didn’t realise it was grief then. When I started to read the posts from other women I felt a warmth and understanding. It truly helped me to come to terms with being childless through circumstance, gave me strength, my feelings of self worth and purpose started to return. I know that it was a major turning point for me and since then I’ve gone on to connect with a number of Gateway Women nearby which has been invaluable. It’s so supportive, compassionate and empowering to be part of this community; I really feel my sisters, my tribe, walking with me when I have bad times and celebrating with me in the good times. (Debbie)
I’ve made a few really close girlfriends from Gateway Women; women who I have much more in common with than just a lack of children. I don’t do much social media these days as I can’t stand the fakeness and posturing. but I check GW everyday. It’s a very real yet very positive forum and I’m glad to be part of it. (Rosie)
Sudden relief deep within is what I experienced the first time I posted to the Gateway Women Community. It was also a realisation that I wasn’t going mad. I had thought that for quite a long time. The sensitivity, the respect, the intelligence and the compassion started my healing path. I no longer feel so alone. There is light out there, and always someone to talk to. ‘My Tribe’ is the best way I can describe how I feel about it. (Cathy)  

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO READ MORE COMMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS FROM MEMBERS

AFTER YOUR FREE ONE-MONTH TRIAL, MEMBERSHIP COSTS £60 GBP PER ANNUM / £7 GBP PER MONTH. FREE MEMBERSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE END OF THE TRIAL PERIOD FOR THOSE WHO NEED THEM, OR AT ANY TIME DURING MEMBERSHIP IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR YOUR FREE ONE-MONTH TRIAL MEMBERSHIP
need help with it? community@gateway-women.com

Even if you’re not really an ‘online forum’ kind of person, this is something you don’t want to miss out on:

  • Finally connect with other women you ‘get’ your situation, whatever it may be…
  • Comment on the stuff in the media that drives you nuts
  • Share tips and wisdom on topics relevant to childless women of all ages
  • Get support round the difficult family and relationship dynamics we have to deal with as the ‘childless’ ones
  • Make jokes and be honest and understood rather than be seen as ‘weird’ or ‘bitter’
  • Take the heat off your intimate relationships and friendships by finally having somewhere to safely offload about your situation!
  • Make new friendships with other childless women in your part of the world and organise live meetups with each other when/if you’re ready
  • Join or set up one of the many local member-organised events such as book clubs, walking groups, Plan B Support Groups, art groups, etc.
  • Make alternative plans for difficult days like Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc
  • Get support for all the changes that creating a Plan B entails such as perhaps retraining for a new career, standing up for yourself at work, dealing with other people’s opinions (and comments) etc.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR YOUR FREE ONE-MONTH TRIAL MEMBERSHIP
If you have any questions or problems joining, do email Helen at community@gateway-women.com and she’ll help you through. No problem is too ‘silly’ to ask her, honest!

57 Comments on ONLINE COMMUNITY

  1. Hi I am 45 and having another very tearful and despairing day. I have been reading the blogs for several months but until now, not felt brave enough to put something on! Just reading the blogs has helped me feel not quite so alone in my childlessness. I am currently in a relationship with a lovely man who is going through divorce and has 2 older children. He has always maintained he does not want anymore but I think I have been under some false hope he would change his mind, but he won’t and I am finally accepting I am too old.
    I can’t find anything to re-ignite/rejuvenate myself. I have an interesting job, good friends, family and do quite a lot of exercise which has always managed to get me out of the sadness before. But I can’t seem to drag myself out of this or let it go. These feelings have been going on for a number of years.
    If anyone has any advice, it would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Kathryn – I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling tearful and despairing. It sounds like you are coming out of denial about your situation (both your age and your partner’s choices). That’s a painful place to be. The best place to continue this conversation is within the online community itself. We have many members who have experienced (or are experiencing) situations very similar to yours, what we call being ‘childless by relationship’ and I feel that you would draw great strength and solace from their support and wisdom. Do come and join us http://www.gateway-women.com/community Hugs, Jody x

    • Kathryn. I am going through the exact same thing you are going through. My partner has two older kids and was very clear from the very beginning that he didn’t want a second family but I lived in a fantasy for 3 years. I finally came to the realisation that if we had a child my partner would resent it and he’d been through so much with the mother of his children he was permanently scarred. In the meantime, I had tests done and found out I was in the menopause. We split but are in counselling. It’s heartbreaking as I feel I let the relationship go so far without communicating how I really felt. I let the resentment affect us and now I am so frightened the relationship will never fully recover properly. If I was much younger I would have left but this guy is amazing. I have waited 20 years to find him. I am grieving about the child but also about the relationship and what could have been. I find the counselling is really helping and am doing things like massage, reiki, accupuncture and journalling. I am also being much more honest and communicate with my partner. Part of the problem is lack of trust in his love for me as deep down I felt he didn’t love me enough to give me my dream. I can’t give advice but I think some sessions of counselling and talking might help before you make the mistake I did by letting resentment enter the relationship. You can focus on saving that and counselling helps you start to make new dreams. I am in the early days yet and have a long way to go but hoping the pain will end some day soon. I wish you the best.

  2. Hi I am 60 and dipping once again into the distress and fear of being single and childless. This most recent period of weeping, anxiety, depression, panic, looking enviously at others and feelings of failure have been triggered by discussions about early retirement following ill health. I feel deeply conflicted about leaving my job which is stressful and also takes away energy for other important areas of my life – like relationships – but does provide a sense of community and identity which I fear I will loose if I give it up (even though I know at some point I will have to). I also know that the sector I work in is becoming increasingly corporate and that staff are rarely valued for themselves. Rather than seeing a bright future however with freedom to explore new avenues I fear greater isolation and that I am sinking into a less and less vivid existence .I grew up in a ‘happy’ family although my mother was very critical and punitive to me, which left scars. Both my parents are now dead and my sister who is married and without children and I were estranged for many years mostly due to my mother’s behaviour .We are closer now but she lives on the other side of the country and we only meet up about once a year. I’ve had a number of boyfriends some long term but pretty much with men who were immature in in different ways – some quite damaged/ volatile – and although having children was discussed the relationship were never solid enough to really contemplate doing so .In my late 30s I contemplated trying to have children alone but decided, although had I got pregnant I would certainly have kept baby, that – choosing single parenthood wasn’t right for me. In my late forties I meet a man who was divorced with two children and we fell deeply in love. Finally I felt that I had something I had always wanted a family and spending time with my two step children was wonderful– although it must be said that there were times when having them to stay in my small flat did feeling challenging. Anyway three years ago my partner and I broke up having just bought our dream home together – the reasons are complicated but from my perspective it was done to his very unpredictable behaviour which had become increasingly destructive /emotionally abusive. I have found the period since difficult and often feel lonely sad that I have not managed to form a lasting relationship or create my own family. I realise that most of the women on this forum are younger than me but I don’t feel ready yet to start planning for/defining myself in terms of old age (and adding old maid to my list of descriptors). I wish there had been something like Gateway woman to support me when I was first coming to terms with childlessness but I am a resourceful person and mostly I’ve found strategies to live a rewarding life. Friends are my salvation and last year when I had cancer they were a fantastic support / comfort – which even though the circumstance were difficult gave me sense of love and belonging that so often seems absent. A time though I loose all optimism and my craving for intimacy and ‘family’ overwhelms me. I say family because although being childless is something I grieve its also being on my own that challenges me. I have a number of single friends who are mothers and this gives a whole set of things to their life, which I feel the lack of strongly. Similarly I have childless friends who are in close and loving partnerships. My questions are really how to cope when I fall down into a mental hole over all of this – the feelings are so overwhelming and hard to talk about because in some sense they feel shameful. I know that in many respects I lead a blessed life – and that others who appear to have it all rarely do – but I cant help feeling frustrated at how easily children and relationships come to others and spend many hours feeling I need to change – if I was more attractive, if I was nicer person, if I had been wiser, if I was braver, if I liked myself more, am I afraid of intimacy? Should I move somewhere else? Should I change my life in other ways, how can I find my purpose, where do I belong? Writing this has helped me and I can feel that I am pulling out of my despair again but I would love to hear from others about how they cope at these times especially with regards to the self talk.

    • Dear Amy – thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. First of all, can I say that within our private online community we have many members who are 50+ and 60+ so you would be welcome to join us and experience the solidarity and sisterhood that feels so keenly lacking in your life. Secondly, do please check out the work of another organisation http://www.AWOC.org (Ageing Without Children) where I am a founding and board member. I am so sorry that your most recent relationship didn’t work out and having experienced emotional abuse myself I do also understand how a dysfunctional childhood, sadly, sets us up for such things. For me, healing the wounds of my childhood through therapy has been key in changing my patterns in relationships enabling me to now be in a healthy partnership. Come and join us in the private online community and we can discuss all this further in a confidential space. Please be aware that after the first free month you’d be welcome to apply for a free membership if your early retirement also means financial difficulty. hugs, Jody x

    • Dear Amy,

      Your story is unique to you but it has lots of similarities to many others, including mine, and so my heart goes out to you and please feel my hug. You are not alone.

      Have you thought about moving to live near your sister and build your relationship with her? Although I’m not really close to my siblings I find deep connection with them as we have known each other all our lives. That connection brings me great comfort as I enter my 60s too.

      I’m lucky in that I still work with children and I hope that as retirement approaches I can continue to enjoy their company through school volunteer work, or afterschool pick up and evening babysitting jobs through agencies, which my friend told me about and enjoys herself.

      You are not a failure. Nor am I. But others have been more fortunate than us. Lucky them. But don’t put yourself down.

      Best wishes
      Clare

  3. I just turned 43 and realize I will never have children. I married at 40 to a man who deceived me I feel. At 37 I told him if you don’t won’t children leave so I can. He changed his mind and said he did so we married. Being married was the proper thing to do according to both our families. Then only to change his mind again and tell me he was not open to children. Just yesterday I got the news his brother and his girlfriend are pregnant (who are not married by the way). They are five months pregnant and they have only been dating for that long. Once I got the news I crawled in my bed and never stopped crying. I only stopped to go to work this morning but I can barely get through the day. I even contemplated suicide because the pain and depression is so deep. I feel so alone and so angry and I don’t know how I will ever get past this. Thanks for listening.

    • Angela, I understand how you feel completely. I have never been married, but at 43 I’ve wasted the best years of my life on someone who was a complete liar about who he really was and what he wanted. This past year has been a constant battle to move forward and I have tried to commit to using donor sperm to have a family on my own but i feel so angry and left out of the dream of a family with a husband that I am unable to move forward. I understand your darkness and please know there are others in your same boat, if that helps.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience with me. You said it perfectly about the dream of a family. Many think you just wanted a child, but for me as well it was more than that… family. People think I am over it when they see me planning a trip or smiling or moving forward. What do they want me to do? Walk around depressed and crying, lying on the bathroom floor in the fetal position sobbing over the life I never got to have? I do plenty of that when no one is watching. I completely understand your betrayal and anger.

    • Hi Blithe – probably the easiest thing for her would be to send her a link to this website and then let her explore it and see if it helps. We also have meetups in Australia, although not in Tasmania, but I know that there’s been interest in getting one going there. Thank you for being such a kind friend. Hugs, Jody x

  4. At 42, I think I am finally ready to give up on the dream. My whole life all I wanted was to be in a loving relationship with a family. However, I think on some level I always knew it wasn’t my path. I can remember at 6 yo with a pillow case on my head, fake flowers in hand pretending to do the wedding march. With such clarity I can recall thinking, I will never have this. Self fulfilling prophecy, maybe but the story is still the same. Me interested in men less interested in me and not at all interested in the ONE that was. I thought about sperm donation and then decided it against it. My vision of a family is love in creation of the child and would never want to project my thoughts of personal failure onto innocent baby. I have a job I hate, so most of time is consumed by a demanding profession which I dread doing each day even though it pays well. I do have a wonderful family and good friends so I am very blessed in that regard. I feel guilty for being so depressed and lonely. Basically I am adrift with no anchor and I don’t know what to do. I’m tired of the platitudes and the I understand when they clearly can’t as they have never experienced my situation. I was called a spinster aunt recently and realized that is all I’ll ever be. Loved but not first, never first. I need to learn how to live with that. I need to be ok with the good/ great things in my life and stop dwelling on what will never be. It’s time to grow up and put away childhood dreams and live in the now. Is it ok for an American to join your group? I think being part of a community will help. Thanks for listening.

    • Hi Lori – thanks for commenting. 42 is a tough age to be childless and responding to it by feeling depressed and lonely sounds quite normal to me – and nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing. We have many Americans in our online community and you’d be VERY welcome. Hugs, Jody x

    • “Loved but not first” is exactly how I feel right now at almost 43. Your post is me to a t. I’m an American living in upstate NY, by the way.

  5. Hi I have come to terms with not having the family i believed i would have but on an occasion I’m in denial and think wow how did it happen, l’m 55, no partner and no kids. It’s the loss of lifelong friends that would have occurred as school mums, the connections so taken for granted, its the non xmas’s as i dont have a family, not being a grandmother and not fitting into society. Its the loss of the gift of a child that would teach me more about life as well. And its not actually received well that i am free, independent, self-assured and confident. Its a strange place to find myself. I have been trying to connect into an group in Australia both meetups or online without success can you assist?

  6. Have to say, dear childless sisters, having children really isn’t all it’s made up to be, so be glad of your freedoms. Parenting, as I quickly found out through fostering, includes massive amounts of domestic drudgery and getting up early Every Day!! I now love having other people’s children in my life (and i know they love me) and I can also enjoy indulgent holidays with my other half. It took a long while to overcome the grief of being childless but in the end i feel at peace about it, mostly. it’s not been the end of my world. I’m 62. Be happy in yourselves. Love to you all.

    • Hi Clare – thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you are in a good place and ‘mostly at peace’ with your childlessness. I think each of us has to arrive at our own realisation that ‘having children really isn’t all it’s made up to be’. Most of us know that ‘cognitively’, but it takes time, grieving and healing to know that ’emotionally’ and make peace with it. Being happy in ourselves is a great goal and one that we all aspire to – I’m glad you’ve got there and it’s my wish for all my readers that they get there too. Hugs, Jody x

  7. I’m glad to find this online community. Feeling in the depths of despair. Am 52, single, childless, going through a very difficult menopause, Just having lost both parents in 8 months , dealing with a suicidal sister and feeling utterly alone. Have wonderful friends (couples with children ) but struggle with my feelings of anger and isolation at their lack of empathy and understanding. I know beneath these feelings that there is light but struggle to see it.

  8. I waited too long. Was never in the right situation at the right time with the right man and now it’s too late. I’m 50 now, the age where most people are all about their kids and grandkids, I just have a huge void there (and feel left out – of “the most important thing in the world” – and alienated from all the “normal” people with their families. I can tell it bothers my mother too to be grandchildless around all her friends). And very scared; I am just going to be watching my loved ones getting older and ill and dying off, with no one coming up on the other side to balance it out, then be all alone. I can’t see anything else. I have also lost my only sibling, and my best friend. I’ve ended up ill and physically disabled myself (used to be a triathlete in younger years!), to the point of being in bed most of the time this year, doing NOTHING. I know many women who are still very vibrant and active at this age, thought I would be one of them but sadly I am not. I don’t have what it takes to get up and out and create a new life for myself, not feeling like this. Then all I do is lie here thinking about all this and how much I screwed up my life and how it’s too late for everything…ugh. Just did a search online while lying here and found this…still trying not to abandon all hope.

    • Hi Sylvia – I’m so glad you’ve found us. If you’d like to join our online community that would be the very best place for me, and our many lovely, supportive, kick-ass members to support you. I’m sorry to hear you have health issues as well as feeling scared of growing older without kids. We get it, totally! Hugs, Jody x

  9. Hi Jody how do I ask advice? Never done anything like this before but want to ask if you think it’s ok for my fiancé to leave me because although we both want children so much the IVF has taken it out of him so he’s left me to have a child naturally with someone else. He’s not met anyone yet to my knowledge but I don’t no how to feel about this

    • Hi Lesley – what an incredibly painful and heartbreaking situation you find yourself in, I’m so very sorry. As these comments can be read by anyone on the internet, it doesn’t feel like an appropriate place to discuss your situation further. I really recommend you join our PRIVATE online community where not only will I be able to support you, but so will other women who have been through exactly what you are dealing with. You don’t have to work this out alone. Hugs, Jody x

  10. Not sure about this. Mid-70s woman, I’m childless from choice (horrendous childhood involving unbelievable fear and incest), never wanted to pass down the agony. And relationships shallow, though good sex. Married 15 years to ‘good’ man (he has 4 children from 2 previous marriages) and contemplating divorce or Swiss needle death. He believes that descendants trump wife in emotional priority. ‘I don’t understand since I don’t have children’–sick to death of this judgment. Fear of who will take care of me once I’m feeble, hence attraction of Swiss solution. I know it’s not fun, but anyone else out there who can understand?

    • Hi JC

      Thanks for your comment on my website and I’m so sorry to hear about your horrific childhood and I can quite understand why that led you to choose not have children. Sorry to hear how things are in your marriage right now too.

      I wanted to let you know about another group that I helped to set up ‘Ageing Without Children’. Issues of who will take care of us when we need it are uppermost in many childless and childfree people’s minds, not just yours, so you’ll be in good company!

      The website is http://www.awoc.org and we have a FANTASTIC Facebook group too where you can connect with other adults ageing without children and think through your options in like-minded and open-minded company. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1476937045912974

      Hugs, Jody x

  11. I joined GW and read Jody’s wonderful book about 3 years ago aged 43, but only reluctantly….. I was so relieved and glad to know there was something out there for people in my situation (Double Whammy) but I wasn’t ready to fully take it all on board… I still held out hope for motherhood and tricked myself into believing I didn’t need support, because it could still happen and I wasn’t yet ready to resign myself to any Plan B. Having recently revisited the book and GW I am feeling so much more ready to embrace it now, a few miscarriages/ failed IVF treatments and broken relationships down the line. I still haven’t found my Plan B but I know this community is where I will be inspired and regain hope. 🙂

    • Hi Sarah – I’m sorry that you’ve had such a rotten few years! I think a Plan B can be a lot of things, and it doesn’t always look, feel or sounds like ‘a plan’… I’m glad you’re part of our community again, there’s really nothing else like it and I know how different my life would have been to have had the support of such an amazing group of women when I was struggling alone. Hugs, Jody x

  12. I am excited about joining the online community as I have been struggling lately, and recently threw in the towel on online-dating after yet another dating debacle involving “elevator shoe man” and, before that “porn man”. If it wasn’t terribly sad it would be funny. At just shy of 38, my time is running out, as is my patience, optimism, and zest for living. Watching Jody give her insipiring talks on Ted and at various other venues has been a God send these past few days. Thank you Jody!

  13. It is really good that there is a community like this one for women like me who are childless and is struggling to come to terms at not having children at my age. As I got older I am struggling at the thought that my husband and I do not have children. I have developed depression as a result. It is very awkward going to family functions where everyone else has kids and not us. The worst part is that I am turning 50 next year and the thought of it is making me sick to the stomach. All my friends have kids and we feel the odd ones out. I hate feeling this way. We are in the process of trying do egg donation treatment, anticipating going to South Africa but I don’t have high hopes. Egg donation process is extremely difficult here in Australia and not much better overseas. People make it sound easy. I live with regret each day that we didn’t do anything about it years ago. This is the reason I am wanting to make friendships with women like myself in my situation. I am from Melbourne, Australia and I am wanting to meeting other women like myself going to the following meet-ups.

    • Hi Sandra – connecting with others via the Gateway Women Melbourne Group sounds like a great plan. I’m going to be in Melbourne to run a workshop in early 2018 (all still in planning, so no dates yet) and perhaps we’ll meet then. Good luck with the egg donation – indeed, none of these procedures are ‘easy’… Hugs, Jody x

      • Jody: I’m glad you do this for women, and I’m so glad there’s a place for support and recognition. I’m Brad. I wanted to be a father, but my time has passed and I have a rough time dealing with that, especially today, on father’s day. I want to make it clear, I didn’t research, maybe there’s groups out there, I don’t know. I have depression, and today is a tough day to do much of anything. Just FYI, We’re out here too. God bless and thanks.

    • Hi Sandra
      I fully understand where you are coming from..
      My husband and I are childless as will and it has to be one of the most difficult feelings that I face from day to day…
      I turned 50 in February and my family had a family get together for me to help me celebrate but needless to say I had to try my utmost hardest to look & ack happy but inside I was tearing apart simply because I had reached the milestone of turning 50 and knowing I am childless & this is the way that my life is going to be 😢
      I have wanted a child since the night I became a wife… because it goes together.
      I told my husband that I never dreamed in a million years that we were going to be a childless couple & it would be just the two of us on family…
      I understand whee you are coming from girl ….
      Hugs

  14. I hope I’m in the right place. I’m suffering from depression and it all stems from not being able to have the one thing I’ve dreamt of for years…being a mother. I just want to find some relief and acceptance to not being a mother and hopefully realize I can still live my life somehow with out being a mother. Thank you for listening.

  15. i am so grateful and feel so relieved t hear others’ stories what are so similar to mine, the complexity of the threads of life that can leave one childless and how seldom it is that most people, well meaning, understand or know what to say. My heart is full!

  16. GW has helped me to face the hard truth that I won’t be a Mum, a fact that I wasn’t wanting to acknowledge until an unexpected event forced me to. Joining the community has given me support and a safe place to express my feelings, especially the ones that others might not understand. Now, when something happens in life around childlessness, I know there is a place and people to turn to who know and who understand and sometimes that alone is enough to reduce its impact. I would say, if you’re wondering if GW is for you, give it a try – you won’t know unless you do. There are so many women out there in our situation but, unlike mothers, we don’t always know. Don’t struggle in silence …. you have a community to turn to.

  17. I’m writing this post on holiday having an amazing time. A few years ago I was in the grip of childlessness grief. It was overwhelming and much as though friends and family wanted to help, they didn’t know how.

    I honestly don’t think I would be so happy and content were it not for Gateway Women. The forum has been the only safe space I had to grieve without judgment and let rip with the pain and frustration of longing for a child but not being able to have one.

    No one will judge your darkest moments and a group of fab virtual friends will cheer you on through the small steps that get through that grief tunnel.

    And it’s there 24/7. When your colleague unexpectedly brings her baby to work and you’re privately in bits and need some support, you’ll get it.

  18. Hey! If, like me (and loads of others!) you feel or have felt an inexplicable grief inside your heart because the stork never personally visited you then you are in the right place! On this forum you will find there are lots of other women who have exactly the same thoughts, emotions you thought you were the only person having! It’s true! There is lots of understanding and no-one will just say “Get over it!”because it just ain’t that simple! It’s a tough journey and you do need a little help along the way. This is definitely the place to start!

  19. Would it be overstating matters to write that Gateway saved my life? I don’t think so. I stumbled across it by chance at the end of 2013 completely broken by my childlessness. In three years I have learnt what it is to do your grief work, how self-compassion is a daily practice and I have risen phoenix like from the ashes of my previous life. And I couldn’t have done any of it without my tribe of Gateway women.

  20. This community has meant so much to me in the past few years as I’ve been struggling with the grief of childlessness, and all of the complicated emotions which come along with that. It is such a comfort to know that I’m not alone – there are so many women out there who really ‘get it’, and who are so generous in offering support when it is needed. If you’re feeling isolated and misunderstood and struggling with pain and other feelings, this is the place for you. Every time you reach out in pain to this community, you will be heard, and held and supported. It helps more than I can say.

  21. Finding the Gateway Women Community after years of feeling like I was the only one struggling to embrace an entirely different life than what I wanted and envisioned changed me permanently. Knowing that I wasn’t alone, reading the posts of open, interesting and loving women and attending the first ‘Reignite Weekend. workshop in the US this past July have been critical pieces to my ongoing healing process. I can’t think Jody enough for creating this community and for leading and developing the Reignite workshop. I’ve been able to reflect on past feelings and experiences of isolation and despair through a new lens since finding GW. I still am working through the grief and loss at the age of 50 and I I am also able to enjoy much of my life. GW is truly a blessing in my life.

  22. I really can’t tell you how much it meant to me to come across the Gateway Women Community. Following a melt down at 40 where I withdrew from life, family & friends I didn’t see the point in living. Following years of not finding a connection anywhere,in desperation I typed Help I’m childless into the search engine. And up popped Gateway Women. To read that I wasn’t alone and that there were other ladies out there having similar thoughts and feelings to my own, felt a relief but also strange. At first I was scared but I knew my life had to change so I took the plunge and once I had completed the questionnaire it was a huge release. I had previously come across so many negative websites saying “how selfish I was” or “how a career was obviously of more importance” etc, etc. My friends had all been lucky enough to have children and I felt excluded from their lives as I had nothing in common with them anymore. I couldn’t share their happiness, or understand the excitement of their child’s first word, their first tooth, day of school etc and I just felt bitter when they complained. I was lost and isolated – they really didn’t understand how lucky they were. The voice inside my head took over and silenced any reasoning, shutting down my existence. I had tremendous feelings of inadequacy when I compared myself to them, feelings of not being feminine, etc, etc. GW has allowed me to make new friends that I can confide in and share my feelings. On top of that I have experienced ‘laughter’ again and managed to do fun things that I previously felt I didn’t deserve. Ladies if you are scared, please don’t be. You have found help and healing here and I hope you will feel as safe as I do being part of this community. Welcome, Sam xxx

  23. GW is an amazing community of fantastic women. It is positive and modern. It gives you access to new friendships and a place where encouragement and support are given for growth and a place of understanding when you’re feeling really cr*p. I feel validated by amazing women who are like me and truly ‘get’ it and inspired/ helped by new writers/ insights who help me work through my mixed emotions and grief to recover and truly connect again with life and people and build a fulfiling joyful meaningful life. xxxxx

  24. I was in the depths of despair and thinking I was the only woman going through this pain before I discovered Jody and the Gateway Women community. I’m not a big social media person but this Community has transformed things. Being a member has really helped me turn my life around to cope with childlessness and look forward to the future.

    I’d encourage any woman wondering whether this is worth joining to do so. You are not alone and things really can get better.

  25. I came across Jody and the Gateway community 2 years ago. At that time I was deep in my grief -although I didn’t realise it was grief then.
    When I started to read the posts from other women i felt a warmth and understanding.
    It truly helped me to come to terms with being childless through circumstance, gave me strength, my feelings of self worth and purpose started to return.
    I know that it was a major turning point for me and since then I’ve gone on to connect with a number of gateway women nearby which has been invaluable.
    Its so supportive, compassionate, empowering to be part of the community, I really feel my sisters, my tribe walking with me when I have bad times and celebrating with be the good times

  26. I’ve made a few really close girlfriends from gateway women, women who I have much more in common with than just a lack of children. I don’t do much social media these days as I can’t stand the fakeness and posturing but I check GW on google+ everyday. It’s a very real yet very positive forum and I’m glad to be pat of it.

  27. Sudden relief deep within is what I experienced the first time I posted to the Gateway Women Community. It was also a realisation that I wasn’t going mad. I had thought that for quite a long time. The sensitivity, the respect, the intelligence and the compassion started my healing path. I no longer feel so alone. There is light out there, and always someone to talk to. ‘My Tribe’ is the best way I can describe how I feel about it.

  28. Being someone who considers myself pretty self-reflective/aware and able to share feelings, I was surprised to discover how bottled up my feelings about being childless by circumstance were until I had a place to express them. The private, closed Gateway community feels completely safe because I know know that nobody from the rest of my life can see what I post. It has emboldened me to open up and actually post (which is unusual for me when it comes to social media). And in posting my thoughts, feelings, experiences within this group, I have felt so heard and it has provided such relief. The internal pressure of holding all that in has dissipated. Hearing others’ experiences and perspectives as well as the shared inspiration is helping me move through my grief. I know that the other community members “get” me without me having to explain in detail my circumstances. So grateful to not feel so alone and to have a group of people to cheer my on in my Plan B.

  29. Gateway women provides a wonderful, safe, supportive space. I can be myself and connect with other like-minded women who really, truly understand where I’m coming from. No judgement here, just support, inspiration and heartfelt understanding. Priceless.

  30. Gateway Women has been a blessing for me, as a quite isolated 50-something woman without a partner or children. In the few months since I’ve been able to join, I have felt my self-esteem rise. It is a community where I do really feel connected, more than any other online community I am a part of.

  31. At 48 yrs last year, I joined this online GW community after realizing I needed to connect with other women who understand firsthand the struggles of being childless by circumstance, not choice. After registering, I spent the first few weeks reading the many posts…that alone was like a light went off – finally, the stories and feelings of other women in my shoes that I could relate to. My feelings of isolation and loneliness lifted a bit. Then, after posting – the immediate and warm support expressed by others in this GW community made me feel part of a ‘gathering of women’ again. While I don’t post a lot, there is the comfort of knowing that on any day, at any time, in any mood, you can log in and see the conversations of women who share your experience and get support and understanding. This community, the conversations and the resources offered within are a real source of strength while experiencing / moving through the grief around not being a mom, and beyond. I fully recommend registering – this online community is a lifesaver and I will be forever grateful to Jody and my GW sisters:)

  32. I would encourage any woman struggling with childlessness to join the Gateway Women community. It is a unique community where feelings are not only validated but understood like nowhere else. It is in this community that I have learned that I am not alone in this journey. I never expected my journey to be one without children but knowing that others struggle with all of the same feelings I have makes me realize that these feelings really are okay. There are other women that feel just as lost, sad and confused with where they are right now as I do. There are women that offer encouragement that things can get better. Most importantly the community is united just to be there for each other no matter where we are individually in that moment. You will receive kind words when feeling down. You will receive an equal amount of encouragement and genuine happiness when things go well for you, whatever that might be. Don’t hesitate to join if you really need some support from others that truly do understand.

  33. Since I joined Gateway I haven’t felt alone any more. People here understand where I’m coming from, they understand my pain and isolation – and I understand theirs. We support each other, and it’s amazing.

  34. I’m not usually a social media person but I’m so glad I signed up to Gateway Women: it has been a lifeline over the past few years. I’ve made wonderful new friends who really understand the journey I’m on, being childless by circumstance and not by choice. I really cherish being part of the Gateway community and would heartily recommend it to others.

  35. Gateway is a unique community for women grieving childlessness because it offers understanding, acceptance, validation, encouragement and a path from the despair and isolation of a painful socially unsanctioned loss to a new life with new joys. Gateway helps women travel the path from a conventional life to one that supports the uniqueness of each person. It is a special community of brave and wonderful women. I highly recommend it.

What's your experience?

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