Christmas will be different next year…

December 25, 2012 Jody Day 13

Having made it through yet another childless Christmas, all of us childless by circumstance women can breathe out a huge collective sigh of relief! It’s over and we can get back to our daily lives, and the coping mechanisms and busy routines that serve to protect us, most of the time, from the feelings of isolation, sadness and loss we often feel. Now Christmas is over, we can move back into the mainstream again; we can pass for normal women again. Well, most of the time, anyway. But there comes a day, maybe after we’ve had just one too many […]

Childless at Christmas: The Perfect Storm

December 19, 2012 Jody Day 34

For many childless by circumstance women, the best day of Christmas is the 26th December… when it’s all over again for another year! Earlier this December, I hosted an online webinar for Gateway Women on the theme of ‘Coping with Christmas’. Women from all over the world joined us on the call and shared their very different experiences, but very similar feelings, about the upcoming holidays. Themes such as loneliness, isolation, stress, secrets, pressure, exposure and dread came up in many of our stories. I’ve come to think that Christmas is, in many ways, the perfect storm for us childless […]

Your biggest fear – dying alone

November 18, 2012 Jody Day 27

Well, that cheered you up, didn’t it! “Dying alone” seem to be the two words best able to bring a chill to the heart of every childless women. And it would appear that it’s quite close to the surface in other people’s minds too, as it so often gets thrown at childfree-by-choice women as what they’ll live to regret (nice! and how are you today?) The childlfree call these comments bingos as they form a predictable pattern of ‘comments’ that they regularly encounter. And yet…  if we break the taboo (hell yeah, I like to break two or three before […]

The Lust for Transformation

November 3, 2012 Jody Day 31

Being ‘us’ is just too damn hard some days. We long for the transformation of motherhood, as much as for the delight of meeting our children. We are bored shitless of our inner worlds, of trying to ‘realise our potential’, tired of self-help books that promise to make it all better. But without motherhood as our existential “Get out of Jail Free” card, we are thrown back onto ourselves and into what I think of as the lust for transformation. At its core, transformation, self-improvement and self-development all carry the same toxic message: “You’re not OK. There’s something wrong with […]

Elegy in an English Country Churchyard

October 17, 2012 Jody Day 28

Just recently I was on a residential training as part of my psychotherapy studies. I arrived at the venue, a gorgeous tumbledown old Abbey in the English countryside without having given the days ahead much thought – after all, I’ve been training with some of my fellow students for three years now. I had no real anxiety apart from whether the beds would be OK and whether I’d be able to sleep. Turned out I was right to worry about the beds, but what did come as a great surprise to me was to feel my scar of childlessness touched […]

New London workshop, 4th Nov – So You Don’t Have Kids?… Now What!

October 9, 2012 Jody Day 5

A new one day workshop designed to kick-start your Plan B for a meaningful and fulfilling life without children. So You Don’t Have Kids?…Now What! is for you if you’re: A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for some reason Frustrated with how you are treated, perceived and sidelined by mainstream society because you don’t have kids Damned if you know where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it! Worried about growing old alone without children Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have ‘ended up’ like this […]

Only 88 Days Left to Your Next Childless Christmas!

September 27, 2012 Jody Day 11

A blog from 2012 There’s nothing quite like the nights drawing in as Autumn arrives to remind you that yet another childless Christmas is on its way. And if you combine it with being single, it can be particularly trying. Recently, over at The Bitter Babe (a fantastic US blog that pulls no punches as the author is anonymous), she writes of looking at her “12th holiday season alone.” Unlike the author of The Bitter Babe (tag line: Never Married. Over Forty. Slightly Bitter) I was in a 16-year relationship from my early twenties and married for 12 of them. And […]

Why don’t you just adopt?

September 17, 2012 Jody Day 16

It’s the ‘just’ that gets me every time. Sometimes I wish I had the nerve to face-palm myself and say “Damn! Why didn’t that occur to me!” The bizarre thing about this throwaway line that so many of us childless women have had tossed our way is this: If we were to say casually to the same person that we were thinking of getting a dog, quick as a flash they’d say “But who’s going to look after it in the daytime?” Yet they think adoption’s an option? In the UK, married couples where one partner can afford to stay at home […]

The Gifts of Grief: Saying Goodbye to Lost Babies

September 13, 2012 Jody Day 4

This Saturday in Exeter Cathedral sees the first ‘Saying Goodbye’ service of remembrance for babies lost at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years. This is the first of seven cathedral services this year, with up to 22 services planned by the end of 2013 in the UK. The Saying Goodbye services have been created by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who have personally suffered the loss of five babies. They are now blessed with having two vibrant little girls, one aged three and the other just 12 months. Grief is something that is poorly understood, tolerated or […]

Creating a new life for yourself as a childless woman

August 29, 2012 Jody Day 20

Creativity is one of the words that brings out the ‘woo woo’ faster than almost anything else. It’s as if it’s the one word guaranteed to make our inner bitch jump up and say “no thank you, we don’t do that around here!” before you’ve even had a chance to open your mouth. Why is creativity so scary? I’ve come to believe that creativity is one of the roots of recovery from involuntary childlessness. However, it’s quite easy to become so comfortable with our “poor me I couldn’t have children” persona that we’re actually a bit reluctant to let go of it. I mean, […]

What the hell am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a baby?

August 21, 2012 Jody Day 23

This is the question that haunts you: What the hell am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a baby? It’s often the driver that keeps the engine of anxiety churning, night and day… It’s the 3am question par excellence, although we’re a bit sheepish to admit it to anyone. I’ve got some good news and some bad news The Good News: Once you’ve got to the time where ‘running out of time to have a baby’ becomes ‘I ran out of time to have a baby’ things get a whole lot simpler. The Bad News: It may […]

Menopausal Mojo: why being post-fertile is yet another taboo to bust!

August 11, 2012 Jody Day 20

This article was written in 2012 Perhaps one of the things that’s surprised me most about coming to terms with my childlessness is how it’s impacted every area of my life: my identity, my dreams and my hopes. And one of the most unexpected shifts has been in my ideas about intimate relationships. I was with my ex-husband for 16 years, and both before and after that had serious, long-term relationships. Really, from the ages of 15-45 I had sex and heteosexual relationships on the brain. And now, aged 48, and four years into accepting that my quest for motherhood […]

Death by Cupcake: The Fetishization of Motherhood

July 13, 2012 Jody Day 18

It is perhaps not a coincidence that as becoming a mother has become an unattainable option for many women and couples, the trappings of motherhood have become fetishized. From the designer buggies (a Range Rover buggy anyone?) to the cult of the yummy mummy and her yoga-flat tummy (what a ridiculous pressure to put on a woman who’s just given birth to a new human being!) to the mini-me designer clothes ranges and babyccinos (cappuccino without coffee, if you were wondering), children are treated like precious and breakable artefacts and motherhood has become a competitive and rarified sport. This is […]

Turning our wounds into wisdom

July 4, 2012 Jody Day 18

“Women who fail to bear children twice as likely to be hospitalised for alcoholism,” reads the catchy headline in today’s Telegraph (4 July, 2012) Now, although the research makes for sober reading, it’s good news that at last the life-long effects of unwanted childlessness are being taken seriously. Indeed, the academics behind the study say that their results are: “only the tip of the iceberg” because many more would be affected, but not so badly as to need in-patient treatment. In the study, women who remained childless after fertility treatments were 103% more likely to be hospitalized for alcoholism or […]

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