I’m Dreaming of a Childless Christmas

December 22, 2013 Jody 31

Yes, I know the words ‘dreaming’, ‘childless’ and ‘Christmas’ look incongruous together.  But for me, it’s really something I’ve been dreaming of all this busy Autumn. Right now I’m at home alone, tucked up in a warm bed with a warm cat delicately snoring at my side. The streets of London are hushed as most people have already left town. After an exhaustingly excellent year with the growth of the Gateway Women Online Community and the publication of my first book, I’m happily in my pyjamas with a steaming cup of coffee made exactly the way I like it and […]

Best friends forever? With childlessness, not always…

December 18, 2013 Jody 13

Perhaps one of the most unexpected, and hardest, parts of being a childless woman was coming to terms with the fact that I not only lost the family I longed for, but that I also lost my peer group. It took me a very long time to realise what was happening, as I was so in denial about my infertility (I never actually even identified as ‘infertile’, I was just ‘trying to conceive’) that I was quite happy for everyone else to have children – after all, I knew for sure that I’d be joining them soon… It wasn’t until […]

Countdown to Christmas: strategies for a childless celebration

December 16, 2013 Jody 14

This guest blog has been written by a member of the Gateway Women Online Community My nephew is fit to burst. He is ten and he is jam-packed, full to the brim, bubbling over with eager pre-Christmas anticipation. He has been compiling Christmas wish lists since September; and whilst for this particular ten-year old, gifts are pretty much the best thing in the world; it is about much more than that. There are school holidays approaching, Christmas specials on TV, family visits with lots of attention and cuddles, and then there is the yummy food, the Christmas songs, and the […]

DoubleWhammy: Single & Childless

October 29, 2013 Jody 142

Very soon it will be the UK’s third National Fertility Awareness week which is being organised by Infertility Network UK, the British charity which supports those undergoing infertility treatment. Cue lots of ‘miracle baby stories’ in the press about couples that despaired of ever having a child but who managed thanks to the help of this amazing science. The week even ends with the annual hopefest that is The Fertility Show at London’s Olympia, an entire exhibition hall filled with stands from fertility clinics and associated industries looking to ‘educate’ (sell to) potential new ‘parents’ (customers). But what I bet we […]

Talking woman to woman to 4 million women

October 6, 2013 Jody 14

On Tuesday 1st October 2013 I was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s flagship show for women, ‘Woman’s Hour’. For those of you who might have missed it, here it is again: Woman’s Hour has been running since 1946 on BBC radio and although it’s a show I’ve listened to, on and off, since I was a teenager, in recent years I’ve found it less and less relevant to my life. Tsk… they should rename it bloody ‘Mother’s Hour’!  I’ve said, switching it off yet again as too many items in the show focus on work-life balance (for which read ‘family’-work […]

Be part of the conversation that ends the taboo of childlessness

September 23, 2013 Jody 1

Perhaps one of the hardest things for me in dealing with my childlessness, and one of the driving forces that led me to start writing this blog in 2011, was that nobody would let me talk about my situation. I was so frequently closed down with a ‘miracle baby story’ or even a stinging remark like ‘can’t you talk about anything else?’ that I gave up trying to talk about it at all. I shut-up and shutdown. But why wouldn’t anyone let me talk about it? Why was the fact that I wanted to have a family and it didn’t work […]

50 Ways Not To Be A Mother…

September 6, 2013 Jody 61

Although many people who don’t know our story may imagine that we either actively chose not to have children or couldn’t have them due to infertility, there are many ways to end up childless without actively choosing it: Being single and unable to find a suitable relationship from your mid-thirties onwards. Being ignorant about your fertility and not realising that after 35 it’s half what it was at 25, and that by the time we’re 40 we have only a very small number of viable eggs left. The age that many women think they need to worry about is 40, […]

Self-care and other gremlins

August 5, 2013 Jody 27

As someone with ‘a mother’s heart’ you’d think that nurturing myself would be easy. After all, I spend 15 years longing to nurture a child. But you’d be wrong. In my continuing recovery from the heartbreak of childlessness, I’ve found that nurturing myself has turned out to be one of my biggest challenges. It seems I’d rather be of service to just about anyone other than myself. When I was married, this found its perfect home in something called ‘codependency’  – which in my case was a perfect energetic two-step between my ex-husband’s addictions and my own obsessive over-involvement in his condition. It […]

Happy Childless Birthday!

July 16, 2013 Jody 25

Happy Birthday to Me Happy Birthday to Me Happy Birthday Crazy Cat Lady Happy Birthday to Me! Sure, it’s not what I hoped, planned and dreamed for. Not what I spent the years from 29-43 trying to make happen in one way or another.  But at 49, it’s more that OK. It’s great. Doing my grief work means that I’m out the other side now – a different person. My busted-open heart has been put back together in a new configuration. I think it might be bigger than before. The scar of my childlessness is a tender spot and it […]

Leaving the story behind

May 20, 2013 Jody 30

Sometimes, I feel a bit sorry for myself. At first, it feels quite good to indulge in it, but after a few minutes it starts to feel like shit. Because then the ‘story’ in my head that goes with the feelings will start up – the one that begins with words like ‘if only’ and ‘what if I’d’ or ‘why didn’t I’ and which all boil down to a fairly core position: Why me? I feel a bit sheepish writing it, but there it is. The stone in my shoe. The little Jody that wants to lie on the floor […]

Childless and Miserable? You need to get off Facebook!

April 20, 2013 Jody 41

Sunny holidays, funny moments with her kids, her lover taking her away somewhere special for her birthday so that they can have some time, ‘alone’… How come her life worked out and mine didn’t? What about me? How to meet your soul mate, arranging the perfect hen-night, your dream wedding, what to expect when you’re expecting, keeping the passion alive in your relationship… Where’s my soul mate? Isn’t there meant to be one for everyone? Where do I exist in women’s magazines? Where are the articles about coping with a lodger in your 40s just to pay the electricity bill? When […]

You’re not crazy, you’re grieving

March 27, 2013 Jody 36

Do any of the following sound like you? You find yourself hiding out in the bathroom at the office because of your colleagues’ endless babytalk… You walk home alone across town, in the freezing rain, just to get away from your ‘last’ childless friend’s announcement of her ‘miracle’ pregnancy… You avoid family events and spend most of your cash on holidays and retreats abroad during the Christmas season… You snap and bitch at your partner so much that you wouldn’t be surprised if they left you… You’ve given up dating all together… You couldn’t give a shit what you look […]

Why is there a taboo around childless women?

March 2, 2013 Jody 4

Today, to start the debate that will take place next Saturday at WOW (Women of the World Festival) on the Southbank (London), the WOW website has posted a question: Why is there a taboo around childless women?…  The answers are going to be projected 50ft high on the side of the Royal Festival Hall this evening! If you’d like your voice to be heard (doesn’t have to include your name) in letters 50′ high opposite the Houses of Parliament – click here! Let’s end the cultural invisibility around being childless or childfree. Wherever you are in the world, please add your […]

Mind the Gap! Friendships & childlessness

February 22, 2013 Jody 57

One of the most surprising issues that comes out of the woodwork when dealing with unchosen childlessness (and often when chosen too), is the nature, health and continuation of our female friendships. As someone who spent 15-years expecting to become a mother, but for whom it didn’t work out, I was in such denial about my ongoing infertility that I actually didn’t find keeping up my friendships with mothers all that hard. After all, I was convinced it would be ‘my turn’ one day. But since that day several years ago when I knew for sure that I would never be a […]

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