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4 Tips to Cope with (and even enjoy!) Your Childless Christmas

November 2, 2014 Jody Day 34

For many childless women, the best day of Christmas is the 26 December… when it’s all over again for another year! Having worked with hundreds of childless women face-to-face, and thousands of women online over the last few years, the topic of ‘coping with Christmas’ is never far below the surface, and once summer is over it looms on the horizon like a troubling iceberg. Although each woman’s situation is different, similar feelings consistently arise about the upcoming holidays: fear, shame, loneliness, isolation, stress, secrets, pressure, exposure, dread, sadness, anger… I’ve come to think that Christmas is, in many ways, the […]

The Childless Menopause

September 8, 2014 Jody Day 138

I turned 50 earlier this year which was a cause for celebration amongst my family and friends. However, when I officially became ‘post-menopausal’ the year before, nobody wanted to know. In our youth (read: fertility) obsessed culture, becoming post-menopausal means the end of bearing a biological child and, it seems, the official beginning of your pointlessness and invisibility as an older woman. But, it seems, just as in other stages of my ‘failure’ to become a mother, I don’t fully buy into this cultural narrative of my worthlessness. And maybe even the ‘invisibility’ might work to my advantage too, as […]

Things I wish I’d known at 40

July 16, 2014 Jody Day 60

This week, I celebrate my 50th birthday. It feels like a heck of a thing, to find myself turning 50 at peace with the past, happy in the present and excited about the future. It didn’t come easily and, looking back over the screenplay of my 40s it does seem to include just about everything from farce to tragedy… So that got me thinking about boldly going into a new decade where no Jody has gone before – if I could talk to my 40-year-old self, what would I want her to know about the decade ahead? Here are some […]

Help! I’m so jealous of pregnant women and mothers!

April 22, 2014 Jody Day 11

A guest post by GW+ Community Member: Marjon Bakker A few weeks ago I listened to a BBC World Service radio programme about envy. It features a British writer, Jessica Hepburn, who is experiencing severe ‘baby envy’ because she cannot have a child. She tells us how envious she can be because she longs for something other women have achieved so easily. On the Gateway Women Google Plus community (or GW+ for short!) someone wrote that she thought it was in interesting programme, but that it was a pity that no answer was given to the question of how to […]

Honouring your Childlessness on Mother’s Day

March 18, 2014 Jody Day 28

In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day as “Mothering Sunday”, three Sundays before Easter and this year falling on Sunday 30th March. It was originally a day when all domestic servants were given a coordinated day off so that they could visit their families and together attend a service at their “Mother” church. It was a family day. However, gradually that original meaning has been lost and has been overtaken by the “Mother’s Day” first introduced in the US by Anna Jarvis in 1914 and falling on the second Sunday in May. Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was childless and the scope of her […]

The Egg Freezing Scam? a guest post by Miriam Zoll

February 27, 2014 Jody Day 13

Introduction from Jody Day, Founder at Gateway Women: I have been increasingly concerned for some time now that egg-freezing is being promoted by the media as the new way to buy peace-of-mind insurance for those women struggling with social infertility, whilst its low success rates and patchy live birth data was not being explored. I am therefore delighted to exclusively publish Miriam Zoll’s new analysis of how this procedure is being taken up and promoted by the ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) industry in the US… The most comprehensive study to date [i] evaluating the effectiveness of egg freezing revealed that, despite a new […]

You’re Not the Odd One Out

January 31, 2014 Jody Day 14

Although when you look around you in the street, amongst your friends and family or in the media you may sometimes feel like the only woman who isn’t a mother, the surprising fact is that 1:5 UK and US women born in the 1960s reached 45 without having had children. And, as the first of those born in the 1970s turn 45 in 2015, we’ll begin to see if the statistic rises to 1:4 as it already is in Italy, Switzerland and Finland. My hunch is it will, but the data’s a few years off yet. The last time the rate […]

I’m Dreaming of a Childless Christmas

December 22, 2013 Jody Day 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 Day 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 Day 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 Day 144

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 […]

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