Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children
(2nd edition, 2020. UK: Bluebird/PanMacmillan)
Fully revised with a new introduction and significant additional content in Chapters 4 and 12.

Download a free sample of the introduction and chapter 1 here.
UK bookshop and online order links here.
You can support your local independent bookshop by ordering via in the UK and USA
Australian orders by Booktopia or

Some of the fifty professional endorsements inside the front and back covers of the 2nd edition (2020).

Some reader reviews from the 375+ positive reviews (78% of them 5 stars!) on,,,,

A few more reviews below but hopefully you get the idea?!

What a great book. Easy to read, no psychobabble just honesty and practical help. I realised I wasn’t alone and had found my tribe. I think it would also be useful for anyone poleaxed by grief and needing support. (Anon)


The title had put me off buying this book for over a year. Anything that looks like a promise of success sounds exhausting. However, it worked, and it had nothing to do with getting a new crazy hobby or buying a sports car. A hugely helpful book that I read on Kindle but will order a must-have hard copy. Found some of the end-of-chapter exercises spot in helping me identify ways in which I had got stuck in a polarised view of childlessness and the fantasy of motherhood. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Don’t think I could have read this ten years ago when my “I am fine; don’t even mention it” stance was a much-needed defence. So in a sense, it is mostly going to help women who are already moving towards acceptance. (Tony Swanson)
I was recommended “Rocking The Life Unexpected” by a childless friend and devoured it. That version (Rocking The Life Unexpected) was Jody Day’s self-published version of this now updated “Living The Life Unexpected” which I also bought as soon as I’d finished the Rocking version! It’s wonderful, helpful, thought-provoking, and inspiring. If you are childless and struggling with that then this is an excellent book for you. It will also lead you to Gateway Women – a support community of childless women that Jody Day founded and is now international. Don’t suffer alone. It’s terribly isolating to be grief-stricken and misunderstood by so many others around you. Get your library to do an inter-library loan of this book if you can’t afford to buy it. Really, really helpful book (Anon)


Jody Day has worked for years to bring awareness of and compassion for women who for any long list of reasons find themselves without the children they so longed for. As the book explains, this demographic is likely going to grow to 1:4 women over 45 – this is an awful lot of people with broken hearts, trying to find their way along a life path that until now came with no road map. This book provides light for that path as well as support for creating your own map, your own way of taking those steps towards healing. It supports you as you begin to move towards living a life that allows you to hold and work with your grief and your losses, while at the same time creating a beautiful, vibrant hope-full life, truly excited for what is to come. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone struggling to figure out what their life without children might look like. (Canadian Midwife)



Just finished this mammoth book of extremely useful, insightful, real-life tips, techniques and proven methods for making a life worth living. I can’t recommend this new version enough. It’s an amazing resource of what I truly consider the absolute best navigation possible through the dark night of the childless soul. It’s a lot of words (I’m more of a visual person) but scarcely a word is written without considerable thought behind it. That much is obvious as the author is clearly speaking with her heart fully open. Ironically it took me about twelve weeks to read. But the content will stay with me for a lifetime. My advice is to just buy the book and read what you can whenever you feel you have your own undivided attention. It’s a work of art. A work of creative genius and I want to thank everyone involved for making this possible for Jody and for us, the readers. It’s a clear shot at the goal of trying to find meaning in life and the resources contained within are second to none. Groundbreaking stuff! I won’t be reselling or lending my copy to anyone., sorry. I have written so many notes inside and drawn flowers and stars all over the place. A sure sign this book is going to become a part of who I am and end up becoming. Thanks Jody and thank you to the ladies who contributed – your words mean so much. (Anon)


To download a PDF of the "Healing Inventory" from the book, click here
To download a PDF of the “Healing Inventory” from the book, click here
 Click here to download a PDF copy of the ‘Healing Inventory’ (above)Click here to download a copy of the ‘Meaning Map’ (above)

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