World Childless Week 2019 starts tomorrow – here are 40 free on/offline things you can join in with!

September 15, 2019 Jody Day 0

As you may already know, I’m a World Childless Week ‘Champion’ which means I support the campaign and do I all can behind the scenes to make it a success. And it’s that time of year again (no, not that time of the year!) – the 3rd World Childless Week is next week and there are so many wonderful free events happening on/offline around the world for you to take part in. If some of the links to things on the Gateway Women website are slow to be open, please be patient, they will open – we’re upgrading our server […]

Book review: “Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No” by Kate Kaufmann

July 17, 2019 Jody Day 3

Kate Kaufmann’s book, “Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No’ is the latest addition to a pleasingly growing pile of books about women without children that I am now asked to review. A decade ago, when I first realised that my childlessness was the terrifying endpoint of my fifteen year journey towards motherhood, there was practically nothing out there, apart from a couple of books which were out of print then (and now), such as Rachel Black and Louise Scull’s 2012 Beyond Childlessness and Linda Hunt Anton’s 1992  Never to be a Mother, neither of which I […]

The Full Stop Podcast: a fabulous new show for childless women and men has just launched.

June 10, 2019 Jody Day 0

I’m excited to be the first guest on this exciting new podcast created for the childless not by choice community by two women and one man: Berenice Smith (UK): artist, geek and graphic designer and founder of the award-winning Walk in Our Shoes site Michael Hughes (AUS): one half of the Married and Childless blog from Australia Sarah Lawrence (UK): founder of After the Storm website and community. This first episode is themed around the issue of ‘Speaking Out’ and the first half of it features candid conversations between the 3 presenters on issues that all of us have probably […]

“Mum’s not the Word” a moving and candid photobook of women without children by Denise Felkin

May 30, 2019 Jody Day 5

Mum’s Not The Word: Childless, Childfree by Denise Felkin is a new book published by Earthworld in the UK on 4 June 2019 which shares stories of choice, freedom, regret and pain in a series of 50 photographic images, each one of a different woman lying naked on a duvet in the foetal position. All of the women have one thing in common – they do not have children. Statistics show that an increasing number of women remain childless: currently around 20% in the UK. The book sets out to challenge the antiquated and negative stereotypes that picture women without children […]

Are you fed up with the political rhetoric of #HardWorkingFamilies and the social trope of #AsAMother?

May 6, 2019 Jody Day 3

Come and join me and three other women without children who will be speaking at an evening seminar in Harrogate (North UK) on Monday 13 May devoted to exploring the issues of childlessness and its absence from political rhetoric and policy planning. Tickets are only £6.35 and if you need somewhere to stay, we can find a local WEP or GW members who’d be happy to help out! Click here to book This is not a ‘political’ evening (I know that everyone in the UK is utterly fed up of ‘politics’!) but rather it’s an open discussion about the experience […]

Whether they’re damning us or praising us, mothers so often don’t ‘get’ women without children…

April 20, 2019 Jody Day 44

One of my hopes for my work is that as well as helping childless women heal their hearts and rebuild their lives, it might act as a way to build a bridge between mothers and the childless. I’m a feminist and I long to open a new kind of dialogue across the pronatalist ravine so that we can stand together as women against all issues of gender-based inequality and disenfranchisement, no longer divided by our maternity status. But then there are other times when I feel a lot less hopeful and hifalutin’ and feel more like building a liferaft and […]

A whole day of arts programming around childlessness! Sat 27th April at the Barbican (London)

April 6, 2019 Jody Day 1

You wouldn’t think that something called ‘FertilityFest’ is something I’d write about, but as one of its Founders is Jessica Hepburn (childless author of ‘The Pursuit of Motherhood’ and ’21 Miles’) it’s an arts festival about fertility that includes childlessness (for both men and women) as part of the story of modern fertility. Now in its third year, FertiltyFest has been named by the London Evening Standard as one of London’s top arts festivals. Saturday 27th April is the ‘There’s More to Life than Children’ day at FertilityFest and I’m SO proud to be the chair for the day. The […]

‘Following Sea’ by Lauren Carter: childlessness and family history weave together in this tender and rugged new collection of poems.

March 8, 2019 Jody Day 2

As I know from my own experience and that of many of the Gateway Women I’ve worked with, creative writing can be an incredibly powerful way to help us come to terms with the completely unacceptable reality of our loss; a loss that, furthermore, because our grief is ‘disenfranchised’, is not recognised, tolerated or understood by society. Many of us have been told that we need to ‘get over’ not being mothers and that children aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. These will often be the same people who will then spend the next twenty years gushing about their […]

Childlessness after hysterectomy: “I am still a woman, hear me roar!” by Sarah Lawrence

February 9, 2019 Jody Day 9

I’m sitting here ruminating on how to talk about how grieving childlessness morphs after a hysterectomy in a way that is engaging… I’ve always loved a challenge, but even so! I guess the first thing would be to tell you my story, so you have some idea about why I know about this topic because it’s not something that usually gets talked about, is it? My dreams of having a family were, abruptly, ended during a 10-minute consultation in 2014. In a very blunt manner, I was told that I had stage four endometriosis and, that as a consequence, I […]

Would you swim the Channel to understand if motherhood makes you happy?

January 19, 2019 Jody Day 3

Jessica Hepburn is an extraordinary woman. I mean, properly extraordinary. Not only is she the veteran of eleven rounds of unsuccessful IVF but she’s also one of a very small group of people who’ve successfully swum the English Channel – that deceptively narrow stretch of water, just 21 miles across – that separates England from France. And she’s doesn’t even like exercise! These two things are intimately and surprisingly connected, as Jessica explains in this short, moving and funny interview she gave to me in 2018 just before the publication of her book, 21 Miles: Swimming in Search of the […]

A Plan B interview with Meriel Whale: becoming a counsellor for childlessness

January 12, 2019 Jody Day 5

Sometimes childless women tell me that they fear that they’re not capable of finding a Plan B; that without Plan A they are bereft not only of children but of any hopes, dreams, plans or even capacity to find an alternative life path. I hear you. That’s grief talking. That’s heartbreak talking. That’s exhaustion and fear talking. You’ve been to hell and maybe even discovered that it’s got a basement and all of this ‘Plan B’ talk feels frankly alienating. That’s why I feel it’s so important to hear from other childless women who are walking the path ahead and […]

Letting go of the old year…

December 31, 2018 Jody Day 3

Amongst the myriad exhortations to embrace the new year with gusto, I wanted to make space for those less glamourous feelings – of loss, sadness, grief, wistfulness and confusion which are so much a part of every life, and so often close to the surface for those of us living the life unexpected. I thought you might find this recording of my Reflect & Renew webinar which I hosted last week (29th December 2018) to talk about feelings that come up at this ‘in-between’ liminal moment in the year, and how to cope with them. There are also questions from viewers […]

Have you ever been told you’re ‘oversensitive’ about your childlessness?

December 27, 2018 Jody Day 10

I’ve often wondered what people really mean when they say someone is ‘oversensitive’… because to me what I’ve nearly always heard is more along the lines of, ‘Your feelings don’t matter’. So, if anything, it’s more about the other person being UNDER sensitive!  And when it comes to childlessness, it’s rare (not impossible, but rare) to find those who aren’t childless who get how hard it can be to walk this path of being ‘different’ from our peers and the wider world when that wasn’t our choice… As a child, I was full of wonder about the world and when […]

My 9th Childless Christmas & 3 Gifts for You

December 16, 2018 Jody Day 0

This is my ninth childless Christmas. Well, nine years since that first awful year when I came out of denial that my childlessness was a permanent ‘thing’, not just some inconvenient stopover on my path to motherhood. I can’t really remember that first Christmas because, although I’d ‘accepted’ in my head that I wasn’t going to be a mother, ever, in my heart and body there raged such a fire of confusion that I thought it was going to burn me alive. I didn’t yet know that what I was experiencing was grief; I didn’t find that out until almost […]

Women without children in the workplace: a hidden and growing diversity issue

September 22, 2018 Jody Day 14

After issues with unempathetic friends and family, workplace issues are the next biggest issue that seem to create problems in the life of childless (and childfree) women. This anonymous guest blog (below) was written by a member of the Gateway Women Online Community during World Childless Week 2018 and she shared it with her whole organisation by email. It was well received and thus I wanted to share it with you. Perhaps you might like to share it, and some of the other resources below, with your colleagues, managers or HR department? This entire blog post including the first person […]

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