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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 […]

Celebrating the childless on Mother’s Day

March 31, 2019 Jody Day 29

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK – our version of ‘Mother’s Day’ and I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the childless. Yes, today isn’t meant to be ‘our day’, but it could have been, and so today we honour the children that live only in our hearts. Maybe that sounds ghoulish, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve made friends with my ghosts now and they live in a tender, wistful part of my heart – so much so that when I see a child dancing whilst her father looks down lovingly upon her, my shadow daughter […]

‘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 11

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 4

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 […]

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 and she shared it with her whole organisation by email. It was well received and thus I wanted to share it with you. Here is an excellent example of an organizational Diversity Policy which includes childlessness, from Bristol University in the UK. It was suggested and created by a Gateway Women member (Dr Lindsay […]

10 Tips for Healing from the Heartbreak of Childlessness

July 18, 2018 Jody Day 16

Birthdays can be very hard work when you’re childless not by choice – reminding you of yet another year passed without the family you longed for and also socially excluded from the milestones and rituals that others around you get to experience and you don’t. That’s something that m/others often fail to grasp about our situation, that it’s not just that we didn’t get to have a baby, but that for the rest of our lives we’re either excluded or on the far reaches of the socializing and shared conversations that parenthood involves. Well, some good news for you… Today […]

Embracing the Grief of Childlessness – a video recording of my More to Life webinar in July 2018

July 9, 2018 Jody Day 5

Click the image above or this link to watch or share: https://youtu.be/6M4EE7UIBfQ Learning that the despair that I was feeling around my childlessness was GRIEF was the beginning of my healing. That was seven years ago, and I’ve been in a good place with my childlessness for five years now – in fact, I’m pretty sure I feel as at peace with my childlessness now as if I had chosen it – although I still have my ‘griefy moments’ – usually when a new aspect of my loss that I hadn’t been aware of before comes into view and my heart […]

“Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness” by Lesley Pyne

June 8, 2018 Jody Day 2

I am very proud to have written the Foreword for Lesley Pyne’s book, ‘Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life’, published on June 18, 2018. You can download the first chapter free on Lesley’s website at www.lesleypyne.co.uk and it is available to pre-order as a paperback or e-book online, with a Kindle special offer of £1.48 (UK Amazon) or $1.99 (US Amazon) up until publication date. In our friendly and positive video chat above, Lesley and talk about how we have both been changed not only by our shared experience of childlessness, but how […]

Surviving the childless weekend blues

March 30, 2018 Jody Day 40

There, it’s said. Weekends can be absolute hell as a single, childless woman. “They creep up on you,” said one friend recently. Many of us are so busy with work commitments and after-work activities Monday-to-Friday that we can’t wait for the peace and quiet of the weekend in order to recover. And then, when we wake up on Saturday morning to an empty bed, an empty house and an empty weekend, it doesn’t feel relaxing; it feels hideously oppressive. Alternatively, we pack our weekend schedule to the gunnels with activities and appointments only to feel burnt out and resentful and […]

An album about coming to terms with childlessness – Seamonster, by Chiara Berardelli

March 19, 2018 Jody Day 2

Seamonster is a new album by the Scottish singer/songwriter Chiara Berardelli. In it, she chronicles her own journey through grieving her childlessness, the support and solace she found in the Gateway Women online community, and her Plan B life that gradually took (and is taking) shape in place of the family she always expected to have. As she says on the notes for the album here: The songs on this album have been inspired by the loss of a dream, my dream of one day becoming a mother. It’s an invisible loss, hard to put into words, even harder to […]

Getting through Mother’s Day as a childless woman

March 11, 2018 Jody Day 8

“Mother’s Day” – the two words that signal the most dreaded time of the year after Christmas when you’re grieving childlessness. For UK readers, Mother’s Day falls today on Sunday 11th March although, thanks to social media, we get to experience it all over again when international Mother’s Day happens in May… I was interviewed at length for an article which was published today in the The Observer about being childless on Mother’s Day. One of the questions really made me think was this: “Does the notion of Mother’s Day upset/anger/depress you?” I thought about it and although whilst I was […]

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