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Only 88 Days Left to Your Next Childless Christmas!

September 27, 2012 Jody Day 11

A blog from 2012 There’s nothing quite like the nights drawing in as Autumn arrives to remind you that yet another childless Christmas is on its way. And if you combine it with being single, it can be particularly trying. Recently, over at The Bitter Babe (a fantastic US blog that pulls no punches as the author is anonymous), she writes of looking at her “12th holiday season alone.” Unlike the author of The Bitter Babe (tag line: Never Married. Over Forty. Slightly Bitter) I was in a 16-year relationship from my early twenties and married for 12 of them. And […]

The Gifts of Grief: Saying Goodbye to Lost Babies

September 13, 2012 Jody Day 4

This Saturday in Exeter Cathedral sees the first ‘Saying Goodbye’ service of remembrance for babies lost at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years. This is the first of seven cathedral services this year, with up to 22 services planned by the end of 2013 in the UK. The Saying Goodbye services have been created by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who have personally suffered the loss of five babies. They are now blessed with having two vibrant little girls, one aged three and the other just 12 months. Grief is something that is poorly understood, tolerated or […]

What the hell am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a baby?

August 21, 2012 Jody Day 23

This is the question that haunts you: What the hell am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a baby? It’s often the driver that keeps the engine of anxiety churning, night and day… It’s the 3am question par excellence, although we’re a bit sheepish to admit it to anyone. I’ve got some good news and some bad news The Good News: Once you’ve got to the time where ‘running out of time to have a baby’ becomes ‘I ran out of time to have a baby’ things get a whole lot simpler. The Bad News: It may […]

Death by Cupcake: The Fetishization of Motherhood

July 13, 2012 Jody Day 18

It is perhaps not a coincidence that as becoming a mother has become an unattainable option for many women and couples, the trappings of motherhood have become fetishized. From the designer buggies (a Range Rover buggy anyone?) to the cult of the yummy mummy and her yoga-flat tummy (what a ridiculous pressure to put on a woman who’s just given birth to a new human being!) to the mini-me designer clothes ranges and babyccinos (cappuccino without coffee, if you were wondering), children are treated like precious and breakable artefacts and motherhood has become a competitive and rarified sport. This is […]

Turning our wounds into wisdom

July 4, 2012 Jody Day 18

“Women who fail to bear children twice as likely to be hospitalised for alcoholism,” reads the catchy headline in today’s Telegraph (4 July, 2012) Now, although the research makes for sober reading, it’s good news that at last the life-long effects of unwanted childlessness are being taken seriously. Indeed, the academics behind the study say that their results are: “only the tip of the iceberg” because many more would be affected, but not so badly as to need in-patient treatment. In the study, women who remained childless after fertility treatments were 103% more likely to be hospitalized for alcoholism or […]

If I’m a childless witch, where’s my broomstick?

June 26, 2012 Jody Day 37

From the archives: First published June 2012 Perhaps one of the most difficult things about being childless by circumstance, and the one that those who are parents or who have chosen to be childfree find hard to grasp, is working out what our life is ‘for’. So much of our hoping, planning, dreaming and fantasising has been in preparation for a life that is not to be. And, much as fertility medicine has brought joy to some, it’s also condemned a lot of other women to extended periods of ‘hoping’ well into their forties, or even longer…. Fertility treatments or […]

The Gateway Women Manifesto: are childless women the new suffragettes?

May 3, 2012 Jody Day 25

If you take a moment to think about it, there have probably never been so many educated, liberated women without children in their 40s and 50s alive at one time before. Let that sink in for a moment… In the past, most of us would have been either bringing up children or already dead from childbirth. And of those women who were childless (mostly by chance but a small percentage by choice) very few of them would have had the social, economic or political power to take advantage of their freedom from child-rearing. 1 in 5 women in the UK and USA […]

Free talk for International Women’s Day (8 March) “Introducing the Nomos”

March 6, 2012 Jody Day 6

Introducing the #Nomos (the not-mothers) Talk + Q&A with Gateway Women Founder, Jody Day Thursday 8th March 2012: 17:00-17:45 HubWestminster, 80 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4TE Places are free but numbers are limited. For reservations please click here. SPINSTER  OLD MAID  SELFISH  WEIRDO 1 in 5 women are now reaching the menopause without having children – the largest cohort of childless women in the UK since the ‘man drought’ following World War I. Yet our culture’s idea of what these women ‘are for’ is similarly stuck in the past…   Whether a woman has chosen to be ‘childfree’ or finds herself […]

Grieving for the Life Unlived

February 24, 2012 Jody Day 36

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with not being a mother when you wanted to be one is the sheer intractability of the issue. After a life of solving problems, making plans and being proactive you find yourself up against something that will-power, a peppy new outfit and a positive attitude just can’t solve. Dammit. Our consumer culture is built on the idea of choice. Of personal freedom. Of planning. Of security. So when all your freedom, planning and choices end up with you as a single childless women, it also comes with a hefty dose of […]

Did your childhood put you off motherhood?

January 19, 2012 Jody Day 15

One of the things about finding yourself somewhere either side of 40 and suprised to find that you’re not a mother, is that you probably spend a fair amount of time wondering how the hell you ended up here. You mentally playback your life from that first boyfriend onwards and reconsider every decision you made, every relationship that didn’t feel right, every opportunity you walked away from, the pregnancies you terminated, the morning-after pills you took – all those those missed opportunities that just ‘didn’t work out’. Seen through this unpleasantly nauseous wrong-end-of-the-telescope viewfinder, you wonder how all of that […]

Truth and Trust

December 15, 2011 Jody Day 5

Having just said goodbye to the pioneering women who took part in the first ever Gateway Women Coaching Group this Autumn, I have been profoundly moved by the power of truth and trust to change our lives.  And that got me thinking about the power of truth and trust in my own journey from an unhappily childless woman to a happily childfree one… The opposite of truth is, in some ways, denial. Denial gets a bum rap in self-development and recovery circles sometimes, which is a shame.  Because denial is a very powerful and effective psychological defence mechanism that protects our emotional […]

The Power of Testimony

November 10, 2011 Jody Day 10

This is a guest post from the fabulous Katherine Baldwin of From Forty With Love I am forty – forty-and-two-thirds to be precise – and single. I’m childless and/or childfree, however you prefer to look at it. I have a desire to have children of my own. And I’ve just declared a moratorium on dating. I’ve called off the search for a partner… Foolish? Crazy? A little extreme? Well, yes and no. Given that my biological clock must be ticking furiously by now, it might be a little foolhardy. But as regards my long-term sanity, happiness and fulfillment, it makes perfect […]

Forty, single and childless, dammit!

October 25, 2011 Jody Day 45

Have you ever stopped to question why you want (or wanted) a baby so much? Do you find the question shocking? Taboo even? Well, I didn’t question it. And because I avoided this level of deep introspection, I failed to realise that I spent fifteen years of my life chasing a dream based partly on the premise that someone or something would make me feel fulfilled, content, satisfied, real, right, good… I thought a baby, a family, a home, what Zorba the Greek calls ‘the full catastrophe’ – was going to make me feel whole dammit! Yes, I loved my husband insanely-much […]

No children? Not welcome.

July 10, 2011 Jody Day 5

In today’s Observer (10 July 2011) buried at the back behind the lengthy reports of what, in time I presume will come to be called Murdoch-gate or some such thing, is an article by Tracy McVeigh called ‘Single, female, 45-plus: life, love and friendship for women of ‘a certain age.’ Now, I’m never entirely sure what this ‘certain age’ is… I’ve always, from a mixture of vanity, denial and naivety presumed it to be ‘a bit older than me’.  But, turning 47 in the next few weeks I guess that… Tag! I’m it. On the whole, I’ve never been too […]

Hell hath no fury like an empty womb

May 7, 2011 Jody Day 17

Sometimes, just knowing that someone else understands what it’s like to be driven mad by the whole ‘baby’ issue is all it takes for the pressure to ease, just a little. For someone to reach their hand down to you as you sit in a funk in your dank, dark tunnel and let you know that they understand.  It’s good to know you’re not alone, but still… You’re so mad you could spit. When the number on your fertility speedometer reads 35, or maybe the needle’s pushing 40, 41, 42… the scream in your head can be so damn loud […]

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