12 Books of Christmas: for your childless friend (or yourself!)

December 7, 2019 Jody Day 0

Reading for pleasure is one of those things that can take a B-I-G hit during grief and, even though I am no longer grieving, it’s taken me several years to really get my reading mojo back. That, combined with my reduced attention span (thank you screens) means it can take a lot more to get me to stay with a book these days!  I found my way back into my love of reading through listening to audiobooks at night, when I couldn’t sleep (thank you menopause and hello working on this blog at 4am!) thus, where audiobooks are available, I’ve […]

Coping with Holiday Expectations

December 2, 2019 Jody Day 0

Click the image above or this link to watch this 1-hour webinar hosted by More to Life as part of their excellent free webinar series for childless people, this one on the topic of “Coping with Holiday Expectations”. As well as presenting my ‘Perfect Storm’ model to help you analyze and prepare for your holiday triggers in a new way, I am joined on the call by three members of ‘Team Gateway’, each of which are leading one of Gateway Women’s Plan B Mentorship Programmes in 2020: Lauren de Vere, Karin Enfield de Vries and Elizabeth Grambsch. Here is an […]

Father’s Day for the Non-Father: a guest blog by Sheridan Voysey

June 14, 2019 Jody Day 1

This is a guest blog by Sheridan Voysey for Gateway Women. Sheridan and his wife are childless not by choice. You can read more about him at the bottom of this article or www.sheridanvoysey.com Thank you so much Sheridan – I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us. Hugs, Jody x As Sheridan Voysey writes: Not long ago I took part in a segment for a television breakfast show. As the cameraman and I drove to the filming location, he told me a story. “Last night some mates and I were in the pub,” he […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coping with Father’s Day as a Childless Man. A guest blog by Dr. Robin Hadley

June 13, 2018 Jody Day 3

As a man, firstly, let me say how delighted and honoured I am that Jody has asked me contribute to Gateway Women. I’m guessing that a quite a few readers here had a poor experience of male partners; I am genuinely sorry about how some men have behaved and still behave. In this blog, I aim to give some insight from my own experience of involuntary childlessness, as well as knowledge I have gained through my academic research into childless men. Hence, this blog will cover both the personal and the academic and will end with a poem. I hope […]

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 […]

Let the new shit begin

January 2, 2018 Jody Day 31

There’s something oppressive about New Year, and all these exhortations to become some new version of ourself. I mean, if I had free choice to select which time of the year to mark as ‘New Year’, one that felt like a promising time for us all to ‘start afresh’ it wouldn’t be NOW for goodness sake! For many of us who are childless not by choice, we’ve just survived the longest and trickiest holiday season there is. It started on 31st October with Halloween and has been careering downhill, picking up speed as it’s snowballed through Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving, Sinterklass […]

Never again, you say, after each Christmas…

December 26, 2017 Jody 26

Well, we made it through. Another Christmas done. Thank God: any, all or no God. How was it for you? Did you #ReclaimChristmas and shape it into a celebration that suited your life, your situation, your needs as a solo or couple, or did you endure some version of the same old shit you’ve been dealing with these last few years? Each year, from September onwards many childless women’s concerns about the holiday season escalate, many of them discussed publicly on the Gateway Women Facebook page, or privately in our online community, at our free Meetups or in our weekend workshops. The theme […]

Mother is a verb, not just a noun

March 26, 2017 Jody 8

This is the text from an address I gave at St Martin’s in the Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London on Mothering Sunday, 2016. I was so very moved to be asked to contribute OUR voice to this service, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 4. This is very tender day for so many of us who mourn the children we’ll never know, and have maybe lost our own mothers too. Be gentle with yourself today. And maybe buy YOURSELF the flowers – you deserve them too! Love, Jody x Mother’s in our Hearts Besides Christmas, Mother’s Day (what is […]

Coping with those childless holiday blues…

November 21, 2016 Jody 16

As I’m based in the UK, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. However, because unchosen childlessness is a pain shared globally, there are many US and Canadian women who read this blog, and who are members of the private Gateway Women online community. It’s from them that I’ve learned that it’s like having to do Christmas…twice. Whilst I was still grieving my childlessness, topped off with being divorced and single, Christmas was like a thorn in my paw from September onwards, so I get it what a big deal it is. I’m wondering what the focus on ‘gratitude’ (which seems to be […]

Honouring your experience of Mother’s Day

March 1, 2016 Jody 5

In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day as “Mothering Sunday”, three Sundays before Easter and so this coming Sunday. 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 Mother’s Day also […]

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