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

August 21, 2012 Jody 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 […]

Turning our wounds into wisdom

July 4, 2012 Jody 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 […]

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

May 3, 2012 Jody 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 […]

Grieving for the Life Unlived

February 24, 2012 Jody 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 […]

Forty, single and childless, dammit!

October 25, 2011 Jody 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 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 […]

Why do they call us selfish?

June 29, 2011 Jody 26

There’s a dirty word often thrown about in the ‘childless/childfree’ debate: selfishness.  Although you rarely ever hear people saying that men who haven’t had children are selfish… It’s an opinion that people feel free to voice, often unkindly and without a second thought. I recall being at my ex-father in law’s funeral. It was a perversely beautiful hot summer’s day for a funeral and my arms were bare as I stood, numb, with my then husband. I was surprised to feel a sharp pinch near my elbow and looked down into the rheumy eyes of a tiny old lady I’d […]

Hell hath no fury like an empty womb

May 7, 2011 Jody 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 […]

Light at the end of the tunnel

April 5, 2011 Jody 25

There comes a day in many a woman’s life when she wakes up and realises that things haven’t really gone exactly to plan… Where is my husband? My family? she says to herself. What was I thinking: being with him not being with him focusing on my career neglecting my career partying staying home travelling round the world not being all that bothered expecting it all to just somehow happen, organically? (delete as appropriate and tick all that apply). Shit. I’d better get: a wiggle on lose some weight go out more stay in more get married get divorced get […]

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