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DoubleWhammy: Single & Childless

October 29, 2013 Jody Day 144

Very soon it will be the UK’s third National Fertility Awareness week which is being organised by Infertility Network UK, the British charity which supports those undergoing infertility treatment. Cue lots of ‘miracle baby stories’ in the press about couples that despaired of ever having a child but who managed thanks to the help of this amazing science. The week even ends with the annual hopefest that is The Fertility Show at London’s Olympia, an entire exhibition hall filled with stands from fertility clinics and associated industries looking to ‘educate’ (sell to) potential new ‘parents’ (customers). But what I bet we […]

Be part of the conversation that ends the taboo of childlessness

September 23, 2013 Jody Day 1

Perhaps one of the hardest things for me in dealing with my childlessness, and one of the driving forces that led me to start writing this blog in 2011, was that nobody would let me talk about my situation. I was so frequently closed down with a ‘miracle baby story’ or even a stinging remark like ‘can’t you talk about anything else?’ that I gave up trying to talk about it at all. I shut-up and shutdown. But why wouldn’t anyone let me talk about it? Why was the fact that I wanted to have a family and it didn’t work […]

Happy Childless Birthday!

July 16, 2013 Jody Day 25

Happy Birthday to Me Happy Birthday to Me Happy Birthday Crazy Cat Lady Happy Birthday to Me! Sure, it’s not what I hoped, planned and dreamed for. Not what I spent the years from 29-43 trying to make happen in one way or another.  But at 49, it’s more that OK. It’s great. Doing my grief work means that I’m out the other side now – a different person. My busted-open heart has been put back together in a new configuration. I think it might be bigger than before. The scar of my childlessness is a tender spot and it […]

Welcome to the Sistership – The Online Gateway Women Forum

January 24, 2013 Jody Day 0

If you’d like to connect, rant, support and laugh with other childless-by-circumstance women, please come and join us on the Private G+ Gateway Women Community. And it’s not on flipping Facebook! Whether you’re still hopeful, not sure or getting stuck into your Plan B, you’ll find good company and candid chat here… Usually busy most evenings (and with women from all over the world joining us so getting busier round the clock!) it’s proving very popular and some great new friendships, ideas and connections are being made. Click here for more information and to apply for membership Welcome to the […]

Childless at Christmas: The Perfect Storm

December 19, 2012 Jody Day 34

For many childless by circumstance women, the best day of Christmas is the 26th December… when it’s all over again for another year! Earlier this December, I hosted an online webinar for Gateway Women on the theme of ‘Coping with Christmas’. Women from all over the world joined us on the call and shared their very different experiences, but very similar feelings, about the upcoming holidays. Themes such as loneliness, isolation, stress, secrets, pressure, exposure and dread came up in many of our stories. I’ve come to think that Christmas is, in many ways, the perfect storm for us childless […]

New London workshop, 4th Nov – So You Don’t Have Kids?… Now What!

October 9, 2012 Jody Day 5

A new one day workshop designed to kick-start your Plan B for a meaningful and fulfilling life without children. So You Don’t Have Kids?…Now What! is for you if you’re: A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for some reason Frustrated with how you are treated, perceived and sidelined by mainstream society because you don’t have kids Damned if you know where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it! Worried about growing old alone without children Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have ‘ended up’ like this […]

Why don’t you just adopt?

September 17, 2012 Jody Day 16

It’s the ‘just’ that gets me every time. Sometimes I wish I had the nerve to face-palm myself and say “Damn! Why didn’t that occur to me!” The bizarre thing about this throwaway line that so many of us childless women have had tossed our way is this: If we were to say casually to the same person that we were thinking of getting a dog, quick as a flash they’d say “But who’s going to look after it in the daytime?” Yet they think adoption’s an option? In the UK, married couples where one partner can afford to stay at home […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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