Welcome to the Sistership – The Online Gateway Women Forum

January 24, 2013 Jody 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 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 […]

The Lust for Transformation

November 3, 2012 Jody 31

Being ‘us’ is just too damn hard some days. We long for the transformation of motherhood, as much as for the delight of meeting our children. We are bored shitless of our inner worlds, of trying to ‘realise our potential’, tired of self-help books that promise to make it all better. But without motherhood as our existential “Get out of Jail Free” card, we are thrown back onto ourselves and into what I think of as the lust for transformation. At its core, transformation, self-improvement and self-development all carry the same toxic message: “You’re not OK. There’s something wrong with […]

Elegy in an English Country Churchyard

October 17, 2012 Jody 28

Just recently I was on a residential training as part of my psychotherapy studies. I arrived at the venue, a gorgeous tumbledown old Abbey in the English countryside without having given the days ahead much thought – after all, I’ve been training with some of my fellow students for three years now. I had no real anxiety apart from whether the beds would be OK and whether I’d be able to sleep. Turned out I was right to worry about the beds, but what did come as a great surprise to me was to feel my scar of childlessness touched […]

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

October 9, 2012 Jody 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 […]

Creating a new life for yourself as a childless woman

August 29, 2012 Jody 20

Creativity is one of the words that brings out the ‘woo woo’ faster than almost anything else. It’s as if it’s the one word guaranteed to make our inner bitch jump up and say “no thank you, we don’t do that around here!” before you’ve even had a chance to open your mouth. Why is creativity so scary? I’ve come to believe that creativity is one of the roots of recovery from involuntary childlessness. However, it’s quite easy to become so comfortable with our “poor me I couldn’t have children” persona that we’re actually a bit reluctant to let go of it. I mean, […]

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 […]

Menopausal Mojo: why being post-fertile is yet another taboo to bust!

August 11, 2012 Jody 20

Perhaps one of the things that’s surprised me most about coming to terms with my childlessness is how it’s impacted every area of my life: my identity, my dreams and my hopes. And one of the most unexpected shifts has been in my ideas about intimate relationships. I was with my life-partner for 16 years, and both before and after that had serious, long-term relationships. Really, from the ages of 15-45 I had sex and relationships on the brain. And now, aged 48, and four years into accepting that my quest for motherhood is over, I’m not anymore. It’s not […]

Death by Cupcake: The Fetishization of Motherhood

July 13, 2012 Jody 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 […]

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

June 26, 2012 Jody 37

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 feritilty medicine has brought joy to some, it’s also condemned a lot of other women to extended periods of ‘hoping’ well into their forties. Fertility treatments or not, we’ve been living in an emotional never-never land, full of lost children, and […]

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 […]

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

March 6, 2012 Jody 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 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 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 […]

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