Oppressed by advice… all over again!

April 4, 2020 Jody Day 14

When I think back to my days of wanting/trying to become a mother and then wanting/trying to recover from that and build a new kind of life that did not include motherhood, one of the things that eventually stopped me from discussing my situation with anyone – was advice. (For me, the fact that the last four-letter spell V.I.C.E seems very apt!) In my training to become a psychotherapist, one of the earliest things we learned (and it’s not an easy habit to break!) is to stop giving advice, either asked for or not, but instead to support our clients […]

#LTLU Living the Life Unexpected (2nd Edition): World Blogtour, 1-19th March 2020

March 1, 2020 Jody Day 45

I’m so proud to announce that the fully-revised and updated 2nd edition of my much-loved book, ‘Living the Life Unexpected’ is being published by Bluebird (PanMacmillan) in the UK on 19 March 2020. With fifty (I know, fifty!) prestigious endorsements inside the front and back jacket, a lovely new cover, a new subtitle, How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children, and new content, (including a new introduction from me which outlines what’s new), I hope you’ll find it exciting whether you’re a returning reader or a brand new one. 25+ chances to win a personally dedicated […]

Forty, Single and Childless dammit!

February 12, 2020 Jody Day 9

From the archives: first published in October 2011, GW’s first year. I’m 55 now. 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’ – […]

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 […]

What if I never find my ‘Plan B’?

November 16, 2019 Jody Day 2

After more than a decade of travelling the path of recovering from childlessness (what I call ‘creating your Plan B’) and having been alongside many of you for much of that time, one of the questions I get asked most often (other than “What can I do about my mother slash boss slash sister slash friend” is this: “What if I never find my Plan B?” It’s a big fear and I completely understand it. I remember when my own life was in meltdown after infertility, divorce, narcissistic abuse, long-term singleness, involuntary childlessness, loneliness, career collapse, insomnia and peri-menopause. And […]

Book review: “Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No” by Kate Kaufmann

July 17, 2019 Jody Day 3

Kate Kaufmann’s book, “Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No’ is the latest addition to a pleasingly growing pile of books about women without children that I am now asked to review. A decade ago, when I first realised that my childlessness was the terrifying endpoint of my fifteen year journey towards motherhood, there was practically nothing out there, apart from a couple of books which were out of print then (and now), such as Rachel Black and Louise Scull’s 2012 Beyond Childlessness and Linda Hunt Anton’s 1992  Never to be a Mother, neither of which I […]

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 […]

A Plan B interview with Meriel Whale: becoming a counsellor for childlessness

January 12, 2019 Jody Day 5

Sometimes childless women tell me that they fear that they’re not capable of finding a Plan B; that without Plan A they are bereft not only of children but of any hopes, dreams, plans or even capacity to find an alternative life path. I hear you. That’s grief talking. That’s heartbreak talking. That’s exhaustion and fear talking. You’ve been to hell and maybe even discovered that it’s got a basement and all of this ‘Plan B’ talk feels frankly alienating. That’s why I feel it’s so important to hear from other childless women who are walking the path ahead and […]

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 […]

10 Tips for Healing from the Heartbreak of Childlessness

July 18, 2018 Jody Day 15

Birthdays can be very hard work when you’re childless not by choice – reminding you of yet another year passed without the family you longed for and also socially excluded from the milestones and rituals that others around you get to experience and you don’t. That’s something that m/others often fail to grasp about our situation, that it’s not just that we didn’t get to have a baby, but that for the rest of our lives we’re either excluded or on the far reaches of the socializing and shared conversations that parenthood involves. Well, some good news for you… Today […]

“Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness” by Lesley Pyne

June 8, 2018 Jody Day 2

I am very proud to have written the Foreword for Lesley Pyne’s book, ‘Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life’, published on June 18, 2018. You can download the first chapter free on Lesley’s website at www.lesleypyne.co.uk and it is available to pre-order as a paperback or e-book online, with a Kindle special offer of £1.48 (UK Amazon) or $1.99 (US Amazon) up until publication date. In our friendly and positive video chat above, Lesley and talk about how we have both been changed not only by our shared experience of childlessness, but how […]

We are all born worthy; childlessness cannot take that away.

April 19, 2018 Jody Day 5

One of the things that almost all of the thousands of childless women I’ve spoken to, corresponded with or worked with over the last seven years have in common has been a sense of unworthiness: unworthy as women, as ‘real’ adults, as sexual beings, as valid members of society, even (as I mention in my video below), as members of the human race. For those who are childless due to infertility or other physical reasons there can be a deep sense of betrayal by our own bodies. For those of us childless due to circumstance, particularly if it involved not […]

Surviving the childless weekend blues

March 30, 2018 Jody 39

There, it’s said. Weekends can be absolute hell as a single, childless woman. “They creep up on you,” said one friend recently. Many of us are so busy with work commitments and after-work activities Monday-to-Friday that we can’t wait for the peace and quiet of the weekend in order to recover. And then, when we wake up on Saturday morning to an empty bed, an empty house and an empty weekend, it doesn’t feel relaxing; it feels hideously oppressive. Alternatively, we pack our weekend schedule to the gunnels with activities and appointments only to feel burnt out and resentful and […]

An album about coming to terms with childlessness – Seamonster, by Chiara Berardelli

March 19, 2018 Jody Day 2

Seamonster is a new album by the Scottish singer/songwriter Chiara Berardelli. In it, she chronicles her own journey through grieving her childlessness, the support and solace she found in the Gateway Women online community, and her Plan B life that gradually took (and is taking) shape in place of the family she always expected to have. As she says on the notes for the album here: The songs on this album have been inspired by the loss of a dream, my dream of one day becoming a mother. It’s an invisible loss, hard to put into words, even harder to […]

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