What if I never find my ‘Plan B’?

November 16, 2019 Jody Day 1

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 […]

What happens at a Gateway Women Reignite Weekend?

December 19, 2017 Jody 10

Since I created the Gateway Women Reignite Weekend in 2012, it’s helped thousands of childless women shift the way they experience their childlessness. So what’s so special about it? And how might it help you? Well, first of all, let me go back in time to 2012… I was still in my own early days of recovery from childlessness and this blog was just one year old. Being around families and children was incredibly painful for me and many days my grief felt so familiar that I presumed this might just be what being middle aged felt like! I struggled […]

#WorldChildless Week 2017, Day 7: Finding Support & Moving Forwards

September 17, 2017 Jody 7

World Childless Week has been created by a British childless woman, Stephanie Phillips as a way to highlight the experience, individually and globally, of women and men who are childless not by choice. Each day of World Childless Week has a theme, and the theme for today, Sunday 17th September 2017 is ‘Finding Support & Moving Forwards’. Please find out more, share your thoughts, images, experiences and stories of being childless-not-by choices either below in the comments, on the World Childless Week Facebook page (where most of the activity is taking place this first year), on Twitter at @ChildlessWeek (using the #hashtag #WorldChildlessWeek) or at www.WorldChildlessWeek.com For the last […]

Can love heal the pain of childlessness? A guest blog by Katherine Baldwin

July 6, 2017 Jody 11

“How on earth did I end up here?” I asked as I sat cross-legged on my bed, tears dripping onto my pyjamas. I was 41, single, childless and living alone in a beautiful but empty one-bedroom North London attic flat – no man in the kitchen buttering toast and no grubby little fingers smearing raspberry jam on my John Lewis duvet. The silence was deafening. Fast-forward five years and today I woke up to a different scene – to a smile, a cuddle and a kiss from my fiancé in a house with a garden close to the sea on […]

Book Review: “Dear You: A Letter to my Unborn Children” by Tessa Broad

June 23, 2017 Jody 3

Most infertility memoirs end with a miracle baby; Tessa Broad’s book Dear You: A Letter to My Unborn Children, out in the UK on June 29, doesn’t. Instead, it’s a warm, honest and quirky account of her very own miracle; how she found a way to live a happy and passionate life without children.  As you can see by my name on the cover quote, I was privileged to review the book ahead of publication. Whether you’re still struggling to find your path to your Plan B, or are out the other side, this is a must-read memoir of one of the […]

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