Never married, over sixty and childless: Donna Ward on living and writing an invisible story.

August 5, 2020 Jody Day 43

 Full Transcript Below Donna Ward is an Australian writer, publisher and editor, living in Melbourne. Her 2020 book She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster’s Meditations on Life energised me in a way that few books still have the capacity to do, so eloquently and accurately does it portray not only ‘the life unexpected’ (to paraphrase my own book’s title!) but also, the life ‘invisible’ which is that of the unpartnered, childless woman in our society. In a world focused and built on the needs, attitudes, prejudices and ‘stories’ of those who couple and have children, to be a […]

“We are Warriors”: a Father’s Day Message to Childless Men from Michael Hughes

June 19, 2020 Jody Day 2

BELOW IS A TRANSCRIPT OF MICHAEL’S WORDS. MORE RESOURCES BOTTOM OF PAGE. “That was a bit dramatic, wasn’t it? But hopefully, it’ll all make sense by the time I’m finished.” “My name is Michael Hughes and I’m one-half of a childless couple and one-third of a podcast supporting the Childless Not By Choice (CNBC) community with Berenice Smith from Walk In Our Shoes and Sarah Lawrence from After The Storm. And it’s called TheFullStopPod.com Look out for us. We’re quite proud of what we’ve achieved.” “When Jody asked me if I would like to contribute to Father’s Day this year […]

“Single & Childless in a Pandemic” on The Full Stop Podcast

May 17, 2020 Jody Day 0

I was very happy to be interviewed as part of this special lockdown episode of the Full Stop Podcast on the experience of being single and childless during this pandemic. Although I’m now in a relationship, I was single for much of my forties as I went through the heartbreak and painful life-transformation of involuntary childlessness. And being both single and childless is something I write about in my book, as well as the experience of grieving childlessness whilst single, which has its own flavour compared to the challenges of grieving as a couple. Many members of the Gateway Women […]

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’ – […]

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 […]

“Mum’s not the Word” a moving and candid photobook of women without children by Denise Felkin

May 30, 2019 Jody Day 6

Mum’s Not The Word: Childless, Childfree by Denise Felkin is a new book published by Earthworld in the UK on 4 June 2019 which shares stories of choice, freedom, regret and pain in a series of 50 photographic images, each one of a different woman lying naked on a duvet in the foetal position. All of the women have one thing in common – they do not have children. Statistics show that an increasing number of women remain childless: currently around 20% in the UK. The book sets out to challenge the antiquated and negative stereotypes that picture women without children […]

Are you fed up with the political rhetoric of #HardWorkingFamilies and the social trope of #AsAMother?

May 6, 2019 Jody Day 3

Come and join me and three other women without children who will be speaking at an evening seminar in Harrogate (North UK) on Monday 13 May devoted to exploring the issues of childlessness and its absence from political rhetoric and policy planning. Tickets are only £6.35 and if you need somewhere to stay, we can find a local WEP or GW members who’d be happy to help out! Click here to book This is not a ‘political’ evening (I know that everyone in the UK is utterly fed up of ‘politics’!) but rather it’s an open discussion about the experience […]

Whether they’re damning us or praising us, mothers so often don’t ‘get’ women without children…

April 20, 2019 Jody Day 44

One of my hopes for my work is that as well as helping childless women heal their hearts and rebuild their lives, it might act as a way to build a bridge between mothers and the childless. I’m a feminist and I long to open a new kind of dialogue across the pronatalist ravine so that we can stand together as women against all issues of gender-based inequality and disenfranchisement, no longer divided by our maternity status. But then there are other times when I feel a lot less hopeful and hifalutin’ and feel more like building a liferaft and […]

Letting go of the old year…

December 31, 2018 Jody Day 3

Amongst the myriad exhortations to embrace the new year with gusto, I wanted to make space for those less glamourous feelings – of loss, sadness, grief, wistfulness and confusion which are so much a part of every life, and so often close to the surface for those of us living the life unexpected. I thought you might find this recording of my Reflect & Renew webinar which I hosted last week (29th December 2018) to talk about feelings that come up at this ‘in-between’ liminal moment in the year, and how to cope with them. There are also questions from viewers […]

Women without children in the workplace: a hidden and growing diversity issue

September 22, 2018 Jody Day 14

After issues with unempathetic friends and family, workplace issues are the next biggest issue that seem to create problems in the life of childless (and childfree) women. This anonymous guest blog (below) was written by a member of the Gateway Women Online Community during World Childless Week and she shared it with her whole organisation by email. It was well received and thus I wanted to share it with you. Here is an excellent example of an organizational Diversity Policy which includes childlessness, from Bristol University in the UK. It was suggested and created by a Gateway Women member and many […]

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 […]

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

June 26, 2012 Jody 37

From the archives: First published June 2012 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 fertility medicine has brought joy to some, it’s also condemned a lot of other women to extended periods of ‘hoping’ well into their forties, or even longer…. Fertility treatments or […]

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