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 4

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 […]

A whole day of arts programming around childlessness! Sat 27th April at the Barbican (London)

April 6, 2019 Jody Day 1

You wouldn’t think that something called ‘FertilityFest’ is something I’d write about, but as one of its Founders is Jessica Hepburn (childless author of ‘The Pursuit of Motherhood’ and ’21 Miles’) it’s an arts festival about fertility that includes childlessness (for both men and women) as part of the story of modern fertility. Now in its third year, FertiltyFest has been named by the London Evening Standard as one of London’s top arts festivals. Saturday 27th April is the ‘There’s More to Life than Children’ day at FertilityFest and I’m SO proud to be the chair for the day. The […]

Childlessness after hysterectomy: “I am still a woman, hear me roar!” by Sarah Lawrence

February 9, 2019 Jody Day 9

I’m sitting here ruminating on how to talk about how grieving childlessness morphs after a hysterectomy in a way that is engaging… I’ve always loved a challenge, but even so! I guess the first thing would be to tell you my story, so you have some idea about why I know about this topic because it’s not something that usually gets talked about, is it? My dreams of having a family were, abruptly, ended during a 10-minute consultation in 2014. In a very blunt manner, I was told that I had stage four endometriosis and, that as a consequence, I […]

Would you swim the Channel to understand if motherhood makes you happy?

January 19, 2019 Jody Day 2

Jessica Hepburn is an extraordinary woman. I mean, properly extraordinary. Not only is she the veteran of eleven rounds of unsuccessful IVF but she’s also one of a very small group of people who’ve successfully swum the English Channel – that deceptively narrow stretch of water, just 21 miles across – that separates England from France. And she’s doesn’t even like exercise! These two things are intimately and surprisingly connected, as Jessica explains in this short, moving and funny interview she gave to me in 2018 just before the publication of her book, 21 Miles: Swimming in Search of the […]

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 […]

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 […]

IWD2018: Celebrating women means childless women too

March 8, 2018 Jody Day 17

Today is International Women’s Day 2018. Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900’s, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911 and this year’s theme is #PressforProgress. Yet it can be hard if you’re a childess-not-by-choice (CNBC) woman sometimes to feel that you belong to the global tribe of women, as womanhood and motherhood are routinely conflated. Whether it be the way that Facebook algorithms target you with nappies, ‘back to school’ offers and prams, the rise of terms such as ‘Mumpreneur’ or even, for heaven’s sake, a local women’s running club calling themselves ‘MumsRun’, it seems that whichever […]

The invisible grief of the childless-by-circumstance woman

April 4, 2017 Jody 18

*** Childlessness has always been around, mostly because of reproductive infertility, as there are still very few parts of the world where it is possible for a woman to choose a life other than motherhood and tosupport herself economically to live that choice. However, whilst we think of ‘social infertility’ or ‘circumstantial infertility’ as something very new, in the UK, we’ve been here before. Whilst currently, one in five (20%) of women like me, born in the 1960s turned 45 without having had children (double that of our mother’s generation), this was also the case for those women born around 1900. […]

Talking About Childlessness: Jody Day interviews Alicia Orre of www.aliciaorre.com

November 1, 2015 Jody 6

One of the thing that has helped me enormously in my recovery from involuntary childlessness has been hearing other women’s stories.  Over the last few years I’ve got to know some amazing childless women and it’s been a privilege and a delight that I wanted to share with you. I know that it would have made a huge difference to me when I was still struggling if I’d been able to eavesdrop on conversations between women who’d recovered from their childlessness and were moving on in ways that felt meaningful to them. Firstly, because I didn’t know women like that, and secondly because these conversations weren’t (and still […]

Talking about childlessness: a video interview with Christine Erickson, author of ‘The Mother Within’

June 11, 2015 Jody 12

One of the thing that has helped me the most in recovering from childlessness has been,  and continues to be, hearing other women’s stories.  Over the last few years I’ve got to know some amazing childless women as sisters, role models and friends and it’s been a privilege and a delight that I wanted to share with you. This video interview, recorded in June 2015 is with Christine Erickson, the American author of The Mother Within: A Guide To Accepting Your Childless Journey, published on Amazon Kindle in May 2015 and nominated for an International Book Award.  It is the first in a […]

Honouring Your Childlessness on Mother’s Day

March 13, 2015 Jody 33

In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day as “Mothering Sunday”, three Sundays before Easter and so this coming Sunday. It was originally a day when all domestic servants were given a coordinated day off so that they could visit their families and together attend a service at their “Mother” church. It was a family day. However, gradually that original meaning has been lost and has been overtaken by the “Mother’s Day” first introduced in the US by Anna Jarvis in 1914 and falling on the second Sunday in May. Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was childless and the scope of her Mother’s Day also […]

Things I wish I’d known at 40

July 16, 2014 Jody 60

This week, I celebrate my 50th birthday. It feels like a heck of a thing, to find myself turning 50 at peace with the past, happy in the present and excited about the future. It didn’t come easily and, looking back over the screenplay of my 40s it does seem to include just about everything from farce to tragedy… So that got me thinking about boldly going into a new decade where no Jody has gone before – if I could talk to my 40-year-old self, what would I want her to know about the decade ahead? Here are some […]

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