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 […]

DoubleWhammy: Single & Childless

October 29, 2013 Jody 142

Very soon it will be the UK’s third National Fertility Awareness week which is being organised by Infertility Network UK, the British charity which supports those undergoing infertility treatment. Cue lots of ‘miracle baby stories’ in the press about couples that despaired of ever having a child but who managed thanks to the help of this amazing science. The week even ends with the annual hopefest that is The Fertility Show at London’s Olympia, an entire exhibition hall filled with stands from fertility clinics and associated industries looking to ‘educate’ (sell to) potential new ‘parents’ (customers). But what I bet we […]

Be part of the conversation that ends the taboo of childlessness

September 23, 2013 Jody 1

Perhaps one of the hardest things for me in dealing with my childlessness, and one of the driving forces that led me to start writing this blog in 2011, was that nobody would let me talk about my situation. I was so frequently closed down with a ‘miracle baby story’ or even a stinging remark like ‘can’t you talk about anything else?’ that I gave up trying to talk about it at all. I shut-up and shutdown. But why wouldn’t anyone let me talk about it? Why was the fact that I wanted to have a family and it didn’t work […]

Childless and Miserable? You need to get off Facebook!

April 20, 2013 Jody 42

Sunny holidays, funny moments with her kids, her lover taking her away somewhere special for her birthday so that they can have some time, ‘alone’… How come her life worked out and mine didn’t? What about me? How to meet your soul mate, arranging the perfect hen-night, your dream wedding, what to expect when you’re expecting, keeping the passion alive in your relationship… Where’s my soul mate? Isn’t there meant to be one for everyone? Where do I exist in women’s magazines? Where are the articles about coping with a lodger in your 40s just to pay the electricity bill? When […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gateway Woman Role Model: Diane Osgood

August 7, 2011 Jody 7

Diane Osgood, PhD (48) is the Founder of Osgood Sustainability Consulting.  She advises Fortune 500 companies and is Senior Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and Business for Social Responsibility.  Her work involves driving sustainable change projects through international organizations such as the CGI, in order to launch the subject on major global platforms. Passionate about taking forward the ‘girls and women’ agenda globally, Diane’s work involves rolling out tried-and-tested ‘girls and women’ projects as a proven way to create effective and sustainable change. Renowned in her field and widely published in both business and academic journals, Diane earned […]

Behind every woman without children is a story

July 25, 2011 Jody 38

One of the missions of Gateway Women is to celebrate the contribution that women without children make to our culture. Not having children, whether by choice or circumstance, creates the possibility of a different kind of life. Too often, women who are childfree-by-circumstance are left with the sense of not having a proper life, but instead of somehow making do with the leftovers… And many women who are childfree by choice find themselves vilified as heartless, selfish types, lacking some ‘vital’ quality that would make them ‘real’ women. But tell me this, what other kind of women are there apart […]

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