World Childless Week 2019 starts tomorrow – here are 40 free on/offline things you can join in with!

September 15, 2019 Jody Day 0

As you may already know, I’m a World Childless Week ‘Champion’ which means I support the campaign and do I all can behind the scenes to make it a success. And it’s that time of year again (no, not that time of the year!) – the 3rd World Childless Week is next week and there are so many wonderful free events happening on/offline around the world for you to take part in. If some of the links to things on the Gateway Women website are slow to be open, please be patient, they will open – we’re upgrading our server […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

4 Tips to Cope with (and even enjoy!) Your Childless Christmas

November 2, 2014 Jody 33

For many childless women, the best day of Christmas is the 26 December… when it’s all over again for another year! Having worked with hundreds of childless women face-to-face, and thousands of women online over the last few years, the topic of ‘coping with Christmas’ is never far below the surface, and once summer is over it looms on the horizon like a troubling iceberg. Although each woman’s situation is different, similar feelings consistently arise about the upcoming holidays: fear, shame, loneliness, isolation, stress, secrets, pressure, exposure, dread, sadness, anger… I’ve come to think that Christmas is, in many ways, the […]

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 […]

Help! I’m so jealous of pregnant women and mothers!

April 22, 2014 Jody 11

A guest post by GW+ Community Member: Marjon Bakker A few weeks ago I listened to a BBC World Service radio programme about envy. It features a British writer, Jessica Hepburn, who is experiencing severe ‘baby envy’ because she cannot have a child. She tells us how envious she can be because she longs for something other women have achieved so easily. On the Gateway Women Google Plus community (or GW+ for short!) someone wrote that she thought it was in interesting programme, but that it was a pity that no answer was given to the question of how to […]

Honouring your Childlessness on Mother’s Day

March 18, 2014 Jody 28

In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day as “Mothering Sunday”, three Sundays before Easter and this year falling on Sunday 30th March. 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 […]

Countdown to Christmas: strategies for a childless celebration

December 16, 2013 Jody 14

This guest blog has been written by a member of the Gateway Women Online Community My nephew is fit to burst. He is ten and he is jam-packed, full to the brim, bubbling over with eager pre-Christmas anticipation. He has been compiling Christmas wish lists since September; and whilst for this particular ten-year old, gifts are pretty much the best thing in the world; it is about much more than that. There are school holidays approaching, Christmas specials on TV, family visits with lots of attention and cuddles, and then there is the yummy food, the Christmas songs, and the […]

Leaving the story behind

May 20, 2013 Jody 30

Sometimes, I feel a bit sorry for myself. At first, it feels quite good to indulge in it, but after a few minutes it starts to feel like shit. Because then the ‘story’ in my head that goes with the feelings will start up – the one that begins with words like ‘if only’ and ‘what if I’d’ or ‘why didn’t I’ and which all boil down to a fairly core position: Why me? I feel a bit sheepish writing it, but there it is. The stone in my shoe. The little Jody that wants to lie on the floor […]

Mind the Gap! Friendships & childlessness

February 22, 2013 Jody 55

One of the most surprising issues that comes out of the woodwork when dealing with unchosen childlessness (and often when chosen too), is the nature, health and continuation of our female friendships. As someone who spent 15-years expecting to become a mother, but for whom it didn’t work out, I was in such denial about my ongoing infertility that I actually didn’t find keeping up my friendships with mothers all that hard. After all, I was convinced it would be ‘my turn’ one day. But since that day several years ago when I knew for sure that I would never be a […]

Your biggest fear – dying alone

November 18, 2012 Jody 27

Well, that cheered you up, didn’t it! “Dying alone” seem to be the two words best able to bring a chill to the heart of every childless women. And it would appear that it’s quite close to the surface in other people’s minds too, as it so often gets thrown at childfree-by-choice women as what they’ll live to regret (nice! and how are you today?) The childlfree call these comments bingos as they form a predictable pattern of ‘comments’ that they regularly encounter. And yet…  if we break the taboo (hell yeah, I like to break two or three before […]

The Lust for Transformation

November 3, 2012 Jody 31

Being ‘us’ is just too damn hard some days. We long for the transformation of motherhood, as much as for the delight of meeting our children. We are bored shitless of our inner worlds, of trying to ‘realise our potential’, tired of self-help books that promise to make it all better. But without motherhood as our existential “Get out of Jail Free” card, we are thrown back onto ourselves and into what I think of as the lust for transformation. At its core, transformation, self-improvement and self-development all carry the same toxic message: “You’re not OK. There’s something wrong with […]

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, […]

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