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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fairy Tales, Gremlins & Childlessness: a guest post by Lauren de Vere

August 25, 2018 Jody Day 16

This is a guest post by Lauren de Vere, one of our lovely UK licensed Gateway Women Reignite Weekend facilitators. Lauren is 54 and lives in Greater London with her cat, Mr. Marvo. You can find out more details about Lauren’s Reignite Weekends here, including a ‘Solo Reignite’ weekend she’ll be co-facilitating for unpartnered childless women in February 2019. Leave a comment for Lauren at the bottom of her article or contact her directly at: lauren@gateway-women.com Recently I’ve been rewinding, replaying and reviewing my childlessness in terms of the history of events leading to it and the role I’ve played […]

“Penny” – a movie about childlessness – now in production

July 1, 2018 Jody Day 2

An update – 8th July 2018: I’m very happy to report that PENNY raised $13,115 which was 86% of its target. Much to my relief, I found out that it would be allowed its funding if it made 80% of its target (not 100% as I previously thought). Thank you to ALL OF YOU for donating, for sharing on your social media pages, for retweeting my tweets and spreading the word. PENNY will now go into production!! They will need more funds later no doubt, but we’ve got them started! #TeamGateway supports #TeamPenny! Childless women very rarely appear on the big screen […]

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 […]

#WorldChildless Week 2017, Day 6: Let’s Talk Openly About Childlessness

September 16, 2017 Jody 3

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, Saturday 16th September 2017 is Today is the most common birthday in the world 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 […]

#WorldChildlessWeek 2017, Day 3: Who or What is to Blame for Our Childlessness?

September 13, 2017 Jody 15

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, Wednesday 13th September 2017 is is Writing that Heals.  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 find out more at www.WorldChildlessWeek.com Below is […]

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 […]

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. […]

But what if I don’t want to wear purple when I’m old?

June 4, 2016 Jody 38

I don’t really know how to start this, as there are so many taboos and niceties banging against my consciousness, as a woman, as a feminist. But here it is: I’m nearly 52 and men don’t notice me any more and it turns out that I mind that quite a lot. This new awareness was brought home to me at Easter whilst on holiday in the south of Italy. The first week I was staying with friends; middle-aged parents with young children and, fully released from the grief of childlessness I found I was able to open my heart to […]

Mothers in Our Hearts on Mother’s Day

May 6, 2016 Jody 9

As dawn was breaking over London on UK Mother’s Day morning, I was on my way to one of London’s most iconic churches: St Martin in the Fields on Trafalgar Square to take part in their Mothering Sunday service being broadcast live on BBC Radio4.  As my black cab passed under the shadow of the iconic lions, a big lump came up in my throat. I remember the young woman I was who, aged 19, stood in a then rather grubby Trafalgar Square and protested against apartheid in South Africa, or who slumped exhausted against those same lions as dawn broke […]

Talking About Childlessness: a video interview with Sasha Cagen www.sashacagen.com

February 8, 2016 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 […]

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