Whatever stage of your life you’re at as a childless woman, Mother’s Day can be a complex one to navigate. And for my international readers, it’s coming up this Sunday 10th May.
For this video chat, I invited four childless guests to explore how they cope with Mother’s Day. Each of them has a unique viewpoint and I hope this conversation begins to represent a few of the less discussed ways that Mother’s Day and childlessness can intersect… As well as discussing their stories, we also answered questions from our viewers, which included some topics that perhaps you can relate to such as:
- How do I hope with my own mother’s grief over not having grandchildren?
- Is it OK not to celebrate Mother’s Day with my own mother?
- How do I deal with intrusive and insensitive comments from my sister-in-law?
- How do I take care of my own feelings around Mother’s Day without offending my own mother?
- What kind of card can I possibly buy to reflect the complexity of my feelings?
- How do I discuss my childless grief with my mother when she thinks I ‘should be over it’ by now?
- And more!
My guests for this one-hour heartfelt, honest and taboo-busting chat were:
Lizzie Lowrie (UK) is the author of the memoir Salt Water & Honey (March 2020; I wrote the Foreword!) in which she writes about the struggle to cope with her childlessness alongside her Christian faith. Lizzie is one of those behind the ‘Mother’s Day Runaway Services’ which has been developed an alternative Christian service to Mothering Sunday events; these are beginning to be taken up by Churches across the UK.
Karin Enfield de Vries (NL) is a licensed Gateway Women facilitator, leading both Reignite Weekends and the Online Bee, and is part of the Gateway Women leadership team. She shares about her experience of becoming childless at the relatively young age of 33 due to cervical cancer, long before many of her friends and family had even started having children, and how she’s learned to navigate Mother’s Day (or ‘Other’s Day’ as you’ll learn she’s decided to call it!)
Kate Kaufmann (USA) is the author of Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No shares movingly about her experience of being both childless and grandchildless on Mother’s Day and how recovery from childlessness is something that changes across the lifespan.
Lauren de Vere (UK) is Gateway Women’s lead licenced facilitator and leads both Gateway Women’s Reignite Weekends in London as well as the London Bee (our live Plan B Mentorship Programme). She shared about the complex experience of being narcissistically mothered, how this was the prime factor behind her own circumstantial childlessness, and how this impacts her feelings and behaviours around Mother’s Day.
If you would like live, friendly support on International Mother’s Day, Sun 10th May 2020, we are running three live online events in the Gateway Women private online community on Mighty Networks, covering all time zones from Australia and New Zealand to North America, Europe and the UK. Come and join us!