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Coping with Mother’s Day as a Childless Woman

A replay of our one-hour webinar

To watch this one-hour recording, click the image above or this link 

Whatever stage of your life you’re at as a childless woman, Mother’s Day can be a complex one to navigate.

For this one hour 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 are:

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 UK Mother’s Day, Sat 22nd March, we are running an all-day, live, moderated, text-only chat in the Gateway Women private online community. (We will also be doing this on International Mother’s Day on May 10). Come and join us!

5 Comments on Coping with Mother’s Day as a Childless Woman

  1. Hi! My name is Carolina. I’m from Argentina and today is mother’s day here. Finding this community on this day is deeply touching. I feel much less crazy and selfish by reading and listening to other childless women. I’m in the first phases of my grieving process, so I have a lot to understand yet. Thanks for giving women the possibility to speak and think about their feelings.

    • Dear Carolina – I’m glad you’ve found us and also sad that you needed to find us – I know that Gateway Women is not the club any of us WANTED to join! If you’d like more support with your grief, our private membership community is really something very special and I’d love for you to come and take a look. I’m in there most days supporting members and they are in there all the time supporting each other. As we have members from around the globe, there is always someone online and there for you. Hugs, Jody x

  2. Hi, just got to this podcast, thank you so much for your work, all stories seem so valuable.
    Regarding the guest you interviewed: ‘childless not by choice and daughter of a narcissist’ it is hard to imagine how horribly lonely and damaged this feels; not only the sadness of childlessness but the tendency to blame the narcissist for one’s childlessness….it is quite a struggle,
    The ambivalence : ‘did i want to be a mom or did i not just in case i turned out like mine’?
    Constantly wondering: when will i be able to leave this behind and stop hurting?.

  3. it’s hard to broach the subject of one’s feelings about childlessness when there’s fear about how sensititvely it will be handled. I mean within one’s family – siblings, in my case. I just don’t want any more hurt, however unintended.

    • Hi Julie – thank you for commenting. I tend to use the ‘Don’t go to the hardware store for milk’ slogan from the 12-Step movement around such conversations and get my comfort and understanding around this topic from other Gateway Women… and accept that some people in my life will never ‘get it’.. and that that’s OK too… It was really hard though before I found a place where I COULD get that understanding… which is why I created Gateway Women in the first place! xxx

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