How Do I Cope with Mother’s Day When I’m Childless?

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Although the UK has already had its 'Mothers Day' (it's called 'Mothering Sunday' and was back in March), we recognise that for many of our readers, members and followers, one of the most difficult days of the year is coming up soon on Sunday May 9th.

With that in mind, we are offering TWO free GW Masterclass Webinars to support you this International Mother’s Day (and all are welcome, whether it’s Mother’s Day for you or not!)

For our first free webinar of the day, I was joined by Judy Graham (Womenhood Counselling) and Sarah Roberts (The Empty Cradle) both from Australia and Karin Enfield de Vries, Gateway Women’s Operations Director, from Benelux. Each of us has deep professional and personal experience of supporting childless women to heal their childless hearts and find new dreams for their life other than motherhood. We really hope that together we can support and empower you to make Mother’s Day just a little bit easier this year. All three of them are licensed (or soon to be licensed) Gateway Women Facilitators in their countries so if you’ve been thinking of coming to a Reignite Weekend in the future, this is a great way to meet your potential facilitators too!


JUDY GRAHAM is a soon-to-be licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator. She collaborates with Jody Day and Karin Enfield de Vries of Gateway Women to bring Gateway Women’s Reignite Weekends to Australian women. She is the founder of WomenHood Counselling in Australia where she provides counselling support especially for women who are childless-not-by-choice.  As a childless-not-by-choice woman herself, she integrates her childless experience with over twenty years of working in health, education and counselling to support and inspire other childless women. Judy lives on Queensland’s Gold Coast where she grew up and lay down her roots. She works with women across Australia (thank you Zoom!) and is part of a growing network building awareness and support around the unique issues for women who are childless-not-by-choice. Judy is delighted to be connecting with you to support you with the unique challenges that Mother’s Day presents. You can find out more about the next Australian/NZ Reignite Weekend on July 17/18 here and email Judy directly at: judygraham@gateway-women.com


KARIN ENFIELD DE VRIES is Gateway Women’s Operation Director as well as being the lead trainer and licensed facilitator for Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends and the leader for the 2021 Global Online Bee program. Bilingual in English/Dutch she lives on the Belgian/Dutch border with her British husband and cats and is childless due to a hysterectomy at 33 as part of her treatment for cervical cancer. She also in her final year of a post-graduate Grief Counselling qualification. Until she joined GW, her previous 20-year corporate career was in Business Transformation and Change Management, guiding people and corporate teams through transformations. An Alumni of Gateway Women’s 2017 Online Bee, Karin is a World Childless Week Champion and is particularly interested in developing a better understanding of childlessness due to cancer, including amongst the medical profession. She speaks at Oncology Conferences about her experience and in 2020 was the face of a major Dutch health education initiative to raise awareness of cervical cancer. As well as co-facilitating Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends, she also Hosts a Gateway Gathering for Benelux and through Gateway Women Benelux is growing awareness of Gateway Women in Europe. email: karin@gateway-women.com


SARAH ROBERTS is a soon-to-be licensed Gateway Women Reignite workshop facilitator and founder of Australia’s The Empty Cradle.  With over 30 years of experience in counseling, community work and teaching, Sarah brings together a unique combination of lived experience, clinical skills (ACA registered) and academic work (completing Master Social Work).  Sarah considers permanent involuntary childlessness to be one of the sacred journeys of womanhood, and has supported hundreds of women to grieve the losses and nurture a life of meaning, connection and joy.  Sarah lives on a semi-rural property in Brisbane, Australia with her partner Kevin and moodle Max.  A graduate of Gateway Women’s Online Bee program, she is passionate about the complexity of the human experience and what it means to live a good life.  Sarah’s ‘Plan B’ includes native habitat restoration for the well-being of local native animals and future generations.  You can find out more about Sarah’s story here and find out more about the next Australian/NZ Reignite Weekend on July 17/18 here. Sarah’s email is sarahroberts@gateway-women.com

Both free webinars are offered from our hearts with the hope that by sharing the strategies that we've each developed over the years, we can help you to naviage the complex emotions and triggering situations of this very multi-layered holiday with more ease.

For our second free webinar of the day, I was joined by Karin Enfield, Gateway Women’s Operations Director from Benelux, Kristine Mallett, an experienced Gateway Gatherings Host and licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator from the USA, Tanya Hubbard, a Registered Canadian coach and counsellor and Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle, a long time member of Gateway Women, the founder of the award-winning French-Canadian site FemmeSansEnfant.com and a trainee therapist. Once again, between us, we have a great deal of professional and lived experience of supporting childless women to heal make sense of their lives and their place in the world, and we really hope that we can help you to unravel some of the complexities of this day to Mother’s Day just a little bit easier for you this year.  Both Karin and Kristine are licensed GW workshop facilitators so if you were considering doing a Reignite Weekend in either North America or Europe one day, it’s a good chance to get to know them a bit more. You can find out more about our forthcoming Reignite Weekend’s here


KARIN ENFIELD DE VRIES is Gateway Women’s Operation Director as well as being the lead trainer and licensed facilitator for Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends and the leader for the 2021 Global Online Bee program. Bilingual in English/Dutch she lives on the Belgian/Dutch border with her British husband and cats and is childless due to a hysterectomy at 33 as part of her treatment for cervical cancer. She also in her final year of a post-graduate Grief Counselling qualification. Until she joined GW, her previous 20-year corporate career was in Business Transformation and Change Management, guiding people and corporate teams through transformations. An Alumni of Gateway Women’s 2017 Online Bee, Karin is a World Childless Week Ambassador and is particularly interested in developing a better understanding of childlessness due to cancer, including amongst the medical profession. She speaks at Oncology Conferences about her experience and in 2020 was the face of a major Dutch health education initiative to raise awareness of cervical cancer. As well as co-facilitating Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends, she also Hosts a Gateway Gathering for Benelux and through Gateway Women Benelux is growing awareness of Gateway Women in Europe. email: karin@gateway-women.com and you can connect with her on Instagram @GatewayWomenBNL and find out more about the next UK/EU Reignite Weekend on 29/30 May here.


KRISTINE MALLETT is a licensed Gateway Women Facilitator. In her early fifties, she lives with her husband and puppy Tallulah in New Jersey, USA. She has been a middle-school teacher since 2001, is trained in classical ballet and Polynesian dance, and is also a Zumba instructor (but not all at the same time!) Kristine is childless due to an early, unhappy marriage that she chose not to bring children into; she then spent her mid-to-late thirties divorced and single while completing her master’s degree, before meeting her current husband. After a miscarriage and multiple rounds of IVF during her early and mid-forties (the last attempt using donor eggs from her sister, 15 years her junior), Kristine’s treatment came to a shocking conclusion with medication-induced, life-threatening blood clots in both lungs. Kristine has been leading a local Gateway Gathering ‘meetup’ since 2014 (New members welcome). Kristine is a graduate of the 2017 ‘Online Bee’ Plan B Mentorship Program and in 2018 was trained to lead Gateway Women Reignite Weekends in the USA. Email: kristine@gateway-women.com and you can find out more about the next North American Reignite Weekend on July 17/18 here.


TANYA HUBBARD is a Canadian registered counsellor and coach, working with people who are navigating changes in their life and processing grief, and specializes in working with those who are childless-by-chance. She has experienced pregnancy loss, unexplained infertility, fibroid surgery, fertility treatments, and the all-encompassing stress it all causes on finances, relationships, emotions, and your physical body. She also knows what it is like to jump off the trying-to-conceive train only to find herself wondering what’s next and to eventually find joy again. She is here to help others find what may be next for them and to cultivate a new sense of meaning and happiness. You can find out more about Tanya’s work here and connect with her on Instagram @tanyahubbardcounselling


CATHERINE-EMMANUELLE DELISLE is a Canadian elementary school teacher, the founder of the award-winning Francophone sites Femme Sans Enfant (one of the very few resources for childless and childfree women in French/English), a soon to be qualified therapist, and a World Childless Week Ambassador. She also leads French-speaking Meetup groups in both French-speaking Canada and France for FemmesSansEnfant and speaks publically about the issues and inequalities facing those without children in the workplace, particularly those who are also single. Catherine-Emmanuelle has been a long-term member of Gateway Women since 2012 and through the many videos, written interviews and press articles she has created for ‘FSE’ has worked through her own grief process and helped many others to do the same. You can find out more about Catherine-Emmanuelle’s work for Femme Sans Enfant here and connect with her on Instagram @FemmeSansEnfant


On International Mother's Day itself, Sunday 9th May, we are also hosting an all-day support chat in the private GW Online Community. To join/access click here 

To register for future free Gateway Women Masterclasses click here: www.bit.ly/gw-masterclass

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. How do we help our friends who are mothers to become ‘mother-allies’ to us? Jody Day interviewed on ‘A Certain Age’ Podcast by Katie Fogarty – Gateway Women

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