There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner bitch would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to you because you custom-made
There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner bitch would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to you because you custom-made it for yourself.
This ONLINE Reignite Weekend is for you if you’re:
- A woman who wanted to have children but it didn’t work out for any reason: infertility; didn’t meet a willing or suitable partner; your partner didn’t want (more) children; a chronic illness; a badly timed breakup, etc, etc. There are so many ways this can happen;
- Struggling with relationships with friends and family as ‘the odd one out’ and really missing having a supportive group of women friends to journey through life with;
- Wondering where your mojo went and where the hell to start looking for it!;
- Lonely and confused about your place in society when all you can see around you are mothers and families;
- Knowing that you need to make some changes to your life but feeling too tired, sad & uninspired to know what to try next;
- Worried about growing old without children and grandchildren;
- Furious that you ‘Did all the right things’ and have still ‘ended up’ in this difficult position;
- Ready for a Plan B (C, D or Z!) but are either convinced that you’ll screw it up, or scared that you’ll never find a meaningful alternative to a life centred on motherhood.
If you are childfree-by-choice, still trying to conceive, or hopeful of creating a biological or adoptive family by any means, this workshop won’t be a good fit for you. If you have any questions about whether it would be helpful for you, please reach out to either Sarah or Judy to confirm before you book.
Total workshop price: AUD $500.00
You will pay your fee directly to the GW Facilitator after booking.
Please only book if you are in the AUS/NZ timezone
(Scroll down for testimonials and to book)
This ONLINE Reignite Weekend is led by Judy Graham & Sarah Roberts, both licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitators
JUDY GRAHAM is a licensed 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 in this Reignite Workshop and looks forward to guiding you through the program designed by Jody to help you heal your heart and embrace your future. You can contact Judy directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SARAH ROBERTS is a 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 part of her ‘Plan B’ includes native habitat restoration for the well-being of local native animals and future generations. A graduate of Gateway Women’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Program, the Online Bee, she is passionate about the complexity of the human experience and what it means to live a good life. You can find out more about Sarah’s story here and email her directly at email@example.com
Over the course of this ONLINE Reignite Weekend you will:
- Unpick the assumptions that the culture has about motherhood (and non-motherhood) and let go of what doesn’t ‘fit’ you;
- Look at where you are holding onto unhelpful ideas and shame about the life choices you’ve made (and the non-choices too) which have led you to ‘ending up’ without the family you hoped for;
- Explore and express unresolved grief about your childlessness – a living loss which our culture neither acknowledges, understands nor allows (and consequently, neither do we, sometimes);
- Reexamine the dreams and goals you had for your life before you became convinced that having a baby was the only thing that mattered;
- Reignite your passion for your life and start thinking what your ‘Plan B’ might be for a meaningful and fulfilling life without children;
- Meet your new tribe – the wonderful, powerful, wise and kickass Nomos (not-mothers). There are more of us than you realize and we’re not the bunch of ‘weeping weirdoes’ you might fear! In fact, we’re a pretty amazing and courageous bunch of women.
More details and to book
- Dates: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th October 2022
- Times – this weekend is being offered in Brisbane time (AEST) and is suitable for anyone based in Australia or New Zealand. Please do not book if you are not in/near these time zones but select a weekend here closer to you.
- AWST: (Perth) 07:00 – 15:00pm
- ACST: (Darwin) 08:30 am – 16:30pm
- AEST: BRISBANE: 09:00 am – 17:00pm
- ACDT: (Adelaide) 09:30 am – 17:30 pm
- AEDT (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart): 10:00am – 18:00pm
- NZDT (New Zealand, Auckland, Wellington) 12:00pm – 20:00pm
- Workshops in other timezones: UK/European-friendly and North American-friendly weekends are offered in other months – see the current events calendar here – and be sure to be on the GW mailing list to be the first to know about new Online Reignite Weekends as they are announced.
- Cost: Total workshop cost is AUD $500, paid directly to your GW Facilitators, who will contact you with payment options 24-48 hours after you have completed the booking form at the bottom of this page.
- Payment Plans: We are happy to discuss extended payment plans, at no extra cost to you, if that makes it possible for you to attend. Please contact us if you would like to explore this option by emailing either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com We are sorry but we are unable to offer reduced-price places because of the significant costs involved in offering this weekend including facilitator training, fees & supervision, indemnity insurances, marketing, management, administration, and many other digital and invisible costs. If you are looking for low-cost support around your childlessness, we recommend that you work through the exercises in Jody’s book (you can do so alongside others in the reading group for her book in our Online Community) and you might also like to explore the many free to watch/listen videos and podcasats on the Gateway Women website. You can stay in the loop with new events via the GW mailing list and/or follow Gateway Women either on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- Questions: If you have any questions prior to booking (or afterwards) please contact either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
To book, please go right to the bottom of this page.
- Timings for the day: We will work in 4 sessions on Zoom, taking generous breaks for food/rest. Please make sure that you are in/near an Australian or New Zealand timezone to be able to attend this workshop. (The facilitators are both based in Europe so will be working through the night to offer this workshop).
Times below are shown in Brisbane AEST Australian time.
Click here to see the start time in your timezone. A detailed schedule for your own Australian or NZ timezone will be provided after booking.
- Session 1: 9am-11am
- Morning Break: 11am-11.15
- Session 2: 11.15-1pm
- LUNCH: 1pm-2pm
- Session 3: 2pm-3.30
- Afternoon Break: 3.30-3.45
- Session 4: 3.45-5pm
- UK/European and North American Online Reignite Weekends are being offered in other months – see the current events calendar here – and be sure to be on the GW mailing list to be the first to know about new Online Reignite Weekends as they are announced.
- Where: The ONLINE Reignite Weekend will run as a private online course within the our private Online Community on MightyNetworks. The fee for this workshop includes one-month’s free membership so that you can take part in your ONLINE Reignite Weekend and then stay in touch and deepen your connections with your sister participants and your facilitators from the weekend after the course has ended. If you wished to continue as a member of our community after that, you are very welcome to take up one of our regular membership options.
- How: Both Saturday and Sunday on the course are made up of 4 sessions, each one taking place on the Zoom video conferencing platform. This means that you will be able to see your facilitators and the other participants as if we were all sitting in a room together. The calls are private and secure and are not recorded. You only need a free Zoom account to access it. Even if you have never used Zoom before, you are welcome to join us and we are both very experienced in helping Zoom-newbies become comfortable using it. There will also be some basic stationery and other simple materials you will need to have ready to participate in some of the exercises and we will provide a full list of these when you book.
- How Many Women: In order to create an intimate and safe atmosphere, the ONLINE Reignite Weekend is currently restricted to 12 participants only.
- Who is this ONLINE Reignite Weekend for? Women of any age or sexuality, partnered or solo, who wanted to have children and for some reason, it didn’t work out. If you’re keen to move forward and create a meaningful and fulfilling life without children, it’s for you. If you are childfree by choice or still hopeful of creating a biological or adoptive family by any means, this won’t be a good fit for you. Childless stepmothers and those who have experienced adoption breakdown are very welcome. If you’re not sure if it’s right for you, we’d be happy to discuss that with you before you book – just contact either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and they will be happy to arrange a time for a quick chat.
- What is the cancellation policy? Your fee is non-refundable. However, you can transfer (once only) to a different AUS/NZ Online or in-person Reignite Weekend if needed, and if you give us at least 2 weeks’ notice. Should you decide that you are NOT going to attend (or transfer) please let us know so that we can offer your place to someone else, as there will be a waiting list for places on this weekend.
- Any other questions please contact Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Roberts at email@example.com
Some feedback from women who've taken part in previous Reignite Weekends, including Online Reignite Weekends.
The Online Reignite Weekend was, as I’d hoped, a game-changer for me. It’s hard to put into words how powerful and positive the experience has been. I’d wanted to book a weekend for a while, so when this opportunity came up I jumped at it. Nonetheless, I felt a bit hesitant, afraid and vulnerable in the run-up: I knew it was a big step forward in (further) accepting my childlessness. The weekend exceeded my expectations and, whilst I’d have loved to have been with our group in person, the facilitators did a fantastic job of containing, supporting and holding us all together online. In a way, being at home was a good thing as I felt safe and could easily rest or do what I needed to do during breaks. I could always easily see everyone and felt very connected to the group. Our bond grew and grew over the course of the weekend and I don’t think doing things virtually got in the way of that. Virtual sessions – especially with emotional content – can be draining, but the days were really well-paced too. It was really lovely and comforting to have our private online group already in place ahead of the weekend – that helped alleviate some of my nervousness because I was able to share a little of my story beforehand. The incredibly kind and supportive responses, including from the facilitators, really reassured me. I think it’s also very comforting to know that the group and resources would remain available after the weekend ended – that there would be a continuation of support and guidance as I processed the experience over time. I think the most helpful parts of the weekend were the opportunity to connect with such a brave, kind and open group of women of all ages and backgrounds; and to spend a day looking at the past and present and a day looking at the present and to the future. The facilitators’ skilful, kind, compassionate, thoughtful and good-humoured input and support were also invaluable. I came away from the weekend feeling like I was shedding a skin – in a good way. I felt stronger, more focused, more confident, more hopeful, and more self-compassionate. For the first time since realising I would be childless, I was able to look back at a younger version of myself with pride and love, not regret and pain. I knew the weekend wouldn’t suddenly resolve everything, but it’s definitely helped me move further along in my recovery. I’ve learned so much from the experience and from connecting with the facilitators and our wonderful group. I’m incredibly grateful and can’t recommend the Online Reignite Weekend enough! (Regan, 37, UK).
I had been interested in attending the Reignite Weekend but hadn’t been looking forward to the travelling, nor to being away from home, so jumped at the opportunity to experience the weekend in its online format. I am used to facilitating online, but this was my first experience of being a participant in a whole weekend, online workshop. The online space felt safe, respectful, and with time for everyone to be heard, in a way that they wanted to share (there was no pressure at all.) Of course, it all feels very different when we are little boxes on a screen, but there was so much warmth and caring that it didn’t seem to matter. There was plenty of opportunity for short breaks, and the sessions felt engaging and spacious. The facilitators brought wisdom, experience, love and (I imagine) courage, and really held a potent space. Aside from being in the company of warm and open women who I could be with without needing any protective armour around those most tender parts of myself, the most helpful part of the weekend for me was thinking more deeply about the ways I’d internalised what the world says about childless women, and the impact of that, of not feeling good enough because I didn’t have children. I’m now able to let that deeply held and painful part of how I see myself go (because I now know it’s a ‘thing’) in a way I hadn’t been able to, before this weekend. Infertility and childlessness have been a painful journey for me, and also an awakening one. I liked that the Reignite weekend made room for our joy and laughter and emerging Plan Bs, as well as holding space for the weight of the hidden and buried losses and grief. I’d say to someone who is drawn to booking, it’s definitely a weekend well spent. I’m glad I did it, and it was definitely a healing and nurturing weekend (Jacqui, 49, UK).
This was a wonderful weekend, even though it was online – it was lovely to see all the women and it nearly felt ‘real’! I found it so healthy to share my feelings and situation with like-minded women in the same situation. I’m already feeling that the weekend has helped me and that I’m benefiting from it: I’m convinced this will indeed be the fact in the long run. Thank you to the facilitators and all the other women for these two beautiful Zoom days in front of my screen – I felt very much looked after and cared for (Mitzi, 52, Germany).
I decided to book on a Reignite Weekend about a year ago after reading a very upbeat post from a lady who had just attended one. It was a huge step for me to do this and I must admit to feeling fed up when the weekend was understandably cancelled due to Covid 19. So, when I heard that it was now available online, I jumped at the opportunity. On the first day we focussed on the present and the past and then the next day on the present and the future. It was a deeply intense and emotional journey but the energy amongst other ladies who ‘get’ the disenfranchised grief surrounding being childless-not-by choice was strong, despite our meeting only virtually. Many, if not all of us, were nervous but the facilitators were there for us throughout as they gently helped us to begin to tap into our inner selves and those deep-seated feelings regarding our childless-not-by choice journeys. The workshop provided food for thought as to how we may start to unpick those negative feelings surrounding our childlessness, rediscover our missing mojo and begin to dare to dream about what our Plan B may look like. Thank you for making the Reignite Weekend happen online – it was absolutely exhausting emotionally and mentally but it was one of the best decisions and investments in myself I have made. The path I was stumbling along to find a meaningful and happy plan B is no longer cast in complete shadow but now has some pools of sunlight along the way (Sarah, 54, UK).
I had often looked at Reignite Weekends but wasn’t sure that I needed to do this as I had already done quite a lot of my grief work. I was aware that I still had some blind spots though as I would occasionally be caught out by triggers. The opportunity to do this online from the comfort of my own home was also really appealing and just made this more accessible for me. I’m so glad I did sign up, as I did learn more about the way I was silencing my own story. It was great to be able to give myself this time. The facilitators were lovely and created a nurturing and safe space for us. Best of all, I met some really great women! It was lovely to connect with others and to continue to have the support of the same group through the network after the weekend was over (Sonia, 39, UK).
I was determined to get to a Reignite weekend eventually and finally did. It was MARVELLOUS. The facilitators did an amazing job, creating such a lovely space energetically and emotionally. The exercises were profound, and I found the two days to be so beautifully designed to help move us through the key issues surrounding childlessness. I am so grateful that you were inspired years ago to create GW and these weekends! (Millie, 59, USA)
Having read Jody’s book (which put my pain into words – thank you) and engaged in my own personal therapy prior to the workshop, I was very much taking small steps on my childlessness journey. I have experienced bereavement in my life but had found the grief of childlessness so difficult to communicate with others because of the shame of ‘failing’ as a woman felt too much to expose directly to anyone. I have felt hopeless about life and my future and wondered how I could possibly make sense of the next 40 years, without motherhood. The workshop was hugely supportive in so many ways, deeply confronting in a positive way, and not least because it gave me a community of women that get it! I cannot describe the relief of finally being able to tell my story, and not to feel pitied, judged negatively or dismissed. Instead, I was heard, validated, supported, and encouraged. Over the past few months, I have stayed in touch with the group and begun to foster friendships with warm authentic wonderful women who offer compassion at every stumble and celebration at every small achievement. Thank you. (Sarah, 46, UK).
It was a stimulating weekend. The facilitators were welcoming, empathic & ran the event with care – they are great role models too. I have taken away many positive vibes and ideas (Caroline, 60, UK).
By the time I found the Reignite Weekend I had already experienced “most” of my grief (as if grief were measurable!) alone and in long-term anxiety and depression episodes which I thought were just “part of my make-up” and would always be part of my life. Attending the weekend was like lifting a black cloud that I thought was mine forever. I suddenly knew that these grief episodes could be worked with, I could do the work required to learn from them and I didn’t have to do it alone as there is a whole community of women here with whom to share this enormously difficult journey and move on from it into a life I now find fulfilling and meaningful. The Reignite Weekend was the beginning of something and, just less than 2 years later, on it is going . . . . with a community of women I love. I don’t regret a penny spent on it and thoroughly recommend investing in it if you have a chance. (Clare, 55, UK)
The weekend definitely exceeded my expectations and the strength I received from being in the company of such strong, yet similarly hurting women, is amazing. The realisation that I’m not alone and have real people to talk to who understand how difficult it is some days to navigate such a strongly biased society which thinks motherhood is the norm is huge. But it has also given me a friendship base of fascinating women that have stories to tell that don’t involve having a child, and opinions on life who I want to spend time with and get to know better. It was a tough weekend having to face up to so many decisions made in the past or thinking about what the future might hold, but to survive and start living again I need to face these things. The weekend has given me a starting point and motivation to start finding my way and a support group to call upon. Thank you for starting this and giving hope back to us all (Simone, 49, UK).
Since the weekend, I found I was able to explain my feelings in a different way to my husband, and he was full of questions and very interested and enthusiastic about what the Gateway Women community is doing for women and the impact it can have for a social change. He then told me that what I’d learned and experienced at the Reignite Weekend had enabled him to better understand my childlessness, something that had been quite a mystery to him for many years – that our pain is not just about our deep feelings of grief (which really is quite enough!!!) but also about all the other stuff from society that gets loaded on top of it that we also have to deal with. This realisation has proved to be so precious to me – and to my husband! Let me also say that the facilitators were also unbelievably kind, gentle, intelligent, brilliant and wonderful (Hilda, 45, Germany).
It was amazing to realise I wasn’t alone, other women shared the pain, anguish, fear that I did, each with their unique story and each wanting their life to move on, but not sure how or where. I took the plunge and signed up for the workshop not knowing what to expect, or if it “was my sort of thing” – and it was the best thing I could have done (Kristian, 42, UK).
A warm and heartfelt thank you to the facilitators for giving so fully of yourselves in facilitating our weekend. Your engagement and encouragement prior to the course was much appreciated which encompassed a sense of already being known in part and thus genuinely accepted. This I believe contributed to the precious gelling of the group overall. It did feel like a shared and bonded experience even though our stories were unique and your compassion for each of us was very evident. The content of the weekend was both interesting and creative – many thanks to Jody for her inspiration and commitment to bring this to us – and seemed to touch us all at different points on the way. The exercises were well explained by both of the facilitators and everyone contributed making it a dynamic process. They were both sensitive and positive at the same time and facilitated a great deal of trust within the group. This secure base gave us the courage to explore our grief and consider ways to embrace Plan B both individually and collectively. With appreciation (Melissa, 55, UK).
The weekend was a moving, enlightening and powerful experience. I was so moved by the stories of all the other women. There was lots of crying and lots of laughing too. I feel an amazing (almost miraculous) connection with them which is alive and well on our post-workshop WhatsApp group… The weekend has helped me to embrace my grief in a way which I hadn’t allowed myself to before and has given me lots of strategies to work through it. The weekend has also released a massive creative block which I didn’t even realise was there. Writing and drawing about my experiences seem to already be part of my ‘Plan B’. I am also thinking a lot about self-care and putting it into practice as much as possible – not a habit that I have been very good at previously. The facilitators were wonderful – they structured the days very skilfully and listened beautifully to everyone – holding everyone’s stories, emotions and reactions in such a supportive way. Being part of this sisterhood feels amazing. Thank you. (Carla, 42, UK)
Reserve Your Place
This form is to start the booking process and collect your details and so please 'purchase' at zero cost. Your GW Facilitator will email you 24-48 after you have filled this in with details on how to make payment. Please make sure that you are able to attend LIVE during Australian/NZ timezones. Anything that you are not sure about, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before booking.
october 15 (Saturday) - 16 (Sunday) AEST