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.
GBP £295 (discounted places available)
all currencies accepted and converted automatically
Please only book if you are compatible with UK/EUROPE timezone
(Go to the bottom of the page to book)
This ONLINE Reignite Weekend is led by Karin Enfield & Yvonne John of Gateway Women
KARIN ENFIELD DE VRIES is Gateway Women’s part-time Operations Director as well as being a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and Gateway Women’s European Lead. Bilingual in English/Dutch (and quite handy in a few other languages too!) she lives on the Dutch/Belgian 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 works in Business Transformation and Change Management, guiding people and corporate teams through transformations, as well as being a yoga teacher and singer. A graduate of Gateway Women’s 2017 Online Bee Plan B Mentorship Programme, Karin is a World Childless Week Champion and is particularly interested in creating resources for women childless due to cancer. As well as co-facilitating Reignite Weekends in the UK and Holland, she is also the facilitator for the UK/EU Hive for Gateway Women’s year-long mentorship program, the Online Bee (next intake April 2021). She is growing awareness and support for Gateway Women in the Benelux region, which has its own Dutch/English website at Gateway Women Benelux. email: email@example.com You can watch a short video chat between her and Jody here.
YVONNE JOHN is a licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and the author of the book Dreaming of the Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children. She is childless due to unexplained infertility. A gifted public speaker and passionate about creating inclusivity for black women and women of colour in the cultural narrative of childlessness, Yvonne has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’. She leads a private subgroup for Women of Colour in Gateway Women’s private online community (the only such support for black and brown childless women we are aware of) and is quoted extensively in the 2020 edition of Jody’s book in the section on ‘Grieving as a Black Woman or Woman of Colour’. She also blogs about her own evolving recovery from childlessness at Finding My Plan B. A graduate of Gateway Women’s 2016’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Programme, Yvonne is also a World Childless Week Champion. She works in the medical services industry and is also a talented photographer and singer. You can learn more about Yvonne in her own words in her guest blog for Gateway Women, The Black Woman in the Room, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can watch a short video chat between her and Jody here.
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 grief 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 16th October and Sunday 17th January 2021
- Times: 9am – 5pm UK time both days (See this in your timezone by clicking here. North American and Antipodean-friendly times will be offered in early 2021).
- Cost: GBP £295 – all currencies are accepted and converted automatically. Go to the bottom of the page to book.
- Reduced Fees: We are able to offer 2 discounted places at GBP£200 for those who cannot afford the full fee. Please email email@example.com if you would like to apply for one of these.
- Questions: If you have any questions prior to booking (or afterwards) please contact Yvonne directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
To book, please go right to the bottom of this page.
- Timings for the day: We will work in 4 sessions on Zoom, taking breaks/lunch in between. Please make sure that you are in/near the UK/EU timezone to be able to attend this workshop. We will be offering this in the North American and Australasian timezones in early 2021.
- 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
- See this workshop start time in your timezone by clicking here. North American and Antipodean-friendly times will be offered in early 2021
- Where: The ONLINE Reignite Weekend will run as a private online course within the private Gateway Women Online Community on MightyNetworks. The fee for this workshops includes 1 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 14 participants only.
- Who is the 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 Yvonne at email@example.com or Karin at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Reignite Weekend if needed and if you give us at least 2 week’s 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.
- Any other questions please contact Yvonne at email@example.com
Some feedback from women who've taken part in previous Reignite Weekends:
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 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 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 for ever. 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 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 you and everyone contributed making it a dynamic process. You were both sensitive and positive at the same time and I sense you facilitated a great deal of trust within the group because of who you both are. 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
Your ticket is not refundable. Please be sure that you will be able to attend LIVE during UK/EU timezones that weekend. Anything that you are not sure about, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before booking.
january 16 (Saturday) - 17 (Sunday) GMT