There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner critic would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to
There is life after childlessness, despite what the media, your friends, your mother and your inner critic would have you believe! A meaningful and fulfilling life that makes sense to you because you custom-made it for yourself.
This Gateway Women 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;
- Furious that you ‘did all the right things’ and have still ‘ended up’ in this difficult position;
- Ready for a Plan B but either convinced that you’ll screw it up, or scared that you’ll never find a meaningful alternative to a life centered on motherhood.
£295 Earlybird (by 17th August) // £350 full price after // Book with a £100 deposit
(Go to the bottom of the page to book)
This Reignite Weekend is led by Liane Preston and Melanie Dagg, who have both been trained personally by Jody Day, the founder of Gateway Women.
Meet Liane Preston
Liane is 46 and lives near Edinburgh, Scotland. Having worked in the corporate world for a long time, most latterly as a Director of Human Resources, she has over fifteen years of experience in developing people. She came to believe that most of us, at some point, could benefit from professional therapeutic support in dealing with life’s curveballs, so she retrained and has for the past five years combined running a private psychotherapeutic counselling practice with corporate consulting. Her childlessness is due to a combination of factors – being a (recovered!) workaholic, not meeting her husband until she was 40, some gynecological issues and a dance with cancer. Happily, she now has the all-clear and is excited about embracing a new phase of her life, which includes running the Reignite weekend and supporting other Gateway Women on their journeys towards their Plan Bs’. You can contact Liane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Melanie Dagg
Melanie is 48 is divorced and single and lives in Morpeth, Northumberland. She is childless after unsuccessful ICSI/IVF fertility treatments with her former husband. She found Gateway Women after a frantic late-night Google search for ‘women who don’t have children and are happy’ and attended the Reignite Weekend with Jody in London in February 2014. Despite feeling very nervous (she considered not turning up at the workshop and going shopping in London instead!) it turned out to be a turning point and the beginning of her journey out of a black hole. Since then, Melanie has been an active member of the Gateway Women online community and leads her local Gateway Women Meetup group in Newcastle. In 2017 she also took part in Jody’s one-year Plan B Mentorship Programme – The Online Bee. An actor by profession, Melanie is an experienced workshop facilitator and also has a counselling qualification.
Over the course of this 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; 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 funny Nomos (not-mothers). There are more of us than you realise 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
- Date: Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th October 2020
- Times: 9.30am – 5pm
- Cost: £295 Earlybird (before 17th August), £350 full price after. Places bookable with £100 deposit (which also reserves the Earlybird price if applicable). All balances are due on/before 17th September. Once you have reserved your place, Liane will be in touch to arrange your balance payment method – either PayPal or direct bank transfer. If you wish to contact Liane about payment methods please email them directly at email@example.com Please read our cancellations policy below before you book.
- Lunch & Breaks: Lunch will roughly 1-2pm both days and is not provided.
- Where: Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue, 16 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SU. The venue is very central, just 5 mins walk from Waverley Station. Discounted parking is a short walk away. https://info.edintrain.com/
- Accommodation: Some suggested hotels are:
- Travelodge: https://www.travelodge.co.uk/h
- Apex Haymarket Hotel: https://www.apexhotels.co.uk/a
- Haymarket Hub Hotel:https://www.haymarkethubhotel.
- Local AirBnB’s: http://bit.ly/2v7XVYx
- Travelodge: https://www.travelodge.co.uk/h
- How Many Women: In order to create an intimate and safe atmosphere, the workshop is restricted to 16 women only.
- Who is the Reignite Weekend for? Women of any age, 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 biological children, it’s for you.
- What is the cancellation policy? Your £100 deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel prior to 17th August you may request a refund of any payments made (minus your deposit). After that date, we can only refund your payments (minus your deposit) if we can resell your spot. Should the workshop need to be cancelled by us for public health reasons, we will refund your payments (including your deposit) in full. Please do not book any travel or accommodation to attend this event until 1st September, when we will be able to confirm that the event is definitely going ahead.
- Any other questions please contact Liane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some feedback from women who’ve taken part in previous Reignite Weekends:
Liane was superb as a facilitator. I found it well organised and paced. Sharing our stories was one of the most powerful experiences that I have ever had – it was like everything else stopped and it was just us, in that room – it was incredibly powerful emotionally but in a healing way. I felt that I was in a well facilitated, safe space to share thoughts, feelings and experiences and to start the groundwork for a plan B. I felt lighter afterwards. Exhausted but lighter. Freer. I met some amazing women who I hope to be in touch with for a long time (Karla, 50, UK).
I attended this weekend with some ‘butterflies’ but it’s ended up being one of the best things I could have done. I’m more equipped than before I attended the event for moving on and getting to grips with my plan B. Best thing though was meeting the other Gateway Women and seeing I’m not alone… (Faye, 41)
I thought the weekend was wonderful and so was Liane. There were some very emotional points but I’ve come away feeling much lighter and overjoyed to have met my tribe (Caroline, 43, UK).
I can’t describe the massively positive effect finding GW and attending a Reignite Weekend has had on my outlook, my life, my relationships, my ability to smile at babies and their mums again! (Kate, 43, UK)
Attending the the Reignite Weekend was the best thing I could have done. I simply had not realised the depth of unprocessed, unacknowledged feeling I was carrying, until the weekend. I feel as if a kind of depression or weight, which I didn’t really know was there – has lifted. One of the key issues for me was my relationship with my mother and sister, who has children. Since the weekend I have been able to find my voice and share with them the reality of my experience. Their response has been amazing and I feel we are on the way to healing all our relationships. I have to say, I think Liane was phenomenal in her facilitation. I am a therapist and work with groups myself, so know the level of holding that can be required. This was an intense weekend – and I thought that Liane’s grounded, empathic presence and her holding and containing of what might have been overwhelming – was just great. I think the fact that she knows, and ‘gets’ it and has done her own work must be a part of this as well. The careful structure of the programme and the quality of her facilitation, allowed the group to reach the depth we needed to. I am so grateful to have have been able to have this space and time with other childless women. It felt profound, like discovering feminism – all over again! (Belinda, 52, Scotland).
After getting to a very low point I thought I’d try the workshop. It was a great weekend. Just having the chance to think and explore my feelings with likeminded people was so helpful (Leila, 39, UK).
I found the Reignite weekend a really valuable, welcoming, and challenging experience. I don’t know if I thought much about my expectations beforehand but it far exceeded anything I’d anticipated or hoped for. I liked the mix of personal, group, reactive and reflective activities. I can’t fault Liane’s facilitation – she was brilliant. It’s a tough balance to remain professional, diplomatic, empathetic and kind while keeping to schedule and attending to the individual and collective needs of a group of women, while managing all your own stuff too! I feel lucky to have had the experience with her (Jo, 47, UK).
The course was excellent; well structured, clear and relevant and which helped me to understand the trauma I’ve been struggling though after finding out that we can’t have children. I met some amazing women on the course whose stories of facing difficulties with so much dignity and courage will stay with me. Thank you for giving me hope (Janet, 47, UK).
Recently attend an amazing, life-changing weekend workshop in Edinburgh for women who don’t have children and have been struggling with that. It was the Reignite Weekend organised by Gateway Women and it was a real game-changer in terms of perception. We created a new phrase “non-parent” rather than “childless” as the suffix ” -less” has so many negative connotations. And we learnt that acceptance can be a case of saying and feeling “I don’t like it, it’s not what I want, but I’m not going to fight it anymore”. This made me feel much lighter, as I’ve been fighting the idea, and living with the grief and loss, of not having children and being a mum for at least the last 15 years, and I can now feel the (heavy) weight of the energy it took to maintain. So, as I approach my 50th birthday next month, I’ve got a new outlook on life which is much more positive and open, and I’m willing to “let go” of all the child-orientated and childless-orientated things that have been holding me back. The weekend was in the company of 11 other women from all walks of life and ages, and we all bonded because of our situations. If anyone is, or knows someone who is, struggling with not having children, the Gateway Women Reignite weekend would be really helpful. Another helpful resource is Jody Day’s book – Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future without Children. I hope you can tell by what I’ve said that I really did find the weekend very inspirational. At first I thought it was going to be based on the book and that I wouldn’t get that much out of it as I’d read the book, but I was gladly mistaken as it not only brought the book to more life (if that was possible) but the engagement with new friends and sisters was physically and emotionally very empowering. So, I’m very glad I did the workshop in addition to reading the book. Liane was the perfect facilitator – wouldn’t change a thing. She was professional but warm, engaging but keeping us to time and focused when we needed to be drawn back on-topic, friendly and lovely and open and caring for those who were really struggling with their emotions. (Lana, 49, UK).
It was such a supportive and brilliant course – so great to meet and share time with other Gateway Women, and it allowed me to challenge myself and see my way forward to my Plan B (Tilly, 48, UK).
I really only had emotional room for the therapeutic side of the workshop and, for me, this was largely about the group discussion which took place, which was as powerful as I’d hoped. However, I was also surprised to find myself feeling more comfortable than previously (through the day 2 exercises) about the thought of embarking on a possible plan B mainly through the new understanding that this is actually largely about internal shift; my previous efforts have all focused on external change and have felt forced and I now understand why (Katie, 51, UK).
Reserve Your Place
This deposit will book your place on the Reignite Weekend. Your Workshop Facilitator will be in touch to arrange the balance payment.
october 3 (Saturday) - 4 (Sunday)