Hosted by Jody Day, psychotherapist, founder of Gateway Women and author of Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Life Without Children (Bluebird/PanMac) with special guests Karin Enfield, Yvonne John, Sarah Lawrence and Melanie Dagg.
With the public messaging around the pandemic still focusing relentlessly on the needs of ‘families’, it can be harder than ever to be childless on Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday as it’s known in the UK and which falls on Sunday 14 March)
For this Gateway Women Masterclass Webinar, Jody Day, the Founder of Gateway Women, psychotherapist and the author of ‘Living the Life Unexpected‘ is joined by 4 wonderful members of Team Gateway. 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.
Our goal is to help you with strategies that we’ve each developed over the years to help us, and those we support, to deal with the complex emotions and triggering situations of this very multi-layered holiday where many different forms of grief can collide.
To register for future free Gateway Women Masterclasses go to www.bit.ly/gw-masterclass
KARIN ENFIELD DE VRIES is Gateway Women’s Operation Director as well as being the lead trainer and facilitator for Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends and the Beehive Leader for the 2021 Global Online Bee program (presented in English). 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’s 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: email@example.com
YVONNE JOHN is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and has been leading Gateway Women Reignite Weekends for the last three years (her next one is for the UK/EU timezone on 29th/30th May). She is the author of the book Dreaming of the Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children. 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 also blogs about her own evolving recovery from childlessness at Finding My Plan B. A graduate of GW’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
MELANIE DAGG is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitators (GWS) and lives in Morpeth, Northumberland and has been leading Gateway Women Reignite Weekends for the last 3 years (her next one is for the UK/EU timezone on 27/28th March). 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. You can contact her directly at email@example.com
SARAH LAWRENCE is a founder of the childless website and community After the Storm, a qualified coach and person-centred counsellor and one-third of the amazing Full Stop Podcast. We’re thrilled to announce that Sarah’s training with Gateway Women to become one of our new licensed Gateway Women facilitators (GWS), and that she will be co-facilitating her first Gateway Women Reignite Weekend in July 2021 alongside Melanie Dagg. Sarah is childless due to previously undiagnosed stage four endometriosis which led to a miscarriage and then later a hysterectomy. Sarah’s particularly passionate about supporting childless women during and after hysterectomy, and wrote a powerful blog about this for Gateway Women called ‘Childless After Hysterectomy – I am Still a Woman – Hear me Roar! She also hosts a local Gateway Gathering in Kent, currently meeting online during the pandemic.
We are also hosting an all-day support chat in the private GW Online Community for UK Mother's Day: To join/access click here
I’m shaking at the thought of listening to anything to do with this day. I so wanted to be a mum and with the acceptance that I’ll never be a mum, this mothers day in 2021 is going to be so extra painful. How do I fortify myself for this experience?
Dear Donna – I can appreciate your anxiety and I would encourage you not to feel that you need to ‘fortify’ yourself for the experience, but rather to ‘allow’ yourself to feel our support and understanding. And of course, should it feel too much for you to take in at this time, please know that this webinar is being recorded so you can always watch another time, or save it for another Mother’s Day. With hugs, Jody x