Perhaps one of the most unexpected collateral losses of childlessness is that as well as losing the family we longed for, many of us also lose the vast majority (or even all) of our peer group too. Friendships between mothers and nomos (non-mothers) can be stretched to the limit by the now very different life experiences and priorities, and that’s without adding a toxic brew of resentment, jealousy, envy and grief. It’s time to get a nomo (not-mother) friendship supplement to keep you going as keep you company as you find your identity in a culture that considers childless women as not quite ‘proper’ adults…
Since 2012, Gateway Women has hosted free, local, member-led social events for childless women around the world. These are organised via the ‘Lighthouse Women Online Community‘ (formerly the Gateway Women Online Community) and take place in locations across the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
For safety and privacy, to find the listings for your nearest Gateway Gatherings, and to connect with your local Host, you will need to be a member of Lighthouse Women.
Click here to access/ join the Lighthouse Women Online Community (formerly the Gateway Women Online Community). The 1st month is free after which there is a sliding scale of memberships to suit all budgets. All members are ID-checked upon joining and, as this is a manual process, please allow 24-72 hours for your membership to be approved. Any questions: email@example.com
Hi Jody, are these meet up groups facilitated by someone who can introduce new members? Just wondering what to expect if I go to one – l’m a bit anxious! x
Lucy – all our GW Meetup Hosts are ALSO members of our private online community so you can get to know them that way and ask them whatever questions you need to feel safe enough to attend. The first one is often hard to go to and afterwards, you probably won’t believe that you didn’t go to one YEARS before!! You can join the private online community here (which is something different to the meetup site): http://www.gw-community.com Hugs, Jody x
Thank you Jody x
Please, please someone do a meetup in Montreal.
Dear Ker – http://www.FemmeSansEnfant.com has Meetups in Montreal x
Hi Jody, I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I don’t see Auckland on your list, but I found a group meeting every 2nd Saturday in Auckland. I’ve sent the request to join. I would love to belong to one of the gateway group here down under. Thank you. Angela
Hi Angela – I’ve readded the Auckland meetup. It has a lovely host whom I met when I was in Auckland in 2018 and you’re in good hands! Hugs, Jody x
the list here says there’s a meetup in Zurich but I can’t find it when I click on the link, only the Geneva one is listed for Switzerland…. why is that?
Hi Elena – the GW Meetup for Zurich meets on every 4th Tuesday of the month. The next one is on Tuesday 24th September. The link to RSVP/access it is within the Gateway Women Europe Meetup group which you’ll be able to access once you’ve joined it (it’s a closed group). Here’s the link to the meetup and it’ll open if you’re already a member of the group or prompt you to join if not. https://www.meetup.com/Gateway-Women-Europe/events/hwkmznyzmbgc/ Hugs, Jody x
How about NYC. Maybe I missed it.
Hi Susan – yes, it’s on the list but it’s a long list so easy to miss: “NYC: Downtown 2nd Sunday”. Hugs, Jody x
Hi….I got an email about a CF meet up in NYC on Sundays. Can you please tell me where it is? I can’t seem to find it. Sorry.
Hi Susan, the location of the Gateway Women meetup in NYC is only visible to those who are members of the Gateway Women USA Meetup Group – this is for safety and privacy reasons. Go to http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women-usa and either join (if you’re not a member) or click through to the calendar to find the details for the NYC meetup – it used to be Downtown on the 2nd Sunday of each month, but that may have changed. Hugs, Jody x
Do you have a GW set up in Hong Kong as yet?
If not I would be interested in starting one.
Hi Donna – we don’t have one in HK and have no plans to expand the Meetup network at present – it’s got pretty huge for us to manage as it is! However, if you’d like to join our online community I could introduce you to any other HK Gateway Women that way and/or connect you by email once you’re a member. Hugs, Jody x
I’d be interested in a meeting in Plymouth Devon. Or the idea of arranging one if you could support my initial idea Jody Day?x
Hi Clare – we’d be very happy to have one in Plymouth. If you download the guide to starting your own meetup which you’ll find on this page, it gives you all the info you need and who to contact. Once it’s scheduled, do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to have it added to the list here on the website. Thanks again, Jody x
My name is Cláudia, I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and would like information to start a meeting in my region
Hi Claudia – I’m afraid we don’t have a Brazilian Gateway Women Meetup group through which you could schedule a meeting. However, if you were to create your own group on meetup for Brazilian childless women to meet, I’d be very happy to help promote it. Hugs, Jody x
Hi Jodi, is there any plan to set up a meet up in Switzerland in Zurich? I am interested to do it. Please let me know.
Hi Jaque – we already have a meetup in Zurich and no-one apart from the organizer is attending -so I’m sure she’d be VERY happy for you to go along! It’s on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 1830-2130 (today!) so if you were to join the Gateway Women Europe Meetup group right now you could access the details and go along! http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women-europe Hugs, Jody x
Hi Jody thanks a lot!!!
I would interested to start a Gateway Women group in Cornwall and wonder if you could let me know how best to go about that. Many thanks
Hi J – you will find a link above in the page to download a document with all the info you will hopefully need to start your own meetup. Here is the link again: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Mk-eLuglr5qLGf9pvVXEs8BatbmOdGdX0oHt0_Nx9A/edit?usp=sharing and should you need any further assistance, please email Helen, our Community Manager at email@example.com and she will guide you. Thank you so much for wanting to do this, there are many Gateway Women in Cornwall who’d like that and once you’ve set your meetup up, we will email them to let them know about it! Hugs, Jody x
Hi J. I would be interested in coming to a group in Cornwall.. did you set one up? Sarah
Hello Jody and thanks for all you do.
I live in Riverside Cty which is next to Orange Cty California
I would like to join the one in OC but joined meet up and cannot find their page. How would I go about doing this.
Also, I was thinking of opening one here what are your suggestions?
Thank you again
Hi Aletha – the next Orange County Meetup is on Saturday 12th August. Here is the link to find out more details, but you’ll only be able to view the information in full, and RSVP etc if you are a member of the “Gateway Women USA closed meetup group” (free) on Meetup in order to access it. You join that here: http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women-usa And if you’d like to start a GW Meetup Group of your own, you’ll find a link in the page above to all the info you’ll need to do so. Good luck and thank you. Jody x
Hi Jody, I think I would like to join the chester uk group as it’s great to see a site like this. Is the site for women who just ‘didn’t have children as it never happened but they are ok’ or is it for ladies that can’t have children? I’m very sensitive to all:-) thnx Angela
Hi Angela – Gateway Women’s meetups are ‘childfree friendly’ (ie: open to women who’ve chosen not to have children) but in reality, very few of them join us, as the focus of the meetups, and of my work, is supporting women who are ‘childless’ (not by choice). Hugs, Jody x
Hi I would like to join the Chester Meetups if possible. Please can you let me know how
Hi Tessa – to join the Chester Meetup you’ll need to follow the steps outlined above (have listed them here too):
1. Join meetup.com (if you’re not already a member)
2. Join the Gateway Women meetup group for UK and Ireland http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women
3. Wait for your membership to be approved (we do it manually, so can take a couple of days)
4. Once approved, you’ll be able to see the full details and RSVP for any UK/Ireland meetups
Hugs, Jody x
Thinking about starting a meet up group in Indianapolis. How would I go about this?
Hi Nancy – I’ve just added a link to the page which will take you through to a downloadable document which is my guide to starting a meetup. Have a read and do email us if you have any questions. We look forward to having a group in Indianapolis and as soon as it’s up and posted on the Gateway Women USA Meetup Group, do let me know and I’ll do a shout out for your meetup on social media! Hugs, Jody x
I have registered but do not seem to be able to log onto the app it says use a web browser but that does not work either?
Hi Elizabeth – I’m sorry you’re having problems with the Meetup app – it can be very glitchy! We have no control over it I’m afraid and I tend to always use the computer version rather than the app as it has less issues. My advice is to give it a day or two and try again! Hugs, Jody x
Hi, I am so glad I found your site. Is there a meetup group in Phoenix, AZ ?
Hi Rashmi – Thanks for taking the time to comment. We don’t have a meetup group in Phoenix right now, but we’d be very happy to help you get one going if you’d like that? If so, start by joining the Gateway Women USA Meetup Group and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you started! It can take a while to get a group going, up to six months or a year, so even if you don’t feel ‘ready’ to host the group, it would be great to have it up on the schedule and gradually local women will feel emboldened enough to attend. Hugs & thanks, Jody x
Can I join without uploading a photo? I no longer use Facebook
Hi Kirstie – yes, you can upload any picture you like, it doesn’t have to link to FB. Meetup just do a really rubbish job of explaining that. If you’re feeling private, the pic can be of anything, although obviously as this is about meeting up in person, a photo of your face is really helpful! Hugs, Jody x
Hi. I’ve requested to join the group – have you received it ok? Will I get a notification via email when my application has been approved?
Hi Rachel – all done, just approved your membership. We approve all members individually as otherwise we get some inappropriate people joining such as fertility experts and, er, mothers?! So because of that extra process, it can take a few days for new memberships to be approved. Jody x
Hi, I am from Liverpool and I would love to join a getaway women meet up. I do have a meet up app. Please can u let me know how I go about finding the local group. Thanks v much
Hi Kas – go to http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women and ask to join. After your membership has been approved, you’ll be able to access all the Gateway Women UK meetups on your app. Jody x
Hi Jody, Yes I am all sorted now 🙂 Still finding my way around the website and meet up alerts etc.. I tried to plan to attend a couple of meets but different things affected me attending. I have been looking for some kind of connected support around the whole nomo thing etc.. Cheers Julie
Please will someone at Gateway Women tell me what is the venue for the Meetup of London North BARNET on Sunday morning the 4 December? I have sent this request several times and am wondering if anyone is receiving them!
Hi Helen – I’ve just checked on Meetup and the venue is posted. The fact that you cannot see it would suggest that you are not yet a member of the private Gateway Women Meetup Group. For security and privacy, the full venue details are only visible to members. To join, go to http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women and click ‘ask to join group’. Once your membership has been approved (which is a manual process, and may take a day or so) you will be able to access the full details. We had to do this as we were getting men, mothers and fertility gurus joining the group in the beginning! The Barnet meetup is a lovely group of women (I know some of them personally) so do persevere, and if you have any further difficulty, email us at email@example.com and we’ll look into it. Hugs, Jody x
I went to a meet up in Sheffield today and on one showed up. Clearly there are no childless people in Sheffield. Just me.
Hi Helen – I’m sorry there was no-one there! There are definitely GWs in Sheffield. The best thing to do is to RSVP to the Meetup (which then encourages others to do the same) and then to check BEFORE you leave the house whether others are attending (or have changed their RSVP from attending to not attending). If you were willing to be be made the ‘host’ of the meetup (which means you’d automatically be RSVPed ‘yes’ each month, but oculd manually change it to ‘no’ if you couldn’t attend), you’ll find that more women will show up. It seems nobody wants to the be ‘first one’ to RSVP ‘yes’ and of course NO ONE wants to be there on their own! So sorry that happened to you. Hugs, Jody x
[PS: If you would indeed like to try being the host for a bit, email firstname.lastname@example.org and my assistant Helen will sort it out for you)
Hi I requested to join and interested in Meet ups in Manchester, I can’t see any updated or links but I saw a Meet up in Manchester was advertised for Saturday 5th Nov at 11am. Please could admin forward me info.. I did fill in the sign up request although it was a bit glitchy… Thanks Julie
Hi Joolzanne – I’m guessing that your membership hadn’t been approved at this point? Our Meetup group is private and every new member is checked to make sure their application is appropriate. Are you sorted now? Hugs, Jody x
I am in Birmingham UK. Are there any meet ups in Birmingham or Solihull please?
Hi Josie – there’s a meeting in Birmingham (Harbourne) on the 2nd Saturday of each month; in Birmingham (St Paul’s Square) on the 4th Saturday of each month and in Solihull on the 2nd Saturday of the month. To find out more and to RSVP you’ll need to join the free private Gateway Women UK & Ireland Meetup group – see above for how to do that. And welcome! Jody x
Are there any meetups in Toronto, Ontario?
Hi Saman – yes, it’s on the third Sunday of each month.
You’ll need to be a member of the Gateway Women Canada meetup group (it’s private, so you need to be approved): apply here: http://www.meetup.com/Gateway-Women-Canada. Once your membership is approved, you can see the details of the meetup here:
If you wanted to suggest an alternative location, we’d be happy to change it – the current location (chosen by us from London, UK) doesn’t seem to be that popular!
Hugs, Jody x
I’m interested in setting up a chapter in Mumbai, India. I haven’t been able to find a gateway group or similar through the meet up site.
Hi Rebecca – I’d LOVE for there to be a meetup group in Mumbai! It’s a big vision of mine to support women in India too. Please email Helen and myself at email@example.com and we will help you get it started. Hugs and thanks, Jody x
This is Mrs. Meenakshi here.
Came across this getaways globally ..is there any getaways for women (nomos ) in Mumbai?
Would love to meet up and get away with these sorrows…atkeats by meeting up with similar situation women.
Would like to just celebrate life than keep moaning.
Thanks and Best Regards
I was wondering if it would be possible to start a meet up group in my City(Calgary)? There currently isn’t one running.
Hi Natali – it would be a pleasure to do so with you – please make sure you’re a member of http://www.meetup.com/gateway-women-canada and then email firstname.lastname@example.org and Helen (our community manager) will help you to set up the a Calgary GW meetup with great pleasure! My book will be in Canadian bookstores from October 2016 so I hope that will help to raise the profile and for more Canadian GWs to join the site too. Hugs from London, Jody x
Did you ever get the group started?I’d be very interested?
Hi, from Madrid (Spain),
I was wondering if it would be possible to start a meet up group in my city (Madrid), as it seems there currently isn’t one running.
Hi Sara – absolutely and we can help you with that. Email coming your way in the next week! Hugs, Jody x
So good to hear that! I,m so excited about it! Thanks a lot Jody