This is my ninth childless Christmas. Well, nine years since that first awful year when I came out of denial that my childlessness was a permanent ‘thing’, not just some inconvenient stopover on my path to motherhood. I can’t really remember that first Christmas because, although I’d ‘accepted’ in my head that I wasn’t going to be a mother, ever, in my heart and body there raged such a fire of confusion that I thought it was going to burn me alive. I didn’t yet know that what I was experiencing was grief; I didn’t find that out until almost two years later, and I truly believe that learning that might have saved my life, and I don’t mean that metaphorically… they were dark, dark days… So if this is where you are today, I hear you. And I recognize how hard it is to have those feelings when so many around us are expecting us to be ‘jolly’… (And if you are having suicidal thoughts this holiday season, please watch this amazing short video by Karla McLaren and reach out for support from a hotline – that’s what they’re there for and your pain and grief matter too).
The photo above is my Christmas tree in Ibiza this year. You’ll see that on it is a wonderful pewter Bee, given to me by one of my workshop participants to represent her ‘Plan Bee’ identity. I love it because it reminds me of her, and of the powerful connections and transformations that I’ve experienced myself and have been privileged to support other women through.
Life after childlessness – a fulfilling, happy, meaningful life IS possible. It’s not easy, it doesn’t just arrive, it’s rarely what we expect and it certainly isn’t what we ordered! Embracing it takes huge courage. But it IS possible.
Well, it’s alright for YOU I hear you say. Maybe YOU can change your life. But I can’t!
I know that’s how it feels some days, but I promise that there are things you can do to make your Plan B come to life. I can’t wave a magic wand, but what I know for sure is what’s worked for me, and for many of the thousands of women I’ve worked with, interacted with, wept with, laughed with and connected with over the years:
- Understand that you are grieving. Learn about your grief. Embrace it and work with it rather than against it. It’s trying to help you heal – really! (Read Chapter 4 of my book and watch this recording of my webinar on childless grief that I led for More to Life earlier this year.
- Seek out the empathic company of other childless women actively walking the path of healing from this loss. Meet them online in the private Gateway Women online community, at one of our life-changing Reignite Weekends or at a local Gateway Women Meetup.
- Become a self compassion ninja. You can read more about my own discovery of self compassion in Chapter 9 of my book, where I’ll introduce you to your very own Inner Bitch and teach you how to house-train her! My go-to guru on this is Kristin Neff and you’ll find some wonderful free downloadable resources on her website.
My gift to you – join me for a free post-Christmas “Reflect & Renew” webinar.
Your gift to yourself – attending a Gateway Women Reignite Weekend in 2019
We have Reignite Weekends happening in London and Scotland scheduled for 2019, including a very special one in February just for those of you who are both single and childless – the Solo Reignite Weekend. The Reignite Weekend has changed thousands of lives for the better over the last 6 years and the only regret I’ve heard from participants is that they wished they’d done one sooner!
Click through to read some of the testimonials – you don’t need to take my word for it.
- London Reignite Weekend – 19/20th January 2019 (earlybird closes 26th December!)
- London Solo Reignite Weekend – 9/10th February 2019 (earlybird closes 9th January)
- London Reignite Weekend – 6/7th April 2019
- Scotland (Glasgow) Reignite Weekend – 13/14th April 2019
- Find out more about what happens at a Reignite Weekend and see list of all currently scheduled for 2019