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Welcome to the Sistership – The Online Gateway Women Forum

January 24, 2013 Jody Day 0

If you’d like to connect, rant, support and laugh with other childless-by-circumstance women, please come and join us on the Private G+ Gateway Women Community. And it’s not on flipping Facebook! Whether you’re still hopeful, not sure or getting stuck into your Plan B, you’ll find good company and candid chat here… Usually busy most evenings (and with women from all over the world joining us so getting busier round the clock!) it’s proving very popular and some great new friendships, ideas and connections are being made. Click here for more information and to apply for membership Welcome to the […]

Christmas will be different next year…

December 25, 2012 Jody Day 13

Having made it through yet another childless Christmas, all of us childless by circumstance women can breathe out a huge collective sigh of relief! It’s over and we can get back to our daily lives, and the coping mechanisms and busy routines that serve to protect us, most of the time, from the feelings of isolation, sadness and loss we often feel. Now Christmas is over, we can move back into the mainstream again; we can pass for normal women again. Well, most of the time, anyway. But there comes a day, maybe after we’ve had just one too many […]

Childless at Christmas: The Perfect Storm

December 19, 2012 Jody Day 34

For many childless by circumstance women, the best day of Christmas is the 26th December… when it’s all over again for another year! Earlier this December, I hosted an online webinar for Gateway Women on the theme of ‘Coping with Christmas’. Women from all over the world joined us on the call and shared their very different experiences, but very similar feelings, about the upcoming holidays. Themes such as loneliness, isolation, stress, secrets, pressure, exposure and dread came up in many of our stories. I’ve come to think that Christmas is, in many ways, the perfect storm for us childless […]

Your biggest fear – dying alone

November 18, 2012 Jody Day 27

Well, that cheered you up, didn’t it! “Dying alone” seem to be the two words best able to bring a chill to the heart of every childless women. And it would appear that it’s quite close to the surface in other people’s minds too, as it so often gets thrown at childfree-by-choice women as what they’ll live to regret (nice! and how are you today?) The childlfree call these comments bingos as they form a predictable pattern of ‘comments’ that they regularly encounter. And yet…  if we break the taboo (hell yeah, I like to break two or three before […]

The Lust for Transformation (and the illusion of self-improvement).

November 3, 2012 Jody Day 31

Being ‘us’ is just too damn hard some days. We long for the transformation of motherhood, as much as for the delight of meeting our children. We are bored shitless of our inner worlds, of trying to ‘realise our potential’, tired of self-help books that promise to make it all better. But without motherhood as our existential “Get out of Jail Free” card, we are thrown back onto ourselves and into what I think of as the lust for transformation. At its core, transformation, self-improvement and self-development all carry the same toxic message: “You’re not OK. There’s something wrong with […]

Elegy in an English Country Churchyard

October 17, 2012 Jody Day 28

Just recently I was on a residential training as part of my psychotherapy studies. I arrived at the venue, a gorgeous tumbledown old Abbey in the English countryside without having given the days ahead much thought – after all, I’ve been training with some of my fellow students for three years now. I had no real anxiety apart from whether the beds would be OK and whether I’d be able to sleep. Turned out I was right to worry about the beds, but what did come as a great surprise to me was to feel my scar of childlessness touched […]

Only 88 Days Left to Your Next Childless Christmas!

September 27, 2012 Jody Day 11

A blog from 2012 There’s nothing quite like the nights drawing in as Autumn arrives to remind you that yet another childless Christmas is on its way. And if you combine it with being single, it can be particularly trying. Recently, over at The Bitter Babe (a fantastic US blog that pulls no punches as the author is anonymous), she writes of looking at her “12th holiday season alone.” Unlike the author of The Bitter Babe (tag line: Never Married. Over Forty. Slightly Bitter) I was in a 16-year relationship from my early twenties and married for 12 of them. And […]

The Gifts of Grief: Saying Goodbye to Lost Babies

September 13, 2012 Jody Day 4

This Saturday in Exeter Cathedral sees the first ‘Saying Goodbye’ service of remembrance for babies lost at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years. This is the first of seven cathedral services this year, with up to 22 services planned by the end of 2013 in the UK. The Saying Goodbye services have been created by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who have personally suffered the loss of five babies. They are now blessed with having two vibrant little girls, one aged three and the other just 12 months. Grief is something that is poorly understood, tolerated or […]

Creating a new life for yourself as a childless woman

August 29, 2012 Jody Day 20

Creativity is one of the words that brings out the ‘woo woo’ faster than almost anything else. It’s as if it’s the one word guaranteed to make our inner bitch jump up and say “no thank you, we don’t do that around here!” before you’ve even had a chance to open your mouth. Why is creativity so scary? I’ve come to believe that creativity is one of the roots of recovery from involuntary childlessness. However, it’s quite easy to become so comfortable with our “poor me I couldn’t have children” persona that we’re actually a bit reluctant to let go of it. I mean, […]

What the hell am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a baby?

August 21, 2012 Jody Day 23

This is the question that haunts you: What the hell am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a baby? It’s often the driver that keeps the engine of anxiety churning, night and day… It’s the 3am question par excellence, although we’re a bit sheepish to admit it to anyone. I’ve got some good news and some bad news The Good News: Once you’ve got to the time where ‘running out of time to have a baby’ becomes ‘I ran out of time to have a baby’ things get a whole lot simpler. The Bad News: It may […]

Death by Cupcake: The Fetishization of Motherhood

July 13, 2012 Jody Day 18

It is perhaps not a coincidence that as becoming a mother has become an unattainable option for many women and couples, the trappings of motherhood have become fetishized. From the designer buggies (a Range Rover buggy anyone?) to the cult of the yummy mummy and her yoga-flat tummy (what a ridiculous pressure to put on a woman who’s just given birth to a new human being!) to the mini-me designer clothes ranges and babyccinos (cappuccino without coffee, if you were wondering), children are treated like precious and breakable artefacts and motherhood has become a competitive and rarified sport. This is […]

Turning our wounds into wisdom

July 4, 2012 Jody Day 18

“Women who fail to bear children twice as likely to be hospitalised for alcoholism,” reads the catchy headline in today’s Telegraph (4 July, 2012) Now, although the research makes for sober reading, it’s good news that at last the life-long effects of unwanted childlessness are being taken seriously. Indeed, the academics behind the study say that their results are: “only the tip of the iceberg” because many more would be affected, but not so badly as to need in-patient treatment. In the study, women who remained childless after fertility treatments were 103% more likely to be hospitalized for alcoholism or […]

If I’m a childless witch, where’s my broomstick?

June 26, 2012 Jody Day 37

From the archives: First published June 2012 Perhaps one of the most difficult things about being childless by circumstance, and the one that those who are parents or who have chosen to be childfree find hard to grasp, is working out what our life is ‘for’. So much of our hoping, planning, dreaming and fantasising has been in preparation for a life that is not to be. And, much as fertility medicine has brought joy to some, it’s also condemned a lot of other women to extended periods of ‘hoping’ well into their forties, or even longer…. Fertility treatments or […]

The Gateway Women Manifesto: are childless women the new suffragettes?

May 3, 2012 Jody Day 25

If you take a moment to think about it, there have probably never been so many educated, liberated women without children in their 40s and 50s alive at one time before. Let that sink in for a moment… In the past, most of us would have been either bringing up children or already dead from childbirth. And of those women who were childless (mostly by chance but a small percentage by choice) very few of them would have had the social, economic or political power to take advantage of their freedom from child-rearing. 1 in 5 women in the UK and USA […]

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