The NomoCrones (nomo = not-mother = crone is not an insult!) gathered around the Zoom cauldron for a special 'Fireside Wisdom with Childless Elderwomen' session for World Childless Week on Friday 15th September.
Our discussion was framed around the World Childless Week theme for Friday 15th September which was ‘Words That Hurt: You’re So Lucky to Not Have Kids”. We explored whether the perceived ‘luck’ in that bingo (throwaway statement) holds true for those of us ageing without children too…
It was, as ever, a lively and frank discussion which did not shy away from the challenges of aging/ageing without children but also shared positive ideas and resources for you to follow up on. You can find full details of our panellists and links to connect with them and support their work below.
Our panels of childless elderwomen ranged from our late fifties to our mid-seventies and was hosted by Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women and former founding/board member at AWOC in the UK who lives in Ireland and shares a home with her partner’s 93-year-old mother; Maria Hill, founder at Sensitive Evolution and Magic of Joy and recently divorced in her 70s; Sue Fagalde Lick, (70’s) author of ‘Love and Children: When You Can’t Have Both’ and widowed for over a decade after nursing her husband through Alzheimer’s; Susan Dowrie, a self-identified Spinster from Brisbane Australia and long-time Gateway Women member who, as well as managing mobility issues of her own and downsizing her living space, is also caring for a disabled older brother now their parents are dead; Tessa Broad, a writer from the UK caring for her 90-something mother; Pamela Mahohey Tsigdinos, a journalist and writer from the US who has recently been caring for her own mother whilst she had a hip replacement, as well as Sue Newsome, an award-winning UK sex and relationship therapist, who had her second hip replacement operation earlier this year.
I hope you can see that we all bring a lot of richness and experience to share, and it was really evident in this amazing conversation!
PS: Jody Day shared a ‘reading list’ of books on ageing without children that she has found helpful, and you can download that here.
This event was part of World Childless Week 2023, which ran from 11-17th September. All of the events and submissions and webinar recordings can be found on the World Childless Week website. And if you want to stay in the loop for what’s happening for World Childless Week around the year, do sign up for the World Childless Week newsletter.
YOUR HOST & PANELLISTS
HOST: JODY DAY (UK/Ireland) is cusping 60 and is a World Childless Week Ambassador. She is the founder of Gateway Women, the global advocacy network for childless women. She is a psychotherapist and the author of ‘Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children (Chapter 12 is about ageing without children). You can find out more about her emerging Gateway Elderwomen project here, and follow her on Instagram @ApprenticeCrone. If you are childless and 55+ and would like to become one of our #NomoCrone panellists, please get to know Jody in the ‘Childless Elderwomen’ subgroup of our online community as a first step. www.gateway-women.com
MARIA HILL (US) is in her 70s and is a World Childless Week Ambassador. She is the founder of Sensitive Evolution and a leader/coach in the field of HSP experience and growth, as well as the creator/leader of The Magic of Joy program. A writer, artist, teacher, coach and transformative thinker, Maria has been a long-time member/moderator of our private online community, where she hosts the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) subgroup. www.sensitiveevolution.com www.magicofjoy.com
PAMELA MAHONEY TSIGDINOS (USA) 60 and was voted a World Childless Week Champion in 2023/4 for her groundbreaking and tireless work for the childless community globally. She is the author of ‘Silent Sorority’ (2009), the first infertility-and-after memoir not written by a mother, and 2015’s ‘Finally Heard’ which moves beyond the personal to examine the complex inter-relationship of the psychological, social and cultural implications of ‘Generation IVF.’ An award-winning journalist, researcher and truth-teller about the realities and the aftermath of ART (assisted reproductive technology) her newest paper, An IVF Survivor unravels ‘fertility’ industry narratives, was published in a special issue of the Journal of Marketing Management in 2022. www.silentsorority.com
SUE FAGALDE LICK (US) is 70 and is the author of the memoir & blog ‘Childless by Marriage’ and most recently ‘Love or Children: When You Can’t Have Both’, as well as novels (featuring childless heroines!) journalism & poetry. She is childless due to her second husband changing his mind about having (more) children. A musician and singer, she is widowed and single. www.childlessbymarriageblog.com
SUSAN DOWRIE (AUS) is 60 and a long-time member of our online Community, as well as having hosted the Gathering for Brisbane members for several years. A student and practitioner of NVC (Non-Violent Communication), Susan describes herself unapologetically as a Spinster and is single and childless due to not meeting the right man. https://gateway-women.com/community/
TESSA BROAD (UK) is in her 60s and lives in rural Cornwall with her second husband and their dog. She is the author of ‘Dear You: A Letter to my Unborn Children’ (2017). When she has time in between caring duties for her elderly mother, she is working on her first novel. You can read Jody’s review of ‘Dear You’ here and find out more about Tessa on her website: https://tessabroad.co.uk/
SUE NEWSOME (UK) is 60 and a psychosexual therapist, coach and educator, and in 2013 was named ‘Sex Therapist of the Year’ by Outsiders, the UK charity that provides sex and relationship support to physically and socially disabled people. Partnered and childless by circumstance herself, Sue has been a long-time member of Gateway Women. www.suenewsome.com