Surviving the childless weekend blues

March 30, 2018 Jody 39

There, it’s said. Weekends can be absolute hell as a single, childless woman. “They creep up on you,” said one friend recently. Many of us are so busy with work commitments and after-work activities Monday-to-Friday that we can’t wait for the peace and quiet of the weekend in order to recover. And then, when we wake up on Saturday morning to an empty bed, an empty house and an empty weekend, it doesn’t feel relaxing; it feels hideously oppressive. Alternatively, we pack our weekend schedule to the gunnels with activities and appointments only to feel burnt out and resentful and […]

I’m Dreaming of a Childless Christmas

December 22, 2013 Jody 31

Yes, I know the words ‘dreaming’, ‘childless’ and ‘Christmas’ look incongruous together.  But for me, it’s really something I’ve been dreaming of all this busy Autumn. Right now I’m at home alone, tucked up in a warm bed with a warm cat delicately snoring at my side. The streets of London are hushed as most people have already left town. After an exhaustingly excellent year with the growth of the Gateway Women Online Community and the publication of my first book, I’m happily in my pyjamas with a steaming cup of coffee made exactly the way I like it and […]

Childless and Miserable? You need to get off Facebook!

April 20, 2013 Jody 40

Sunny holidays, funny moments with her kids, her lover taking her away somewhere special for her birthday so that they can have some time, ‘alone’… How come her life worked out and mine didn’t? What about me? How to meet your soul mate, arranging the perfect hen-night, your dream wedding, what to expect when you’re expecting, keeping the passion alive in your relationship… Where’s my soul mate? Isn’t there meant to be one for everyone? Where do I exist in women’s magazines? Where are the articles about coping with a lodger in your 40s just to pay the electricity bill? When […]

Creating a new life for yourself as a childless woman

August 29, 2012 Jody 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 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 […]

Menopausal Mojo: why being post-fertile is yet another taboo to bust!

August 11, 2012 Jody 20

Perhaps one of the things that’s surprised me most about coming to terms with my childlessness is how it’s impacted every area of my life: my identity, my dreams and my hopes. And one of the most unexpected shifts has been in my ideas about intimate relationships. I was with my life-partner for 16 years, and both before and after that had serious, long-term relationships. Really, from the ages of 15-45 I had sex and relationships on the brain. And now, aged 48, and four years into accepting that my quest for motherhood is over, I’m not anymore. It’s not […]

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

June 26, 2012 Jody 37

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 feritilty medicine has brought joy to some, it’s also condemned a lot of other women to extended periods of ‘hoping’ well into their forties. Fertility treatments or not, we’ve been living in an emotional never-never land, full of lost children, and […]

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

May 3, 2012 Jody 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 […]

The Power of Testimony

November 10, 2011 Jody 10

This is a guest post from the fabulous Katherine Baldwin of From Forty With Love I am forty – forty-and-two-thirds to be precise – and single. I’m childless and/or childfree, however you prefer to look at it. I have a desire to have children of my own. And I’ve just declared a moratorium on dating. I’ve called off the search for a partner… Foolish? Crazy? A little extreme? Well, yes and no. Given that my biological clock must be ticking furiously by now, it might be a little foolhardy. But as regards my long-term sanity, happiness and fulfillment, it makes perfect […]

Forty, single and childless, dammit!

October 25, 2011 Jody 45

Have you ever stopped to question why you want (or wanted) a baby so much? Do you find the question shocking? Taboo even? Well, I didn’t question it. And because I avoided this level of deep introspection, I failed to realise that I spent fifteen years of my life chasing a dream based partly on the premise that someone or something would make me feel fulfilled, content, satisfied, real, right, good… I thought a baby, a family, a home, what Zorba the Greek calls ‘the full catastrophe’ – was going to make me feel whole dammit! Yes, I loved my husband insanely-much […]

What Talking Heads has to do with finding your mojo again as a childless woman

September 8, 2011 Jody 15

Perhaps one of the most delightful discoveries of coming to terms with not having children has been that my natural joie-de-vivre has returned. In other words, I got my mojo working. Now, this doesn’t mean that I wake up every morning like Mary Poppins, thrilled with the way my life has turned out in every tiny aspect, but neither am I so daft as to believe that: (a) anyone really feels like that every day (with the exception perhaps of the Dalai Lama and I’m sure even he wakes up occasionally with neckache and wishes he could bunk off) or […]

Why do they call us selfish?

June 29, 2011 Jody 26

There’s a dirty word often thrown about in the ‘childless/childfree’ debate: selfishness.  Although you rarely ever hear people saying that men who haven’t had children are selfish… It’s an opinion that people feel free to voice, often unkindly and without a second thought. I recall being at my ex-father in law’s funeral. It was a perversely beautiful hot summer’s day for a funeral and my arms were bare as I stood, numb, with my then husband. I was surprised to feel a sharp pinch near my elbow and looked down into the rheumy eyes of a tiny old lady I’d […]

Light at the end of the tunnel

April 5, 2011 Jody 25

There comes a day in many a woman’s life when she wakes up and realises that things haven’t really gone exactly to plan… Where is my husband? My family? she says to herself. What was I thinking: being with him not being with him focusing on my career neglecting my career partying staying home travelling round the world not being all that bothered expecting it all to just somehow happen, organically? (delete as appropriate and tick all that apply). Shit. I’d better get: a wiggle on lose some weight go out more stay in more get married get divorced get […]

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