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 […]

Honouring Your Childlessness on Mother’s Day

March 13, 2015 Jody 33

In the UK, we celebrate Mother’s Day as “Mothering Sunday”, three Sundays before Easter and so this coming Sunday. It was originally a day when all domestic servants were given a coordinated day off so that they could visit their families and together attend a service at their “Mother” church. It was a family day. However, gradually that original meaning has been lost and has been overtaken by the “Mother’s Day” first introduced in the US by Anna Jarvis in 1914 and falling on the second Sunday in May. Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was childless and the scope of her Mother’s Day also […]

How do I meet other childless women in my area?

January 2, 2015 Jody 3

If your New Year’s Resolution is to get some new local friends who ‘get’ what it’s like to be childless in a world gone motherhood-mad, I wanted to let you know that there are free Gateway Women meetups around the world you can join! Perhaps one of the hardest (and most unexpected) 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 […]

The Childless Menopause

September 8, 2014 Jody 126

I turned 50 earlier this year which was a cause for celebration amongst my family and friends. However, when I officially became ‘post-menopausal’ the year before, nobody wanted to know. In our youth (read: fertility) obsessed culture, becoming post-menopausal means the end of bearing a biological child and, it seems, the official beginning of your pointlessness and invisibility as an older woman. But, it seems, just as in other stages of my ‘failure’ to become a mother, I don’t fully buy into this cultural narrative of my worthlessness. And maybe even the ‘invisibility’ might work to my advantage too, as […]

Things I wish I’d known at 40

July 16, 2014 Jody 60

This week, I celebrate my 50th birthday. It feels like a heck of a thing, to find myself turning 50 at peace with the past, happy in the present and excited about the future. It didn’t come easily and, looking back over the screenplay of my 40s it does seem to include just about everything from farce to tragedy… So that got me thinking about boldly going into a new decade where no Jody has gone before – if I could talk to my 40-year-old self, what would I want her to know about the decade ahead? Here are some […]

DoubleWhammy: Single & Childless

October 29, 2013 Jody 141

Very soon it will be the UK’s third National Fertility Awareness week which is being organised by Infertility Network UK, the British charity which supports those undergoing infertility treatment. Cue lots of ‘miracle baby stories’ in the press about couples that despaired of ever having a child but who managed thanks to the help of this amazing science. The week even ends with the annual hopefest that is The Fertility Show at London’s Olympia, an entire exhibition hall filled with stands from fertility clinics and associated industries looking to ‘educate’ (sell to) potential new ‘parents’ (customers). But what I bet we […]

You’re not crazy, you’re grieving

March 27, 2013 Jody 36

Do any of the following sound like you? You find yourself hiding out in the bathroom at the office because of your colleagues’ endless babytalk… You walk home alone across town, in the freezing rain, just to get away from your ‘last’ childless friend’s announcement of her ‘miracle’ pregnancy… You avoid family events and spend most of your cash on holidays and retreats abroad during the Christmas season… You snap and bitch at your partner so much that you wouldn’t be surprised if they left you… You’ve given up dating all together… You couldn’t give a shit what you look […]

Your biggest fear – dying alone

November 18, 2012 Jody 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 […]

Only 88 Days Left to Your Next Childless Christmas!

September 27, 2012 Jody 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 […]

Why don’t you just adopt?

September 17, 2012 Jody 16

It’s the ‘just’ that gets me every time. Sometimes I wish I had the nerve to face-palm myself and say “Damn! Why didn’t that occur to me!” The bizarre thing about this throwaway line that so many of us childless women have had tossed our way is this: If we were to say casually to the same person that we were thinking of getting a dog, quick as a flash they’d say “But who’s going to look after it in the daytime?” Yet they think adoption’s an option? In the UK, married couples where one partner can afford to stay at home […]

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, […]

Turning our wounds into wisdom

July 4, 2012 Jody 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 […]

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 […]

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