One of the thing that has helped me the most in recovering from childlessness has been, and continues to be, hearing other women’s stories. Over the last few years I’ve got to know some amazing childless women as sisters, role models and friends and it’s been a privilege and a delight that I wanted to share with you.
This video interview, recorded in June 2015 is with Christine Erickson, the American author of The Mother Within: A Guide To Accepting Your Childless Journey, published on Amazon Kindle in May 2015 and nominated for an International Book Award. It is the first in a new monthly series of interviews I’ll be doing called ‘Talking about Childlessness’ and I really look forward to your comments.
In this frank, friendly and taboo-busting discussion we discuss, amongst other things:
- The many ways we can become a childless woman not by choice
- The power of online communities in creating the ‘tribe’ of childless women, including the private Gateway Women online community
- How we’re not always aware that the decisions we make as younger women, often for solid, ethical and compassionate reasons, might come to impact our chances to become mothers at a later date
- The lack of accurate knowledge so many of us discover, too late, we have about our fertility, and what we can do to make sure that the next generation of young women aren’t so misinformed, and how the option of being childless/childfree also needs to be included in those discussions.
- How ‘miracle baby stories’ distort the narrative for all of us, as do ‘celebrity’ late pregnancies and adoptions
- Coming through the grief of childlessness and working out ways to express our ‘mothers hearts’ in our lives if not as mothers.
- Jody’s model of ‘unrequited grief’ and the importance of our grief being, as Christine says, ‘witnessed in a compassionate way’
- Systemic conversations that need to be had, such as the issues around ageing without children and Jody’s role as a Founding Member of AWOC.org (Ageing Without Children collective in the UK).
- Realising that the childless and childfree women of the world are a powerful tribe with a great deal to offer, and what we might be able to achieve and change if we came together in an organised and compassionate way
- How the childless liberation movement can be inspired by the work and impact of the gay liberation movement over the last 50 years.
- How the paradigm of marriage and family is changing in the US
- How and why Christine runs equine healing retreats in nature for childless women, and how working with horses for the last 8 years has been part of her own recovery from childlessness, and how she came to integrate horses into her coaching practice.
- Christine’s hope to create a ‘canvas for our expression’ for childless women through her website ‘The Mother Within’ and discover and share ‘who we are as women’ to end the invisibility of childless women
Christine’s book is an excellent read and has been nominated for an International Book Award. You can read more about it and her equine retreats on her website www.TheMotherWithin.com or go straight over to your country’s Amazon site to download it for your Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read download the Kindle software free from Amazon and read it on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also find The Mother Within on Facebook.
Thank you so much Christine for such a wonderful interview and for being part of the tribe that is ready to speak our truth fearlessly and honestly so that other childless women may begin to realise that they too have nothing to be ashamed of. Jody x