One of the things that almost all of the thousands of childless women I’ve spoken to, corresponded with or worked with over the last seven years have in common has been a sense of unworthiness: unworthy as women, as ‘real’ adults, as sexual beings, as valid members of society, even (as I mention in my video below), as members of the human race.
For those who are childless due to infertility or other physical reasons there can be a deep sense of betrayal by our own bodies. For those of us childless due to circumstance, particularly if it involved not having a partner to start a family with, there can be the sense of having been ‘unworthy’ of being chosen. And for all childless not by choice women (and those by choice too) there is a pervasive and regularly reinforced social judgement of our unworthiness as ‘real women’ – ‘I mean, what do you DO with all your time?!’
And this is why I’m SO pleased and proud to be part of the first Global We Are Worthy Online Summit which runs from 22-28th April – the same dates as National Infertility Awareness Week in the USA for which this year’s theme is #FlipTheScript. Well, I think creating a whole week of taboo-busting, supportive seminars to help childless women (and men) reclaim their worthiness is a hell of a script flip!
I’m leading two one hour free video webinars. The first one is this Sunday 22nd April at 1800 UK time, and is about the whole ‘Plan B thing’ and how that relates to worthiness. You can watch a very short video here (or below) about this free webinar and then click here to register. Once you’ve registered you’ll get an automatic reminder before it goes live on Sunday at 1800 BST (British Summer Time or GMT/UTC+1). You’ll also be able to watch it again/later. Do send in your questions to me by email before the call at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to ask them of me and my guests at the Q&A at the end of the session.
[You can watch now watch the full recording of this webinar below and others here]
In this free live webinar I’ll be exploring some of the most common worries that women come to me with, such as:
- ‘What if I don’t have a Plan B?’
- ‘Maybe you can do this, but I can’t…’
- ‘But I don’t WANT a Plan B, I want Plan A!’
- ‘I’m too old for a Plan B…’
- ‘I tried to start again, but it didn’t work and now I’m back to square one minus a hundred…’
- ‘Maybe I just need to get used to being unhappy for the rest of my life…’
- ‘I can’t afford a Plan B.’
- ‘Get lost with your stupid Plan B ideas…’
If any of these sound familiar, this webinar is for you! I’ll also be inviting a couple of other Gateway Women onto the call to talk about their Plan B’s, as goodness knows you all know what mine is!
Created by Nicci and Andrew Fletcher, the childless couple behind The Childless Not By Choice magazine, the We Are Worthy Online Summit brings together 7 days of programming from many of your favourite #CNBC and infertility writers, bloggers and advocates including:
- Lisa Manterfield (founder & author: Life Without Baby)
- Brandi Lyttle (founder: NotSoMommy)
- Dr Vula Baliotis (Los Angeles-based psychologist working with involuntary childlessness)
- Justine Froelker (author of ‘Ever Upwards’)
- Sarah Roberts (founder: The Empty Cradle)
- Katherine Baldwin (author of ‘How to Fall in Love: a Ten Step journey to the Heart’)
- Jessica Hepburn (author of ‘The Pursuit of Motherhood’ and founder and director at FertilityFest.com)
- Rosalind Bubb (founder: Miscarriage support)
- Christine Erickson (author of ‘The Mother Within’)
- Yvonne John (author of ‘Dreaming of the Life Unlived; advocate and workshop leader for childless women of colour)
- Sarah Chamberlain (founder: Infertility Honesty)
- And many more!
Some of them you’ll already know and some of them will be new to you but all of them share a dedication to making childless lives easier to inhabit. You can see the full program listing here: https://weareworthysummit.com/events/
I’ll be running another event on ‘Coping with Other People’ on Saturday 28th April and I’ll share more about that with you next week. But if you can’t wait and want to register for that one too, click here.
With hugs & in sisterhood,
I have all the events entered into my calendar, & hope to watch at least a few… yours are definitely at the top of my list! 😉 I was looking at the list of events & speakers, & it occurred to me that, 10 years ago, when I started blogging, something like this would just not have been possible… I could count the number of other CNBC bloggers on the fingers of one hand (and still have fingers left over)(Pamela at Coming2Terms/Silent Sorority being one of them). We have come a long way in a relatively short period of time!
Hi Loribeth – I was thinking the same! The first blogs that I found, 7 years ago was Pamela’s Silent Sorority and yours, followed by Lisa Manterfield at Life Without Baby. However, there was still nothing out there about being childless for reasons other than infertility / baby loss. I am so pleased that there are so many more bloggers and resources to serve and support our community of childless sisters around the world – times are changing – FINALLY! Love, Jody x
Thanks. Yes I often feel unworthy and incomplete as a woman. However, I’ve always been a girly girl, so I certainly don’t feel anything like a man; but honestly sometimes like some sort of ‘other’ creature, like an elf, or a woodland nymph, or a goblin on a bad day!
I’m looking forward to the webinar, and I think I need it!
Hi Katie – so glad you’re joining the call on Sunday. I never was (and still aren’t) a very ‘girly girl’, in fact I was a tomboy as kid and still hanker after climbing trees in my 50s! However, the ‘otherness’ you describe is something I know very well and it’s taken a lot of getting used to. I actually like it now as my ‘difference’ is no longer something I interpret as ‘lesser’. My life is not ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than a life of motherhood – it’s just ‘different’ but I see it as being of equal value. I hope that my webinar helps you shift a bit closer to your own feeling of peace too. xo Jody xo
I’m so excited to participate in this summit and can’t wait to see what the week brings!