I want to share a couple things that are happening online this week that you might want to participate in.
Nomo (non-mother) Crones
“The Body and the Cycles of Life” is the topic of a new “Nomo Crones” childless elders’ chat happening Saturday, March 20. Jody Day is the organizer. I’m one of the women participating, along with Karen Malone Wright, Stella Duffy, Maria Hill, Kate Kaufman, Jackie Shannon Hollis, and Donna Ward.
The flyer is posted above. Although most of you are much younger, I think you might enjoy taking an hour to listen. Our bodies, these amazing places where our spirits live, are fascinating. They have been made to procreate, but what if we don’t use those baby-making parts? Or what if they go wrong on us? Register here at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QBZqJhxxSqyjmxhIyqg2Zg. Be sure to convert for your time zone.
If you’re not ready for crone wisdom, consider participating in the first annual Childless Collective Summit March 18-21. Katy Seppi, who has organized it, who is a young dynamo who wants the world to understand what it’s like to be childless not by choice.
Seppi is the founder of Chasing Creation: Designing an Unexpectedly Childfree Life, which includes a blog, Facebook page, and more. Find out all about the Summit, register and watch a video with Katy at https://www.chasingcreation.org/. Once you register, you will receive links to all the sessions.
Seppi’s story is an interesting one. She talked about it recently on Jo Vraca’s (un) Ripe podcast. She and her husband both grew up Mormon in Utah. Although the church is very pro-children, her husband wasn’t keen on the idea for the first decade of their marriage. Then, when he felt ready to be a father, they couldn’t get pregnant. Katy had fibroids and endometriosis. She had surgeries and tried IVF, but it didn’t work. She had suffered pain from her endometriosis for years and opted for a hysterectomy. She has spent the years since then dealing with her grief and finding her way through a life without children.
The Childless Collective Summit is a four-day virtual event, featuring 28 speakers, all focused on topics related to being childless not by choice. The free Basic Access Pass gets you in to all the sessions. If you can’t watch them when presented, you can still watch the recordings online later. There’s also a paid All Access Pass that gets you transcripts of the presentations and other goodies.
Day 1 focuses on our stories, Day 2 on healing, Day 3 on making connections, and Day 4 on looking ahead. Keynote speaker Jody Day will address “How to Create a Meaningful Life Without Children: Lessons from a Decade of Healing” on Sunday, March 21 at 2 p.m. EDT. Click here https://www.chasingcreation.org/summit-schedule/ref/26/ for the complete schedule.
We’ve Got to Talk About It
When I started writing about childlessness back in the 1990s, I had to look hard to find anyone else writing and speaking about the subject, but we are blessed now to have lots of people joining the conversation. You can read books and attend conferences and podcasts online, but you can also start the conversation at home. I know we’re limited by COVID right now, but if you look around, you may find others with stories similar to your own. You may have to start the conversation by noting that you don’t have children and asking if they do, but you’re not alone. With 20 percent of women not having children these days, the answer might be “No, I never had children.” Get together, ask them how it has been for them. If they say they do have children, explain your situation anyway. Help them to understand.
I hope to see you online this weekend at the Summit or the Nomo Crones chat. Thank you to everyone who participated in the 99-cent sale for Love or Children: When You Can’t Have Both. I appreciate your support. If you missed it, it’s still only $2.99 on Amazon for the Kindle version.
It just occurred to me: Do some of you have trouble looking at all this childless stuff online because your partner might see it and get upset? I live alone, so I don’t think about it, but I can picture someone’s husband or wife–or their stepchildren–looking over their shoulder at the screen and urging you to shut it off. Does that happen? Let’s talk about it.
St. Patrick’s Day hugs to one and all. I’m wearing my green socks, shirt, and earrings. Have you got your green on?
9 thoughts on “Childless Fun Coming Up This Weekend!”
Hi Sue, I won’t be participating but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. I’m so happy to see these options are out there. Like you I’ve been dealing with childlessness a long time. For me, coming up on 30 years. There was no one to talk to back then.
My husband doesn’t pay attention to what I’m doing online so I have no worries there.
This site is a bit of a “dirty secret” for me. Even though I post anonymously (and would likely never be “caught”) I worried a little when Sue was collecting bits and pieces for her book. I’m just not brave enough to talk about these things in my real life. I don’t bare my soul looking for acceptance from my family and friends. They don’t know even a 10th of what our wonderful Sue knows about me.
I’m a bit of a mess, really. Right now feels like puberty. When you knew things were weird but also that everyone was a little weird. But deep down, you really believed that you are the weirdest of them all. I’m hoping it’s like puberty – you come out of it stronger and with a little smile, remembering all the times you were insecure when you didn’t need to be.
Right now, it’s not “worth it” for me to make random people, annoying sister in laws, even beloved friends understand. It comes with a cost – which is pity. I know I’m strong. But it’s difficult to be both vulnerable and appear strong to others. I want to be strong.
You are strong, Anon S. And I don’t even know your real name, so your secrets are safe. We are all a mess all the time. Just take it one thing at a time, following your instincts. Some people, like my sister-in-law, may never understand. But there are more and more people who do.
I share a tablet with my partner so I can’t add books like yours to it. We also share a laptop so after I’ve posted this comment, I will have to go and clear the history so he can’t see that I’ve been on the page. Like S said, it’s a secret. He has been working from home for a year now with no sign of a return to the office. We work in the same room here so I’ve had to wait for him to finish work and go downstairs before I can post this comment. I just feel like I have no space to myself.
I don’t feel able to follow certain pages on Facebook, including yours, because I would not want our friends to see that I follow pages about childlessness. I do follow Gateway Women as you can’t tell from the title what it’s about.
Last year, I won a copy of Jody Day’s book from your blog. I have not felt able to even open the parcel in case my partner finds it. I’ve hidden it somewhere, still sealed up. Maybe when life goes back to normal I will have the space to read it.
I didn’t wear green yesterday as I don’t have any Irish heritage. A lot of Brits like to pretend to be Irish on this day so they can celebrate at the pub. However, there have been no pubs open in my part of the country since early November last year.
I’m so sorry you have to hide all this. I hope you can find your own space and your own laptop someday soon. I wore green, although I’m not Irish either. I wore it to get my first COVID shot and to get my car tires fixed. Bars closed here, too.
Me too. I don’t tell my husband (or anyone else) that I read this site and post. He would probably say something like ‘why do you still read about all that stuff’. Luckily, I have my own tablet. So glad you are here, thank you.
Wow, I am amazed at these comments. So many have to hide it from their mates. I guess the men think you’ve had the discussion and now you’re over it. We are going to talk more about this next week because I can see it’s a very important topic. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it sooner.
Loved the childless elderwoman chat, and the summit. I suggested in the follow-up summit survey that if there’s another one next year, childless by marriage should be a topic and you should be a speaker. 😉 I saw several comments on the summit Facebook group that indicated quite a number of women were in this situation. They did have a presentation by & for childless stepmothers. I’m not one (nor am I childless by marriage) but I still listened in on the session. It was quite interesting & I’m sure it was helpful for those in that situation.
As I said, I’m not childless by marriage, so perhaps it’s not quite such a sensitive topic between my husband & me. He used to sometimes wonder if I was “dwelling” on this stuff too much (spending too much time online!), but I think he realized it’s helped me more than it’s hurt. I still don’t talk a lot about these things to family & friends generally, and even after 13+ years, I don’t broadcast the existence of my blog to them, but I do follow childless & infertility sites on social media. I don’t really care if they see that. I kind of tend to be passive-aggressive in that respect, lol.
Loribeth, thank you for suggesting me. I suggested something something on Childless by Marriage, too, but didn’t promote myself–yet. The elderwoman chat was so fun! None of us wanted to stop. I thought the stepmother session at the summit was really good. It’s a very important issue. Good for you, standing up for yourself.