Copyright 2014 Sue Fagalde Lick
Copyright 2014 Sue Fagalde Lick
Today I’m yielding my platform to Jody Day of Gateway Women who on her 50th birthday has published a marvelous post titled “Things I Wish I’d Known at 40.” She offers the truth about fertility, menopause, grief, relationships, society’s views of childless women, and the joys of life beyond the childless dream.
Lines I love in this post include:
“Freed from chasing the dream (and fantasy) of motherhood, you begin to realise old dreams and create new ones.”
“The life you’re going to create instead of motherhood is going to be richer and more fulfilling than you can yet imagine, and in ways you cannot yet imagine.”
Jody Day, founder of Gateway Women, is also the author of Rocking the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfiling Life Without Children, a great book about dealing with childlessness.
I can think of a lot of things I wish I had known when I was 40. Foremost would be realizing how short and precious life is and how important it is not to waste any of it moping about things that aren’t going to change.
What about you? If you’re past 40, what do you wish you had known before? What advice would you give to our younger readers. I welcome your comments.
Jody Day of Gateway-Women.com and I have corresponded off and on over the last few years. We both write about childlessness in our blogs. She lives in the UK, where it really seems as if the conversation about not having children has advanced far beyond that in the United States. When she said she was writing a book, I couldn’t wait to read it, and I was not disappointed.
In Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children, Day offers childless women a way to define what their lives can be without children. If Plan A, to be a mother, didn’t work out, what is Plan B? Day’s Plan B is to write about and create a community to support women who are childless by circumstance–which includes those of us who are childless by marriage. In addition to her blogs and online groups, she hosts gatherings of childless women and 12-week courses to help them find their new path as non-mothers, nomos, as she calls them. If you live in the UK, you can actually meet in person. But if you don’t, you can be with them in spirit through this book.
Day, who is training to be a psychotherapist, tells her own story and provides exercises to help women dig themselves out of their childless grief and discover the new life that is still available to them. Chapters explore family histories, our relationships with our bodies, stereotypes about childless women, our views of ourselves, ways to heal from our grief, and much more. She also includes extensive lists of resources that in themselves are worth the price of the book.
I did get a free copy of the book, but I would recommend it just as highly if I had paid for it. There are lots of books about childlessness on the market these days, but most focus on the joys of the “childfree” life or the sorrows of infertility and don’t get at the things bugging those of us who are childless by circumstance. I hope you’ll read my Childless by Marriage book if you haven’t already, but do read this one, too. It will help, I promise.
[Sue Fagalde Lick is part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. ]
Having written myself down to my last syllable this week, today I am sharing some interesting links about having or not having children.
Get tired of people asking when you’re going to have kids or failing to understand that the decision has been made and you’re not? This fun article in Jezebel by Karyn Polewaczyk may give you some ideas on how to counter those nosy nellies. Thanks to Beth Follini for sharing this in her “Have Children or Not” blog.
From a book called Why Have Kids by Jessica Valenti comes this excerpt reprinted in The Atlantic, titled “Not Wanting Kids is Entirely Normal.”
For a perspective on babymaking vs. careers, check out “I am More Than Just a Uterus” on the Road Less Traveled blog.
Finally, visit my friend Jody Day’s Gateway Women blog to read “Healing the Friendship Gap Between Mothers and The Childless.”
Have a great weekend, dear friends.
Have you read Silent Sorority? I can’t put it down. In this memoir, author Pamela Mahoney Tsigninos tells the story of her struggle to get pregnant, trying all the techniques that modern science has to offer, before realizing she will have to accept her childless state as permanent. Yes, she is struggling with infertility while many of us are fertile but don’t have a partner who wants to make babies with us, but many of the challenges she faces, especially in the second half of the book, are the same. Indeed, her title echoes what most of us know: people don’t talk about this stuff much.
Tsigdinos writes with such a free-flowing easy style that I have already gotten halfway through the book in half a day. You can read about her and her book at www.silentsorority.com.
While I was blog-hopping yesterday, I came across Laura Carroll’s blog, called La Vie Childfree. Carroll is the author of Families of Two, which tells the stories of 15 married couples who have decided not to have children. She has published a fascinating post this week on the increasing number of Gen Xers who are not having children.
I also found http://gateway-women.com, a UK blog by psychotherapist Jody Day for the one in five women who don’t have kids. She calls us “nomos,” short for “not-mother.” You’ll find some good reading here, too.