when childlessness is not a choice
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Ann Davidman and I have worked with ambivalence: the not knowing if. What if the choice isn't yours. There are women who know but then find the choice isn't theirs, through infertility, life-circumstance or another event that robs them of the path they thought they would take in life. The pain of this is something that needs to be faced (it takes courage) and it deserves healing. It can cry out to be shared. A grief shared is a grief humanized. And every story matters.
Thankfully, there are resources out there. Jody Day's book, Living the Life Unexpected; 12 weeks to your Plan B for a meaningful and fulfilling future without children is an excellent resource, as is GatewayWomen, a support network that she founded. Jody's book has been updated and republished as of Spring 2020. New title is Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning, and a Fulfilling Future Without Children. Still the best resource around. I remember when I first picked it up, before I knew anything about her work. I was stunned to find it followed a 12 week process like the book Ann and I created. I could tell that Jody had walked the walk and was sharing deeply from her own experience as well as her intelligent and compassionate research.