Childless vs. Childfree: A false binary that ageing without children subverts? [Recording available now]
Watch the #NomoCrones get stuck into this chewy topic with compassion, humour, frankness and warmth.
Since we first came together for World Childless Week in 2020, the #NomoCrones (nomo = not-mother & crone doesn’t have to be an insult!) have been meeting each solstice and equinox for a series of informal online zoom gatherings called 'Fireside Wisdom with Childless Elderwomen'. To find out more about the 'Gateway Elderwomen' project and to watch previous sessions, click here.
Watch March 2022’s Fireside Wisdom Session: ‘Childless vs. Childfree: A false binary that ageing without children subverts?’
Watch our March 2022 Equinox Session of Fireside Wisdom:‘Childless vs. Childfree: A false binary that ageing without children subverts?’
Recorded live on Sunday 20th March 2022
Join some of our regular #NomoCrone childless panel, plus some very special childfree elderwomen guests to discuss the ways that ageing without children impacts our identity and lived experience of non-parenthood. We’ll also discuss the difference between being a childless vs. childfree stepmother/stepgrandmother; whether childless/childfree are helpful terms or whether we need to think of it more as a spectrum; about what can be challenging in opening dialogue between childless/free women and SO MUCH MORE! This was an invigorating, enlightening, compassionate, frank & funny hour - we hope you enjoy it!
Meet Your #NomoCrone Panelists:
HOST: JODY DAY (UK/IE) is the 57-year-old founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship, support & advocacy network for childless women. She’s the author of Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children (Bluebird, PanMac 2016/2020). Chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2013 & awarded UK Digital Woman of the Year (2nd place) in 2021, she’s a global thought leader on female involuntary childlessness, a psychotherapist, a TEDx speaker, a social entrepreneur, a founding and former board member at Ageing Well Without Children and a former Fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School. Often referred to as the ‘voice of the childless generation’ she’s also an Ambassador for World Childless Week and PLICA (Australia). She lives in rural Ireland with her partner, his mother and their dog and is working on a new book as she nurtures the emerging Gateway Elderwomen project.
www.gateway-women.com Instagram: @ApprenticeCrone
KAREN MALONE WRIGHT (US) is 65 and the founder of The NotMom, the site for women ‘childless by choice or by chance’ and The NotMom Summit. Married and involuntarily childless herself, along with childfree Laura LaVoie, she created The NotMom Summit which convened in both 2015 and 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio, bringing together both childless and childfree women delegates and speakers from around the world (including both Jody Day and Marcia Drut Davies). The NotMom team has always been passionate about the issues and experiences that unite all women without children, and she and Laura continue to explore this via ‘The NotMom Conversation’ on YouTube. www.thenotmom.com
MARICA DRUT-DAVIES (USA) is 79 and one of the most prominent names in the childfree movement and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Childfree Committee in 2015. In 1974, affected by the shocking consequences of pronatalism, she lost a devoted teaching job after being interviewed on the TV show, '60 Minutes'. She appears in two documentaries: 'To Kid or Not To Kid' by Maxine Trump and 'My So-called Selfish Life' by Theresa Schechter and has written two books: Confessions of a Childfree Woman (2013); and What? You Don’t Want Children: Understanding Rejection in the Childlfree Lifestyle (2020). In 2017 Marcia keynoted at the NotMom Conference, as did Jody Day, and each found in the other a kindred spirit. Marcia lives in Florida with her husband Jim and one rescued, snarky, Chihuahua. www.childfreereflections.com
JACKIE SHANNON HOLLIS (US) is in her 60s and is the author of This Particular Happiness: A Childless Love Story about her journey to make peace within her marriage to a man who chose not to have children. Honest and illuminating, it explores the complicated relationship with the self through the lens of childlessness and the unfolding relationships between husband and wife, mother and daughter, friends, and sisters. A childless woman surrounded by children (with over forty nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews), Jackie believes we all have an important role in supporting the children in our lives. www.jackieshannonhollis.com
DONNA WARD (AUS) is in her mid-60s and is the author of an outstanding memoir, She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster’s Meditations on Life (2020: Allen & Unwin - You can watch/read Jody’s interview with Donna about her memoir here), as well as a being an essayist, editor, publisher, classicist and former psychotherapist. She has lived in Melbourne since 2011 where she founded the nationally respected micro-publishing house Inkerman & Blunt. A regular #NomoCrone panellist, her fiction and personal essays have been awarded internationally and appeared in literary journals nationally and globally. www.donna-ward.com.au
EMMA PALMER (UK) is 51 and is the author of ‘Other than mother’, which explores the process of the parenthood decision, from many facets, including ecological considerations. It was nominated for a 2016 Population Institute Global Media Award. Emma was named Childfree person of the year in 2018 and is enthusiastic about building bridges between the childless and childfree, in the face of ongoing pronatalism. She lives in Bristol, England, with her partner and rescue guinea pigs and works as a psychotherapist, facilitator, and ecopsychologist. She’s written four other books and is working (slowly and peri-menopausally!) on her fifth. She’s been practising Buddhism since her early 20s, and loves the meeting place of centuries-old contemplation and 21st-century action. www.kamalamani.co.uk
KATE KAUFMANN (US) is 70 and describes herself as an ‘unabashed elder’. She is the author of Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer Is No (2019: She Writes Press) which features interviews with both childless and childfree women of all ages. She also writes a regular column, ‘Unapparent’ for Psychology Today, exploring the lives and issues faced by the childless and childfree. A World Childless Week Ambassador and regular NomoCrone panellist, Kate is childless due to failed infertility treatments and is single and dating after divorce. www.katekaufmann.com
SUE FAGALDE LICK (US) is 70 and is the author of the memoir Childless By Marriage (2012) and blog of the same name, and most recently, Love or Children: When You Can’t Have Both (2020) as well as novels, journalism & poetry. A musician and prolific blogger, including the recent ‘What do the Childless and Childfree Have in Common?’ she lives in Oregon and is widowed and single and is a regular #NomoCrone panellist. www.childlessbymarriageblog.com
PAMELA TSIGDINOS (USA) is 58 and is the author of ‘Silent Sorority’ (2009), one of the earliest infertility and after memoirs and 2015’s ‘Finally Heard’ which moves beyond the personal to examine the complex inter-relationship of the psychological, social and cultural implications of ‘Generation IVF.’ An award-winning journalist, researcher and truth-teller about the realities and the aftermath of ART (assisted reproductive technology) her newest paper, An IVF Survivor unravels ‘fertility’ industry narratives, will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Marketing Management in early 2022. www.silentsorority.com
If you’d like to hear more about my own (Jody’s) journey from ‘childless’ to ‘adapted childfree’ (although I refer to myself as ‘childless’ out of respect for the grief journey it took to get there) you might like to watch/listen to this podcast interview I gave to The Childfree Girls in December 2021.
Register to attend the March 20th session free and/or receive the recording afterwards at: bit.ly/nomo-binary
To find out more about our 'Gateway Elderwomen' project and to watch previous sessions, click here.
Read Jody's 'Conscious Childless Elderwomen' blog here
Follow Jody on Instagram @ApprenticeCrone
Connect with Jody and others in the 'Gateway Elderwomen' subgroup in the Gateway Women Membership Community here.
Save the date for the June Solstice Fireside Wisdom Session - Tuesday 21st June 2022 at 7pm GMT