Spinsterhood Reimagined

The One Where I Talk To Author & Founder of Gateway Women, Jody Day

May 31, 2022 Lucy Meggeson Season 1 Episode 15
Spinsterhood Reimagined
The One Where I Talk To Author & Founder of Gateway Women, Jody Day
Show Notes

In this week's episode of Spinsterhood Reimagined, I talk to the founder of Gateway Women, Jody Day. Gateway Women is an amazing global friendship, support and advocacy network for childless women which was founded in the UK in 2011 and is now headquartered in Ireland.  

Jody is also the author of what many professionals consider to be the ‘go-to’ book on the topic of childlessness, ‘Living The Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Life Without Children’.

In this honest and heartfelt conversation, Jody talks about: her difficult childhood and how her early experiences resulted in her initially not wanting to have children; her abortion when she was twenty; and her marriage in her early twenties which ultimately ended due to reasons including the strain of her infertility, as well as her ex-husband’s problems with addiction. 

We also talk about how Jody’s continued desperation to have a baby following the breakdown of her marriage found her in an abusive relationship; the period in her mid-forties when she hit rock bottom as the realisation that she would not have children became apparent; and the profound grief and despair she went through as she struggled to come to terms with the loss of the baby she never had, and the life she thought she would be living.

The conversation includes Jody’s thoughts on the concept of ‘disenfranchised grief’ and the sometimes dismissive reactions of those around her; how her own grief manifested in her withdrawal from the world, and her total loss of joy in all the things she used to love, including reading; and how she felt like ‘social plankton’ as a single, childless woman in her forties.  

Jody also touches on the point at which she realised there would be an end to her pain as she started to understand that grief was a process which she would eventually come through to the other side of; the concept of social infertility, a term coined by the World Health Organisation, and being 'childless by circumstance’; and how, actually, childless women are a potential threat to a patriarchal society.  

And finally, Jody shares how she has ultimately found peace with not having children, and how much she can now appreciate the freedom and possibility of being childless.

I sincerely hope that you all enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.

Jody can be found on Instagram: @gatewaywomen. 

She can also be found on Twitter: @gatewaywomen. 

Gateway Women Website: https://gateway-women.com/ 

UK Link to Jody’s book, Living The Life Unexpected: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Life-Unexpected-fulfilling-children/dp/1529036135/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

US Link to Jody’s book, Living The Life Unexpected: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Life-Unexpected-Meaningful-Fulfilling/dp/1529036135/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ACM5QVEFRT6X&keywords=living+the+life+unexpected&qid=1653648611&sprefix=living+the+life+unexpecte%2Caps%2C222&sr=8-1

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