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on 20 September 2013
For all us childless women who are seeking to find where we fit in a culture that in respect of women is very much focused on the status and aspirations of being a mother, and which very much ties a woman's identity to motherhood.

The book discusses the change in society which we are a part of, the significant increase in the number of childless women (whether by choice or circumstance), and provides practical advice and guidance on how we, this new and growing group of women, can empower ourselves and create our own place in culture, our own meaning and self worth that is not tied to motherhood.

And for those of us struggling with the emotional impact and fallout of accepting, or beginning to accept, that they will never be a mother, that they are a woman who is childless by circumstance (rather than by choice), the book offers guidance to assist you to understand what you are feeling, and why, and how to work through this. That this book exists is a comfort in itself - to know that what you are feeling is normal and you are not alone. Thank you Jody.
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on 19 August 2014
I wish this book had existed ten years ago...Now 44, I am single and childless by circumstance. I thought I had come to terms with this but I found the book incredibly helpful and constructive in exploring the issues around not having children. The book brilliantly articulates many of the things I have been through, and also made me realise I am not alone. It has given me the vocabulary for my situation, but also the reassurance that's it's okay to be me.
The timing for me coming across the book was outstanding - I had just been ‘floored’ by a letter from my mother suggesting that I should adopt, telling me that ‘half a biscuit is better than no biscuit.’ I had never discussed adoption with my mother and it really touched a nerve - I was in floods of tears.
I downloaded the book on Kindle and read it in one afternoon. I was able to tell my mother that her comments made me feel like a less valid human being, something I would have never had been able to do before. Armed with a better understanding of my situation, I feel that the subject of not having children is a lot less of 'an elephant in the room.'
The book is really well written and there is no self pity. I will be buying the book for all those women I know who I think would appreciate it. I can't recommend it enough.
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on 21 November 2013
This is an excellent book for women who find themselves childless 'by circumstance' as the author puts it. There are great stories to identify with and fantastic exercises to do in order to try to move through the grief and isolation that comes with not having kids in our incredibly demarcated society where families are so favoured. As someone who has suffered many rounds of unsuccessful IVF and is now trying to come to terms with not having kids this book is a great resource. There aren't many guides out there for life after trying to conceive - our society only wants to know about the success stories. Thank you Jody for writing this book, let's hope it's the start of many more on this sorely needed topic.
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on 5 January 2014
If you're trying to make sense of your childlessness, then this is the book for you. It is written in a gentle, humourous manner by Jody Day, who has walked the walk of childlessness herself and has clearly earned the right to talk the talk, without a hint of self pity or bitterness. For me, one of the most difficult aspects of childlessness has been and continues to be the sense of isolation and of feeling like the only person in the world with certain thoughts and feelings. As I read each chapter, I recognised everything I had ever thought and felt about being childless, but had believed that there was something wrong with me for thinking and feeling like that. To finally see that "I'm not the only one" was self and life affirming. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing myself looking back. The book doesn't take away the pain of not having my own child, but it provides a context and a support within which to build a meaningful and fulfilling life. This book was a breath of fresh air in my very stale inner room.
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on 11 February 2014
Ive just completed the book and I can honestly say, not using these words lightly ...its got my life back on track.
Yes, I am sad that I wont have a family. Yes, I am annoyed by the idolisation of motherhood in our society. Yes, Its not the life I had planned for myself.
But
Plan B looks pretty good to me. I am laughing and playing again. I am fit and healthy again. I have no fear of miscarriage anymore. I like my life and am happy to work at making it better and better.

I have just completed the Healing Inventory in the appendix for the second time and the changes are there before my eyes in black and white. Some are minor changes and some are complete sways in the other direction. My favourite changed answer is this one:
How much do you believe that there are other ways to experience the joy, connection and meaning in life that mothers seem to have?
Nov 2013 answer was 1(not a lot!)
Feb 2014 answer is 8 (a lot!)
That says it all.
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on 4 January 2014
Finding Jody's Gateway Women community has been fabulous and was just what I had been looking for for more than a year, after a couple of miscarriages, and the realisation that at 43 I was slowly being driven insane by the 'am I, aren't I?' pregnant each month. I needed to find like minded women, and that's what GW is - a community of women who know what it feels like to have wanted children but to be coming to terms to a life without them.

By the time I bought this book I was already quite far along in dealing with my grief at being childless by circumstance, but the book has still helped me so much. The exercises at the end of each chapter have helped me to further understand my feelings and enabled me to be honest with myself.

If you are someone who has struggled to come to terms with your childlessness in recent years, then I can highly recommend this book as a way to help you move forward. I enjoyed reading it (and in fact I read it all before then doing the exercises) and I love its caring tone. We need to be kinder to ourselves, and this book can empower us to manage that. Buy the book and do yourself a favour
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on 2 January 2014
I've found this book to be really comforting on the rocky road to realising being a mum isn't on the cards for me. Comforting because the author clearly explains that statistically we are not odd or strange. It's just the world gone mad for baby mania which makes us feel like we are the only person losing friendships and a social circle because there isn't a social place for us. There's lots of self help type exercises which I haven't tried yet but it's linked with facts and knowledge that really helps. I bought the paperback so I could make notes etc and I think it was worth the extra couple of quid.
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on 21 November 2013
Over the last couple of years I have read several books that have helped me to move my life forward after struggling with infertility and failed IVF.... this one goes to the top of that pile and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to find a way to move on and learn to live again after infertility. Jody's style is warm, compassionate but also challenging. There is so much empathy around how it feels to try to negotiate a world which is so family-focused yet it manages to do this without negativity or bitterness. There are many wonderful snippets which may help the reader to rethink their own preconceptions about a life without children. I haven't completed the exercises yet but there are several sections that I know I will return to and reflect on over time. Sadly there is no golden bullet to 'solve' the challenges we face but Jody's book in a wonderful step in the right direction.
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on 21 November 2013
This book is bright, compassionate and optimistic. It is practical, offering exercises to work through which stimulate analysis about what it means to you to find yourself 'not a mother' - not by choice but by circumstance. It acknowledges and honours the heartache that being childless by circumstance can bring but also offers an alternative way of looking at a society obsessed with the role of mother. Jody Day's voice is not bitter, whiney and complaining - it is compassionate, sensible and most of all encouraging.
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on 21 November 2013
This amazing book was recommended by several friends and I am loving reading it. It is written in a very friendly and conversational style, but with a great deal of knowledge and experience behind it. Jody has some great insight and practical advice and you can dip in and out of the book or read it from start to finish in a more conventional way. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for purpose and meaning in their life, especially those who find themselves childless by circumstance.
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