If you follow other childless blogs, your head must be deeply buried in the sand if you’re unaware that the 2nd edition of Jody Day’s book ‘Living the Life Unexpected: Finding Hope, Meaning & a Fulfilling Life Without Children’ is out very soon.
She asked members of the wonderful community of childless bloggers if we could support her & over 20 of us are doing so. It’s not surprising to me that we’re supporting her, why wouldn’t we? What I love is that there are so many of us & our community’s growing all the time.
I think it would be fair to say that each one of us is living a completely different (& unexpected) life from the one we anticipated. Speaking for myself (& I believe most of the others) the life I live now has more meaning, hope & is more fulfilling than I ever imagined when first having to face the idea of being childless. Each person’s life looks different on the outside; however we have a number of things in common:
Giving up hope
There was a point when we gave up all hope of becoming a biological mother &, although most of us didn’t know it at the time, this was the first & possibly most important step to finding our Plan B.
Having enough of feeling bad
At some point we decided we’d had enough of feeling this bad. To quote Jody ‘I have a theory (road- tested to exhaustion in my own life) that we only change when the pain of changing becomes less painful than the pain of not changing.’
This was also my experience; I resisted grieving for as long as I could. However as Jody says ‘I’ve come to understand that all change (even welcome, good change) involves loss, something that has to be let go of in order to move forward. And thus change is hard for almost everyone; but for those of us who’ve experienced so much loss, we’ve become almost allergic to it.’
The acceptance that we had to let go enabled us to begin the grieving process. I’m guessing we were exhausted from searching for the fairy with the magic wand but in the end the only way was to surrender to our grief.
Growing a scar
Then, after working through the transformation, we realised those things which used to knock us for 6, didn’t hurt anymore. We grew a scar over the wound & started to look at life through a more positive lens, & maybe we thought, ‘yes I’m done now’. Life was good; we glimpsed those lovely promises in the title, hope, meaning & fulfilment.
After a while realised we were wrong, the healing is never ‘done’ which I believe is a GOOD thing. Here’s Jody again, ‘the healing continues. Whereas back then I would have felt that my childlessness was the most important thing anyone needed to know about me, these days that my identity has grown to encompass my childlessness; it’s now part of who I am, not who I am. That I’ve healed at even deeper levels. I no longer feel in any way ‘less than’ the mothers around me, or even the mother that I had hoped to become. Nor do I resent ‘mothers’ or feel envious of them.’
I agree with this 100%, when I published my book Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness in 2018, I thought my healing was complete, however I’m glad to say that it’s continued. Each day my life becomes more beautiful & my identity continues to shift as being childless becomes an ever smaller part of who I am.
Believe me, you’re one of the lucky ones
Of course it’s not as easy as the 5 steps I’ve listed. If it was, you’d have done it by now wouldn’t you?
It can be a lonely & challenging road & those of us who trod this path earlier had to find our own way, hacking through the undergrowth one exhausting & challenging step at a time. We discovered many dead ends & made ourselves dizzy from going round in circles until we found our way out.
That’s not the case for you though. You have the benefit of our experience & can learn what worked for us (& what didn’t).
And there’s no better way than working through Living The Life Unexpected.
In it, Jody will take you by the hand & lead you gently, with empathy & understanding along a path which has been walked by thousands of other childless women. You will learn from her story & those of many others, you’ll work through tried & tested exercise so that by the end you’ll be ready to LIVE your version of a life unexpected.
Still not sure?
If you’re still not sure whether this is what you want, I have 2 things for you.
Here you can download a taster & Chapter One.
And Jody would like to send you a copy. I have one copy to give away & to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is leave a comment on the blog before March 20th. On that day I’ll choose a winner at random & pass the email details on to Jody. She’ll contact the winner directly so she can dedicate, sign and mail the copy..
I’d like to end with Jody’s final words from the book.
‘Childlessness is not all of your story or the end of your story – it is the start of a new way of life – the life unexpected’……. ‘there are as many ways to have a meaningful and fulfilling life without children as there are childless women. What yours looks like will be unique to you, just as your experience of motherhood would have been. And equally of value.’
Isn’t that what you want?
Here’s the link to pre-order your copy
There are many other opportunities to win a copy so check out the other blogs here.