A Conference for Childless and Childfree Women? What Is THAT Like?

"I didn't know what to expect, but I had to be here." That was the most repeated description of our first-ever conference for women without children by choice or by chance in 2015, The NotMom Summit. More than anything else, comments like that are how we KNOW that there is value in an event that draws together women without children from around the world. Madison Avenue has yet to get a clue about the strength of our community, but we know, don't we? We've found that many people (far too often, men) imagine the Summit to be a group of brokenhearted women getting drunk together. Yeah, some of us may be brokenhearted, and some of us may get drunk, but not for the reasons those guys think. As f

The NotMom Summit Interview: Jody Day

Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different, and we define ourselves without the label of "Mom". And if you’re not a Mom, who are you? This series by TheNotMom writer and childfree blogger Laura M. LaVoie features interviews with the women presenting at The NotMom Summit on October 6 and 7, 2017 in Cleveland, OH. Meet Jody Day, our luncheon keynote speaker, on Saturday, October 6. Tell us about yourself and your work. In 2011, frustrated by the fact that no one would let me talk about the pain of my involuntary childlessness without shutting me down with some version of

Voluntary Sterilization: When Women Ask For It, Why Won't Doctors Listen?

The NotMom is really popular in Canada, and that's a good thing, because it means that NotMoms in countries other than the United States identify with the reactions and emotions of women without children far from where they live. Headlines in August 2017 about a Canadian study of women under 30 seeking sterilization connected with many By Choice NotMoms around the world. Let's begin this report with the news that guidelines are very clear for Canadian professionals. Dustin Costescu, MD, a family planning specialist and assistant professor at McMaster University wrote a study with Dr. Dylan Ehmanand in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada: In a well-informed, mentally compete

Childless Women Know All About Unanswered Prayers

Only a year or so after I began my journey with The NotMom brand and the women attracted to it, a very good friend who is also over 50 told me she didn't know "how I could do it." She, like me, once desperately wanted to be a Mom. Needless to say, motherhood didn't happen for either of us. We are at an age where we know for sure, it never will. I remember telling my friend that I had found acceptance with my Life choices as well as the things that Life chose for me. I no longer cry at the sight of a pregnant woman's extended belly. Thoughts of "what if" don't fill my head anymore before I fall to sleep. And yet. Recently, good old Facebook informed me that a woman I really like, who served a

Why Isn’t Octavia Butler a Household Name?

“All that you touch, you change; all that you change, changes you.” --Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower I have always loved science fiction and speculative fiction. When I was still in elementary school, I complained that the Sweet Valley High books I had read were not challenging enough. My mom took me to the library and handed me George Orwell’s 1984. My life was never the same. Throughout my reading life, I have consumed books by Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, and Vonnegut. In college, I discovered Margaret Atwood and began to read her entire bibliography. Over time, each of these books has helped to shape my identity. When the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale was set to premiere

Another Childless Woman to Remember: Edith Windsor

I was really sad when I heard that Edith Windsor died at age 88 in September 2017. I recognized her name immediately. She's the woman behind the landmark case that led the U.S. Supreme Court to grant same-sex married couples federal recognition and access to 1,138 federal benefits that were previously denied. Social Security. Health and veterans' benefits. Welfare assistance to poor and elderly. Immigration and bankruptcy protections. So many things that straight couples take for granted became available to every couple after the Court's 2013 decision. Except, Edith married banking exec Judith Kasen in 2016. Not that I run the Universe, but I wish they had more time to enjoy being legally ma

It's the Same Question for Non-Parents and Parents: Can’t We All Get Along?

For the past 11 years, I have made an annual pilgrimage to the heart of Atlanta, Georgia over Labor Day weekend. Plans are already confirmed for my 12th trip in 2018. What exactly is this magical event? I’m talking about Dragon Con! This year, the city of Atlanta saw more than 80,000 people converge over several city blocks covering five hotels and all the buildings between. Dragon Con is a large, fan-run pop-culture convention that has something for everyone. Sure, you can see huge celeb,rities but you can also attend smaller tracks discussing space or science. (Comic-Con, by contrast, is now significantly fueled by the entertainment industry, not the fans that attend.) This year, my number

Another Childless Woman Redefining Feminine Legacy: Caroline Ferriday

When I told a friend that I was reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, she let out a sigh and said, "That is one hard book." Actually, I listened to the arduous story of 72 Polish Catholic women imprisoned in Adolf Hitler's only all-female concentration camp as an audiobook. It's the only way my busy schedule can accommodate my love of good books, and this is a very good book. With all the cable specials, and movies, and books, and on and on, you would think that we know everything there IS to know about Germany's Third Reich, and yet. Had you heard of the Ravensbrück camp near Berlin where women were subjected to "research" surgeries that removed bone and muscle and replaced them with di

The NotMom Summit Interview: Kate Kaufmann

Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different, and we define ourselves without the label of "Mom". And if you’re not a Mom, who are you? This series by TheNotMom writer and childfree blogger Laura M. LaVoie features interviews with the women presenting at The NotMom Summit on October 6 and 7, 2017. Meet Kate Kaufmann at the discussion about Mommyjacking Self-Defense at the 2017 NotMom Summit. Tell us about yourself and your work. As I reflect on my life choices, I now see how many were possible because I didn't have children. Originally from Michigan, I've now lived at th

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