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Looking for Real-Life Resources for Women Without Children

My summer adventure: Launching into the task of sorting, analyzing, and musing over the responses to TheNotMom.com‘s recent project, One-Fifth & Growing: A Survey of Women Without Children.

It’s clear that to really understand the results and get meta on it, the process will take some time. Almost 500 people took the time to share their opinions, and I can get verklempt thinking of how much I appreciate each and every one of them.

Errors in the first-ever survey popped up quickly. First, a holler from millennials I’d left out by deliberately selecting 30 as a minimum age for participants. It was a short-sighted choice that was quickly rectified. Through email and Facebook, respondents let me know a “back” button on each page would have been helpful. People who wanted their voices heard but had never visited the website were confounded by a mandatory section looking for reader feedback.

As for me, I’m full of ‘goshdarnit’ moments when I think of important questions that weren’t in the survey.

How might TheNotMom.com serve to tangibly help/support/encourage/promote women without children off-line?

From the first days of planning this site, the idea of somehow connecting with an existing, appropriate nonprofit or program has been a regularly recurring thought. The umbrella nature of TheNotMom complicates things. Big women’s groups are challenged to respond to various niches, and if there’s a charitable organization or foundation targeting our narrow slice of womenhood, I ain’t found them.  I identified a few resources on infertility and pregnancy/child loss, but that would omit anyone childfree-by-choice.

Searching solo, the only runner-up so far is Seleni Institute, a passion of Pamela Tsigdinos, author of Silent Sorority. Based in New York, Seleni “strives  to give women empathetic, comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive and maternal mental health care”.  But, childfree issues may be lost among core topics like ‘Fertility/Infertility’, ‘Body Image’, ‘Depression & Anxiety’, ‘Miscarriage & Child Loss’ and ‘Parenting Support.’

How would you answer the unasked question? Is there a real-life resource for women, NotMoms in particular, that would make sense to be endorsed here? Do women without children even need such specialized supports?

Or, is TheNotMom.com moving way too fast, looking for a hook-up before locking in its own role as preferred resource?

6 Comments to “Looking for Real-Life Resources for Women Without Children”

I believe strongly in a woman’s right to choose, and I feel terrible for people who have those choices taken away. For that reason I think that “chancers” need different space from “choicers”, at least maybe in the beginning.

I have no children, I never wanted children, and my life is awesome-er without children. Not more awesome than your life, or a mom’s life; just more awesome than my life would have been with children.

Sometimes “good life without kids” comes off as “better off without kids” for just that reason. It’s not that I mean to demean or hurt a woman who wanted kids and couldn’t, it’s just that I am pretty thrilled to have had the choice and options to make sure I stayed a “NotMom”.

    I get it. A woman living her life without children walks a different path than her Momfriends; not necessarily a better one. That’s the tone I want for this site — thanks for helping to keep me on the straight & narrow.

My biggest need is to find women like me – childfree by chance, as you call it. While I want to support those who choose to be childfree, I don’t want to hear about how being childfree is better. I am still licking my wounds of infertility and miscarriage, and convincing myself that I can be happy without kids after 5 years of trying. It’s too fresh. We need to stick together as a childfree community, but we need to be respectful of our individual emotional and mental places.

    Hugs to you, first of all. I know EXACTLY what you are saying from my own journey. A challenge for this blog is to address and stress the many issues shared by every woman without children, while acknowledging scattered differences on either side of the by choice/by chance fence. Together we are, as you say, a single child-free community. Thanks very much for your comment.

    Ouch! That sounds really frustrating and discouraging. While childfree can still be GOOD, saying it’s “better” carries a lot of the I-know-your-life-better-than-you-do assumption that choicers often get from those who have children.

      I’m confused. There’s no intention to imply “better”, and no use of that word, in this post.