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?