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’. This Q&A interview series by TheNotMom writer and childfree blogger Laura LaVoie introduces the fascinating speakers you’ll hear at The NotMom Summit on October 6 and 7, 2017.
Gretchen Kubacky, Psy.D. is a California-licensed psychologist with a private practice in health psychology. She is the creator of PCOS Wellness (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and certified in PCOS education, crisis management and bereavement facilitation, As a health psychologist, the focus of Gretchen’s practice is women’s health, wellness, and work/life balance issues. Her works includes hormone problems and chronic illnesses of all types, and she is a sought after author, speaker, coach and consultant.
Gretchen believes that good food is critical to our health and happiness and finds it highly entertaining to experiment with various cuisines and ingredients to create healthy, tasty, visually appealing dishes for one or two people. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Meet Gretchen on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Summit session, Small Batch Cooking: Cut Waste, Cook Smart, Dine Well.
Tell us about yourself and your work.
I help women become their best selves, working through the lens of health psychology. I had a premature midlife crisis and went back to grad school to become a psychologist. I had always secretly wanted to be a doctor; I was fascinated by all things medical and health-related. When I discovered health psychology, I realized I could combine my interests without also going to medical school!
My focus is on women, reproductive health, endocrine disorders, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, financial health, chronic illness, and what I call invisible illness – when you look fine on the outside, but have a significant medical diagnosis that affects quality of life.
I work with a lot of relatively young women who are dealing with complex life situations because they have a health issue. Quite often, the health issue means that having children is either impossible, or might be extraordinarily difficult or even dangerous to their health. There are a lot of emotions to work through, as you might imagine.
I’m passionate about helping women figure out how to craft fulfilling lives that aren’t always centered on the illness, or their losses. This includes working on all aspects of health: medical, psychological, spiritual, financial, and relational. I especially like to work holistically, combining western and eastern health practices.
I’m pretty domestic and focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I love to read, cook, bake, learn about different cultures by traveling and experimenting with new foods, write opinion pieces and psychological articles, play with my clothes, and make jewelry. I live near the ocean, and I love to walk there frequently. I do a lot of Pilates and yoga. I’m also working on my passion project, PCOS Wellness, which provides information about managing the emotional aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome, and developing a healthier lifestyle.
Do you consider yourself a NotMom? If so, are you by Choice or by Chance?
Yes, I am a NotMom. I consider my NotMom status to be both by Choice and by Chance. When I was younger, I didn’t want children. I also knew that it would probably be very difficult to get pregnant, because I have polycystic ovary syndrome, which is the primary cause of female infertility. It meant that I had a 75% chance of being infertile. I was resigned to not having children by default, basically.
But then I met my boyfriend when I was 39. We were trying to have children, and had started to consider assisted reproductive technology, when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Game over!
Why did you want to get involved in the NotMom Summit?
I strongly believe that, even though most women in our culture are mothers, women who are not mothers are deserving of equal time, respect, and attention. We are an often overlooked, dismissed, or denigrated group. Not many resources go to the NotMoms of the world. This seemed like a unique opportunity to meet like-minded women.
What are you looking forward to the most?
I’m keen on meeting other women who care about the same things I do, and who have the time and resources to devote to developing themselves in ways other than through motherhood.
Don’t miss out! The NotMom Summit is THE place to be for women without children by choice or by chance. Register now!