Non-Mother’s Day

To all who dreamed of being a mother, raising a child, passing on your most prized possessions and values, I see you. To all who fantasised about shopping for tiny clothes, fitting out a nursery and singing lullabies, I see you. To all who chose names and schools and godparents, I see you. To all […]

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In Honour of Bereaved Mothers

This Sunday is International Bereaved Mother’s Day (first Sunday in May every year). In honour of bereaved mothers everywhere, I want to acknowledge the different kinds of bereaved mothers in our communities. The mothers who had a child or children and lost them. The mothers of stillborn babies. The mothers who lost pregnancies to miscarriage. […]

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For Singles: Milestones Worth Celebrating

Single people frequently feel left out of major life milestones and celebrations. Married people get to have weddings, bridal showers, kitchen teas, Valentine’s Days and anniversaries. If they have children, they get baby showers, Mother’s and Father’s Days, and all their children’s milestones too: first steps, first words, starting school, first dates, graduation, first jobs, […]

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False Hope or False Economy?

When I was single, I was the unwitting recipient of false hope. ‘It will happen for you.’‘You’ll meet someone.’‘You’re gonna make some man very happy one day!’ And of course, the trump card from Christian friends: ‘God will not deny you the desire of your heart.’ The same thing happens to childless people as well. […]

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If You Really Wanted Kids…

‘If you really wanted kids, you would do whatever it takes to have them. And if it was meant to be, it would have happened by now.’  Yes, there are people in the world who still think this is helpful advice to give to childless people.  Where do I begin with dissecting this twaddle?  OK, […]

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Am I Selfish?

Pop Francis recently got into hot water over his comments that people without children or ‘just one’ child are ‘selfish’, and that having pets instead of children ‘diminishes us, it takes away our humanity’ (see the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/05/pope-couples-choose-pets-children-selfish). This provoked an onslaught of outraged online responses, particularly from the childless and childfree communities. Including […]

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I Don’t Want to Be a Piano Teacher

‘I really wanted to teach my daughter piano,’ I said to my friend.  She looked thoughtful. ‘You know what,’ she ventured, ‘There are probably lots of kids in your church who would love to learn piano.’  ‘Oh yes, there are,’ I agreed. ‘Although I’m not sure I have the experience to teach them piano. And […]

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Can We Have a God’s Day Instead of Mother’s and Father’s Days?—Part 1

Most childless people struggle with Mother’s and Father’s Days. It is an unfortunate but understandable part of the grief of not having the children we wanted. It’s even harder in church services for us to applaud those who get the life—and children—we hoped for. That’s why I think we’re better off focusing on God, instead […]

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My Favourite Things: When Church Does Childlessness Well

Churches often struggle to include childless people. They’re great at ministering to mothers and fathers and kids. But they often neglect those in the minority, those who didn’t follow the expected social and spiritual trajectory of getting married and making babies.  I have a few choice stories about the bad and the ugly of church […]

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Birthing Babies

I sent off another copy of Surviving Childlessness this week and, as always, I felt like I was saying goodbye to my baby.  Birthing a book baby is a strange feeling. I am overjoyed at the result, a book I can hold in my hands that looks and feels exactly as I always imagined it would. But […]

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