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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A ‘Real’ Woman

I recently read Chocolat and, without giving spoilers away, there’s a bit when one of the characters falls pregnant. What follows is a rather euphoric description of this woman feeling ‘full’ and ‘satisfied’. As though being pregnant, and having children, makes a woman complete. I am not in any way deriding this novel, which was […]

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The Rage that Lives Inside the Grief

Chronic illness is wildly unfair. The relentless pain and fatigue and uncertainty about the future, let alone the never-ending medical appointments, is enough to quietly drive oneself out of one’s mind. (For some of us, that’s a short ride.)  The losses of illness are pervasive. It is not just about losing flexible joints or a […]

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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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Christmas and Caterpillar Soup

I pity the caterpillar. He spends his existence crawling around, eating leaves, only to eventually enter a cocoon where his body completely disintegrates. He liquifies. He turns into caterpillar soup. Of course, he then emerges as a beautiful butterfly, and a new chapter begins.  But I wonder how he feels as he approaches the cocoon. […]

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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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Legacies of Faith: The God Who Weeps

It’s Mother’s Day again. My church is holding a Mother’s Day service.  Other childless Christians might appreciate the dilemma this presents.  On the one hand, I love my church and want to be part of it. On the other hand, Mother’s Day can be one of the toughest days in the calendar year. There are […]

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Why I Write About Childlessness

I relate to the boy with the loaves and fish. In John 6, Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand people by taking an anonymous boy’s food, five loaves of bread and two fish, and handing it out. Not only was everyone satisfied, they had twelve baskets full of leftovers.  I feel like that as […]

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Why I Sing When I’m Sad

I was recently interviewed for the Childless and Christian online conference, and while listening back to myself (which can be both horrifying and reassuring), I was struck by how creativity can help us in our grief.  Five months ago, I was watching a movie when I was struck with an image of my daughter, the […]

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