Aug. 1 is International Childfree Day, recognizing those who have chosen not to have children.
World Childless Week, which raises awareness of the childless-not-by-choice community, is Sept. 10-16 this year. (Did you know there was one??)
So far, there is no one specific day devoted to those of us who consider ourselves childless vs childfree (although I believe some CNBC bloggers are looking into this) -- but from my personal perspective, today (July 18th), would be a good choice. ;) I've written several times over the years about the Childless Living message board at iVillage (now defunct), where I first sought & found support after making the decision to end fertility treatments. (I've now tagged those posts with "iVillage Childless Living message board.") My first post to the board, a couple of weeks after my final IUI failed, was on July 18, 2001, 17 years ago today (!). In the years since then, I have come to consider July 18th as the day when I took my first steps toward acceptance of my permanently childless future.
Beyond my personal case ;) today is Jody Day's birthday (her 54th). :) If you don't "know" Jody (and if you're childless not by choice, you should!), she's the founder of Gateway Women, an influential global friendship and support network for childless women. Today on her blog, she wrote:
...fifty-four has got me thinking about how different it was for me a decade ago when I turned forty-four. That was a pivotal year for me because it was the year that I realised that my childlessness was not some bad dream that I was going to wake up from on day; it was my permanent reality and I was going to be childless for the rest of my life.She goes on to list "ten things I’ve learned in a decade of recovery from childlessness." (Have a read! & wish her a happy birthday!)
A lot has changed over the past 17 years. Today, we know that as many as one in four women born in the 1960s & 1970s will not have children (for a variety of reasons), and a growing number of us are speaking out and writing about our lives and experiences. Message boards (although they still exist) gave way to blogs -- many, many more since I started blogging almost 11 years now! -- and to online communities such as Gateway Women and Life Without Baby. So, whether you are 10 years or 17 years (or more, or less) on your journey down this road less travelled -- and especially if you are just starting out -- please know that you don't have to travel alone!