A message from Stephanie Phillips, founder of World Childless Week:
World Childless Week (13-19th September 2021) is now approaching its 5th year of raising awareness and bringing the childless not by choice community together across the globe. By sharing our thoughts and stories we have reached 97 countries, helping people find support and know they are not alone.
World Childless Week welcomes to all forms of expression (stories, poems, songs, artwork, photography etc) that represent our childless story.
Every submission that is accepted will be posted on the website (https://worldchildlessweek.net/home) and shared on the World Childless Week social media platforms (https://www.facebook.com/WorldChildlessWeek) across each day. Below are the topics we will be discussing this year.
No matter what anyone has said to you (including your own inner critic) your story is important. The dreams you had to become a parent: the struggles of trying to conceive, the sadness of not meeting a partner, the life choices and circumstances that restricted or denied your opportunities. The harsh reality of knowing you’d never be a parent; the anger, anguish, confusion and grief. These are the stories we need to share and yours are the words that need to be heard.
CHILDLESSNESS & SEXUAL INTIMACY
Do you feel like your body has failed you or have you been able to forgive, accept and love you body again. Has your relationship suffered and fallen apart or have you found strength in each other. Does the aspect of being childless for any reason play on your mind in connection to new relationships and physical intimacy? Self love and self hate embrace all parts of our identity and it’s time to explore them.
LEAVING A LEGACY
Legacy feels connected to blood; the bloodline that we can’t or won’t continue. Do you feel sad or guilty that: your family name, traditions and collectibles ends with you? Why does the pain of not being able to pass something on hurt so much? Perhaps you’ve found a way to lessen the pain or create a legacy in a new way; through teaching, sponsorship, art and creativity, innovation, gardening or charitable work or donations etc?
MEN MATTER TOO
What is your childless story? Are there aspects you have hidden because that is supposedly “what men do”? Have you buried your emotions, to support your partner, or dismissed them as unimportant? We need to change the narrative and ensure every male voice is just as loud as every female. Today you can express your thoughts on any aspect of your childless life: your story, a painful moment in time or something that has helped you move forwards.
“HAVE YOU CONSIDERED ADOPTION”?
So many of us (too many of us) have had this comment thrown in our face without any consideration of our feelings. How did it make you feel and how did you respond? Did you tell the truth or laugh it off, because sometimes that is the easiest response? Did you try to adopt and face unexpected hurdles, criticism and heartbreaking endings? Was adoption a conversation that split your relationship? It’s time to tell the truth about why this comment hurts so much.
WE ARE WORTHY
Do you feel worthy, or has society and the increase of pronatalism made you feel unworthy?Do we need to change our own narrative before we can rediscover the worth we hold as unique individuals, independent of our circumstances? What makes us worthy as a human being, the ability to give birth or a heart that is supportive, encouraging, open-minded, loving and caring? It’s time to explore and celebrate our worth.
When did you know you’d started to move forwards? Did you wake up one morning and decide today was the day to makes changes or did you reflect over the last year and see subtle differences? Perhaps you accepted an invite to an event that you would have previously declined attending? What has changed in your life and how does it make you feel?
You DO NOT have to be a professional writer etc, but your submission must fall under one of the daily topics.
You can be credited or remain fully anonymous (please make it clear).
LAST DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Sunday 29th August
You can look at our guidelines and make a submission at: https://worldchildlessweek.net/submission-fact-sheet
Love & laughter
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Please consider making a submission to WCW this year! (Perhaps this will (finally!) be the year I finally get MY act together and submit something myself -- or at least post about at least one of the topics here on my blog...!) I've so enjoyed basking in all the wonderful things WCW has offered over the past four years, and I hope you will take advantage of it this year too!