In workshops and on retreat those without children can compare and contrast their life experiences and impressions. We learn from each other, much like expectant women do from other mothers, and better appreciate the richness of this perfectly normal way of being human.
Yet people rarely talk much about what it's like not having children, even though it plays a significant role in how we navigate life and define our identity. Non-parenthood occurs via many diverse paths--by chance or by choice. If we wanted kids and didn't have them, we can feel tender (though researchers and personal experience suggest over time this lessens). If we chose not to have them, we can feel defensive about living childfree in a culture high on family. And many people have more nuanced, ever-evolving responses.
With about thirty-one million adult American women living outside the mainstream of motherhood, non-moms travel paths that parallel motherhood. Men, too, walk parallel paths when they're not dads. Unfortunately there’s potential for being sidelined, ignored, or drowned out. If you don't have kids, where can you explore life's options, bumps, and triumphs?
Kate has been hosting small group discussions since 2012. There’s widespread, pent-up demand for understanding and validating the unique and valuable roles we fill and how not having kids impacts our lives. Conversations are always rich, often hilarious, and, whether we wanted kids or not, we seem to have much more in common than we have differences--like shifting relationships as friends' and family's babies arrive, dissimilar pressures at work, and concerns over who will care for us as we age.
Kate regularly facilitates small group discussions with women and men of all ages. She is particularly interested in hosting cross-generational conversations and groups.