FREE 15 minute pre-counselling consultation  LET'S TALK

Your reading list essentials

19 Jun 2020 12:25 PM
Your reading list essentials

If you’re coming to terms with childlessness; looking for answers, meaning, connection, then these books are a good starter pack for the readers out there. Hearing the voices of other women can be a powerful source of support and comfort. You are not alone, and there is a community of women out there who are willing to share their wisdom.

Find the stories that resonate with you and seek out those seeds of wisdom that feel supportive. And, if you need some individualised support, or group connection, WomenHood Counselling is here for you.

Life without baby. Surviving and thriving when motherhood doesn’t hapLife without babypen.

By Lisa Manterfield

"What if I never get to be a mother?" When this doubt first takes hold, it can knock you completely off your feet. You feel cheated, frustrated, and no longer sure of your place in society, your family, or your circle of friends. In Life without baby, Lisa Manterfield offers a combination of hard-won lessons, gentle queries, and real-world suggestions. Manterfield is a comforting and supportive companion who will guide you gently down your own path to making peace with being childfree-not-by-choice.


Motherhood Missed. Stories from women who are childless by circumstance.

By Lois Tonkin

Many women expect to become mothers but are childless through social rather than biological reasons - perhaps they haven't met the right person or they prioritised career or education earlier in life. Featuring international interviews by grief counsellor and researcher Lois Tonkin, this collection of first-person stories provides insight into the under-discussed situation of being childless by circumstance.

Each story highlights the different aspects of being childless by circumstance, as women move through their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and beyond their ages of fertility. The book explores feelings of grief and loss, and also how women adapt positively to their changed life expectations, finding excitement in the alternative, rich and complex shapes their lives have taken.

Do you have kids? Life when the answer is no.

By Kate Kaufmann

In this savvy and validating guide Kate Kaufmann takes on topics from the shifting meaning of family to what we leave behind when we die. Weaving together wisdom from women ages twenty-four to ninety-one with both her own story and a growing body of research, Kate brings to light alternate routes to lives of meaning, connection, and joy.

In this straight-shooting, exhaustively researched book, women without kids talk candidly about the ways in which their lives differ from societal norms and expectations--the good, the bad, and the unexpected.


Living the life unexpected. 12 weeks to your plan B for a meaningful and fulfilling future without children.

By Jody Day

Across the globe, millions of women are reaching their mid-forties without having had a child. Although some are child-free by choice, many others are childless by circumstance and are struggling in a life they didn't foresee. Most people think that women without children either 'couldn't' or 'didn't want to' be mothers. The truth is much more complex.

Jody Day would have liked to have had children, but it didn't work out that way. At the age of 44 she realised that her quest to be a mother was at an end. She presumed that she was through the toughest part, but over the next couple of years she was hit by waves of grief, despair and isolation. In Living the Life Unexpected, Jody Day addresses the taboo of childlessness and provides a powerful, practical 12 week guide to help women come to terms with their grief, and to move on to live creative, happy, meaningful and fulfilling lives without children.


Silent Sorority. A (Barren) woman gets busy, angry, lost, and found.

By Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos

Silent Sorority reveals with candour, humour and poignancy the intense and at times absurd experience of adjusting to a life as a "non-mom" when nature and science don't cooperate in the family building department. Outside of the physical reckoning there lies the challenge of moving forward in a society that doesn't know how to handle the awkwardness of infertility.

Snappy and irreverent as well as moving, Silent Sorority offers a contrarian point of view in an era of mommy blogs, designer babies and helicopter parents.

Childless: A story of freedom and longing

By Sian Prior

Childless is a beautifully written memoir. Like many women, Sian Prior arrived at the point where she was ready to start having babies - and found they were not hers to have. Three miscarriages with a supportive parnter; a new partner who alrady had all the children he wanted; step-children; step-grandchildren; the decision to parent solo, followed by many rounds of fertility treatments.  After all this, Sian found herself, at fifty, childless and coming to terms. Weighing up the freedoms against the losses. Dealing with the unacknowledged legacy of her own lost father. Observing parenthood itself - how we succeed at it and how we fail - from a perspecitive outside the trenches.