A first-ever conference is happening this Friday and Saturday: The Not Mom Summit. Spearheaded by Karen Malone Wright who runs the site The Not Mom, it is the first time women without children by choice, chance or circumstance will gather for presentations, discussions, and connection. I am excited to be part of it!
I am co-leading a session with counselor, Liz O’Donnell, Ph.D. on acceptance, as it relates to women who wanted children and grieve the loss of something they will never have, and how women who have chosen not to have children find acceptance “in a world dominated by mothers and ‘families’ defined as Mom + Dad + Kids.”
In addition to break out sessions on five tracks exploring dimensions unique to lives without children, there are two keynote speakers. One is Meghan Daum, the editor of Selfish Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Children, and the author of The UnSpeakable and Other Subjects of Discussion, which includes a moving piece on her decision to have no children. The other keynote is Melanie Notkin, founder of Savvy Auntie & author of Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness.
There will be other authors presenting on childfree, childless and related topics, including Melanie Holmes, who wrote The Female Assumption: A Mother’s Story: Freeing Women From the View that Motherhood is a Mandate, and Aralyn Hughes, author of Kid Me Not: an Anthology by Child-free Women of the ’60s now in their 60s.
Since my book, Families of Two came out and hit the national stage, for over the last 15 years I have been dedicated to following the arc of the conversation, particularly with those who are childfree. This conference brings together the larger group of women without children, no matter how they arrived there. We share many commonalities, especially when it comes to trying to live and navigate in a pronatalist world, with all of its assumptions about motherhood and reproduction.
Want some blow-by-blow of The Not Mom Summit as it’s happening? I’ll be tweeting! @LauraCarroll88
Interested in writings on being childfree and more? Check out my Childfree Writings Library Here!