This Gateway Women Meetup Group is a mostly UK/Ireland-based social group for women who are childless-by-circumstance - with those circumstances including infertility, not meeting the right partner in time, your partner not wanting (more children) and so many other ways that we can end up not being mothers when that wasn't the plan!
One of the things about not having children when most of your peers do can be that your social circle dwindles or dries up completely. This can leave you feeling very left out of 'normal' life - which in turn can make dealing with the unexpected situation you find yourself in even tricker on some days!
We have new meetups starting all the time, but here are some of our regular monthly meetups in the following places - if your town/city isn't on the list, join us and then email firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest one for your area.
If you're 'childfree' (ie: childless-by-choice) you're welcome to join us, but you'll find that most of us are childless-not-by-choice which means that we wanted to have children (or are still hoping to one day) but:
we didn't (or haven't yet) met the right partner
we've got infertility issues
we've come to the end of fertility treatments
we can't face being voluntary single-mothers
we've got partners who don't want children (or more children)
we've got genetic or medical conditions that mean we've chosen not to have children
we're ineligible as adoptive parents
we don't want to adopt
There are so many reasons why a woman doesn't have children, and this is one group where no-one will mouth well-meaning platitudes at you! Or even talk about because it's the ONLY place that won't have to explain how complicated it is!!
Gateway Women also hosts a private online community (http://www.gateway-women.com/community) over on G+ which you're very welcome to join also. Often members get to know each other there and then progress to meeting each other face-to-face via this Meetup group.
We're of all ages, and all ages are welcome, with the majority of us are aged between mid-30s to late-50s. Some of us have partners, some of us are single, some of us are divorced, some of us don't fit any of those categories and that's fine too. Heterosexual, bi and gay members welcome.
Gateway Women are a band of very diverse women, but we all share the feeling of 'not fitting in' to a culture that doesn't seem to have a place for us.
You're not weird. You're not alone. You're a Gateway Woman.