Do you have Kids? Life when the answer is NO – interview with Kate Kaufmann
Meet Kate Kaufmann, author of Do you have kids? Life when the answer is no. Kate is childless not by choice. She struggled to conceive and suffered from both luteal phase defect and endometriosis. Faced with the prospect of IVF, she and her husband felt that this was a step too far for them and decided that this was the end of their fertility journey.
A walk on the beach
It was so lovely hearing that something that was so unassuming in Kate’s life became so significant. Kate knew she wanted to find other women in a similar situation as her and the idea of her book came after a walk on the beach with a friend, whom she also discovered was childless by choice. This was the start for Kate as she then started to gather a cohort of women to start having these discussions with. Having interviewed over 100 women for her book, Kate features 40 of these interviews.
Losing and gaining friendships.
It’s inevitable that infertility has a huge impact on our friendships, sometimes for the better and sadly other times for the worse. Kate found that women have an urge to be heard but often find it difficult to talk about being childless and what this means for them. The women she spoke to shared their experiences of losing friends when said friend had children and how devastating this is. However, Kate also interviewed a woman who talks about how she and her best friend kept conversations open and set an intention that meant that whilst the friendship morphed and changed it also endured and deepened.
Kate talks about how women without children can find deep friendship with other childless women. Some women have explored co-housing and find great comfort in shared living with female friends, Kate also cites fascinating research about the benefits of this type of housing set up.
Responding to the question – ‘Do you have children?’
Arming yourself with some responses is key here and Kate tells us how she deals with the question ‘Do you have children?’ The key is preparing a whole repertoire of answers, from shifting the conversation to inviting further discussion. In her book, she hopes to help and guide women on how to have conversations in a different way.
Non-Moms, Mothers and Grandmothers
Kate’s book is also a guide for women and men with children. It offers guidance on how to respond appropriately, allowing conversations to be opened by considering different experiences in a meaningful and open way. She explained the ongoing impact of childlessness, when reaching significant milestones in age, how she experienced grief again when her friends had grandchildren, and how her legacy is very different. This is also something that Robin Hadley discusses when talking about childlessness in Men in a previous episode
The Not-Mom summit
was described by Kate as ‘a rare experience of walking into a space where everyone there doesn’t have children’. Kate explains that there are now more conversations about being childless and feels that this is a very rich experience to be involved in. However, there is so much work to be done, particularly changing the narrative surrounding particular faiths and cultures in society.
I also mentioned in this episode about the fertility education poster launched this week by the Fertility Education Initiative which you can download and take a selfie with here
I also mentioned Fertilibox, as the lovely ladies Natasha and Jess who you can hear a previous chat with here are giving you 25% off a subscription to their gorgeous boxes which I’ll be reviewing on my insta tomorrow ( Mon 11th ) and you can get on the case and indulge yourself once via the link to our chat – enjoy xxx
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