By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
The holiday season is right around the corner, and with it comes all the regrets, disappointments, slights, heartaches, and painful reminders we thought we’d overcome. Yeah. Right. Having been there, I know there will be some tough days when I’ll find myself sinking back into feeling isolated, lost, cheated, and, yes, crazy.
Fortunately, I (and you) have a role model named Lisa Manterfield, who frequently reminds me that I am not alone. She once stood where I stood on this rocky path, she survived…and now she’s thriving. And she shares her hard-won wisdom in her brilliant book, Life Without Baby: Surviving and Thriving When Motherhood Doesn’t Happen.
Lisa is a gentle and supportive guide, and she shares from her own experiences, from the workshops she’s led, and from the stories and tips LWB readers have passed along. She says this is the book she wishes she’d found when she first had to acknowledge she wouldn’t have children. Me, too, and as I read through the raw, real, and practical advice she’s included, I’ve found there’s something for every step of the journey.
You may have wounds so raw, you’re not sure how you’ll ever breathe again, let alone hold your composure during your nephew’s first Christmas. Lisa’s exercises will help you actively work through the stages of grief and arm yourself against social landmines, like the office holiday party when everyone talks about their kids. Maybe you’re feeling closer to accepting being childfree-not-by-choice, but haven’t the faintest idea what the heck you’re going to do with the rest of your life. Lisa’s got some suggestions for how you might thrive in a new happily ever after of your own design. And you don’t have to wait for January 1st to get started! Throughout, Lisa breaks open taboos and addresses the very real emotions and challenges we face every day, while offering understanding, support, and encouragement.
I know this because I had the privilege of editing Lisa’s book. After I finished the work, I tabbed several pages that spoke to me and highlighted exercises I wanted to revisit. Yes, even after all the work I’ve done to make peace with my given path, I still found there are some tender spots that need attention and resolution. Lisa’s book is helping me, and I believe there’s something in there that will help you too.
So, might I suggest the first item on your gift shopping list is one for yourself? Life Without Baby: Surviving and Thriving When Motherhood Doesn’t Happen is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.
This holiday season, Kathleen Guthrie Woods is wishing for peace on earth, as well as a bit more peace about her childfree status.