#Flip The Script - Stronger Than You Know

Last week I was still struggling with what to post each day during the American NIAW. I wanted to represent those of us who would never achieve the dream of being a parent and show that World Childless Week was there to support people throughout the year.

I was aware that NIAW was using #flipthescript throughout the week which immediately made me think of flipping the script from a negative to a positive. The only problem was that although I had the spark of an idea, I had been struggling to put pen to paper.

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#Flip The Script - Worthy from the day you were born

When did I stop deciding I was worthy? I can’t think of a day or a time. What made me question my worth or had I never considered my own worth until I compared myself to someone else? These are questions that have suddenly come into my mind and each question seems to raise more questions.

Did I feel worthy at ten, twenty or thirty years old; was it a question that ever crossed my mind? Does my worth hinge on one single element of my life, my inability to have a child? Is that the one deciding factor that I allowed to consume me and devour my worth?

Wow.

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#Flip The Script - Take Control

On Thursday during World Childless Week we shared out thoughts on comments that hurt. What we didn’t do was talk much about how we can respond to these comments. I think we find it hard to have a natural response because we are emotionally drawn in; be it anger, upset or disbelieve. Our reactions and responses are also swayed by the person saying the comment, the occasion and how confident we are to speak openly about our childlessness. 

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#Flip The Script - New Horizons

On Wednesday during World Childless Week 2017 I asked people to share letters addressed to the reason they were childless. All but one of the letters I received were full of pain, sadness and anger. That one letter surprised me because it thanked infertility. So today I am also going to #FlipTheScript and share my gratitude for my childlessness.

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#Flip The Script - You Make A Difference

When I decided to start World Childless Week my biggest fears were that no one would join in, that I would be a one man band that had created a failure. My fears were soon squashed as people volunteered to share their words and their stories.

Whilst some people were confident to publicly share their stories the majority were nervous to step out of their comfort zone and many chose to remain anonymous. The stories where people shared the reasons why they were childless were emotive. Black and white facts are hard to ignore when they are mixed with the emotional and physical pain that is attached to someone’s body, mind and heart.

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#Flip The Script - Reach Out and Connect

On Monday during World Childless Week we showed that the childless are in every corner of the world. In the UK 1 IN 5 women remain childless at the age of 45 and that percentage is on the increase. A recent study showed that whilst 20% are childless by choice (childfree) the remaining 80% are childless not by choice. Our numbers are rising and yet we are still a largely unrecognised minority which leaves many of us thinking that we are alone.

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#Flip The Script - One Step Back and Two Steps Forward

After the success of World Childless Week 2017 I was faced with the question of how to move forwards. Not with myself but with World Childless Week. I wanted to create a website to enable those who were not on Facebook to have access to all of the articles, posters and blogs that everyone had so generously contributed, but what else should I do? Would it be enough to purely represent our community one week out of fifty two? Would it be enough to focus on seven days a year or was there a need to do more?

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#FlipTheScript To Your Future - Stephanie Phillips on NIAW

When Stephanie found out she would never have children her world flipped upside down. She didn’t feel like she fit in anywhere and didn’t know what to do. Her head was filled with questions that whirled around in her mind. Stephanie felt like she was stuck in the middle, floating in limbo between those who were trying to be a parent and those who had already succeeded. Her future was no longer how she envisioned but was dark and foreboding. The hopeful glimmer of motherhood she’d seen had been snubbed out. Stephanie felt alone.

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