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Motherhood Missed

Motherhood Missed

Stories from Women Who Are Childless by Circumstance

Lois Tonkin. Foreword by Jody Day

Quick Overview

Honouring women who are childless by circumstance, these first-person stories describe their emotional responses and under-discussed grief. While exploring their sense of loss, the book also presents the hopefulness and positivity of the women interviewed and the alternative routes their lives have taken.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2018, 7.72in x 5.12in / 196mm x 130mm, 224pp
ISBN: 9781785923371
2018, ePUB, 224pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-659-9
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Many women expect to become mothers but are childless through social rather than biological reasons - perhaps they haven't met the right person or they prioritised career or education earlier in life. Featuring international interviews by grief counsellor and researcher Lois Tonkin, this collection of first-person stories provides insight into the under-discussed situation of being childless by circumstance.

Each story highlights the different aspects of being childless by circumstance, as women move through their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and beyond their ages of fertility. The book explores feelings of grief and loss, and also how women adapt positively to their changed life expectations, finding excitement in the alternative, rich and complex shapes their lives have taken.


'With love and care, Lois Tonkin has weaved an incredibly important book. This is the story of what it means to be a woman today - whether or not you have children. But for those women who are childless not by choice, the stories told here will help them to realise that they are not alone - that, in fact, they are part of a social phenomenon which is changing the way the world looks today. It is something that everyone needs to understand better, and Lois' book plays a vital part in achieving that. I thank and salute her.'
- Jessica Hepburn, author of the The Pursuit of Motherhood, 21 Miles: swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood and Founder of Fertility Fest (

'I nodded "yes, yes" as I read the stories Lois Tonkin has collected from women, like me, who are childless by circumstance. With candor, they articulate the self-blame, social isolation, layers of intangible losses, and indescribable grief we experience. Finally, we are no longer invisible, no longer alone.'
- Kathleen Guthrie Woods, Life Without Baby columnist and author of The Mother of All Dilemmas


By (author): Lois Tonkin
Foreword by: Jody Day