What is Missed Motherhood?
There are five categories of missed motherhood when defined as:
the times in a woman's life when she is not a mother, by chance or by choice.
1. Inability to conceive a child that is wanted
2. End of pregnancy, wanted or not
3. Birthing a child and placing it for adoption
4. Missing the opportunity to conceive, childless by chance
5. Choosing not to have children, to be childfree
The absence of a child or loss of a pregnancy is a void and, frequently, a profound loss that is experienced as a failure, a shame, something that needs to be fixed or hidden, even when it is a choice. Often there is no acknowledgment, no rituals, no celebration, even no words. It has no name or category. The pain, loneliness and awkwardness can be unimaginable until it happens to you.
Based on available statistics, it appears that as many as 75% of women in America have had or will have one or more experiences of missed motherhood at some time in their lives, whether or not they ever have a child. This is a stunning percentage! If this is true, the experience of missed motherhood appears to be as common an experience as being a mother.
As a society, we need to name and include missed motherhood as part of the cultural norm, to bring it out into the open and offer effective steps for grieving and healing that go beyond what each woman can accomplish on her own. When we do this, each of us can move forward in life with passion and enthusiasm.
This groundbreaking book offers practical steps to create a cultural shift that recognizes the vast number of women who experience missed motherhood, and teaches us—individually, with each other, as a society—how to support them. In doing so we open space for each of these woman to become fully present to opportunities that are available in her life.
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PRAISE FOR Honoring Missed Motherhood
"This groundbreaking book brings into light the hidden suffering and necessary healing for millions of women. The stories are both heartbreaking and uplifting. The author is a champion of women, all women, finding joy and claiming their rightful place in the world.
~ Sonia Choquette, NYT bestselling author of The Answer Is Simple…Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit!
"A thoughtful and thought-provoking book about roles and identity around mothering, motherhood and not being a mother. I am sure it will be helpful as a resource for other women to broaden their personal cultural vision of the feminine."
~ Angeles Arrien, author of The Second Half of LIfe: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom.
"Honoring Missed Motherhood, Loss, Choice and Creativity" is a long overdue and deeply compassionate book that honors the losses women have experienced and creates a new vision–a world in which the vast numbers of women who missed motherhood can openly recognize and express their loss and be validated as belonging and whole. Their journeys illustrate the cultural shift needed to move the healing out of the closet and into shared awareness.
– Liza Ingrasci, CEO/President, Hoffman Institute Foundation, home of the Hoffman Process