Happy International Women’s Day to you! This year, in addition to sending a little love to all people who identify as Women everywhere, I also wanted to celebrate the achievements of one of the sometimes forgotten, but ever growing groups of Women; those without children by choice or circumstance. There is an unfortunate stereotype that exists for this group of Women, (for the whole group of people of all genders who identify as childfree by choice or circumstance really) that inherently impacts on the open participation of this group of Women in today. One that says that if you are one, you’re inherently narcissistic, selfish and contribute nothing of value to society by doing so.
This notion, as a self professed Women without kids by the combination of choice and circumstance, who is friends with, works with, runs programs for, speaks and writes now about how to thrive in career love and life as a Women exploring life beyond the traditional life path of biological Motherhood, I feel the emphatic, compulsive obligation to, with love, call bullsh*t on. So much so, that I spent the last few days navigating through hundreds of wikipedia linked articles and digging up lists of at least 400 famous people of various occupations who didn’t go on to have children of their own, yet are household names you would likely recognise, and then shortly after also likely realise have more than likely been a frequent part of your reality, growth and enjoyment during the course of your time on our humble planet, wherever upon it you reside.
Granted, this is a little Western White Privileged Middle Class born White Woman who identifies as slightly more bisexual than cis gender heterosexual centric in my compilation. But if you’re in this group of people yourself, I want you to know, especially today, that I see you! I see how often, how very purpose oriented and driven, how extremely dedicated and just how hard-working for your causes that you are. I see you struggling with your own version of creating work life balance, wealth and sustainability, while you’re managing and juggling all your professional projects, relationships, businesses, side hustles…and trying to squeeze in time to date or be present for friends and family at the same time. I see you feeling second to the hard working, high achieving Mums and feeling like it’s not ok to honour you in comparison, to ask or to celebrate all that you are and bring to the world, out in public. But you know that you really do deserve your time today too, right? There are so many millions of Women without kids of their own out there doing life changing, world impacting work out there that is absolutely a legacy to the world that deserves to be seen and celebrated, openly and with pride, today of all days, and every day.
So if you are one, please join me in taking just 5 minutes some time today to sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, list at least 3-5 reasons that the world is so damn lucky to have you. To affirm that what unique gifts you bring to the world are so very needed in the world, right now of all times. And to reaffirm to yourself that you are needed, your belong here and it is your time to not just shine in the world, and to build your legacy. But to thrive in being happy, in creating a life you truly love, and expressing your fullest potential, in a thousand other ways (other than having achieved the miracle of growing a life and squeezed a baby out your ………. That is an EPIC achievement that deserves a whole lot of celebration…..and so too is the reason your were born to this planet, and you living this next phase of your journey is a needed part of your unique life purpose…and the very reason you’re here. For the little and big differences you will make in the world, we thank and celebrate you today. Bless and thank you. Massive love and huge hugs to you.
P.S. For inspirational and educational purposes this International Women’s Day, here is a list of 7 well-known Women who didn’t have children of their own (+ at least 1 Step Mum), that you might know of, that I think are pretty epic, who’ve made a massive positive impact in society in various ways too. (Big thanks and acknowledgement to the countless contributors to the wiki resources and articles linked below and paraphrased or quoted above, from which I’ve compiled the below achievements and bios.
Fatema Mernissi, a Moroccan sociologist and feminist writer, who was one of the founders of Islamic feminism, is known for her sociopolitical approaches towards discussing gender and sexual identities, specifically those in Morocco and other Muslim countries. Throughout her career, Mernissi was an avid spokesperson regarding women's rights and equality, while also embracing the Islamic faith. Mernissi's works focused on providing a voice for oppressed and marginalized women, tackling issues such as Eurocentrism, intersectionality, transnationalism and global feminism in her publications and public lectures. She has also brought to light the contributions of Muslim women to the economy and politics and acknowledged many factors that affect how females are viewed within Islamic cultures. As well as externally by Western Feminism. She apparently studied political science at the Sorbonne in Paris and later at Brandeis University in the US, where she gained her doctorate in 1974. And then returned to work at the Mohammed V University in Rabat and taught at the Faculté des Lettres between 1974 and 1981 on subjects such as methodology, family sociology and psychosociology. She was also apparently a research scholar at the University Institute for Scientific Research there. 
In addition to her most influential publications, she received several awards for her work. “In 2003, Mernissi was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award, along with Susan Sontag. Mernissi's acceptance speech, The Cowboy or Sinbad?, covered the topic of globalization, and was recognized for her pensive take, considering both the issue and effects of culture. In 2004, she was awarded the Erasmus Prize, alongside Sadik Al-Asm and Abdolkarim Soroush.” “For this award, she was recognized for her sociocultural impact since it was dedicated to "Religion and Modernity". “In 2017, The Middle East Studies Association created the Fatima Mernissi Book Award to recognize outstanding scholarship in studies of gender, sexuality, and women’s lived experience ”. 
Mernissi, I believe, never had children, but her legacy is the scholarly and literary contributions she made to the early Islamic feminist movement and the undeniable impact they have had and continue to have in the world. 
Thats just seven stories of millions and millions the globe over of people without kids creating an awesome legacy in the world, beyond just that of passing on their genes. Wherever they are, and how visible or not, please do join me today in sending them a little acknowledgement and thanks for all that they do in the world too, in countless little and big ways in which they do it.
P.P.S. If you’d like to celebrate and discuss the achievements of these and other awesome Women and people of all genders and walks of life without kids, talk self care practices that help us be our best selves and connect with some other awesome Women who are working on thriving and creating their legacy in life without kids due to choice or circumstance, feel free to join us this Saturday 12th March 1:30pm Sydney/Melbourne AEDT for our next WELCOME Women’s Virtual Gathering. More info and register below:
Image credits to Wikipedia
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.