Kylie Minogue has said she might never be a mother [Getty]
One in five British women won’t have children. And while for many this is a positive choice, author Melanie Notkin argues in this week’s issue of Grazia that it’s the childless by circumstance who are the silent majority… a tribe she has dubbed the ‘Otherhood’.
Among them is Kylie Minogue, who talked about motherhood in an interview last week, saying, ‘I don’t know how many more times I can say, if it happens, it happens. But I think maybe part of this frame of mind I’m in, trying to be calm and accepting and at peace with where I am, is really acknowledging that it just might not be written on the pages for me.’
Melanie Notkin, founder of the Savvy Auntie website, tells Grazia she has come to terms with not having children, and in her new book, highlights that being an ‘other’ is just as valid as being a mother.
Writer Melanie Notkin has written a book about the 'Otherhood' [CIRCE]
"She says, ‘Everyone is curious about the single, childless woman of a certain age. They want to know what it was she put first, before this traditional path of love, marriage and children. Given the number of childless women in Britain has doubled - 45 percent of women who turned 30 in 2012 had no children and just under one in four women born in 1967 are childless - it's a valid question.
"People don’t realise that there are millions of women in this 'Otherhood' and for the most part we remain unacknowledged and misunderstood. What is most frustrating are the constant assumptions that childlessness has been our choice. Some judge 'career women' for not having children and talk about them in terms of being ‘married to their career’ though I’ve never met a woman who refused a proposal from a man she loved because she had to take a conference call. It’s preposterous.
"The subtitle of my book is 'finding a new kind of happiness' and that’s exactly what we - this silent majority - are working hard to do. This new happiness may be different from the conventional contentment of motherhood, but it’s no less valid. Otherhood can feel lonely, but what I've learnt is we're not alone."
‘Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness’, published by Seal Press, is out now.
This week’s issue of Grazia is on sale now.