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Unclassified Woman

Unclassified Woman offers an inspiring stream of conversation with women around the globe, who are building lives beyond society’s expectations. Part myth busting, part inspirational story sharing, Michelle Marie McGrath interviews amazing childless or childfree women, including authors, film-makers, activists, entrepreneurs, priestesses, leaders, speakers and creative mavens, who share their experiences and insights, while questioning the expectations of women everywhere. Michelle shares interviews with women all around the globe who are childless or childfree for a multitude of reasons. With almost 25% of women over 40 child-free by choice or childless through circumstance, it seems absurd that women still have to justify their decisions or endure pity about why they’re not mothers. Motherhood is not a mandate and yet so many women are made to feel ‘less than’ or viewed suspiciously or disparagingly, if they are creating a life of meaning beyond biological mothering. All of these outdated stereotypes lead to one dangerous assumption: what’s your value beyond being a mother? As mainstream society still tends to over-celebrate mothers juggling ‘it all’, and under-celebrate women who, whilst not mothers, have created lives of purpose and service. Unclassified Woman is the perfect antidote to limiting female narratives. In the second season, Michelle and her guests expanded on the creative power of ALL women. We explored the power of awakening womb consciousness. The womb or hara is the sacred creation portal from where we birth everything in our lives and yet the unlimited power within is as yet untapped by most women (and men) today. This includes working with the cycles of the moon, reconnecting deeply with the cycles of nature, aligning with the elements, harnessing the magic of the menstrual cycle and reclaiming the power of the divine feminine within. So if you’re interested in a stronger connection to Mother earth, increased intuition, more soulful sex, more creativity, feeling better in your own skin and joyously walking your own path – tune in! In order to ascend, we need to descend so let’s dive in together! Season 3 commenced was released in April 2018 and Season 4 will be released mid-2019. Each woman’s path in life is equally valid and sacred. Michelle is a Self-love Mentor for women birthing their soul gifts into the world. She offers one-on-one Womb Awakening Sessions, in person events, Intuitive Guidance/Distance Healing and the Sacred Self range of vibrational aromatherapy. www.michellemariemcgrath.com
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Now displaying: January, 2016
Jan 26, 2016

Welcome! My guest today is Ashleigh Mills, who originally trained as a social worker in Australia. She worked in clinical mental health and policy for over 10 years, but then followed her heart to begin writing creatively at age 32. Ashleigh began her blog on life, love, travel, and her crazy cat lady stories.  She later started a freelancing writing business focusing on adventure and travel articles. In 2015, she traveled to Bali and the Philippines to write stories with her husband, who is a fashion and travel photographer. Ashleigh is always busy planning her next adventure. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How this podcast has been encouraging and refreshing for Ashleigh, hearing other women’s perspectives, and knowing she isn’t alone in her journey
  • How Ashleigh’s childfree life is a choice that resulted from ambivalence toward motherhood, even though she always assumed she would have “the urge” someday.
  • Ashleigh has seen the “bad” side of family from her social work experience; she believes that unless you are 120% committed as a couple, you shouldn’t undertake parenting.
  • Like others, Ashleigh has experienced insensitive questions and comments about her life choices.
  • She finds creative and nurturing outlets through her writing.
  • How being childfree allows you to nurture relationships with other children and support other family members who are parents.
  • How Ashleigh was privileged to experience several positive childfree role models in her childhood that made it a valid option for her.
  • How Ashleigh has experienced the myths and stereotypes, “that life is meaningless and empty without a child”
  • “Our lives are full. We have plans together to travel and share common goals. I don’t feel like anything is missing.”
  • How Ashleigh encourages women to be supportive in whatever decisions they make and not pass judgment upon others who chose a different pathway than your own
  • How the change must start with the media and how “the ideal life” is portrayed
  • You can find Ashleigh’s blog at www.mymeow.com.au.  

If you find this episode helpful then please share with a friend who would enjoy! For more episodes go to www.michellemariemcgrath.com

Jan 16, 2016

Welcome! My guest today is an experienced commercial research consultant who was born and raised in the UK. Dr. Chloe Peacock earned a Ph.D. in Consumer Brand Participation and is an expert in Semiotics. She loves beaches, traveling, the outdoors, and all creatures. She is the founder of the UK Lifestyle Network for Childfree Women and The League of Fabulous Women. Her hope is to gently shift and soften cultural perceptions of women without children and to help these women connect with each other. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.tlfw.co.uk.

In this episode, you’ll learn the following about Chloe:

Chloe has always been very comfortable with her ambivalence about motherhood.

Even as a childfree woman, you can still be a caring, nurturing person and have children in your life.

We all have different peak life experiences that we view as huge and fulfilling.

In her mid-30’s, Chloe considered her “fertility window” but never felt the compulsion to plunge into motherhood.

Like many childfree women, Chloe has dealt with pressure from family and friends: “You’d make a GREAT mom! You’re such a caring person!”

The issue of legacy is important to Chloe and she has had many conversations with her father about this topic.

Ultimately, you have to follow your own path.

The League of Fabulous Women started small, as a product of her own experience, and then it grew rapidly. It exists for the purpose of connecting childfree women in friendship.

Like many childfree women, Chloe noticed a dramatic shift in her social life because of others’ pregnancies.

She read about Melanie Notkin’s work and then began meet-up groups of her own.

Women over 40 without children are an increasing demographic for the present and the future.

Not being a mother is no less natural or feminine than being a mother and having children.

There is much cultural mythology surrounding motherhood as THE ultimate feminine experience.

Chloe likes to express her creativity through creating relationships.

For Chloe, the major benefits of NOT having children are the sense of freedom, being able to travel, and being the author of her own life.

The League of Fabulous Women now has meet-up groups in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, and London.  Connect and find out more at www.tlfw.co.uk

 

I do hope you enjoyed this episode. Please subscribe and share with a friend. For more episodes go to www.michellemariemcgrath.com

Jan 5, 2016

My guest today, Meghan Daum, has been an Op Ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times since 2005. Meghan is also the author of four books, including The Unspeakable and Other Subjects of Discussion, which won the 2015 Penn Center USA Award for Creative Nonfiction. She edited the NY Times best–selling anthology Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed, which is a compilation of 16 writers’ essays on the choice to not have kids. This book has sparked wide ranging conversation around the topic of choosing to have or to not have kids. Meghan’s message is that opting out of parenthood is NOT a sign of laziness or immaturity, but a complicated and intensely personal decision.

Join us to hear Meghan discuss the following:

  • It was Meghan’s personal choice to not become a parent, and it was something she always knew deep-down, but didn’t realize that option existed.
  • Having/not having a child is an interesting subject to write about and lends itself to a deeper look and deliberate thought about that life choice.
  • Meghan became pregnant at age 41, miscarried, and actually felt relieved. “I would have, of course, loved that child, but I’m not sure I would have loved my life.”
  • Even when you KNOW you’ve made the choice to not have kids, there still can be certain degrees of grief involved.
  • Her anthology includes 13 women and 3 men who wrote about the topic, which is unusual because we don’t usually hear the male viewpoint.
  • The fear of future regret is NOT a good enough reason to have a child.
  • Many people who have chosen to live childfree lives have put much more thought into the decision than some who have chosen to be parents!
  • It’s human nature to give our opinion and advice and look for commonality around the choice that WE make, including parenthood. We all seem to want others to make the choices we have made.
  • Meghan’s goal is to change the conversation about which side of the issue is more/less selfish.
  • It comes down to knowing yourself and giving yourself permission to know what you really want.
  • Meghan’s creative energy is expressed in her writing and expressing opinions, but even people NOT in creative careers can make the choice for themselves and not based on society’s expectations.
  • It’s important for kids today to have role models from all different perspectives and know that they don’t have to fit into a mold that is uncomfortable.
  • For Meghan, the major benefit of choosing to not have kids is that she feels lucky to live in a time and place where she has the ability to make that choice for herself.
  • To find out more about Meghan and her work, visit www.meghandaum.com.  

For more episodes of Unclassified Woman go to michellemariemcgrath.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe on Itunes and share with another woman who you feel would benefit. Thank you so much!

Jan 2, 2016

Welcome! Today’s guest is Nicole Graham, an Aussie who currently lives in Hong Kong. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who has reinvented her career over the last 25 years. She has studied a range of healing modalities and co-authored two guided writing journals and numerous blogs.

Nicole is a certified online business manager who leads her team of dedicated and experienced specialists in supporting small business with administration and marketing. She and her husband travel extensively and Nicole is happy to share her life experiences in choosing to be child-free.

In this episode, you’ll learn the following:

  • Nicole and her husband have made the mutual choice to not have children. They have the understanding that the topic is open for discussion if either of them feels differently.
  • Nicole was moved by the vast numbers of abandoned, neglected, and unwanted children in China and India, and decided NOT to bring a child into the world.
  • IF she and her husband ever felt differently about parenthood, then adoption would be their choice.
  • Their families have been supportive and understanding, but several friends have questioned their decision.
  • One classic response was, “You’re SO good with animals that you would be a great mother!” (Whoever said that raising animals and children are the same?)
  • Nicole acknowledges that their lives would be very different if they were raising children, especially regarding money and travel opportunities.
  • Nicole has also been asked the classic question, “But who’s going to look after you when you’re old?”
  • In Hong Kong, there is the cultural assumption that younger family members help look after the elderly, and the elderly grandparents assist younger parents by living in and helping care for their children.
  • Nicole has also experienced looks of pity from others when she explains her child-free life.
  • Nicole’s advice?  ”Process your decision before you make it known. Have supportive people around you to help deal with the common myths and expectations.”
  • There are other ways to fill your life besides having children!
  • Nicole expresses her creativity through art, supporting animal organizations, and working with special needs children and young adults.
  • She says that her life and its creative expressions give her much more joy than motherhood  ever could.
  • You can reach Nicole at www.bauhiniasolutions.com

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed this please share with another woman who would be inspired and subscribe.  For more episodes, please go to michellemariemcgrath.com 

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