Welcome to Unclassified Woman. Today I’m speaking to one of my fave bloggers and all-round lovely lady, Susannah Conway in London, England.
Just so you know there is much giggling and we discuss all sorts from tampons and technology – to dating apps! Grab yourself a drink as this is a long one. 😉
How does it feel to approach mid-life realising that motherhood will never be yours? Would you have regrets? My guest today shares how her life’s path has taken her to places she never imagined, proving there is so much that we cannot control. The key is to enjoy the experience where you can, find peace with it, and use your journey to inspire others.
Susannah Conway is a photographer, writer, and teacher who has been sharing her heart online for over a decade. She helps people know, trust, and express themselves by sharing what has healed her own heart. Susannah’s work is steeped in self-compassion, kindness, and practicality, and her courses have been enjoyed by thousands of people from over 50 countries around the world.
Her first book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, hit bookshelves in 2012. Her most recent book, Londontown: A Photographic Tour of the City’s Delights, was published in 2016. I can personally highly recommend her courses, as I’ve taken a few of them. The first one was Blogging from the Heart that I enjoyed several years ago. She shares behind-the-scenes insights as to how she puts together her blog, ideas for blog topics and writing, and I was so inspired. I’m a huge fan of all she creates.
You must also grab her amazing free PDF that she shares at the end of every year (something I’ve shared with many others) called Unraveling the Year Ahead. In this Susannah teaches you to reflect on the past year and look to what you want to create. It’s an essential end of year ritual so definitely check it out.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- It was a combination of circumstances which have led to Susannah’s being childless. At 45 now, she’s had three serious relationships, one of which lasted 10 years and a year of this time was spent trying to conceive.
- A few years ago, Susannah had fibroids removed from her uterus and the surrounding area.
- Even when women are unsure or ambivalent about having children, society conditions us to feel a certain way and to follow a prescribed timeline or ‘the script’.
- The “joy” of being a woman, growing up with little to no sex education. We discuss the joys of tampons and sanitary towels 😉
- Why it’s important to Susannah to understand and honour her cycle.
- How being a “mother” can take many forms other than giving birth to a baby.
- When you feel like “time is running out” and you wonder if a child is even a possibility.
- Becoming an auntie to her nephew–how it changed everything
- The disaster of pursuing a relationship solely for the purpose of having a baby, and how a partner usually feels in that position (when they can feel that desperation.)
- Being a mother for Susannah would have to be her biological child with shared DNA–there was no other option that felt right.
- “If it had been my soul path to be a mother, then it would have happened by now.” Click To Tweet
- Why having her two nephews and sharing their lives is a reason she’s OK with not being a mother: “There are two little beings that have me forever.”
- Why you shouldn’t ask questions or make assumptions about the marriage or motherhood status of others–don’t show judgment and a lack of sensitivity.
- Why we are hyperconnected to technology, even to the point of ignoring the people around us, but we are constantly disconnected from each other.
- The difficulties of using dating apps when you’re in your 30’s and 40’s and how the subject of having children is approached when trying to meet someone. Always an interesting topic!
- Why Susannah doesn’t really want to have a relationship with someone who already has kids, but what she really demands is upfront honesty and transparency about the topic.
- How Susannah fills her life with passions and hobbies and does her journaling and photography all the time as she is “’livin’ the dream!”
- The “acorn” of dreaming of furnishing her hew home the way she wants, in a way that brings her peace, and how this can help to alleviate stress and anxiety of life.
- When she hits 50–and later, 60–she will reflect upon the fact that she hasn’t had children or grandchildren.
- “I know there will be a little piece of me that acknowledges what I didn’t have.”
- When your parents have to deal with the fact that they will not have grandchildren.
- The topic brings up a lot of reflection on our lives and our choices.
- The crazy ingrained standard in society of the glorification of motherhood, reflected particularly in celebrity lives.
- The extremes of the representations of womanhood presented in tabloids and online media: either you flaunt your body or you’re a mother.
- The growing demographic: in the last 10 years, the number of women over 40 without children has doubled, and that will only increase in the future.
- Why some people are intent on always adding more children–”Why would you have more than you can carry?”
- Remembering the obsession of trying for a baby for a whole year, after having an abortion with the same partner 10 years prior at age 21—no regrets!
- Why the decision to have a baby should be a conscious one.
- The myriad of thoughts and feelings – and coming to a place of awareness and acceptance, understanding the sadness in life is constantly changing and evolving.
- Looking forward to devoting time and care to her next loving relationship, and creating this very special connection together.
- Apparently The Guardian Soulmates is where it’s all at for online dating 😉
Find out more about Susannah’s wonderful work here at her site.
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I loved this podcast. I am a single mom nearing 40, and found everything that was said completely relevant. I was waiting for Susannah to bring up the idea of just having a child on her own via IVF, and appreciated her thought processes of why it wouldn’t work for her. All of the discussions regarding dating were so universal, ie) men looking for younger women, not being upfront in their profiles, the turnoff of men writing things in their profile like, ‘I’m not interested in any drama…’ lol. I would love to hear another podcast with Susannah. It’s like listening to a conversation with a good friend.
So pleased you enjoyed it Melissa. Yes Susannah is such a great communicator and very natural. We certainly had a giggle and could have chatted all day 😉 I’m sure we will do another one in the not too distant future! xxx