More To Life, is for those accepting and living their life without the children hoped for. The following FAQ’s explain this in more detail.
Why is More to Life (MTL) on Fertility Network’s website?
MTL is a branch of Fertility Network dedicated to supporting the involuntary childless community. We operate under the umbrella of Fertility Network UK, the national charity for anyone affected by fertility issues.
Who does MTL aim to support?
MTL aims to offer support, advice and coping strategies for those with involuntary childlessness and living without the children they hoped for. Many in our community have endured unsuccessful fertility treatment in the past. Deciding to call a halt to treatment is a momentous decision that can bring guilt, grief and a sense of not knowing what the future will bring. We aim to support the journey from the emotional rollercoaster of hope and disappointment of failed treatment, to a place where the future is bright again.
For others in our community, life circumstances haven’t provided the right opportunities to have children. Whatever the reason, we all share a common bond of trying to move beyond the sadness and realisation that dreams of parenthood will not materialise.
Why is MTL Support needed?
Not having the children hoped for can be a devastating life challenge. Most endure a prolonged period of grief and sadness with a sense that control over this part of their life has been removed. Common feelings of isolation and the desire to withdraw from established social circles can create severe emotional impact on everyday life. MTL wants anyone coping with these challenges to know they are not alone.
Is living without the challenges of childlessness a common experience?
Data from the Office of National statistics state that around 1 in 5 women in their 50s are living without children, but this figure includes some who may have chosen not to pursue a family. We expect the numbers of those being childless not by choice look set to continue to rise in the coming years.
Is it normal to feel so devastated when you know your life won’t include children of your own?
Yes, many people experience feelings of failure, low self-worth, guilt and hopelessness. The good news is that most people move on to live fulfilling lives after a period of adjustment. We aim to understand the intensity of our community’s grief and offer support to help achieve acceptance before moving on to rebuild a happy life.
Who is MTL support not suitable for?
If you are still trying to build a family through adoption or fertility treatment, MTL does not offer the best tailored emotional support and information for your current situation. We appreciate that you may wish to seek out MTL services in the future if the difficult decision to abandon family building options is made.
The MTL community is not aimed at those who are childfree by choice either as our support is for those who once hoped for children.
Which type of MTL support is right for me?
We offer free support, advice and information in many ways. We understand that social interactions may be exhausting at first and you may want to avoid explaining why children are not in your life. We therefore offer the following support digitally and anonymously:
- Our self-help Guide Put together by Cardiff University, and based on much research and experience, this guide has activities to work through at your own pace.
- Our Webinar Series brings expert panellists live into your own home to discuss issues. Anonymous questions can be asked at these scheduled monthly sessions.
- Information and stories shared by others who have gone through similar experiences. Book reviews can also be found for relevant publications.
- Monthly e-news A monthly update of events, useful resources, and interesting articles can be sent straight to subscribers’ inboxes.
- Our Online Community: We provide private online access to a safe community of others who understand. If desired, you can just read the messages posted by others. This community honestly shares stories, asks questions, expresses frustrations and offers mutual understanding.
Once you feel ready to speak to others it is good to start with those that understand. It is important to know you are not alone and spend time with others who have managed the transition to fulfilling and happy lives. Having this contact can also prove helpful in unlocking a renewed acceptance of your status:
- Local Contact Volunteers: We can link you up with a trained volunteer who will lend an understanding ear.
- Our Online Community: We can provide private online access to a safe community of others who understand. This community honestly shares stories, asks questions, expresses frustrations and lets others know they are not alone.
- Meet up Groups: Having fun social time with others is the main aim of our local, volunteer led informal Meet Up groups. These are awkward question free zones where there is no pressure to explain your unique story, but if you want to the others around will understand.
Are men part of the MTL community?
Men can access all of our services. We often run webinars exploring male childlessness and have men as members of our Meet Up groups. We also have a male Local Contact Volunteer.
How do I join this community?
You become a member by choosing and accessing the support above. To get the most out of your time with us it is a good idea to subscribe to our monthly e-news, to keep abreast of events and options.
Is MTL on social media?
MTL has can be found on Twitter at @MTLUK and on Facebook at @moretolifeuk
Is there a charge for this community?
All MTL services are free. If you join a Meet Up group, you will need to pay your own costs for social activities or food consumed at events.
How can I support this community?
We are a charity and rely heavily on donations and fundraising activities. If the issues explored here are close to your heart, please visit our Fertility Network fundraising pages to read about ways to support us.