SOLO 127 | Otherhood


Peter McGraw talks to Melanie Notkin, an expert on the rising cohort of childless, often single, women. They discuss aunthood and otherhood, as well as examine the challenges facing boys and men and its implications for women who are seeking to have a family.

Listen to Episode #127 here



In this episode, I speak to Melanie Notkin, an expert on the rising cohort of childless, often single women. She is the national bestselling author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids. Her second book, a memoir entitled Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness focuses on women like herself who are single and childless by circumstance. We discuss aunthood and otherhood as well as do a deep dive into the challenges facing boys and men and its implications for women who are seeking to have a family. I hope you enjoyed the episode. Let’s get started.

Welcome, Melanie.

It’s good to see you.

It is good to see you too. It’s long overdue. When I started that Solo project, I came across your work super early. I eagerly purchased and read your books and have been hoping and waiting to see you in person to interview you, and then finally gave up, and here we are.

I only wish we could be doing it in person but I do believe one day we shall meet.

I’m going to have you as a guest at a Solo Salon. I promise you that. There will be a New York City Solo Salon, and I have you give a talk or we will do Q&A.

I’m there.

Let’s jump on in. You have coined the term, the label, the word, “Otherhood,” like motherhood minus the M. How did that happen?

Otherhood is for the women who are not mothers, who expected love, marriage, and motherhood as our mothers had as well as the access to the education and career that they didn’t have. It’s Generation X and Millennials. It’s this tribe of women who are looking for ways to use their maternal muscle, whether it’s an aunt or godmother.

It’s women who don’t have a child in their life, who are finding other ways to have meaning and legacy that the children that many still hope or expect to have, in the meantime, are doing that or overall, it’s this cohort of women for whom not being a mother is surprising or becoming a fate that they never expected. It is a growing demographic. I don’t know if you know this but a woman in America is more likely to have her first child in her 30s than in her 20s. That’s not necessarily by choice. It’s often because a woman is expecting to find love before having children.

A couple of quick observations. The first one is, as I’ve mentioned, I found your work very early as I got started with Solo. The other thing that I have noticed is how many people have invented words to describe a particular group of people who perhaps are single or in your case, aren’t parents. I had Sasha Cagen on who invented QuirkyAlone and these are largely women who would like to have romance or romantic partnership but feel like it’s okay if it doesn’t happen.

That’s a fascinating phenomenon in general, as someone who’s coining the term solo to describe a particular subset of people, not all single people are solo, not all solos are single, and so on. The other one is how much the world has changed since our mothers were mothers. Things that are happening, demographically, educationally, economically, and so on. You, yourself have gone through this process of wanting motherhood and then letting it go.

I expected to be a mom. There was no question. I was in my early tweens. I bought a baby name book because I knew I was going to have twin girls. There are no twins in the family at all but I was going to have twin girls. I like alliteration. There was going to be Bonnie and Buffy. I don’t know why but those names changed after a while. Always alliterative though.

As a teenager, I was a babysitter and a camp counselor. I always wanted and expected to be a mom. I lost my mom when I was nineteen, so those maternal urges or that energy got even stronger because I wasn’t getting it from up top. I was hoping that in my early twenties I would get married and have kids. I moved to New York City in my early twenties and asked about maternity leave benefits, etc. in my job interview. That’s how I knew I was going to be a mom.

I was dating up a storm. I say that as if it sounds frivolous. I was dating seriously in my 20s and 30s. I’m not one of those women or even guys who say, “I was partying. I was having so much fun in my twenties. I forgot to find a partner or to have kids.” First of all, I never believed that because somebody wants what they want then that’s a focus of theirs. I was focused on it and then my 20s rolled into my 30s, which rolled into my 40s, and here I am now.

You were living in New York City and working big-time jobs.

I was working at the New York Times, American Express, and L’Oreal. In my mid-30s, I began to feel quite sad. It was very dark. I wrote a piece for both Huffington Post and Psychology Today in January 2012, years later, I literally still get emails about how it was called something like, “Single childless and 35. My secret grief,” about how I would lie in bed at that age and tears running down my cheeks. “Where is he? Where is my baby? Where is this love? Where are these children I always wanted to have?” Meanwhile, everything else in my life looked great. I’m working at L’Oreal. I’m flying back and forth to Paris, France. I have great job, title, and clothes.

You have great friends and are healthy.

Everything is going the way it should. I’m not having luck. Lo and behold, I decided that I’m going to somehow create something in my late 30s. I had a yearning to have a child, but also to leave something that existential desire many of us have to make sure that our life has meaning extended beyond our actual life. I was then and still am without question very dedicated aunt. I spent as much time as I could with my then very young nephew and nieces. I then decided to create something called Savvy Auntie, a media company designed for this cohort.

Speaking of words one creates, the acronym is PANK, Professional Aunt No Kids. I decided that there was enough data, even free on the internet around single childless women that as a marketer by trade that marketers and media would finally take interest in this group. I’m still hoping, at the time, to have children but in the meantime, I wanted to birth something else into this world.

The truth is what extends the pain around not having children when you want children in it gets heightened the closer you get to the end of your fertility. For every woman, it could be a 5 or 10-year difference in terms of their own fertility or fecundity, as they say. Basically, when you are no longer able to have children and hope, it’s amazingly much easier to move forward. As I say, I live the life I have, I don’t mourn the life I don’t.

This is reminiscent of one of my favorite episodes titled, Waiting, in which I have a conversation with a sociologist who looks at the sociology of time and this specific time for women and how fraught that it can be, hopefully waiting and hopelessly waiting contrasted on either side of this. In many ways, the waiting is interesting. You talk about circumstantial infertility versus biological infertility. Your commitment was to have a child but it was a specific way that you wanted a romantic partner to co-parent with you.

As most women do. In fact, the CDC had data back in 2012 looking at the family and birth rates, and found that 80% of single women were childless, single never married, and of that cohort, 80% were still hoped and expected to have children but we are waiting for the mate and love. As desperate that a woman might be as she gets closer to the end of her fertility to have children, she often chooses love.

In fact, I had letters from women who asked me what to do when they are in love with a man who either can’t have children, doesn’t want more children, doesn’t want children or whatever it is, “What do I do? Do I stay with love or do I leave him hoping at age 35 that I will find love and time?” I always tell them that they know what to do. They know the answer. They thank me. I don’t know the answer for them but chances are they know deep down because they are still with him.

You’ve used the word desperate, both online and off to describe yourself. Desperate is a big word like this notion of despair. How was that for you? You are in your 30s and starting to reckon with this lifelong dream that you’ve had for twenty-plus years that might not happen. How does it manifest itself in your emotions and behavior, and so on?

You brought up my term circumstantial infertility. Some frankly take offense because it’s not real infertility but it is. There’s something stopping one from having a child and that is a mate.

That’s the internet being crappy at the response.

It also proves the point that it is a type of disenfranchised grief. It’s misunderstood or not understood at all. Real pain over not having children is that couple over there who are going through failed IVF over failed IVF, and I’m like, “I haven’t even tried. I don’t even have a date line up.”

Pain is pain. It’s not a fair comparison.

The end result still hasn’t happened but the circumstances are that one is single. Not only you are sad when another month passes by. It’s just not she’s without a baby. She’s without love often or struggling with a relationship or over-heartache, etc. There are so many levels of this going on. Those feelings of frustration. Frankly, I hear myself saying desperate. Desperate would impliable than I would have a baby on my own. If you are so desperate, there are ways to do it.

There were but it was more desperate to find love in the time you have children. For this cohort of women of the otherhood, these are women who tend to have their first child later, if at all, and tend to be well-educated and more affluent than the average woman. She’s okay. This woman in every other aspect of her life, she’s in control. The one thing she can’t control is the thing she wants most, that’s what’s desperately frustrating for her.

Maybe I should put those words together desperately frustrating because she’s not a desperate woman because she’s making the decision to wait for love, however hard it is. Some of us hedge our bets as I did but I’m not wishing I were alone. I’m not with somebody I don’t love. By the way, I believe every man, any partner, deserves to be loved. I wouldn’t settle not just for my own sense but his, whoever he might be.

I’ve had an episode on Solo Parenting, in which I had two women who went and did it alone. One had an oopsie and decided to keep the baby and the other one IVF or something like that. Readers can read to that to get their perspective. You ruled this out pretty early.

There are a lot of reasons why. First of all, my mother passed away when I was nineteen. There would be no help there. Many women who decide to have a baby on their own often have their own mother to help them. My dad is elderly and my step-mom was wonderful but they were living nowhere near New York. My brother and his wife, my sister-in-law have six kids of their own. Even though they don’t live too far away, they have their hands full.

I didn’t want to be the woman to rely on her friends to help her out. It wasn’t going to be something I was going to be able to do so easily. I had started my own company in the meantime. My finances were in there. Millennial women now know to save for fertility, whether it’s freezing their eggs, IVF or raising a baby on their own. Gen X women, we didn’t know that that was something safe.

As I was saying, this shift in demographics has been rather striking if I compare my mother’s life to your life. That’s less than 30 years in terms of education, economic opportunities, and technology. I don’t think the Gen X women, as you point out, were ever educated about these possibilities. Moreover, when you were a tween hatching these plans, the average age of first marriage was 25.

Now, it’s up close to 30. That’s a pretty major shift, especially with the variants around that, and the more educated you are if you live in urban areas, those numbers creep higher and higher. Now, you are on the other side and have built a legacy and one that is important and feeds a lot of people’s souls. The fact that you have folks who are reaching out to you thanking you for the work that you are doing and seeking your counsel, so it’s how meaningful the work that you’ve done is.

I remember I was turning 42 or 43. It was the night of my birthday. Maybe it was 11:30 PM, 30 minutes before I turned 43. I was texting with a man in my life. I wasn’t going to end up being with him but we were very close. I said, “I can’t believe it. I’m not going to be a mother. He said, “But you are a mother to so many.” It was such a gift, which I remembered now several later.

Still to this day, I get emails for things I’ve written several years ago or even a few weeks ago. The email was timestamped at 3:00 or 4:00 AM. I told the story of my waking up in the middle of the night crying, “Where is he? Where is my baby?” She got up and searched Google and came upon my piece. She read it and knew she was no longer alone. She told me, “I want you to know you saved a life tonight.”

When we talk about desperation for women who have everything else going for them, except the one thing they want most and are not willing to settle with love. I’m sure your readers do understand this but this isn’t this cohort of women who are naive or living in a fairy tale. As I said, I wasn’t waiting. I haven’t been waiting for prince charming. I don’t want a man in tights. I have no place to put his horse. We are not naive. This is not what we want.

We talked about how the face of this generation looks different. Education looks different. Sixty percent of people on campus are women and 40% are men. That number has been creeping up for years. Women are having trouble finding a mate. A man who is educated the way she is, at least at a minimum. We can go into why. You’ve probably talked about this on your show before, perhaps but why these things are important to women in an evolutionary way, not even necessarily in a conscious way.

It’s become harder and harder for this generation to find their mates and more frustrating. In fact, in terms of the data in 1976, that’s when the US Census started to look at fertility rates. The number in 1976 was 35% of women of fertile age were childless and that’s women 15 to 44. Now, that number is nearly 50%, 49.7%.

For many years, we’ve seen a generation and a half that women are again having their first child later, if ever. Again, many by choice, and also what’s different now is that gay women and gay men can have children, find each other, partner, and have children. Perhaps, more gay women were having children. It was much harder for lesbians to live a gay life as it is now. It’s much easier now, etc. There are a lot of confounding things that happen in a culture very dramatically in the last few decades.

I like that you point out that these women aren’t naive. I might describe them as confident in a sense. The reason is, if we could use you as a case study, you strike me as the person if you put your mind to something, it gets done. “I’m going to write this book. I’m going to launch this business. I’m going to get this job at L’Oreal. I’m going to get this job at Amex. I’m going to travel the world. I’m going to do all the things.” There’s no reason why this other thing shouldn’t happen because everything else you turn your attention to is successful. Clearly, that is not necessarily the case.

I’m glad you brought up this notion of men. We are Twitter pals and you are one of the only people that I see on Twitter, especially, you are one of the only women I see on Twitter who is talking about men falling behind. It’s only come up a couple of times in the show. It has been notable for me because this is a major problem that no one is talking about and its implications are far-reaching.

SOLO 127 | Otherhood
Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness

This idea of finding a suitable partner or marriageable man is this conversation that is happening a bit. I’m going to throw a few other statistics out there to give people a sense of this. I like to say men are unpopular. It’s because they are unpopular, they are not being supported in the way that they need to be. Especially, to treat men as men is a mistake because there is a world of the haves in a world of have-nots.

Throughout history, there are more have not men than there are have men. That is the average man who struggles finding a mate. It’s why things like harems exist. There’s a striking percentage of men who have no romantic prospects at all. I saw a stat on Tinder. It takes a hundred swipes for the average man to get one match. It takes ten swipes for the average woman to get a match. For example, as a woman, you get lots of inbound. There are a lot of men who are interested in you as a woman. They are not the man that you want to raise a family with. Is that a fair thing to say?

Yes. For me, I’m past the family piece of it. I’m looking for other things but that said certainly, yes. Those conscious and unconscious things that one looks for, even in the photos of that type of compatibility are important. Also, women are, in general, more selective because all the risk is with the woman.

It goes beyond selectivity. As you mentioned, 60% of women make up college students, that’s a complete flip in the last several decades. Single women are more likely to own homes than men, with 19% to 9% of home ownership, so double the chances. Men are more likely to commit suicide, be homeless or be killed in a homicide. Men are more likely to overdose on it, etc.

We also know that this translates into a meaningful age gap that exists in the world. What ends up happening is there’s a small pool of men who are doing very well and then a large pool of men who are not. We are not having much of a conversation about it. I want to thank you for bringing it to light in the ways that you do. Not only does it have societal implications more broadly but it has real implications for this notion of otherhood.

One could say it perhaps a little selfish of me to be concerned with men in education and stability, etc. because I want women to have men to marry, live with or whatever their choice is so that they can have the children that they want. On the other hand, the deeper I look into this, the more heartbreaking it is for me. You put it mildly when you said men are unpopular.

It starts with the fact that there are families where there are fewer fathers, especially sadly in lower-income and lower-educated households, where boys don’t have positive male mentors in their lives. We are creating a bigger and bigger problem. It leads to a bigger problem for the women who cannot find a mate. For women evolutionarily speaking, women have to take all the risks.

If a woman gets pregnant, first of all, can get very ill during pregnancy. She could die in childbirth. She could tremendously have postpartum depression and not be able to take care of her own children. Being nine months pregnant and postpartum, this woman isn’t going to be able to run out and kill the beast or go back to work anytime soon.

Women looking for men who will be able to take care of them, whether it’s intellectually, financially, physically or something. If she’s going to take all the risks, there needs to be some balance. The more women succeed in life and live toward their potential, the harder it is for them to live the potential they want in terms of love, partnership, marriage or whatever you want to call it, and if they want motherhood.

Especially, the current view of romantic marriage is all or nothing. Your partner is supposed to be your equal and that becomes difficult to do. That person is supposed to be everything when the average man is falling behind. I’m sure people reading this can’t get their head around it because they are like, “Look at all these billionaires, politicians, and all these men in power,” but again, that’s a fraction.

There’s basically what we call fat tails out there. For every one of those men out there running a Fortune 500 company, there are dozens in jail on the other side. I’ve looked at the figures and they all show women going right at a 45-degree angle. You are basically seeing men stay the same or go down and it’s causing numerous problems.

These men are middle-aged and older. They are Gen X or Boomers. Younger Millennial women or women in their twenties who don’t have children. Women in their twenties who don’t have children tend to be college-educated and are out-earning men in 22 Metropolitan areas, including the largest Metropolitan areas. In 107 other Metropolitan areas, they are earning nearly at par with men.

Where it is not equal, it is often because of time spent at work or level of difficulty at work, whatever their professional level is at work, etc. PayScale took a look at this past March of 2022 and found that women overall are at $0.99 on the dollar. This is when you look at apples to apples. Not apples to oranges. First of all, nobody believes the $0.77 anymore. Thankfully that’s gone.

The $0.82 idea on the dollar will know. That’s apples to oranges. Women tend to work fewer hours. While women are 60% of college students, are more likely to be in the Arts or other degrees where the profession doesn’t pay as much. They will say, “It’s not fair. We need more women.” There are three areas, business and finance, engineering, computer technology, and math.

Math is 42% women to men but men got to go somewhere. It’s okay that the guys are in a living. It’s okay that they have the areas that they prefer. Part of it is that there are more women graduating from college but tend to be in professions that don’t pay as highly as the professions of male college graduates. Even in many STEM fields in all health fields, there are many more degrees for those women.

Even in medicine, a pediatrician is going to earn less than a brain surgeon and more men go into that. Apples to apples, women are at $0.99 on the dollar and no doubt will supersede men any time soon. It’s time to stop talking about the wage gap and start talking about the college gender gap or the education gap.

As I like to say the age gap because those men who are working often are working themselves to death. They work more dangerous jobs. They could be in the military, firefighters or police officers. They are working in coal mines. That’s very real. I want to turn our attention back to otherhood and a specific type of otherhood, and that is the aunt, the Savvy Auntie, the professional aunt, with no kids. That preceded Otherhood?

Yes, it did. I launched Savvy Auntie in the summer of 2008. Otherhood, I started talking about that stuff in 2011. The book came out in 2014. It was preceded by a couple of years. Savvy Auntie is another tribe of women that are misunderstood, whether they are childless by circumstance, choice or challenge with fertility. My national surveys show that most women or 4 and 5 women have a child in their life with whom they share a special bond and whether that is as an aunt by relation to a sibling, a child or by choice to a best friend’s child.

You call this a child-full life.

I choose to fill my life with the children I love, not just me but for anybody who says that of themselves. At a time when moms and dads are certainly with COVID, moms, especially because we know that moms, generally speaking, are the primary parent by nature of the female and male. They have pulled in so many directions. It’s part of why the birth rate is down. If one has one child, they may stop there. They certainly don’t have as many as we expected.

In Japan, women are starting to have more economic opportunities. It’s nearly impossible to be a woman in Japan and have a job and be a mother. The reason is it’s such a sexist society. Japanese men do the least amount of housework of any man in the world. For a woman to contemplate doing that, she essentially realizes because she’s smart, “It’s one or the other but I’m not going to do both.”

You are seeing this fall in birth rates because some women are opting to work. The work is compelling. It’s interesting. It provides the freedom. It has a lot going for it but it’s impossible for them to do both and be happy in any way. That’s playing out worldwide anywhere that women have a chance to work. You are seeing that drop.

We are seeing that. No doubt. Part of it is because we are in the Western world, individualistic societies. Parents are very much, “We’ve got this.” We see the helicopter moms and dads and the A-types. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure our kid is successful, never gets hurt,” etc.

By the way, I teach those kids. A lot of their parents’ work and money has gone wasted.

That’s the whole coddling thing but it’s all connected. Individualistic society, so women, moms, and dads are very much like, “We’ve got this. We don’t need help.” Women who don’t have children, “That’s their choice. They are frivolous. Their lives are meaningless. They are off getting cosmos and having sex all the time.” This near antiquated look at single women, if we are all Carrie Bradshaw.

Even at work, I remember once there was a woman in advertising. We are giving an award to the best mom in advertising. I said, “That’s terrible. What about the woman who is trying her best to have children and stays late so the mom can go home early? Think of all the women who helped that mom be the best in advertising. We are a village.”

Wake Forest did a study back in 2016 and looked at parents versus non-parents in twenty Western nations and their level and the happiness gap between parents and non-parents. The United States had the largest happiness gap. Non-parents being happier, frankly. The question was, “Why?” I looked at the data and interviewed the researchers, and they explained the idea that in individualistic societies where non-parents aren’t part of raising the children and don’t feel like they are invited to participate like the example I gave of moms in advertising.

When at work, it’s presumed that the childless woman or man doesn’t have any other responsibilities outside of work then why should they want to help the parent when the parent gets to not have to travel? Meanwhile, the single woman who’s trying to get a date but now has to travel all the time because the other woman has a baby.

In societies where non-parents are made to feel like and invited to participate in the family village, that is where the happiness gap closes or narrows. What we should be doing when we talk about aunts and uncles, the PANKS, Professional Aunts No Kids, and PANK-cles is to invite us into the family, whether it is our own families, friends’ families, work families, etc. We are this influential tribe, especially the women because women tend to be more maternal by nature. We want to help and it serves everybody better if we are invited to help them or we invite ourselves to help.

I’m an uncle. One of the things that I have tried to do with my nibblings I call them is trying to expose them to a bigger world that they don’t have access to with their current situation. I fly them to places, restaurants, and museums that they wouldn’t otherwise go to give them a glimpse and set up a much bigger world than the one that they have in South Jersey, which is the world that I grew up in. That’s important. You have Auntie’s Day which is the fourth, Sunday in July. That is a celebration of these PANKS and to raise awareness about the value that aunts and uncles can provide in terms of supporting their siblings and their nibblings.

Again, not the siblings but also their friends. Especially because families, you are a perfect example, you don’t live next door to your sibling and nibblings but we do have friends. I’m sure you have friends with kids. They probably do think of you as an uncle.

I have some friends with kids and call me Uncle Pete or Uncle Peter. It’s a very kind thing to have that.

It feels so good. It feels so good from the kids too. Auntie’s Day is meant to that point to feel good and recognize these women for all that they do, and for those women to recognize themselves for all that they do for these kids. Kids now at 2 or 3-year-old always grateful to an aunt, especially when she says, “You can have sprinklings on top of your sundae.” Also, to feel acknowledged for what they do.

By the way, it is not the frivolous stuff of toys and games and all of that. I do plenty of data to show you collectively paying or spending $61 billion a year on their nieces and nephews, and that doesn’t even include the occasional, first of all, the newborn, if there is a newborn every year or that one big college graduation gift.

They also add value in terms of helping children develop, whether they are reading to a child, certainly play plays huge, every child 0 to 3 needs an hour free play. Parents can’t always give that but when auntie comes to visit, she’s there to play. We are helping develop their cognitive skills, social skills, emotional skills, etc. Even if we don’t know we are doing it. There you go. We deserve a day. It’s the fourth, Sunday in July. The first was in 2009 and this fourteenth Annual will be on Sunday, July 24th of 2022.

First of all, I’m someone who likes flat hierarchies. It bothers me that partnered people are held in higher esteem than single people. I just think that they happen to be different paths in life. One of the things that an aunt or uncle does who’s childless and who may be single is they mentor or model what a healthy life can be like without a partner.

People spend more of their lives single than ever before. 1 in 4 Millennials is projected to never marry. One of the things that happen is when you are a child, you have a parent, and usually, that parent has a co-parent, maybe they are full-time or part-time, that’s there. Their exposure to single adults may be quite limited because they will often live in places that are very family-focused and all of their parents’ friends are parents, married, and so on.

To step into their life as a single person, as a childless person, and demonstrate how rich life can be professionally and personally to be flying to Paris, writing books, and doing these kinds of things, exposes these children to the idea that there are many ways to live a good life. That there’s not just this one good way to do that. That’s worthy of celebration also.

Whether it’s by choice to live a solo life or by circumstance, the niece or nephew by choice or relation can see that notwithstanding one’s marital status, one is happy. One is doing whatever they want to do or can do, or need to do to create a fulfilling life for themselves. I’m very lucky that my brother and especially my sister-in-law have invited me into the lives of their children in very beautiful ways. I have 1 nephew and 5 nieces. My brother and sister-in-law have six kids.

I was always invited to the mommy and me things. One day, I realized I’m the only aunt there. My niece is like, “But auntie you are like a mommy. You just don’t have your own children, so we are like your children,” which is the most beautiful thing for a woman, especially one who wants children or wanted then certainly of their own. They are being inclusive of me and not seeing me as, “You don’t have children, so you don’t want to do this. You are probably out with your girlfriends again, drinking cosmos.”

It’s, “We know that you are very important to our children and we want to make sure that that relationship is as strong as it can be.” That’s what’s important. Whether or not, I’m single by circumstance or by choice, for those children to know that there is an adult who will keep them safe, do whatever they can so that if a parent isn’t available that they are.

Parents should feel so good that the children have somebody, especially when it’s not a relative. In fact, I share stories of what I call the peer aunt. It’s like the aunt who through circumstances, whether the mother or both parents are deceased, incarcerated or unwell, whatever it is, the children have other safe adults whom they love to go to.

Melanie, thank you for speaking to me. As I said, overdue and I want to say how much I appreciate the work that you do. You have created a legacy for yourself and touched a lot of people’s lives in a way that is empowering and compassionate. I appreciate your honesty and authenticity.

I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Thank you very much. While we have never met, I know that you are quite sincere. I take what you said to heart. It keeps me going, so thank you. It’s so lovely to be part of your Solo Community and keep going with what you are doing because you too give empowerment that they need to feel stronger about their choices and/or their situations. Kudos to you and thank you for having me on.

Thank you so much. Cheers.


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About Melanie Notkin

SOLO 127 | OtherhoodMelanie Notkin is an expert on the rising cohort of childless, often single, women. She is the national bestselling author of SAVVY AUNTIE: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids. Her second book, a memoir entitled: OTHERHOOD: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness, focuses on women like herself who are single and childless by circumstance.