Move over Punks, it’s Auntie’s Day and the PANKs are Here!


Melanie Notkin joins me today on the Coaching Through Chaos Podcast. She’s here to talk about circumstantial infertility, a concept she coined in her best-selling book “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness”. Melanie is also the woman behind the enterprise. Did you dream of finding a mate in your 20s and creating a family soon after? If your life didn’t exactly go as planned and you are single and not wanting to have children without a partner, listen in – you’ll find you’re not alone….

People are remaining unmarried longer today than they ever did before. Sure, sometimes this is by choice, but very frequently, both men and women report just “not having found the right person”. This leaves a few million people single well into their 30s and early 40s without children. “Otherhood” chronicles Melanie’s experience of being single in her 30’s when what she really wanted was to be married and creating children. Melanie and thousands more men and women are holdouts for the traditional life where we get married then make decisions to have babies.

Melanie’s book tells stories of conversations she had with both male and female friends who were in their 30’s and early 40’s contemplating their options for having a family. Melanie had already started the conversation by launching her website. On, women can find community and information that when we are childless, we can feel left out. I say “we”, because I am part of the circumstantial infertility club, although I am now childless by choice in my mid 40’s. I am definitely “Auntie” to a few children in my life, but childless women in their 30’s are left out of conversations about child-rearing or developmental milestones as if we don’t want to participate. Most of us would love to participate but don’t get the chance. Melanie shares about her own dilemmas about whether or not to freeze her eggs “just in case”. The book highlights the vulnerability that arises when we otherwise have control of many things in our lives, except finding a partner and having a family.

Throughout the podcast, we cover:

  • The story behind “Otherhood”
  • What is a PANK?
  • The frustration between what some women want in life and what they actually find
  • The vulnerability of coming to terms with one’s circumstantial infertility
  • My own personal experience with being part of the Otherhood
  • The assumptions that are sometimes placed on “older” single women (& men)
  • Grieving the loss of being able to make biological children in a committed partnership
  • Melanie’s own vulnerability and decision making process as she moved through her 30’s
  • Melanie explains the Savvy Auntie community
  • Target marketing the Aunties and PANKs in the world

(Melanie joins me in the episode at 9:56)

Happy Aunties Day!!

From your host, Colleen Mullen, and the team at the Coaching Through Chaos Podcast 🙂


Melanie Notkin’s website – to keep up with all that Melanie is doing for the Otherhood. You can also contact her there for marketing consults and speaking engagements.

The Savvy Auntie website – here you can become part of the SavvyAuntie and PANK community. You can also keep up with current trends in learning, books, entertainment and resources for the special kiddos in your life.

Otherhood on

Savvy Auntie on Facebook – Be part of the fun community of fantastic Aunts and PANKS here!