5th Eldest Daughter Retreat March 25-29, 2023 at the Findhorn Foundation, Scotland

From the first sharing circle to the last, this retreat will make you feel at home with women you’ve never met yet recognize and identify with since we’re all firstborns. This retreat sprang from the book I co-authored with my fellow-firstborn friend Wies Enthoven, The Eldest Daughter Effect. To conduct our research, we had organized a day for eldest daughters only and through this annual retreat we repeat that connective experience. Come and join us in this exploration led by Gill Emslie, PhD, eldest of four. Apart from group time, there is ample space for walks, outings and self-time. A wellness evening with wonderful Weleda products has been a recurring ritual since co-host Jayn Sterland joined the program. If you are interested or have questions, please drop me a mail at

Featuring in documentary on Beatrix: The Queen Who Gave Up The Crown

I was honored to be asked to feature in this episode in the series of Royal Documentaries on our Dutch former Queen Beatrix. It was lovely to spend a day with the crew going around Amsterdam to places that were memorable in Her Majesty’s life and end with an interview at our home. Seeing the film moved me deeply as being an eldest royal doesn’t prevent tragic life events. 

TEDx Talk

Using world leaders as examples, in this engaging and funny TEDx Talk Lisette Schuitemaker shares powerful insights into how our place in the birth order forms and shapes us – and how we can avoid the birth order blind spot. Her talk ends with 3 tips on how to navigate family gatherings and have a great time with our siblings.

Lucy McCarraher & Lisette Schuitemaker about The Eldest Daughter Effect

Our mothers were best friends, even though one lived in the UK and one in the Netherlands. They had their first child one month apart, and upon the birth of their second child, made us into the eldest daughters that Lucy and I are, and we also maintain a lifelong friendship. I admire Lucy for her zest in getting professional women to publish what they know, for her resourcefulness in finding ways to promote these authors and their books. What a joy to feature in her ABOO lunchtime learning series in which we spoke about how the position in our family of origin shaped our lives and personalities and of eldest daughters everywhere.

Watch the episode here

First guest on Subtle Moments podcast by Anna Florido

I was delighted to be the first guest on the Subtle Moments podcast of Anna Florido. One of her lovely questions was about ’the energy packages’ that in her experience II put into my books. I had never thought of my writing in those terms. That’s the hallmark of a good interviewer – that they let the interviewee see their life and work in a new light. But then, Anna is a a renowned intuitive healer, speaker and energy therapist. Enjoy this episode that she called ‘Patterns of Life’.

Listen to the podcast here

Childfree through the Decades with the Childfree Girls

Several times during the conversation hosted by Childfree Girls all of us were deeply moved. For this episode, they brought together seven women without children from a teenager to a sexagenarian – me! We opened up about our life and expectations for the future, discussed bingos, shared thoughts about growing old and many other topics!

You can also listen to this show in podcast format. Search for Childfree Girls on iTunes, Podbean, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play …

Watch the episode here

My Story at Anotherhood, A space for women without children

The story of Anotherhood begins with Kadi in Los Angeles and Laura in a small village in the Scottish countryside. In 2017 an e-mail connected them through a mutual contact, and a friendship started to grow. Together they found a shared language, spoke the truth that they hadn’t spoken before, about their lives as women in our mid 30’s without children. Finding no answer to the question: Where is the space for women who don’t have children?, they created this. I was happy to be in conversation with Laura who wrote this rendition of our tender exchange.

Read my story here

Discussing Childless Living with Nancy Wiegman on Nancy's Bookshelf

Nancy Wiegman is an expert book reader and interviewer. Since 2007, she has had a weekly radio show on North State Public Radio (NSPR) in which she conducts conversations with writers. I was delighted to appear on her show in March 2019 when we had a lovely exchange on the many aspects of the life of people without children.

Listen to the radio show

Articles on

Here’s a good way to get an impression of my book Childless Living. Below are links to three articles that appeared on the online magazine that publishes articles by well-known and lesser-known authors.

The Dilemma of The Freedom to Choose

What Makes You a Mature Adult

A Life Worth Living … Without Regrets

Turning Negative Self-Talk Around with Sister Jenna on America Meditating Radio Show

Sister Jenna is a spiritual leader, author, radio host and TV personality. Her mission is to offer a perspective for folks to find clarity, power, and insight. She is the recipient of numerous awards like the President’s Lifetime National Community Service Award, Every Day Hero Award by the Foundation for Better Life and the Friendship Archway Awards, to name a few. Her syndicated radio show, America Meditating is a popular global online show on which I appeared in 2019. A propos of The Childhood Conclusions Fix we spoke of inding ways to get over our stories by asking the right questions – and in the process freeing ourselves to live our true gifts.

Listen to the radio show

Podcast Childless Living

I loved my conversation with April Hannah of Path11 about the many aspects of childless and childfree living. We spoke of millennials worldwide who are aware of the choice they have in the matter of parenting, of how we ourselves came to not have children and what the challenges are when we age. I think this makes for a good hour of listening if you’re interested in this life-defining topic.

Listen the podcast here

German edition of The Childhood Conclusions Fix

I am delighted to announce that April 2019 saw the publication of the German version of the Childhood Conclusions Fix in an excellent translation by Claudia Callies. The book is named 5 Schritte zum Frieden mit dem Inneren Kind Negative Glaubenssätze erkennen und loslassen or 5 Steps to Peace with the Inner Child – acknowledging and letting go of negative beliefs.

The book was published by Irisiana Verlag

Korean edition of The Eldest Daughter Effect

“I know this book gave lots of consolation to many first Korean daughters, including me,” wrote a Korean reader after the book had come out in her language. She was surprised at how much she had recognised of the examples we gave in the book seeing as they come from an individualistic culture. This feat points to the conclusion that the effect of our place in the birth order is even more universal than we had thought while writing the book.

We’re enjoying the beauty of the Korean language: 첫째 딸로 태어나고 자란 이들에게는 뭔가 특별한 점이 있습니다. 그 특별함은 주로 책임감, 리더십, 세심함 등으로 드러나곤 하죠. 어린 시절엔 동생을 잘 보고 나이가 들어서는 부모를 살뜰하게 보살피는 큰딸들, 학교나 직장에서 좋은 평가를 받는 장녀들은 우리 주위에서도 쉽게 볼 수 있습니다.

물론 첫째 딸에게도 많은 고충이 있습니다. 지나친 의무감과 책임감, 완벽주의적 성향 등이 첫째 딸을 괴롭히기도 합니다. 그래서 이 책은 이러한 고충들로부터 자유로워지고 싶은 맏딸들에게 날카로운 자기 분석의 길잡이가 되어줍니다. 특별한 공감과 치유의 기회를 함께 선사하면서요. 첫째 딸로 태어나고 싶지는 않았지만 묵묵히 맏이 역할을 해온 이들, 비록 선택하지는 않았지만 첫째 딸로 태어나길 잘했다고 느끼며 살아가는 믿음직한 장녀들 모두에게 두 저자들은 유쾌하고 속 깊은 멘토가 되어줄 것입니다.

[출처] 첫째 딸로 태어나고 싶지는 않았지만》 출간 소식!|작성자 갈매니저

Italian edition of The Childhood Conclusions Fix

I am delighted to announce that the Italian edition of The Childhood Conclusions Fix will be published in January 2019. They gave it the title L’ho creduto sin da bambino Le cinque convinzioni limitanti che ci portiamo dietro dall’infanzia or I believed this as a child – the five limiting beliefs we carry with us since our childhood

Thank you, all at Editizioni Amrita for this wonderful edition.

Conversation with Linda Mackenzie

I was in a Swiss chalet when we had this conversation, and it took the technician a few minutes to adjust the sound. Remarkable in our exchange was that Linda didn’t dentify with the picture I painted of parents being over the moon with their first child. It was interesting to pursue various perspectives on life in families that take many different shapes and that shape us differently.

© 2017 Lisette Schuitemaker. All Rights Reserved.