Celebrations as a Childless Family

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a crooked stack of cupcakes on Celebrations as a Childless Family on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog
Trigger Warning: Discussion of all different types of celebrations, from birthdays to holidays January through December…

While going through our infertility battle, one of my biggest fears was the emptiness.  I mean, what would celebrations as a childless family look like?  Looking into the future, I envisioned a childless life being empty, meaningless, and sad…

So, at the end of 2013, when my husband asked me to accept our life as it was (without a two-legged little), I knew that I must change perspective.  Looking back, I now realize that I began redefining in 2014, though I didn’t have a word for it at the time.

Redefining life began with embracing my dog mom role.  Almost a year later, when we got the opportunity to host our foreign exchange daughter, my heart was ready to accept that this was how our family was meant to grow.

And now, in year six of accepting our childless not by choice life, I know the truth about celebrations as a childless family.  Our celebrations are vibrant and meaningful and joyful!

While I love sharing my journey through words, today, I think that I will make a bigger impact if I share photos (with a bit of explanation about each…)

So, here’s what childless celebrations look like for me and my non-traditional, little family…

Celebrations as Childless . . .

New Year’s Celebrations

Photo Collage of New Year's Celebrations as Childless on Not So Momy..., a childless blogNew Year’s celebrations have always been quiet around our house.  Sometimes, we go out to dinner.  Other times, we just get take-out.

We always watch movies, stay up late to see the ball drop, and kiss at midnight.  (This year, we danced our way into 2019 as a family of three.  When Dane and I kissed, we were holding Maddie and felt little licks on our cheeks as she joined in!)

New Year’s Day is spent in our snug, eating breakfast, watching the Rose Parade, peacefully ushering in the start of new adventures…

Valentine’s Day

We have spent Valentine’s sharing special days with our nieces, taking aPhoto Collage of Valentine's Celebrations as a Childless Couple on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog trip to DC with our exchange daughter, and just hanging out with Maddie.

One year, we had a childfree, romantic get-away.

This year, we spent the evening in comfy clothes, sipping an adult beverage, while Maddie played at our feet.

I always send my mom a card and make sure to wish those I love a happy day…

Because, to me, Valentine’s is the perfect day to just show love…


Photo Collage of Easter Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blogUpon realizing that we would never have a biological kiddo nor were we going to adopt, I decided to give Maddie an Easter basket every year.

Despite the fact that Bruna was 17 when she lived with us, I still made her a basket.

And one Easter, we were in Brasil, and the Brasilian Easter Bunny left treats for Dane and me!

Though I love watching Maddie get excited about her basket, I believe that Easter is so much more than bunnies and eggs.  My favorite moments at Easter are spent in Church, worshiping the Risen Lord!

Birthday CelebrationsPhoto Collage of Birthday Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog

Maddie’s birthday is a BIG deal at our house!  Truly, I do not feel like I am missing out because I indulge for Maddie’s celebration.  This year, I wanted to order a special cake that said, “Happy 6th Birthday, Maddie!”  So, I did!  Since my hubby and I didn’t need an entire cake, I took it to her doggie day camp and let her teachers enjoy!  Seriously, Maddie’s birthday celebrations are the BEST!

Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blogMother’s Day celebrations have proven the hardest for me.  I have written many a blog about how to survive, how to redefine, how to navigate the emotions that this day brings…

For the first time since accepting my childless not by choice life, I did not wobble on Mother’s Day.  This is my favorite photo from Mom’s Day 2019.  I think it truly captures the joy I have embraced…

Father’s DayPhoto Collage of Father's Day Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog

Dane makes Mother’s Day special for me, so I try to make Father’s Day special for him.  We do whatever he wants, whether that’s a fancy steak dinner or eating ice-cream while looking at Jeeps!  (And the mug is rated PG because Dane insists that Maddie isn’t a lady.  She’s a tough girl!)


Photo Collage of Halloween Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blogFrom pumpkin carving parties to dressing Maddie up to fully embracing a childfree holiday, we love Halloween in the Lytle house!


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Even before accepting ourPhoto Collage of Thanksgiving Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog childless life, Dane and I began the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with just our little family.

Most years, we stay home and cook a huge meal that we eat on for days.

One year, we celebrated in NYC, taking a dinner cruise out to the Statue of Liberty.

I truly believe that Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for the childless…


Photo Collage of Christmas Celebrations as Childless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blogStockings, presents, Santa, lights, Christmas dresses, special times…  We haven’t missed out on the celebrations!  We just redefined as fur parents, host parents, an aunt and an uncle…

Celebrations as Just Us…Photo Collage of Everday Celebrations as a Childless Couple on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog

And then there are the everyday moments…

Simple instances that could easily be looked over…

The “hidden” celebrations that we must slow down and make sure not to miss…

A stolen kiss in the park, a leisurely meal on a sunny afternoon, a smile, a glance, a laugh…

Unfounded Fears…

So, my fears of a childless life being empty, meaningless, and sad…

Well, as the photos show, these fears were unfounded.  Celebrations as a childless family can be full of life, meaning, and joy…  If we are willing to let go, change perspective, embrace the what is, and redefine…


Fabulous one, what do childless celebrations look like for you?
Tell us about it in the comments!

For a complete list of Childless Celebrations which acknowledge our pain and honor our what is, click here…

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Sherry May 16, 2019 - 9:01 am

Every day is a celebration of life!

Brandi Lytle May 16, 2019 - 9:27 am

Indeed it is!


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