After a bit of reflection, I decided not to make any grand resolutions this year. Instead, I decided to start this new decade striving to continue working towards my 2019 resolution…
Stop expecting others to understand my childless life. Just embrace my life and live who I am authentically and with joy! -Brandi Lytle
In my first post of 2019 (which you can read here), I wrote, “Here’s to 2019 and the next step on my journey… Committed to not feeling childless and misunderstood. Committed to not just accepting my childless life, but embracing it.”
Change 2019 to 2020, and it still sounds like a pretty great goal.
So, that settled, I stepped into 2020 feeling confident and empowered and ready to stand proud as my authentic, unique self. And then…
Childless and Misunderstood in 2020 . . .
I hopped on my website to check comments and there it was. An extremely rude comment that caught me by complete surprise. It was like a flashback to last year, as I received a very mean comment at the beginning of 2019, as well. (You can read about that here.) I put the comment in the trash folder, as I didn’t want it just sitting at the end of one of my blog posts, ready to trigger someone without any warning. But like last year, I decided to write about the words thrown my way…
The Rude Comment…
And what were these hateful words, you might be wondering? Well, first, let me say…
TRIGGER WARNING: A very rude comment that, though directed towards me, has the potential to cause quite a wobble for the childless, especially those who are infertile. Please, do not continue reading if you are feeling vulnerable today.
Unedited comment written in response to my blog, “Jesus was childless, too.” (The comment is not highlighted nor italicized, but simply in quotes, as I don’t want it to stand out.)
“Jesus was childfree because he never expressed any desire to have children. Childfree are not the evil monsters you’re making them out to be (they’re incapable of being gentle? Incapable of nurturing?), have you considered you’re incapable of empathy or that you’re bitter? Perhaps it’s for the best that such a person is infertile.”
As I initially read these words, it took a moment for me to realize that this person was talking about me! Taken aback, I wondered what I could possibly have written to make her believe that I think childfree are “evil monsters.” So, I re-read the blog post on which she commented and realized…
In the post, I wrote, “Jesus loved kids with his whole heart and had a gentle, nurturing spirit. He is the perfect example of a childless, but not childfree, person.” (You can read the entire post here.)
Childless, not childfree.
Now, those of you who are regulars here at Not So Mommy… know that I state, “I am childless, not childfree.” I wrote an entire blog explaining why I don’t embrace the term “childfree” for myself. (I actually linked to that blog near the end of “Jesus was childless, too.” I’m assuming the person who commented didn’t take the time to read that post, however. If you’d like to read “Childless, not childfree,” just click here.) This person misunderstood my statement. She took my “childless, not childfree” words and twisted them, making me out to be a hater of childfree, telling me that I am incapable of empathy, that I am bitter, and that it’s a good thing I wasn’t able to have children.
The Shocking Part…
And you know what is shocking?! (As if her words weren’t shocking enough!)
I didn’t cry. My heart didn’t pound. My hands didn’t tremble. Unlike the mean words from the beginning of 2019, this rude comment didn’t cause a wobble.
Did she hurt my feelings?
Yes, she did.
Did I want to explain myself?
Absolutely. (That’s probably why I’m writing this blog…) But she marked “no” to being notified about future comments. Plus, I really doubt she’ll ever come back to the blog. I made a horrible first impression! (A bit of an ornery grin here.)
Did I feel misunderstood?
Yes. I felt (and still feel) that she completely misunderstood my words and the true intention behind them. The difference between how I feel now and how I’ve felt in the past, though… I do not feel like her misunderstanding and anger and hatred is my fault. I wrote “Jesus was childless, too” with the purest of intentions. She read one blog post and commented on my moral character without really knowing who I truly am. Just because she thinks something does not make it true.
You can’t please everyone.
I came across this quote the other day…
“One day, she realized that she could never please everyone, so she gave up trying and decided to be herself. Whether other people liked it or not was not her business.”
So, this one lady doesn’t like me and thinks the world is a better place since I’m infertile.
Well, I certainly didn’t please her! (Another ornery grin.)
But pleasing her really isn’t my business.
I’m going to try to remember this when others toss cruel words my way. (I have no doubt that this isn’t the last time I’ll be childless and misunderstood in 2020 . . .)
I do think it’s a bit easier to disregard the comments of a stranger. Words from friends and family… Well, those can be a bit harder to ignore. I’ve been mulling over a conversation I had with an extended family member right after Christmas… Now, those words… They do cause my heart to pound and my hands to tremble. Maybe I’ll be able to ignore such remarks in the future… It’s hard, though, when this person is supposed to love you…
But that’s a post for another day. For now, I’ll focus on the fact that I was able to disregard the rude comment from someone who really doesn’t know me, realizing that those words are in no way truth.
What is my truth?
I am childless, not childfree. And I will continue to embrace this truth, living who I am authentically and with joy!
If anything I wrote resonates with you, please tell us about it in the comments.
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