Childless Holidays Series: HOPE – Encourage One Another

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a blue ornament and a clear ornament sitting in snow on Childless Holidays: HOPE - Encourage One Another on Not So Mommy...

During the last post for this Childless Holidays Series, I stated that I truly believe to find and spread hope, we must first find our purpose.  But finding purpose…  This can be hard.

He does amazing things…

My husband does amazing things.  He can work longer hours than anyone I know, has an incredible tenacity to complete difficult tasks, has been the sole bread winner is our household since I started Not So Mommy…, and has a strength that I find remarkable.  In other words, my husband does BIG things.  His contributions to our family are easily noticeable by all.

While this is a wonderful thing, there are times when I feel less than adequate.  While my hubby is working long hours into the night to make enough money for us to pay our bills, I am simply making dinner, doing laundry, letting Maddie outside, or pulling down the bed.  While he climbs our tallest ladder to install pallet boards on our ceiling, I simply hold that ladder and hand him the nail gun.  And while he gathers his laptop and organizer and books to head out for the day, meeting a new client and beginning to schedule the project he just landed, I think about the fact that I need to make another trip to Goodwill and do our grocery shopping.

I do the little things…

Because I do the little things.  My contributions aren’t always noticeable.  I mean, my husband made his own coffee this morning.  I was just the person who threw away the used K-cup and replaced it with a new one, wiping up a drop of coffee that accidentally landed on the kitchen counter.

If I’m not careful, I feel like these little contributions don’t matter, like I don’t do enough for our family, like my unpaid work is meaningless.  After all, he could change out his own K-cup…

And every now and then, I get really upset that I’m not doing enough.  And my hubby, extraordinary man that he is, reminds me that what I do is “impressive.”

“Keeping up with all the laundry and chores – impressive.”

“Taking care of me and Maddie and Bruna when she is here – impressive.”

“Writing a blog that helps others who are struggling – impressive.”

Those are the words he spoke to me recently when I had tear-filled eyes, worrying that I simply wasn’t enough…

Would the little seem bigger if we had littles?

I often wonder if I’d feel this way if we had littles at home.  If I wasn’t a stay-at-home wife and dog mom, blogging about my childless journey…  If instead I was a traditional stay-at-home mom of littles, blogging about my mom life, would I feel that my little contributions were big contributions?  If I wasn’t making Maddie’s dinner, but rather cooking for two-legged littles, would I feel that task was more important?  Would doing the laundry and making the bed and straightening up feel more like a “real job” if I were doing these things for a family that included two-legged kiddos rather than my little family with a hubby and fur baby?  Would it feel more important if I were taking two-legged kids to school rather than simply taking Maddie to her doggie day camp?

Would I worry less and feel more important and valuable, that my purpose was greater, if I were a traditional mom and had a traditional life?

If I’m honest, maybe.  Because people say, “Being a mom is the hardest job in the world.”  There are images on social media which show how much money a mom should make for all the chores and errands and contributions she makes.

But a dog mom?  A host mom?  A childless wife?  No one says that’s the hardest job.  No one makes catchy social media images to show how much we are worth…

So, I must believe in my own worth, my own value.  I must remind myself (and often, as I am a worrier and an over-thinker) that what I do matters.

Encourage one another . . .

This is easier when I receive encouragement from others, however.  Like when my hubby told me that I am “impressive.”  Honestly, when the dialogue in my head starts with the questions about whether what I do is valuable, I’m trying to change those lies and remind myself that my amazing hubby thinks I’m “impressive.”

So, the E in HOPE…  Well, it stands for “Encourage one another.”  Because life is hard.  And a childless life…  It comes with its own unique set of challenges.  But if we are Honest and Open about those challenges, if we try to find our Purpose, and if we Encourage one another as we tell our stories and look for our meaning, we find HOPE.  And once we find hope, we can then spread hope to others…

Thank you, fabulous ones…

I cannot end this blog without saying thank you, fabulous ones, for helping me to find hope.  My hubby isn’t the only one who encourages me.  You all say some of the kindest, most wonderful things to me.  Your comments on my blog, social media, and through emails and private messages have built me up more than I can say in words.

I consider Not So Mommy… my work; however, I don’t make any money writing this blog.  Although I’m not monetarily driven, there are instances when I wonder if my time is well-spent focusing on my blog and social media.

And then, I receive beautiful words from a community member, telling me that what I do matters, encouraging me to continue sharing.  And I find it—hope.  Hope that helps me to continue writing, hope that tells me what I’m doing is important, hope that reminds me that even though my life isn’t “traditional,” it still matters.  I’m still important.  I have a purpose.

Your life matters too, fabulous one.  You are important.  And you have a purpose that only you can fulfill.  And it is my honor to encourage you on this childless journey.  It is my honor to help you find hope…

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)


If anything I wrote resonates with you, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Want to read more in the Childless Holidays Series?  Click the title to read…

Childless Holidays: Finding & Spreading Hope – Series Intro

Childless Holidays: HOPE – Be Honest & Open

Childless Holidays: HOPE – Find Your Purpose


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Featured Photo:  Ylanite Koppens on

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Daniela December 13, 2018 - 5:39 am

Needed to hear this, thank you!

Brandi Lytle December 13, 2018 - 10:12 am

I’m always grateful when the right words reach the right people at the right time. It’s a God thing… 🙂

Brad December 7, 2018 - 11:16 am

My wife will often say things when I get home like “I didn’t do much, just a little cleaning”, or “I didn’t get as much done as I wanted”. Sometimes she even apologizes for not having cleaned ALL of the bathrooms or mopped the entire floor! She often has that feeling too, wondering if her efforts are valuable. Let me say what it looks like from my side, as the traditional day-job husband:

Taking care of a home, even one for a family of 2(plus furbabies), is an extraordinary amount of work. Living life is messy(at least it should be, if you’re doing it right!). We make messes making dinner, eating popcorn watching a movie, just going in and out of the house(I’m looking at you, doggos. Learn to wipe your feet!). Whenever my wife gets sick and I make her rest in bed, it’s almost overwhelming to try and keep up. Now we have Mt. Laundry, hills of dirty dishes, and bathrooms that should be condemned. And the kicker is, the work never ends. If I get a project done at work, I can kick off early or relax a bit. There is never an end to the work at home.

Without my wife, I would go to work and come home and work. Because of her incredible efforts, when I get home we are able to relax in a wonderfully clean home(something to be said for mental health and the cleanliness of your environment), and do together things. Adventures, movies, home improvement projects. I try very hard to recognize her for her impressive work, because it truly is impressive.

Brandi Lytle December 7, 2018 - 12:26 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comments, Brad! I truly appreciate you sharing your perspective about the contributions a stay-at-home wife and fur baby mama make to the family. It sounds like you are one of the good guys! Your wife is blessed to have you! 🙂

Dane Lytle “Not so daddy” December 5, 2018 - 12:11 pm

My wife thinks too highly of me! She inspires me, we all have our bumps and trouble and it helps to have someone there that shares in them. She gives that to so many people and I am so proud of her!

Brandi Lytle December 5, 2018 - 4:23 pm

Thank you, sweetie. I love you so much!


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