As told to Brandi Lytle
Because Father’s Day is this Sunday, I thought it appropriate to share a male perspective on being childless not by choice. So, I asked my amazing husband, Dane, if he’d be willing to share his CNBC story. I am beyond honored that he agreed.
Reading Dane’s words brings tears to my eyes, makes my heart swell with love, and reminds me just how blessed I am to have this man in my life…
How did you become childless not by choice? (Infertility, chance, circumstance?)
My wife, Brandi, and I tried for several years to have a child with no success. We took several steps to try to make this happen, including insemination. My wife has a severe case of endometriosis and my sperm has low motility and is poor shaped. )-:
We considered adoption and decided that it was not for us. We had several acquaintances go through the adoption process. One of them had two kids taken back by the birth mother. The final baby that they got ended up having TB, and they were going to have a lifetime of health issues to deal with. Another said that they only wanted to adopt a baby (rather than an older child) and had been waiting for 10 years with no luck. We had already put ourselves through so much that we decided we did not need to go through that, as well.
I had watched my wife be devastated over and over and decided that 10 years was enough, so I told her that I did not want to go through this anymore. She hesitantly agreed, and we became childless not by choice.
You are so much more than childless not by choice. Tell us about yourself!
At this stage in my life, I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do when I grow up! Ha-ha! This is because I am a “serial entrepreneur,” and, I guess, also because I am childless. Being childless, I have been offered some opportunities that people with kids don’t get.
At 30, I decided to go back to school to pursue a medical degree. I had been a home builder for 8 years and this was 2008, so I needed a change. I would not have had this option if we had kids because there would have been other responsibilities. Through that school process, I decided that being a doctor was not for me. I loved the science, but through shadowing doctors, I found out that their jobs are not the best these days.
I decided I liked the business that I was in. I just needed to do it better. I decided to find some education to back that up, so I pursued an MBA. I finally graduated with my MBA this May. I took this part-time while being self-employed. Like I said earlier, I am still trying to figure it out but have a couple of good businesses going in the meantime.
What roles are you redefining for yourself? and How are you redefining those roles?
First is my role as husband and business owner. These roles have not changed and will not change in the future.
My roles as a parent have changed a lot over the years, though. I have always had a close relationship with my nieces. All three of them have played an important role in my life and will forever.
Next is my role as dog dad, which has always been an important part of my life. I have always had a very strong connection to animals ever since I was young.
Finally, is my role as the second dad to my beautiful daughter in Brazil. Wait, I said I was childless and now I am saying I have a daughter. What? I have been fortunate enough to have a family in Brazil share their daughter with me. We met her through a foreign exchange program. As I said to her family when we went to Brazil to meet all of them, Bruna filled a hole in my life that I did not know was there. She will forever be my daughter and I love her so much.
As you can see, sometimes that parent role is not what you think it is going to be.
Have you figured out your Plan B? If so, what is it?!
Plan B’s are just a turn in the road. In business, they always talk about having your plan B in case your idea does not work out. Yet, in the next breath, they say you must also learn to adjust.
Well, my roles as dad have changed a lot through my life, as I explained in the last question. The deal is, I do not think that my dad role is really that different. I love, care for, support, and protect my foreign exchange daughter, my nieces, and my puppies just like I would do any child.
You must remember that in this crazy world, nothing fits into a small box. You have to look at things from many different angles to get the whole picture.
I want to thank my incredible husband again for openly sharing his CNBC story. And I want to wish Dane an early “Happy Father’s Day!” Because my hubby certainly loves with a dad heart…
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Featured Photo: Anton Atanasov of StockSnap.io