Not So Helpful Comment to the Childless from the Clueless…

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of various emojis on Not So Helpful Comment to the Childless from the Clueless on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog

Trigger Warning:  Not so helpful comment about fertility, TTC, and getting “P” made by a clueless guy, and my unfiltered thoughts about it…

I openly share my infertility and childless not by choice story.  Not only do I write this blog, but I also post daily on social media.  Recently, a guy made a not so helpful comment in response to one of my tweets.  (Trigger Warning…)  He said that perhaps we should teach girls that their fertility plummets after age 24.  According to him, if women would start trying to conceive earlier, we’d have fewer childless.

My Reactions to this Not So Helpful Comment . . .

Reaction #1:  Annoyance…

Okay.  Insert eye roll here.

I commented back that starting to try earlier is not the answer for the infertility / childless communities.  And I added a hashtag, #thingsnottosaytothechildless

Well, this guy responded with another not so helpful comment!  (Another trigger warning…) According to him his great-great grandma had nine kids and his great grandma had five.  And both of them started getting pregnant when they were teenagers.  But a couple other ladies in his family who started later didn’t have kids.  So, starting to try later is the reason so many women are childless nowadays.

Reaction #2:  Anger…

Seriously, dude?!  Good to know that your opinion is valid because you cited four people!

Another eye roll.  And a huge sigh.  And my heart is pounding out of my chest because I’m so irritated by you!

So, I blocked him.  Because obviously, he didn’t care about anything I had to say.  Who knows…  Maybe he was a troll.

But there was so much I wanted to tell this guy!  And since writing helps me work through emotions, I decided to share my thoughts with you.  So, here’s what I’m thinking…

My thoughts about the not so helpful comment . . .

My husband and I started trying to grow our family when I was 26 and he was 28.  According to Twitter guy, that was way too late.  I guess we should have started trying the minute we got married when I was 23.  But wait.  I found out from one of our four fertility specialists that my eggs were older than they should be.  That’s probably why I went through menopause at age 41, ten years before the average.  So, let’s just say my eggs were 10 years older than my biological age.  (Now, I realize this isn’t how “egg age” really works, but I’m trying to make a point.)  So, age 23 was too late because my eggs were 33.  Okay, so I should have started trying to conceive at age 13.  Oh wait.  I hadn’t met my husband yet.  Because I was in middle school!  And…  I have endometriosis.  And 40-60% of women with endo suffer from infertility.  Oh.  And my husband has male factor infertility, too.  But yes.  The fact that I waited to start trying to get pregnant until I was in my mid-twenties…  Yes, that’s the reason I’m childless.

And so, I say again…  Starting to try earlier is NOT the answer for the infertility / childless communities.


Reaction #3:  Wobble…

On the way to pick up Maddie from day camp, my mind started wandering…  I mean, could I have done something more during our TTC years?  Should we have started to try sooner?

Oh, this is ridiculous!  I am six years into accepting our childless not by choice life.  How can I let a clueless Twitter guy cause me to wobble?!  Get a grip, Brandi!

But his comment continued to nag…  It continued to upset…  Because he told me that I did something wrong.

Reaction #4:  Contemplation…

So, I started to think about what I was doing from the ages of 18 until 26, when we finally (there’s that eye roll again) started trying…

Well, I graduated from high school.  I attended college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language.  I began my teaching career, got married, and bought a house.  Also, I grieved the passing of my Daddy, who went to Heaven when I was only 24.

The reality is I wasn’t ready to start trying to grow our family when I was in my early 20s.  And that’s okay…

And this guy’s assertation that “fertility plummets after age 24…”  Well, that’s a bunch of hooey.  I knew it was, but I still did a little research.  A *Healthline article I found states, “Fertility gradually begins to decline at around age 32. After age 35, that decline speeds up.”  That same article, however, ended with, “Ultimately, the perfect time to get pregnant is when it feels right to you. It’s not unreasonable to wait until you feel more confident in your career and finances to start building your family.”  (*Article contains possible triggers.)

While I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, I just can’t find any reason why a “you should have tried sooner” comment is ever okay to say.  First of all, scaring women into thinking they must start having kids in their teens and early 20s is wrong.  And second, it’s none of your business when I started trying, and you don’t get to tell me that I waited too long.  It’s rude!

Reaction #5:  Self-Assured…

So, dude, I’m glad I blocked you.  Because I don’t owe you an explanation.  And I’m not going to allow you to take up any more space in my head or my heart.  My husband and I made the best decision for us, our marriage, our life, our family.  You don’t get to have an opinion on that.

Fabulous one…

Fabulous one, whatever path brought you to a childless life, you didn’t do anything wrong!  Please, don’t allow clueless people’s not so helpful comments to cause you to question.  We are childless NOT by choice.  But that’s not the end of our story.  Because we are MORE than childless…  We are embracing the what is, living this imperfectly perfect life with joy despite…

As always, thanks for listening!  (And especially today, for not judging my irritation…)


If anything I wrote resonates with you, please tell us about it in the comments.  Or if you just need to complain about some not so helpful comment a clueless person made to you, feel free to vent away…

Want to read more about what NOT to say to the childless?  Well, click here…

You might also like, “Childless and Misunderstood.”

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Jai September 29, 2019 - 2:33 pm

Well just, ugh! Yes, he is a founding member of the Moron-Troll club. Seriously? I just have to use ridiculous unhelpful comments like from this troll to drive my strength and refuse to give it any merit or my energy.

Stay strong, dear Brandi. You are helping thousands of women (and probably men) sharing your story. I am one of the many. Perhaps in another life we’ll become mothers at 11.

Brandi Lytle October 1, 2019 - 10:30 am

Thank you for your support! And thank you for making me grin with your last line… We have to just roll our eyes at such “ridiculousness,” don’t we?!

Nicki September 9, 2019 - 6:05 am

Thank you, I’m struggling with being childless, all of a sudden all my cousins have children and I am the only one that doesn’t, I have to buy baby birth presents, something I love/hate doing. I put it to the back of my mind most of the time but then as soon as I look at social media, something I do less and less, it comes flooding back. Thank you for this website. It helps knowing that other people are trying to get to grips with a childless life, sometimes winning and sometimes not.

Brandi Lytle September 9, 2019 - 10:20 am

Thank you for sharing your story and your heart, Nicki. I love that you end with “sometimes winning and sometimes not” with regards to navigating our childless lives. It is a complex journey, and I am very grateful (and humbled) that this site is helping. So many hugs…

Sherry September 4, 2019 - 1:05 pm

I am sorry this unthinking, careless man caused you pain. I am proud of how you worked through it. But I must admit, I chuckled at each eye roll. #mydaughterisamazing

Brandi Lytle September 4, 2019 - 2:56 pm

You know the eye roll all too well! I love your hashtag. I love your unwavering support. And I love you! HUGS!

Anne September 3, 2019 - 9:09 pm

The wobble… I always default to what I could have done differently, what if I tried harder. Then I remind myself that I can’t control my premature ovarian failure. I can’t control when I met my husband. I’ve made the best out of the life I have and I’m grateful!

Brandi Lytle September 4, 2019 - 10:43 am

Very well said, Anne! We do not have control of everything, yet we can make the best out of the what is… Hugs!

Hilary September 3, 2019 - 6:07 pm

I always hated “It will happen if you stop trying, because trying causes too much stress. Once you stop trying to get pregnant, it will happen.”
I love your blog and Facebook page!! Thank you for helping me realize I’m not the only one with all of these feelings.

Brandi Lytle September 4, 2019 - 10:46 am

Ugh! The “just relax” comment is the one I hate the most! I actually wrote an entire blog on that not so helpful comment. Here’s the link, in case you haven’t read it yet –

Thank you for your kind words about my blog and Facebook page! Despite the circumstances, I am so glad that you are a part of this community! So many hugs…


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