On Being Childless: What is my purpose?

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of Brandi Lytle, founder of Not So Mommy... (an infertility & childless blog), looking out over the ocen on "What is my purpose?"
SENSITIVE POST WITH POSSIBLE TRIGGERS:  Open, honest, raw talk about a recent wobble of mine, aging without children, leaving a legacy, human trafficking, and more…

As childless, we often struggle to discover our purpose.  I mean, our plan was to have littles, to be a mom or a dad.  We expected to leave a legacy through our children.  Since we don’t have biological or adopted two-legged kids, how are we to make an impact?  What is our place in this world?  Why did God give us this intense desire to have children, this tremendous love that seems to have no place to go…

A wobble…

I’ve hit a low point today.  It’s odd that just four days ago, I was so happy.  We celebrated Maddie’s 8th birthday, and I fully embraced my Dog Mom role.  Four days ago, my non-traditional life was enough.  But today…

Today, I feel inadequate.  Dare I say, useless.  Today, the tears are flowing.  And I just can’t seem to make them stop.  It’s not that my life doesn’t feel like enough.  It’s like I am not enough.

Now, it’s a bit scary to put this honest, raw reality out in the world.  But I try to speak to you with transparency.  And today, my truth is that I’m struggling.

What’s my purpose?

So, what can I do?  How can I discover my purpose?  Stop the tears?  Feel like I, a childless woman, am enough?  How can I leave an impact, a legacy?

Before Not So Mommy…

Before I began Not So Mommy…, I was a high school Spanish teacher for 17 years.  During that time, I literally taught thousands of students.  And a few weeks ago, one of those students reached out to me.  We spoke on the phone last week, and he told me about what’s going on in his life right now…

Present Day…

This young man (who truly is one of my favorite students) is going to be interning for Crossover CUPS this summer 2021.  Crossover CUPS is a Christian ministry whose mission is as follows: “Rescue a Child.  Transform a Family.  Do it again tomorrow.”

My former student will be traveling to the Dominican Republic this summer to help educate and empower young people and their families.  The hope is to help those living in this high poverty nation to avoid being exploited by human traffickers.  The hope is to allow them to dream, rather than feeling they have no other choice than a life of prostitution.

And how can I, a childless woman, help with this mission?  Well, my husband and I decided to donate to Crossover CUPS, specifically to provide funds for my former student’s summer internship.

Discovering My Purpose . . .

And as I sit here now, the tears have stopped flowing and the feelings of inadequacy and uselessness and feeling like I am not enough…  Well, I am feeling stronger.  So, I am realizing that those are lies.

I am infertile.  True statement.

I am never going to have a biological or adopted child.  Truth.

But that does not mean that I cannot impact children positively.  It does not mean that I cannot leave a legacy.  It does not mean that I can’t make a positive impact on this world!

In fact, perhaps God gave me this tremendous love for children because He wants me to love children.  Not a biological child from my womb, but the world’s children.  Perhaps my purpose on this Earth is bigger…

Are you wobbling, fabulous one?

I know that some (perhaps many) reading this today are battling a wobble.  Because yesterday was “M” Day and that day…  Well, it has a way of making we childless women doubt ourselves BIG time.  I hope reading my words has made you realize that you are important and have value and purpose.  This world needs you.  God put you here for a reason.

Perhaps part of that reason is to give…  To give of our time and talents and resources…

Fabulous one, if you’d like to learn more about Crossover CUPS, please click here
And if you’d like to learn more about my former student and donate to his summer internship, please click here.

*My former student’s page shared with permission.

As always, I thank you for reading.  Your support means more than I can express in words…

*I wrote this blog on 5 May 2021 and scheduled it to publish on 10 May 2021.  By Friday, 7 May, my wobble had completely subsided and I had found my strength again.  As a Christian, I have no doubt that God brought my former student and the opportunity to donate to Crossover CUPS at just the right moment to help me through this struggle.

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6 comments

M May 10, 2021 - 6:31 pm

Thanks so much for this message. I really do not know what I’m supposed to be doing. After years of heartache, I literally feel unimportant and invisible, from people on earth and people in heaven. I have no clue how to feel like myself again knowing I’m not good enough to have kids. I’m broken.

Reply
Brandi Lytle May 11, 2021 - 8:10 am

M, I am so sorry for your pain. I do understand the feelings of “unimportant and invisible.” I think we must both remember that those are lies. We have value. And we must remember to tell each other that… To give others strength when we have it and to ask for help when we are struggling. Sending you so many hugs…

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Sherry Stout May 10, 2021 - 2:45 pm

God did indeed put into motion the opportunity to reconnect with your former student and positively impact children’s lives through your donation. I am quite sure of it!! So sorry you had a bad couple of days, but equally as proud you were able to overcome the wobble. You.Are.Enough. Way more than enough. Feel it. Embrace it. Believe it.

Reply
Brandi Lytle May 10, 2021 - 3:18 pm

THANK YOU for your sweet, sweet words of encouragement, validation, & support! You truly are my biggest cheerleader. And I LOVE you!

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Libby Morgan May 10, 2021 - 2:17 pm

I hear my friends with kids ask this same question about their purpose and leaving a legacy outside of being a mother; I think it’s something all women struggle with as we get older. (Not that that makes it any better or easier for any of us.)

My mother raised me with two basic tenets when it came to children: You don’t have to give birth to a child to be a mother, and you don’t have to be a mother to love a child and impact that child’s life. I don’t know if she ever actually said it in those exact words or if that’s just how she’s always carried herself. But that’s my purpose: to love the littles in my world (even as some of them are now taller than I am), in whatever way that looks: as a teacher/coach’s wife, an aunt, a family friend, a neighbor, a youth volunteer.

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Brandi Lytle May 10, 2021 - 3:21 pm

Thank you for sharing your perspective and this valuable truth. And thank you for reminding me that it’s not only childless women who struggle with these questions… It seems we women are really good at doubting ourselves. I’m grateful for fabulous ones, like you, who remind us all of our worth. HUGS…

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