Sara’s CNBC Story

by A Fellow Warrior
Photo of a jar with multicolored sparkles coming out the top on Sara's CNBC Story on Not So Mommy..., a childless blog
As told to Brandi Lytle

A few months back, I found a message from Sara in my inbox.  She wanted to share her story…  We have actually known each other for years.  And yet, I never knew the depth of her childless story.  As I read Sara’s words, my heart broke, tears trickled down my cheeks, and I realized once again…  We childless are “hiding in plain sight,” as Civilla Morgan says.  I’m so grateful that Sara was brave enough to be vulnerable, brave enough to share the deepest emotions of her heart…

So, let me turn it over to Sara, who poignantly shares how she became Childless Not By Choice, how she is trying to Create a New plan Bravely and Courageously…

Trigger Warning:  Real, honest, raw talk about being a stepmom, divorce, suicide, intense grief, illness, and Mother’s Day, with mention of children throughout…

The Story of Sara . . .

I love children and teenagers. I’ve taught horseback riding lessons and voice lessons to all ages. I was an elementary school music teacher, high school drama teacher, and now I teach high school English. For two years, I was a Brownie troop leader for Girl Scouts. I have 10 nieces and nephews and 11 great nieces and great nephews. I am surrounded by children.

During my 20s, I was a stepmother for 10 years to three girls. The youngest was 9, and I did it all. Stuffed stockings, made birthday cakes, cooked giant dinners every night, had parent teacher conferences, hauled them back and forth to viola lessons, art lessons, gave them money, bailed one of them out of jail, picked them up in the middle of the night drunk and sick, and took them to doctor visits.


I began having painful and heavy periods when I was about 23. At 29, I was found with huge fibroid tumors. The advice was an immediate hysterectomy. One of my stepdaughters said, “Good. No more Daddy Juniors walking around.” No sympathy from them!

My uterus was a mess. When they took it out on July 31, 2001 at 8:00 am (I think of this every single year), they found endometriosis, as well as more fibroids than they expected.

When I left the hospital, I got on the elevator with a pillow tight against my belly. Another patient rolled on after me… a brand new mother holding her newborn son. I can hear the “It’s a boy!” helium balloons hitting the elevator door as her husband pushed her through. I smiled tightly and said, “Congratulations.” My entire insides filled with an ache that has been with me ever since.

Trying to Find Comfort…

At first, I tried to find comfort in that I was a mother, and maybe my stepchildren would be enough. But I already knew deep in my heart that this marriage would not last. And it didn’t.

After investing all of that time into my stepchildren, the last day I spoke with them was the day I moved out. We parted in a friendly manner, and I left the door open for them. I even contacted them on Facebook a few years back. No response. It feels like I meant nothing to them. I do know better, but the feeling is still there.

Seven years single, and my constant thought was that nobody would want me because I couldn’t have children. I felt less of a woman. So, I chose unwisely during that time…because I thought so much less of myself.

More Illness…

Six years after my hysterectomy, I started having pain underneath my right ribcage. I was living in Florida at the time, and my family lived in South Carolina. I was found with a large tumor on my liver. Two days later, my brother was found with tumors on his liver, too. Our biopsies were 24 hours apart, and we found out our results on the same day. His: Malignant and a rare form of cancer. Mine: Benign and surgery would fix it. My brother has three girls, and they were all in school at the time.

I spiraled down in a tailspin that night. For the first and only time in my life, I was suicidal. Survivors remorse is real. All I saw were his children… and me without. Over and over, I said: Why not ME, God? I am worthless. I have no children. He has three who depend on him. Why wasn’t it me? I called a crisis line and sought out counseling the next day.

But that feeling of being less valuable because I have no children/cannot have children has plagued me ever since.

Finding Acceptance…

God did have a perfect mate for me, though. One who accepts me as I am and supports me as we journey through life together without children of our own, yet we wake up each day to serve them in education.

Most days, I am great. I throw myself into my horse, my work, and my family. I feel comfort through my faith.

Mother’s Day…

Then comes Mother’s Day. I try to make it all about my mother, but it just can’t last all day. I don’t go to church. Mothers rock, and they should stand. But I don’t get to stand. I know I will cry at some point that week, but I never know when. I used to cry during or after church when I used to go on Mother’s Day. Sometimes a dream will wake me, and I am sobbing. Then, I drive to work crying the whole way. (That was this year.) One time, it was in CVS by the Mother’s Day cards. Another time, I walked through the baby section of Walmart and picked things up, wondering what it would’ve been like. I sobbed right there. And now, I finally have my soulmate, well… I think of the father he would be, and what great parents we would’ve made.

And deep inside, the ache from the elevator and the dark spiral I felt that night raise their heads to taunt me.

The Wobble and Finding Her Way…

A wobble? That’s it. That’s my wobble, too. It’s been rough this May. Every single teacher on my hall has children except me. I feel so childless when I constantly walk into parenting conversations throughout the day. I simply have nothing to contribute and I feel the ache… the wobble. Sometimes I leave and that’s hard for me because I just love people. I love laughing and talking and being a ham.

How do I handle it? Well, I cry if I need to. I leave uncomfortable conversations in a very polite manner. I ride my horse. And I bury my face into the little ones’ faces who share my DNA. I buy them whatever they need. I spend time with them.

And I constantly pray for God to show me my value here on earth, even without children.

You are amazing, Sara!  Again, THANK YOU for trusting me and the Not So Mommy… community enough to share your story.  I pray this school year is a beautiful one.  I pray you feel your value.  Because you are most definitely valuable, Sara!  Yes, you are childless.  But you are also MORE than childless!  So many hugs…


Fabulous one, if anything Sara wrote resonates with you, please tell her about it in the comments.

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Mali September 30, 2019 - 10:08 pm

Sara, this is a beautifully written, heart-breaking story. But it is one of survival, and strength, and compassion. I hope you see your value, and your self-worth. Merely writing this is valuable, because others will feel less alone, and take strength from it. You are valuable. You don’t need to be a parent, or even a role-model to children (though you undoubtedly are) to be valuable. Perhaps especially in your childlessness, you are valuable, because you are showing people you don’t have to have children to love, to nurture, to show empathy. You, like all of us, are valuable because you’re showing everyone that there are other ways to live our lives, whether by choice or not.

And maybe stay away from the Mother’s Day cards in CVS and the baby section of Walmart. That’s just a version of self-torture, if you ask me.

Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story. I hope too that you will feel welcomed on the blogs in this community.

Sherry September 30, 2019 - 2:17 pm

Oh my Sara, I shed tears reading your story. But you must, you have to, see the tremendous impact you have on children through education. This is where God put you to have a lasting legacy with kids of all ages. Whether with your DNA or without, you have loved, protected and served hundreds. Not many can make that statement. May you continue to heal and love yourself.


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