The Strength of the Childless Woman

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of ballerina feet on point on top of bricks on The Strength of the Childless Woman on Not So Mommy..., and infertility & childless blog
SENSITIVE POST:  This post ends on a strong note, but there are possible triggers along the way…

Unfortunately, the strength of the childless woman is often overlooked, or even missed completely.  Perhaps this is because many women struggle with insecurities.  We worry about our eyebrows, waist line, breast size, eyelash length, whether we have too many freckles, too much grey hair, and on and on and on…  Throw infertility and childlessness on top of that and well, some days, it’s difficult to feel strong.  Heck, some days, it’s difficult to even feel useful…

The Lies…

And the lies that we tell ourselves.  Or rather that we allow the devil to whisper in our ears…

You are a fraud.

You are not worthy.

You are weak.

The Harsh Reality…

And then, the harsh reality…  I am so tired.

No, it’s not the “mom tired.”  There is no exhaustion from taking care of littles, getting up every few hours in the night to feed that crying bundle, balancing work and kids and husband and life.

No, my exhaustion comes from getting tired of trying to be stronger than I feel.  It comes from striving to focus on the positive, finding the blessings in a childless life, looking forward with anticipation and joy rather than dwelling on what I cannot have but always wanted.  No, it’s not the “mom tired.”  It’s the “childless woman tired.”  And I am so, so sorry if you know what this tired feels like.

I had one of these days recently.  One of these “I’m so tired” days.  And on that day, when my defenses were low, the devil told me that I am a fraud.  He said I write this blog and make others believe that I have it all together when, in reality, I am weak and negative and unworthy.  And he just about had me convinced that I had no right to share my story…

The True Reality…

Until I realized that he is wrong.  I am most certainly not a fraud!  I have never once claimed that I have it all together.  Actually, I have stated on more than one occasion that I am quite literally a mess!  And I am not negative.  I have bad moments.  Heck, I even have bad days.  I am a human being, after all.  And accepting and embracing childlessness is a journey.  I have many, many good days, though.  Wonderful days.  But there are times I get sad, wonder, wish…  But that does not make me a fraud!

And weak?  Whatever.  Childless women are some of the strongest women I have ever met.  As I get to know others walking this path, I am in awe of the courage that they show.  Stories of numerous failed IVF attempts, miscarriages, failed adoptions, illnesses, friends and family who just don’t understand, and being bombarded daily with images of the life you thought you’d have but won’t…

And yet, we get up, we show up, and much of the time, we smile through our pain…  We smile through our tired.  Like a ballerina who hides scars and hurt and blood behind lovely toe shoes, we hide our tired behind beautiful smiles.  And it is a tired that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…

The Strength of the Childless…

And so, I shook my head and I changed the conversation.  I will not allow the devil to tell me that I am worthless.  I have a story to share.  I want to be a part of this childless community.  I want to encourage others and allow others to encourage me.  I will not allow him to convince me that I am a fraud who should be quiet.

No!  I am a warrior, and I will speak.  I will tell my truth because I am strong.

And so are you, sweet childless woman.  You have such strength and courage and fight.  Do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise!

I am fierce.  You are fierce.  We are fierce!  The strength of the childless woman is like no other.  Our hearts break and yet, we keep going.  Our grief is misunderstood and still, we are empathetic towards others.  Our life choices are judged and even then, we try to look at the bright side.

The strength of the childless woman…  It is hard to put into words.  It is amazing.  It is real.  It is love…

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Photo Credit:  Sarah Cervantes on

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Kaillie December 2, 2020 - 6:39 pm

Brandi- thank you for this blog. I found this post via Pinterest and the Lord used your words to speak directly to my heart. I’m almost 7 years in this journey and 10+ battling various chronic illnesses. I have always wanted to share my story but the enemy has fed me lies time and time again. I was a very serious ballerina prior to my health issues and my jaw dropped on the floor when you used that analogy. Thank you. Thank you for writing this. Your words mean more than you know!

Brandi Lytle December 3, 2020 - 11:14 am

Oh, Kaillie, THANK YOU for taking the time to reach out to me. If I’m 100% honest, I’ve been wondering recently whether my blog is making a difference… (As you said, “the enemy has fed me lies time and time again.”) Then, God brings a fabulous soul like yourself to show me that my sharing is reaching the right people at the right time. What a humble honor!

I’m so sorry you’ve struggled with chronic illness and are childless not by choice. It is a difficult journey. I’ve found it is made easier when we connect with others who truly get it. So, despite the circumstances, I am grateful you are here!

I hope you checked out the “Our Stories” section, which has CNBC & “Finding Joy Despite…” stories shared by fellow warriors. They are quite inspiring!

Sending you so many hugs…

Amanda Yantos November 7, 2017 - 9:36 pm

We live in a world of judgement where we (especially woman) are constantly criticized for our choices. Whatever we do, someone will find a reason to judge. It takes practice and some days are easier than others, but I enjoy staying true to myself no matter what. I get tired easily because I’m hypothyroid. But of course people don’t see that. They just see my outward life and appearance.
I agree with you – we are fierce!

Brandi Lytle November 8, 2017 - 10:30 am

It is difficult when we have “hidden” illnesses. We just have to remember how strong we are and like you said, stay true to ourselves!

Sherry Stout October 25, 2017 - 6:20 pm

No one can or should judge another’s “tired”. Whether it is physical, emotional, or both, it is real and profound. Do not judge. We know not what another has been through. There is tomorrow. Strength will come.


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