What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do?
My name is Brandi Lytle. Currently, I live in South Carolina, USA. Originally, however, I am from Oklahoma. Last August, I started the blog, Not So Mommy…, where I share my infertility and childless not by choice journey.
What’s your background?
In 1999, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Education and in 2003, a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language. For 17 years, I taught high school Spanish, levels one through Advanced Placement (a college-level course). At age 39, I decided it was time for a change. So, I resigned from teaching and started my blog, Not So Mommy...
Do you have a plan B and can you tell us what stage you are at?
Yes, I most definitely have a Plan B! At the end of 2013, my husband told me that he didn’t want to keep trying. So, I walked into 2014 determined to try and accept our childless life. For the past five years, I’ve redefined what momhood and life are going to look like for me. I’ve fully embraced my roles as a wife, dog mom, aunt, and host mom. I’ve moved states, changed careers, and have accepted that we are childless not by choice (most days… I do have the occasional wobble.)
What support did you have from family and friends on your journey?
I am extremely blessed because most of my family and friends were very supportive during our infertility journey, and I was able to speak openly about our struggles. As each of my close friends became pregnant, they were considerate of my feelings. And my sister-in-law allowed me to play a huge role in our nieces lives, which brought me much comfort during our ten-year battle.
Judgments about our choices did not surface until my husband and I decided to accept our childless life. Although our family and friends supported our decision to stop infertility treatments, a couple of family members were quite judgmental about the fact that we decided not to adopt. As I have written blogs about this, it has been incredible to receive support, empathy, and understanding from the Not So Mommy… community.
Did you use any professional support resources? Do you have any recommendations to share?
Although I probably should have sought out a counselor or some type of professional support, I did not. I depended on my husband, family, friends, and Church to get me through our struggles. Because I did not know any other infertile or childless women, however, I felt very alone. Finding the CNBC community has been an incredible blessing to me.
What app or website could you not live without, and why?
With regards to business, I could not live without Canva and Buffer. Canva allows me to create beautiful social media images and “posters,” while Buffer lets me easily schedule posts for all my social media accounts.
What advice would you give to anyone looking for an alternative direction?
Go for it! I was so scared to accept our childless life, but taking that step was the turning point to discovering an amazing new path with wonderful new friends. That one decision—acceptance--led us to hosting our exchange daughter, an experience I wouldn’t change for the world. And changing careers at 39?! Well, that has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!
What are the most notable things you have learnt about running a business, changing your career or about yourself?
I do not like change, but I have learned that change is not necessarily a bad thing. If I had not changed careers, I never would have found this incredible childless not by choice community. Also, if I had not changed careers, I would not have realized that I am more capable than I realized, able to learn new things, and more tech savvy than I thought!
What is your ultimate professional goal?
I would like to publish a book and am beginning to write one. I’d also like Not So Mommy…’s readership to continue to grow, as I never want anyone to feel alone on this journey. Plus, I want to continue to educate and spread awareness about infertility, endometriosis, and being childless not by choice.
How can we contact you?
My website is http://notsomommy.com
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org