This page contains advice from family members of childless women.
As you look into the eyes of your newborn child for the first time you instantly realize that your life as it was will never be the same. You become devoted to this new little life and you know that you will do whatever it takes to fix the hurts and injustices that your child may experience as he or she goes through this earth life.
Then one day comes the realization that we cannot fix all their problems. As hard as it is to accept, we know that they must rely on their own instincts and faith to get through their trials. Hopefully, we have given them the tools throughout their life for this to happen.
Our job at this point is to encourage them, support them, listen to them, pray for them and remind them of the love that their Heavenly parents as well as us as their earthly parents have for them.
I try to encourage my daughter as she works through her trial of childlessness to keep two important things in mind and incorporate these into her life.
The first would be to not waste precious time dwelling on what you can’t or don’t have. Look around and be grateful for what you do have and also still can have. Always work towards making your life better and more fulfilling. There are endless possibilities and options out there. Find what interests you and make things happen. Just as God made each one of unique, so will our “happily ever after” be unique.
Second, trust in the Lord. Easy? No, but one day we will know and understand, in this I truly believe. When I have been faced with a trial, I often refer to an LDS conference talk from Nov. 1995 by Elder Richard G. Scott. The talk is called, appropriately, “Trust in the Lord”. This is one of those talks that I have read and reread, highlighted and underlined and am well on my way to having it memorized because it is applicable to each and every trial we may experience. It has brought me much peace and more understanding as to the reasons we go through our individual tough times. It can offer encouragement not only to us as parents of children facing these difficulties but also encouragement to the child experiencing them.
Although I cannot fix all my child’s problems, I take comfort in the knowledge that with patience our questions will be answered and we will have that understanding we do not now have.
~Advice from a Mother of a childless daughter
As a family we have always been very close and so when my sister and brother-in-law found out they would never have children it was a very sad day for all of us. However they have been a great example to us by their faith and joy despite this disappointment and heartache.
When I married I felt almost guilty each time we had another baby knowing it could add to their pain but I learned that the most important thing I could do was to show gratitude for and have great joy in each new arrival and continue to do so as they grew. What would hurt my sister more would be to see me moaning about or being less than grateful for the children who had made me a mother.
It has always been important to allow my sister and her husband to be a close part of our family and to let them share in our children’s lives and become an important and essential part of it. We had a great responsibility to teach our children by word, deed and attitude that our family without their aunt and uncle was not complete.
The knowledge and the promise that in the next life, if we prove ourselves worthy, no blessing even that of children will be withheld from us is a great comfort and something to look forward to and work for. But that still requires great patience and acceptance of what our life holds now. I can’t expect my sister to live her life with patience, enduring well not having children and having joy in her life even when one of her greatest most righteous desires is unfulfilled if I don’t try and develop those same attributes in my own life. How can I support her in learning patience if she sees me displaying impatience in my own life especially with my own children? Can I expect her to find joy in life when I don’t find joy in my children? Why should my sister endure not having children well if I do not endure well having children?
It has been good for my sister and I to be able to rejoice together about wonderful blessings that have come into our lives and sorrow together when trials have come and we both look forward to the day when every promise is fulfilled.
~Advice from a sister of a childless woman
My daughter once asked me, “What makes your life full and worth living?” I told her my life purpose was totally wrapped around supporting my kids. In my head I was telling her I loved her, but from her perspective it said something totally different. My beautiful child will not be blessed in this life to raise her child and she was searching for her purpose beyond that walk in life. I inadvertently and very painfully added to her perplexity; she was questioning, if she could not raise children was there no purpose in her life? It was years later, after she had come to the realization that her Father in Heaven knows and loves her beyond that one purpose, that she was able to share with me how much she needed me to have searched for and found fulfillment in my own life beyond my children.
I have since reflected on what my individual purpose in life might be. I can tell you it is not an easy search, I speak in present tense because I have not attained a complete understanding yet. Women who have raised their children or find themselves single after years of companionship all face a question of “What now, what is my purpose?” This is what my daughter faced before me. Her pain, and confusion were not lifted by me, but they did lead her on her own journey with the Lord. She now can see how He needs her to serve others, she lifts hands and hearts that hang down. Her walk with God leads her in her life’s journey. She has an ability to have empathy and encouragement for those whose pain of being childless, and many other difficulties, seems to be unbearable. I do not know all of God’s plan for her but I have seen His hand in her life. I also see His hand in my life. He has shown me that we are all given different talents so we can help each other with our varied challenges. Her path is different than mine, neither is easy or pain free, but with the Lord’s help we each find our way and give of ourselves while helping those around us to also find His hands outstretched toward them.
Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”~Advice from a mother of a childless daughter