When I decided to put a set programme into place for this week I never envisaged that today would be the hardest day to get articles for. Today is the day we can shout out, “we are here and we are worthy”. But today, is the day when numerous people said they couldn’t write anything because they didn’t feel worthy. To know that so many childless people still feel this way is incredibly upsetting.

I have cried so much over the last few days. I have cried because I have panicked about getting everything done in time. I have cried thinking that people would have expected a more polished week. I have cried thinking I may look like a fool because the week doesn’t live up to people’s expectations. Those tears are insignificant.

I have cried because people have thanked me publically and privately. I have cried because I suddenly realised that I do not feel worthy of their praise. Here is a lesson for me. How can I help people realise they are worthy if I do not feel worthy myself.

I feel proud of the people who have helped make this week possible. I feel proud of the people who have shared their stories. I feel proud of the people who have shared their words. I feel proud of the people who have gone public for the first time and made a comment against a post. I feel proud of the people who remain anonymous during the week but have helped others behind closed doors in support groups. I feel proud of the people who have shared a post about being childless to their own timelines for the very first time. Every one of you is worthy. You are worthy of recognition, worthy of empathy and worthy because you are you.

If I can feel proud of everyone who has participated in World Childless Week then perhaps I should feel a little proud of myself? So here I am, almost too scared to say it out loud and with tears running down my face, but I am going to say it anyway. “I am worthy”.

Stephanie Phillips
Founder of World Childless Week