Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Book review: Kidfree & Lovin' It!
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were good and wish you all the best for the new year. This morning I finished reading one of the newer books on the childless life, so I'm sharing my opinion. In the interest of full disclosure, I am quoted once, on page 20, as someone who regrets not having children, and the author gave me a small discount on the purchase price. This has not influenced my review in any way.
Kidfree & Lovin’ It! by Kaye D. Walters, Serena Bay Publishing, 2012. I should have known. This is yet another book glorifying the childfree life. It is extremely well done, full of solid information and great resources, including an extensive list of famous non-parents and lists of places for the childfree to find other childfree people. Walters spent years surveying thousands of childfree people and includes lots of quotes from people who don't have children, nearly all by choice.
This is the most thorough book that I have seen on the subject. However, I had a hard time reading it. The overarching message seems to be that only fools procreate. It’s too expensive, messes up your careers and your relationships, and, most important, you have to sacrifice your freedom. Certainly Walters offers a few words here and there noting that if you feel that parenting is right for you, then go for it and God bless you. But those passages are overwhelmed by pages and pages of why parenting sucks and why children are undesirable. Also, if you and your mate disagree, then compromise is impossible; you have to break up. Apparently there is no room in this life for sacrifice or for doing things for other people because you love them.
If you are childless by choice, you will love this book. As I said at the beginning, it is well-written, well organized and full of facts. If you’re on the fence, you may decide after reading this that you don’t want children after all. But if you want children or wanted them and couldn’t have them, I bet you won’t make it through the whole book.
Not to blow my own horn, but my own Childless by Marriage appears to be the only one coming out lately that acknowledges regret over not having children. The childfree movement seems to be coming at us like a tidal wave. Right now one in five women don't reproduce. That leaves 80 percent who do. I wonder what will happen with the next generation. Will only a small percentage decide to have children?