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Childfree and Loving It!
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Childfree and Loving It!

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  226 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Recording the opinions of childless women from all over the world and letting this growing band answer their detractors, this investigation looks into the world of those who choose not to have children. Interviewees speak freely and honestly about their experiences, providing readers with both the many reasons people choose to live child-free and insight into what seems to ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 28th 2005 by Vision (first published April 28th 2005)
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I Can Barely Take Care of Myself by Jen KirkmanTwo Is Enough by Laura S. ScottNo Kidding by Henriette MantelChildfree and Loving It! by Nicki DefagoHow to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Childfree Books
4th out of 40 books — 29 voters
My Life in France by Julia ChildSeriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneresI Can Barely Take Care of Myself by Jen KirkmanEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertOut to Lunch by Stacey Ballis
Childfree Fiction/Memoirs
6th out of 26 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

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This is a great resource for anyone who has chosen to be child free (you're not alone!), as well as those who may be on the fence about whether they want to have children or not. I even think many parents could benefit from reading this, as it highlights many of the stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudices against child free people.

One of the things I liked most about this book is the way it underscores the fact that people who have chosen to be child free do so after giving the whole notion
Moni Smith
Like other reviewers, I appreciated the approach that the author took, that she wasn't anti-children. This is a book for people who just don't want to be parents. I wish there were more books like this out there. For years I kind of thought something was wrong with me because I just haven't had the desire to be a parent. I love children (I work with them) but when thoughts of parenthood come up I cringe. It nice to know that I'm not crazy and there are other people out there who feel the same. A ...more
I really liked this book for its honest approach. I wasn't reproachful to mothers for choosing that path but a gentle reminder that not everyone wants to choose a child-filled existence. It was refreshing to hear something other than "children are the best thing that will ever happen to you" or even worse "you'll change your mind when you get older" - yes, that may be true but for now, please respect my opinion and don't belittle me for not loving children. I could definitely relate to the idea ...more

Good thing I gave myself a few weeks between reading this book and a gathering later this month I have with the new mothers in my life. Refreshingly, this book does not attack with fire breathing bitterness. It just asks politely to make a mindful decision before becoming a parent. Then, plainly offers some reasons to consider becoming child-free and publishes admissions from people around the world on the subject.

Jill Dunlap
Mar 25, 2007 Jill Dunlap rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
This book gives people who don't want kids some really good coping mechanisms for dealing with other people's rude comments to their goal to remain childfree. It's a good idea for anyone to read this book - especially those who plan to have children. Because as she shows in the book, having children is the default, you have explain why you wouldn't want to have kids, rather than parents having to explain why they've chosen to have kids.
Childfree people are those who choose not to have children. They range from people who genuinely enjoy being around children--and just don't want any of their own--to those who find kids annoying and stress-inducing and don't wish to be around them at all. Many fall somewhere in the middle.

It perhaps takes the eyes of a childfree person to see how child-centric our culture truly is. A certain type of parent loves to "bingo" us, and the author of this book has been subjected to some especially gh
Yup, there it is. This is it, the perfect book for those without a maternal/paternal bone in their bodies (me). I like kids - in very small doses and at certain ages. However, I am more than happy to hand them back. Do I want any? Never! Touching on everything from the big global reason not to have children (overpopulation and resources) to the basic (don’t wanna!) DeFago talks about "the last taboo" - not wanting kids. For those of us who have no desire to spend sleepless nights, gobs of money ...more
Love love love that this is available and out there to validate my choices.
Mrs. Schonour
I read this book to gain perspective on having children and what it's like to decide not to have children. It was the most helpful book on the topic.
A breath of fresh air for those who choose to be happily childfree.
I really enjoyed this book and how it dealt with the topic of choosing to be childfree (and the point that it really is a choice). The author did a really nice job of mixing solid research with examples from interviews and discussions about how both parents and non-parents feel about their decisions. When I think about the reasons I'm childfree, so many of them are personal and difficult to discuss without feeling offended by people's reactions, or inadvertently offending people who don't unders ...more
A wonderful book that I almost couldn't put down until I'd finished. Though the author does express relief at her childfree lifestyle, the book is not written with any triumph or spite. It is a very honest, sometimes heartbreaking, look at what can happen when people have children for the wrong reasons, and the beautiful life you can lead without children.

I must warn that it is slightly depressing, particularly if you are a childfree person, to read about these parents who have children and abs
fantastic book so easy to read. read it in 3 days flat. so refreshing to read not alone in my feelings since i was 10 yrs old- which i knew i wouldn't 'grow out of' as the adults said but by 13 i knew i wouldnt because i was so adament- and it balances it out very nicely with the pros and cons if you are undecided with many great tips for dealing with the inevitable "questions" which i will certainly use in future. thankfully I never was, because this is as second nature for me, as natural for m ...more
As someone who is childfree not only by choice but by circumstance, it's refreshing to see a book that explores the lifestyle without being too biased, or judgemental.

I would actually suggest that people who don't understand the childfree lifestyle read it too, because it sums up many of the reasons that we have for this choice concisely and fairly.

Though I felt at times there was an air of superiority on the part of the author, it was not pervasive or obnoxious, and it was, overall, a comfortab
Sep 26, 2008 Debi added it
I would recommend this book for those who are on the fence about whether or not to take the plunge into parenthood. A realistic look at what being a parent entails as well as the flip side of the positive aspects of being childfree. If you've made the choice not to have children, this book is an encouragement that you're not alone and your choice is a valid one.
Another good book about living childfree. The tone of this one was definitely geared more toward those who have chosen to be or are leaning toward being childfree and definitely less of an exploration of both sides. I sensed little concern from the author to seem unbiased or overly sensitive to people who choose to have kids. This was published in the UK and is therefore pretty eurocentric (with the inclusion of Australia and New Zealand), but still applicable to the US. I felt that this book ga ...more
Before reading this book I declared myself childfree years ago. I was curious about it though, this book, as I have not encountered many books on the topic. It was a light read. Mostly essays and such from parents and non-parents alike.

Many things were brought up. From the "selfishness" of choosing a childfree lifestyle, overpopulation/overcrowding, preferring to bear your own children over adopting (to each their own but it enrages me when people justify not adopting by, more or less, comparin
I enjoyed the thorough, unapologetic nature of this book. It's rare to have such a large amount of information (with resources at the back!) about being childfree in one book. I think this is a nice book for those of us that have made up our minds about not wanting children, as well as a tool for those who are not sure and want to make an informed decision.
Some of the information in this is a bit outdated (book is 10 years old now) and also UK specific as that is where the author lives but otherwise a good book on perspectives and how being childfree is nothing to be ashamed of. Enjoyed.
Andrea Dowd
This is a great book for anyone without or with children, who may never want children or who have twenty! It touches on societal pressures of motherhood/parenthood and why it's important to support those who choose to go in a different direction. This is a great and positive read and does not condone the choices our childbearing friends and family members make! Rather, "Childfree and Loving It" makes a point to gather up historical studies, sociological reasoning, economic and environmental poin ...more
Leon Hermanson
If you haven't got children yet, then don't just assume that you should or have to. This is the other side of the story. Read it.
Fun and full of fascinating viewpoints—all over the map—on having children. Suffers a bit from a very UK-centric colloquial voice and cultural references; even with my foundation of watching lots of British shows on U.S. public TV and having lived a year in the UK, some references were lost on me. Ironically, the very day I finished it, a younger female soon-to-be in-law gave me the old "Oh wait and see! You'll change your mind!" pressure to have kids. Somehow I restrained myself from saying wit ...more
This is one of the better books out there about the childfree lifestyle. It gives real life testimonials and perspective from all sides: childfree by choice, parents who are happy they are parents, undecided, and parents who wished they hadn't had kids. Something I found interesting, there were no childfree who regret their decision. It's not because the author chose not to cover them in this book, it's just that nobody identified themselves that way. I found that quite interesting as there were ...more
Fascinating book, kept me thoroughly engaged.
This book says it all. Filled with stories of people who don't have children and those who do but wish they didn't, it points out all the reasons for staying as far away from bundles of joy and god's greatest gifts as possible.

Most of the childfree people have nothing against children. They just want none of their own. I really don't know why that decision seems to bother parents so much. Hopefully things are going to change in the future and we will all be free to make decisions about our own l
Nyx Cole
Its been a really hard book to get into and stay on topic of reading it.

I don't know what I think of the book other then I am glad that I didn't waste what little funds I have on buying it, to me getting it from the local lib was the best option by far.

Guess the book might be good for some people, but I didn't find reading it good or useful.
Karen Hunt
Fantastic book outlining the benefits of being childfree. It’s very one-sided and there aren’t a lot of stories of people who love having children, but given most other books are one-sided the other way, it’s a nice change.
Even-handed, but outdated and pretty basic. Would have preferred more sociological analysis rather than hundreds of cluttered quotes.
Jul 14, 2007 Paige rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone considering parenthood
This was a good, short book showing both sides of a childfree life and parenthood. She really got some candid insight from real people.
Jul 24, 2007 Katie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those in question...
Anti-femminist in parts, but a comforting point of view for those who may not be sure the American Dream is right for them.
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Any other books about choosing a childfree life? 3 36 Sep 06, 2011 05:04PM  
  • Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice
  • Baby Not on Board: A Celebration of Life without Kids
  • The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless
  • Complete without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance
  • The Childless Revolution: What It Means To Be Childless Today
  • The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World
  • Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives
  • No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children
  • No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood
  • Single State of the Union: Single Women Speak Out on Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness
  • Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild
  • Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself
  • I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage
  • I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids
  • She's Such a Geek!: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff
  • Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After
  • It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments
  • Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion
Choker To Non Smoker (Get A Life!)

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