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Do You Have Kids?: Life When the Answer Is No

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Weaving together stories from non-moms aged thirty-seven to ninety-one, a growing body of research, and the author’s own story, Do You Have Kids? probes the non-mom's entire adulthood—from the morphing meaning of family to what she leaves behind when she dies.



Today about one in five American women will never have children, whether by choice or by destiny. Yet few women ta
...more
Kindle Edition
Published April 2nd 2019 by She Writes Press
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Mel (Epic Reading)
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I've been trying to write a comprehensive review for this book for months. And I just can't seem to really get my feelings and emotions on the page. On one hand I'm sooo thankful to Kate Kaufmann for writing this book and doing as much research as she did. Interviewing women, getting statistics, compiling thoughts, etc. On the other side I'm disappointed that so many women have experienced what I have over the years; judgement and rudeness over their choice (or inability) to have children. So in ...more
The Captain
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Ahoy there me mateys!  Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were. I received this non-fiction eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

do you have kids? life when the answer is no (Kate Kaufmann)

Q: "Do you have kids?"

A: No.

This title caught me e
...more
Catherine
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, nonfiction
3,5 stars. I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw it (thanks to one of my goodreads friends), but I'll admit I expected more of it. This is a very short book for an important matter where I think there's much more to say, but I'll give the author the credit of 1) writing a book about it and 2) doing so pretty well. If you'd like to know more about the author and the topic of this book, you should listen to her interviews, like this one.

This book covers the stories of women who don't have ki
...more
Piepie
Being childfree by choice is not very common in the conservative Midwest where I live. Saying "I don't want kids" is almost akin to saying "I hate them, I hate them all." But that doesn't have to be true. I'm a member of several Facebook groups and have read several books about women who actually really like kids but don't want their own for one reason or another. I wish there wasn't such a stigma surrounding not having kids.

This book covers many topics - from being a "stepgrandmother" to aging
...more
Abbie | ab_reads
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5
Thank you @jkscommunications for sending me this book to review! While it wasn’t perfect, I do think it’s worth picking up to open up the conversation more around a topic that many people still find awkward. I know from experience how awkward it is trying to justify your choice not to have children to people who can’t understand why, and of course there are those women for whom children are not an option due to biology, and senseless questions of ‘Why don’t you have kids?’ can trigger painful
...more
Sarah
I’ve never felt strongly one way or the other about having children, and because of that, I’ve never had any. It was never really a big deal until I turned 30 and started feeling the pressure– not only of my biological clock, but also of society’s expectations. I still haven’t fully resolved this issue for myself, and it’s a difficult thing to talk about in general (especially in Utah: a highly religious state full of mothers and babies), so I thought I’d do what I do best: find a book (or seve ...more
Ashley Gillan
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really excited when I saw this book available for request: its a subject that is near and dear to my heart as a childfree woman, and its not really something that has been previously discussed much. It’s still so taboo in our culture.

This book takes that taboo on headfirst, bringing the stories of women who are childless either by choice or by chance, and talking about how that situation impacts their lives, through relationships with friends and the children that inevitably come into the
...more
Patricia Murphy
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recently, I was cornered in an awkward social situation by a Boomer who took about five minutes to describe her three grown children to me. She spoke warmly first about the two who gave her grandchildren. Then she described, in unkind terms, her childfree-child who was “married to her career.” The woman then smiled and asked me, “Do you have kids?”

In this book, I appreciated most the use of the term “mombardment” and the notion of “mom bingo.” These concepts refer to folks who lead conversation
...more
Jillian
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
As someone who is childfree, it was interesting for me to read the stories of a lot of different women and their life paths. The author really put a lot of work into creating this book.

It was also good to read about the different living situations, especially for older people. Eye opening and I’m glad I found this book.

I received this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Sue
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She Writes Press, 2019. As a writer and blogger about childlessness, I sometimes feel that every book on the subject is basically the same, but Kaufmann’s book, coming out in April, offers a refreshing new take on the subject. She gives equal space to both the childless by the choice and the childless by chance and does not linger on the baby/no baby choice, but dives right into what it’s like when you don’t have children in a world where four out of five women do. Skillfully blending her own ex ...more
Andi
I didn't dislike this book, but did not want to finish it. Although I find this to be my situation in life, I think I am comfortable enough being there at this point that I decided to shelve this book halfway through.
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
This book, it spoke to me, it shared my pain, it knew how I felt. I have waited so long to read this and feel validated as a woman who has chosen not to have children. I will be recommending this to all my childless friends, this really isn’t discussed enough , how we feel, how we are treated by friends and society. It’s an interesting, insightful and extremely helpful book.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Sheila Lord
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book because like the woman in this book I also have no children and wanted to see what other woman had to say about their reasons why they don’t have children,I found it very informative and a definite read for those like us that don’t have kids for one reason or another ......I believe it’d even be interesting to those that do have children........
Heather Hay
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I appreciated reading from women about this topic, however I hadn't related to them regarding my personal experience. If someone asks me why I don't have kids I consider it differently. It's as if someone asked me "Why don't you ski?" or "Why don't you read military historical reference books about tanks?" The answer is the same as why I don't have kids. I know those hobbies are out there, but they just haven't interested me. I don't think I ever saw having kids as something I should consider as ...more
Geekfork
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not sure why, but after I finished this book I felt kind of depressed. It's not a depressing book, but does deal a lot with uncertainty, loss, absence, etc.
Kendra
So, probably a 3.5. It was a very broad overview of childfree, childless, and those who didn't have kids but acted as step-parents, which made it interesting. The stories were a bit hard to follow, as it would flip from one point of view to another, to the author, but there was only a small line break. It made it a tad confusing, trying to figure out which voice belonged to who.

Good ending on the older adults, and making sure you have enough to cover yourself and medical expenses when you are o
...more
Laurie
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again another good book about woman not having children, but once again another good book that doesn’t exactly pertain to me. This book focuses more on woman who don’t have children because they can’t, and those who choose not to because of deep personal reasons, rather than they just don’t want to. Which is the category I fall into. I guess I just don’t relate to the struggle. My husband and I chose not to have children just because. It’s not that I don’t like children, we just don’t want ...more
Laura
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Easy, fast read with some interesting stats and stories about childfree women, both by choice and by circumstance. The bits on friendship and housing were a lighter read than later parts on cancer and end-of-life card and decision-making. The last section of the book contained what I waited for the entire book: Practical advice on how to handle the titular question.
Dani
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent read. I enjoyed the different perspectives of the women and how the author intertwines her own story within the book. The most eye opening part was the discussion about how childfree and childless women are more susceptible to cancer, this was something I didn't know before but makes sense. She gives excellent advice on how to make sure you look after yourself, to enable you to detect it early. I would definetly recommend this book to women who have children and those witho ...more
melhara
This was such a relatable book. Even though I felt like the target audience of Do You Have Kids?: Life When the Answer is No is for older women without kids, or women experiencing infertility, I could really understand and relate to most of the life stories featured in this book. It also made me feel less ashamed of my (current) desire to being childfree (I might change my mind about having kids in the future though).

“Do you have kids?”
I’ve been asked this question a handful of times since I gr
...more
Claire
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author Kate Kaufmann has culled together important insights regarding the experiences of childfree women and how they navigate existence in a mother-centric society. Weaving together personal stories, substantive studies, and a chapters on key topics (work life, home life, friendships, family, leaving a legacy, etc.) "Do You Have Kids? Life When The Answer Is Know" celebrates the childfree woman and offers helpful information and guidance. This book is well-written, thought-provoking, and long o ...more
Amy Maddess
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curse you Goodreads for not having half stars - I am very torn and think this gets 3.5.

When first becoming acquainted with this book, I was a little worried. As I electronically turned the pages on my NetGalley ARC, it seemed like the narrative was full of potential, with the progress impeded by old values. What I mean by this is that though Kaufmann was strong in her desire to start a conversation about childlessness, it seemed difficult for her to have this conversation while simultaneously b
...more
Kelly Long
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, nonfiction
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a childfree dog mom, I'm always interested in reading about adults who don't have children. This book touches on a lot of various aspects of how our lives are "different" than people who have kids. Also the definition of family is discussed and how society views people who don't have kids. Overall, this is a good book and it could help people who don't understand those of us who don't want/have
...more
Jessica
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
As someone who has chosen to be childfree, I was really excited to read this one. Unfortunately, it was kind of a let down and the end was pretty depressing. As the author points out there are usually two types of women without children - those who chose not to have children and those who can't have children, but may have wanted them. The author falls into the second camp and I think that fact makes the focus of the book lean more in that direction. She spends a lot of time talking about step-pa ...more
Lindsey Schultz
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had the great privilege of receiving an advance copy of this book and am thrilled to report that this book is unlike any I've ever read.

Kate's book is oriented around women without children, but it is an eye-opening guide for those of us with children and how to relate those who don't. The women's stories are captivating, heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyful...all at the same time. For the number-lover, this book is chock-full of stats and studies, bringing a different side of the conversation
...more
Kathleen Garber
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult_nonfiction
Okay so it’s kind of weird that I reviewed this book because I have 5 kids. But that illustrates just why I said yes. I was curious. What IS life without kids like? I know some people live without kids because they can’t get pregnant but for those who choose childlessness, I just couldn’t understand. What do they do when they are older? Who takes care of them? These are all answers I got by reading this book.

The various chapters cover different topics such as who childless adults are, how they m
...more
Claudia
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As a woman who has made the conscious choice not to have children myself, I was naturally excited when I saw this book. It's not a topic you'd just ask another childless woman about, in case her story is a painful one for her. I know my own reasons. But I've always wished I could talk to other women about it, too. So when I saw this book, I immediately bought it and started reading.
However, unfortunately, it fell a bit short for me.
The focus of this book is mainly on women who would really have
...more
Oxana Tomova
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-netgalley
What drew me to the book was the title - what life is like when you don't have children is not something that is widely talked about and as a young woman, I was curious to find more information on that matter.
The book started off well with an introduction of the author, who herself is childless and where and how she got the stories of other childless women for the book. However, after the introduction I found myself very confused by the structure of the book. While there are a few thematic chapt
...more
Ashley
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
TL;DR
Chapters 1-6 are anecdotal and bring a sense of community for all childfree and childless women (and men!). Chapters 7-10 are more clinical than anecdotal with some very interesting and valuable information. But I was looking for that anecdotal support from this book. Ending on that clinical note makes me feel unsatisfied.

Long Review
I was very excited to read this book. I live in Utah and there's nothing BUT families here. Family is important. Children are paramount. It's ingrained in EVERY
...more
Lisa Konet
This was a very emotional read for me because I fit into this category, however nothing is discussed about someone with my point of life with no kids. I am unmarried, single and almost 37. But I moved around, gone back to school numerous things in search of a career where I can be successful and make money. I have found a career I love but it doesn't earn enough money. I had an off and on boyfriend up until the time I moved from CT to CA at age 34 years old. It took awhile to find the right plac ...more
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