Dawn asked:

This seems like an odd book to read while expecting. So many of your quotes terrify me (a childfree by choice) in terms of what could happen should I have a child. Did you like the book?

Linda Doyle I liked it very much. It was very honest-children do bring joy but parenting them? Or even one in my case? Tremendously hard. But she answers the many questions (backed by studies) I had when I was unable to have children, 10 rounds of IVF were fruitless and it came time to make the decision if we pursue. My feeling at the time was that I worried that if we didn't adopt, I would maybe wake up at age 60 and regret not adopting. And somehow at the time, I thought that this was not a reasonable...reason? But she cited one study that talked about regret in general and studies that support that more people regret NOT doing something that doing something that they ended up regretting. The notion that all young girls yearn to be mothers (one that I somehow was led to believe was true) is absurd. There are a myriad of reasons why people choose to have children (or choose not to)-every one is unique but this book takes no stance on which is the better choice. Yes, I know that should be obvious but scan the parenting bookshelf at a large bookstore (if you can find one) and you'll see that the focus is on raising the "perfect" child. It was just a relief to have someone acknowledge that we (and society) have placed an unusually high emphasis on the pure joy that having children brings us when in reality, many women (myself included) were lonely, bored and stressed during the early years of our children's lives.
Dawn Side note - This was directed at my friend who had read the book, but I didn't realize it would go public. Also I'm now pregnant so I am still conflicted about this book.
J I found this book very negative and depressing. It is not helpful to the modern parent. It offers no encouragement and no parenting tips. This seems to be a book for non-parents who want to be smug about their "childfree by choice" status.
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