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BOOK DISCUSSIONS > Intentionally childless: looking for book tips

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message 1: by Francine (new)

Francine | 3 comments Hi all,

I am looking for tips on books (non-fiction as well as fiction) on people who stay intentionally childless. E.g. on the reasons to do so, experiences, on the taboo, etc. Mostly I am looking for books that describe this experience from a female perspective as I think it is more socially acceptable for men to not want kids. I would also be interested in finding out about the experiences of trans- or nonbinary people on this topic.

Hope you people can help me, thanks a lot!

PS: I'm new here, so I hope this is the right place to ask. Also, English is not my first language. Google told me 'intentionally childless' is the correct translation, so I hope that is indeed an appropriate term.


message 2: by Lynn (last edited Jul 31, 2018 02:00PM) (new)

Lynn (officerripley) | 89 comments Hi, Francine, welcome! Another term that we in the U.S. who are intentionally childless use sometimes is "childfree." "Childfree" has turned out to be controversial, however; some who wanted children but were unable to have them find the term "childfree" offensive. So that's something to keep in mind. Now, the books: two non-fiction books that come to mind right now are Kidfree and Lovin' It!: Whether by Choice, Chance or Circumstance Kidfree & Lovin' It! - Whether by Choice, Chance or Circumstance by Kaye D. Walters by Kaye D. Walters; and The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World The Baby Matrix Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World by Laura Carroll by Laura Carroll.

I'll try to think of others, especially any fiction books. (I can't get access to my books right now; my house is being kind of torn apart because the installers are having a hard time installing a new air conditioner; they're having to cut a hole in the ceiling, etc., sigh.) But I'll try to report back as soon as I can.

And you're right: especially in this rural, traditional area that I live in, it is much more acceptable for men than women to not want kids. My husband says that no one has ever even asked him why he never had kids. I, on the other hand, when other women ask me why I never had kids & I reply that I never wanted them, have had those women frown and literally turn their backs on me. Or tell me I'm selfish, etc.


message 3: by El (new)

El | 756 comments Mod
Hi, Francine. I read an article just today by an author who said at 40, she has no regrets deciding to remain childfree. As someone who just turned 40, and also has chosen to remain childfree, I was interested in the article - now, however, I cannot find it again! I will keep looking and will link to it if I find it.

Otherwise, here are some other book titles, though I have not read any of them:

Unwomanly Conduct: The Challenges of Intentional Childlessness by Carolyn Morrell

Nobody's Mother: Life Without Kids by Lynn Van Luven

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids by Meghan Daum

Actually... there's a Goodreads list for this! Take a look at it - it might be a good resource.


Lynn wrote: " I, on the other hand, when other women ask me why I never had kids & I reply that I never wanted them, have had those women frown and literally turn their backs on me. Or tell me I'm selfish, etc."

Ugh, I'm so sorry. People can be so inappropriate.


message 4: by El (new)

El | 756 comments Mod
Here is the article I read earlier today. I know you're looking for books, but thought you might be interested in this article as well.


message 5: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (officerripley) | 89 comments Thanks, El. Since I'm in such a conservative, traditional area, it gets really lonely being a elderly childfree (and feminist and liberal/progressive and atheist) woman; almost all of the women in my age group are mainly interested in grandkids and religion and taking care of their husbands; and the few who aren't are retired professional, much-more-educated-than-I women who find me dull, I guess. Anyway, they're not interested in a friendship with the likes of ol' blue-collar me; I know, I've tried.


message 6: by Francine (new)

Francine | 3 comments Wow, thanks Lynn and El for your tips! I will definitely check them out.

I also learned that I can search for Goodreads lists, which is good to know!

Lynn, sorry to hear about your experiences. I can imagine it being hard to stand out from most people around you. Living in a conservative area does not help either! Fortunately I live in a more progressive area, but when I visit my family who live in a more conservative area I definitely notice a difference! It doesn't help that all the women my age in my family have young kids...

By the way, right now I am reading an extremely powerful book on motherhood: Regretting Motherhood by Orna Donath. As you can guess from the title, it's not about being childfree. But it definitely taps into the pressure women feel to become mothers, how society looks at women who don't have kids, etc. I would definitely recommend reading it!


message 7: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (officerripley) | 89 comments You're welcome, Francine; I'm definitely going to try to read Regretting Motherhood, sounds really interesting.


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