Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Spotlight on Childfree Books: Why Don’t You Have Kids? Living a Full Life Without Parenthood

Why Don’t You Have Kids? Click to see it on Amazon.

After I’m Okay; You’re a Brat, the next childfree-related book I read was Why Don’t You Have Kids? Living a Full Life Without Parenthood by Leslie Lafayette. I picked this book up because it was one of the few books in the USAREUR (US Army Europe) library system about not having children. (That’s how I had found the previous one as well). The book was written in 1995, so it’s a little harder to find, although Amazon has it currently as does  half.com. According to the author’s LinkedIn page an expanded edition is due for Kindle.

The author of Why Don’t You Have Kids…, Leslie Lafayette, was the founder of the Childfree Network, a California-based national support group for those who are childless by choice or chance. As far as I can tell, the group no longer exists, but it seems to have been one of the first of its kind. Why Don’t You Have Kids… is a good book for those who are in the process of making their decision whether or not to have kids as there is a section on the pros and cons of having children and remaining childfree. Of course there are also those for whom nature has made the choice. If you are infertile and considering whether to adopt a child or embrace a childfree life, this book may also aid in that decision. The first quote in the following section also speaks to this group of readers.

 If one has already made the decision not to have kids, this book may also help in solidifying if this was the right choice. I had started my own list around the time I had read this book, which was not pro/con but intended to be pro-staying-childfree and pro-having-children. The pros for being childfree can be found here and here and could still be expanded. Although I can think of reasons that would motivate someone else to have kids, I still have not found a compelling one to put on a pro-having-children list for myself.

A few of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Many of us mistakenly assume that the only people who are childfree are those who originally chose to be childfree. Wrong. Childfree is a state of mind. When you’re ready to live your life without feeling angry, guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, aggrieved, obsessed, or broken because you don’t have children, you’re ready to be childfree (p. 17).”

“Most of us who decide not to have children have wrestled with the idea that somehow we are not doing what we are supposed to, that on some level we are letting ourselves or others down. so it isn’t surprising that many in our society are shocked and angered by the presentation of childfree ideas. Their response is to assume we do not like children, that we are selfish, spiteful, jealous, immature, or just plain crazy, or maybe all of the above. That’s why it is important to continue to talk about living childfree in a positive light. Hopefully the idea will not seem so subversive or so threatening when people understand the reasons behind it (pp. 64-65).”

“As a childless adult, you are in the perfect position to study because you have more time and money to concentrate on your own growth. Think of yourself as your own personal creation (p. 215).”

“The reality is that relating to one another in families is not perfect nor is it even ideal. It has its moments of warmth and love and intimacy, and it has its moments of hate, coldness, and withdrawal….It is so important that we adults who remain childless either by choice or chance stay in touch with the reality of what we have missed rather than the fantasy (p. 248-249).”

Have you read Why Don’t You Have Kids? Living a Full Life Without Parenthood? If so, what did you think? If you have a favorite childfree book, please share in the comments. Also the Childfree Friday Link Party is still open. Please share your perspective on any childfree-related topic before 23:55 EST on January 12th. 

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