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Spotlight on Childfree Books: Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children

Childfree Book: Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without ChildrenPride & Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children  by Terri Casey is a collection of interviews with 25 women from different backgrounds and of different ages, all of whom chose not to have children. Although I’ve done other posts on childfree books before, this was the first of the childfree-related books I read that was more about being childfree than about making a decision one way or the other. As I read these interviews, there were many women I identified with and many I could see identifying with in the future.

For example, I share Monica Harrington’s view of a good life with writing and “having travel time interspersed with home time”. Like Princess Jackson-Smith, I would be crazed if having a peaceful bath was “luxury time” (or even worse, as I’ve heard some reference “going alone to the grocery store”). Although I don’t know that I gained any new insights from reading Pride and Joy, it was nice to get a glimpse into the lives of others like myself and to see others older than myself still happy without children. I’ll share snippets from the women I mentioned as well as a few  others I could identify with below. 

A few of my favorite snippets from the book:

 “When I was growing up, my image for my life resembled the roles that Katherine Hepburn played—women of high independence who lives for themselves and not through other people (p 3)…When I’m old, I’ll have some cool friends whom I’ll enjoy getting together with, and I’ll still be actively involved in the world around me, still engaged. I see myself in a house in a beautiful setting, writing, having travel time interspersed with home time. That’s my idea of a good life (p 9).” ~~Monica Harrington

 “She says things such as ‘You can’t imagine how great it is just to have a peaceful bath.’ And I think, a bath is a luxury? I’d be crazed. I’m not made that way…For me, the joys of being a mother would not compensate for being tied down, always having to be alert, and the fact that the responsibility never ends (p. 55).” ~~Princess Jackson-Smith

 “I don’t see people with kids as having many more alternatives in old age than those without kids. Having alternatives boils down to planning and money. When I’m old I’d love to sit on the ocean shore and eat Salerno butter cookies. I’m not kidding—cholesterol be damned! I imagine myself moving slowly and having a few people waiting on me a little bit. So what if I have to pay them? (p. 94)”~~ Christine Swanberg

“…maybe it’s not what we do but the lives we affect that make a difference, and we all affect other’s lives every day in ways we’re often not aware of…Having children so that there is something to follow you on earth? I don’t think so. I believe you can touch people’s lives, and that’s what follows you on earth (p. 110).” ~~Vicki Heppner

 “I never felt that I was supposed to get a great education, and then marry and have babies and not use it (p 130).”~~Martha Dorn

 “My mom probably wonders if she did something wrong that resulted in her only daughter not having kids. She may think it reflects badly on her, and I wish that instead she felt it reflected well on her, that she felt good about raising a happy, independent thinker who has taken a less obvious path (p. 149)”~~ Joy Michaud

Have you read Pride & Joy? If so, what did you think? If you have a favorite childfree-related book, please share in the comments. 

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4 Thoughts on “Spotlight on Childfree Books: Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children

  1. Looks to be a really good read – thanks. Can’t wait for a book though about being childfree even though you wanted them – but having created a happy life….. hmmm maybe I should write it 😀

    • You’re welcome. One of the other books I posted about before Why Don’t You Have Kids? Living a Full Life Without Parenthood touches on that early on in the book saying “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).” I haven’t read a full book yet that is about someone who wanted them but couldn’t have them but decided to embrace childfreedom though. Even if such a book does exist, you should still write it if you feel called to do it. There is a very small selection of childfree-related books compared to the books one can find on parenting.

  2. I am so happy to be child-free, despite unfulfilled expectations from my in-laws! These quotes ring totally true for me. My sister here in Germany (who I was free to visit on a whim since I have no children) is a loving mother… And she has told me many times, “You don’t need kids.”
    Angela recently posted…Amsterdam: 3 steps in the “correct” way to drink beer!My Profile

    • I’m glad you’re happy and not worried about the inlaws’ expectations. I know people might want me to have kids, but they’re not going to raise them or live with them day in and day out so they don’t really get a say. I’m glad also you have a supportive sister. One of my brothers, who also has no kids, once said something like “more people should consider never having kids rather than when to have them” so I know at the very least he’s supportive. The freedom to travel on a whim (more or less, since I do need to find care for my dogs or a dog-friendly place to stay if my husband is coming with me), is a big part of why I don’t want to have kids. I know there are people who travel with them, but everything automatically becomes more expensive, and what I can do would be limited to what’s appropriate for them. I see the cost of daycare and I think “that’s a cross-country or even international flight”. The life I want is either one of lots of travel or moving to different locations and exploring those locations. I don’t see kids anywhere in that picture.

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