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Being Fruitful without Multiplying: Stories and Essays from Around the World [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Yvette
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Childfree, childless ... these are the labels society gives to women who do not bear children, due to choice or genetics. Being Fruitful without Multiplying started as one woman’s quest to come to terms with her decision not to bear children. In conversation with Renee and Janice—two close relatives from different generations—Patricia found that they shared another, unexpected bond: each belonged to childless or childfree social networks. All three were weary of questions from well-meaning people who wondered why they had not born children. As they began to reach out to others in earnest, they found that many who belonged to their diverse online communities were eager to share their stories. Some had chosen to be childfree and some were childless because of biological factors but grew to appreciate the advantages. Some of those who chose not to reproduce still decided to become stepparents or adopt. Over sixty women and a few men added their voices to those of the three main authors. The result is this rich and varied anthology, which includes stories from many different countries, cultures and income groups.
Gold Medal Winner (Women's Issues) in the 2014 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"As the Founder of Gateway Women, an organisation for women who are childless by circumstance, I recognise the authenticity of the voices in Being Fruitful Without Multiplying. Public discourse around 'why' women don't have children falls into two very simplistic categories: either the women couldn't have them or they didn't want them. Being Fruitful Without Multiplying explodes this reductive view by giving voice to the many different ways that a woman finds herself without children. From choice, circumstance, medical, religious, cultural and societal factors, each woman shares her story of how she has navigated the assumptions and expectations of her family and culture as a woman without children. The latter half of the book, featuring 'first person' narratives from women of all ages and backgrounds, brings into printed form what is normally only seen in the safety of anonymous childfree Internet forums, and may serve to broaden the simplistic assumptions that are often made about 'why' or 'how' women remain childless. This book is destined to become a valuable social document for researchers, as well as a friend to culturally and socially isolated childless by choice women. Being Fruitful Without Multiplying is an important work, and I commend the authors for their efforts and honesty in sharing their own stories in such depth, as well as collating so many other voices from around the globe."

--Jody Day, Founder, Gateway Women, UK

"Patricia Yvette, Renee Ann, and Janice Lynne have opened their journals and have collaborated to bring us a thoughtful and insightful collection of stories and essays allowing us to explore the diverse lives and experiences of childfree women and men from around the world. The essays featured in Being Fruitful Without Multiplying reflect what I found to be some of the top motives for choosing and embracing a life without biological children freedom, independence, and quality-of-life--and they serve to validate the experiences and feelings of all who have challenged the assumption of parenthood. I would recommend this book to anyone who has made this choice or is currently childless and wonders 'What can I expect if I remain so?'" --Laura S. Scott, Author of Two Is Enough: A Couple s Guide to Living Childless by Choice and Director of the Childless by Choice Project.

"Being Fruitful Without Multiplying is an easy-reading book offering stories from the lives of three women, and vignettes from those of many others, about the important topic of women choosing to be 'childless' or 'childfree.' The book discusses numerous reasons why so many women these days make this choice, including financial considerations, lack of maternal desire, fear of pregnancy, concern over body image changes, career priorities, childhood influences, and numerous psychological explanations. The fact is that all human behavior makes sense if only one understands the dynamics that drive and shape it. Sometimes those forces are consciously understood and sometimes they are just below the surface, waiting to be revealed. Each of the primary stories in this book, and many of the others, address forces that ultimately have a psychological origin, whether they realize it or not. Also presented is the array of mixed messages childless women receive from their families and society around the decision not to bear children. This holds true across numerous nations and cultures irrespective of the social progress many women have made in their ability to make such personal decisions. Then of course there is also the matter of contributing to the rearing of children without giving them birth, a topic less focally addressed in this book but increasingly more significant as ever more women feel free to go childless. This is a book that will be interesting to all women and the men who strive to understand them."

--Glenn Ross Caddy Ph.D. A.B.P.P., F.A.P.A., Clinical Director, Mind-Experts International, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

"Being Fruitful Without Multiplying adds an important voice to the ongoing discussions regarding women's reproductive choices. The authors have impressively gathered stories from women around the world of all age groups who each share their own intimate reasons for choosing not to procreate. The collection celebrates the opportunities its contributors have gained from their decisions and illustrates the many affirming roles that children can nevertheless play in their lives. This is a terrific resource for expanding our perspectives on parenting, reproduction and the shifting economic and social realities in women's lives. I recommend it to academic and nonacademic audiences alike."

--Maythee Rojas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Women s Gender & Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach

"As someone who struggles deeply with the question of whether or not to have a baby, I found this book to be an insightful and inspiring resource. I quite simply couldn't put it down! Breaking the entries down by age group was so interesting, because it allowed me to see the progression of how people felt about their decision from their twenties all the way into their fifties.... But the ones I found most interesting were those that gave me new insights into understanding why I have always felt so different from other women my age who have always known they wanted a baby.... If you're looking for insights, trying to decide to have a baby, or have already decided to go Childfree and are just looking for validation or to hear from those who share your experiences, this book is an excellent source of support!"

--Liz Ference, MaybeBabyMaybeNot.com

"As a practicing Clinical Mental Health Counselor, I feel that the personal short stories in this book will help countless individuals who have decided not to have children. Many of my clients come into my office with their presenting issue that they have decided not to have children and want to know what is wrong with them. I explain to them that not all people decide to have children for various reasons and there is nothing wrong with their decision."

--Adam Colando, Clinical Mental Health Counselor

"It's important for people to realize that life, purpose and God's design and plan do go on for those who do not procreate. I believe it is THE plan for a few, as Being Fruitful Without Multiplying so eloquently illustrates, not as a result of what didn't happen in life, but rather a decision for fullness of purpose and the fulfillment of a plan. 'And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined ....' Rom. 8:28-30 NKJV."

--Dr. Lyrica Joy, Bishop and Founder, The International Church for ALL Nations

About the Author

The primary authors of Being Fruitful without Multiplying are three close relatives of different generations who began discussing their reasons for not bearing children shortly after a family reunion.

Patricia Yvette holds an advanced degree in information technology and marketing and currently works for a Seattle-based aerospace corporation. She has been married for twenty-five years.

Renee Ann has served as a Christian missionary and traveled extensively through West Africa where she encountered an enlightening way of life. Life-challenging events altered her attitude toward the religion she was raised with and once advocated. She is now an aesthetician.

Janice Lynne has worked in the travel business for the past thirty-two years. She was Sales Director with a major cruise line for twenty-eight years and is currently Vice President of Sales for a small boutique cruise line. She has been named Sales Person of the Year numerous times. Janice is a world traveler, stepmother, and published author of three children's books.

You can find the authors online at BeingFruitfulWithoutMultiplying.com.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1304 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1603811559
  • Publisher: Coffeetown Press (October 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009KUHWKC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,513 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As a child-free blogger myself, I am always running into folks sharing their reasons for not having children with me -- and I am continually fascinated by the many motivations that cause my compatriots not to breed. This book is a shining example of the diversity of stories behind the child-free community -- it's true that while we share some core values, no two no kidders are alike! For those who claim the choice to be voluntarily childless is a selfish one, just read a bit about what those without offspring are doing with their lives (the ways in which they are contributing to the world, and most importantly, making contributions that those with kids could never dream of because of their attendant "kiddie baggage") -- and you will change your mind. For those who question whether someone can (or should be allowed) to decide not to have kids from an early age, see how many CFers knew from childhood that parenting was not the path for them -- and marvel in the strength behind their decision to buck the system and follow their own hearts. I was pretty certain my life was meant for other things besides breeding (namely full-time RVing, social commentary, helping others organize/simplify their lives, and sharing the insights my husband and I experience through travel) as far back as I can remember -- and I praise those who know themselves well enough even as teenagers to make a commitment to a truly fulfilling life, rather than following the herd and making a mistake that they would later regret. Rather than being vilified, the child-free should be praised for making conscious, rational, well-thought-out decisions about what they want and don't want (if more folks did that instead of acting like sheep when it comes to important life choices, our country wouldn't be in the mess it is right now!) Read this wonderful collection of tales, then go find a no-kidder to thank!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As someone who struggles deeply with the question of whether or not to have a baby, I found this book to be an insightful and inspiring resource. I quite simply couldn't put it down!

Breaking the entries down by age group was so interesting, because it allowed me to see the progression of how people felt about their decision from their twenties all the way into their fifties. The entries I found most fascinating - and most reassuring - were those from the women in their fifties. One of the most frequent threats the Childfree receive is that they'll regret it when they're older, so it was such a relief to find that these women were leading fulfilling, satisfying lives without sitting around and wondering "what if".

Reading through all the entries, I found the contributors' words echoed my own thoughts and sentiments, and covered many of the topics I write about on my blog ([...]). But the ones I found most interesting were those that gave me new insights into understanding why I have always felt so different from other women my age who have always known they wanted a baby. The women who stand out clearly in my mind were those that talked about never playing with baby dolls as children, and connected that to an early knowledge that they weren't meant for motherhood. It reminded me that I'd never been interested in baby dolls either, and I realized for the first time that this may have been an early indicator that I wasn't made of mothering stuff.

If you're looking for insights like this, trying to decide to have a baby, or have already decided to go Childfree and are just looking for validation or to hear from those who share your experiences, this book is an excellent source of support!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Perspectives From Around The Globe October 23, 2012
By mjh6346
Format:Paperback
It was very enriching to read the stories of so many diverse voices, embarking on similar life paths. The last couple of years have been a real struggle for me. I often feel out of place, a stranger in this land - baffled by society's cling to motherhood and children. I finally feel relief, support, and encouragement regarding my decision to not reproduce - a decision I know is right for me and planet Earth. I commend the women and men who have shared their lives so intimately with the reader. The voices ring loud and true in a highly comprehensive collection. I am so glad that such conversation has (finally!) been made more public and accessible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Children October 19, 2012
By ptolemy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Being an older woman with grown children, Being Fruitful without Multiplying talked to me about why some young women are making the choice not to have children. One in particular was witnessing others lose themselves in the raising of their children. It is something that is seldom spoken of- the losing of one's identity and the overwhelming struggle between one's self and their children. The price that we sometimes pay in making that choice is also seldom spoke of. People generally look at any negativity in raising or having children as a something being terribly wrong with you. There are many insightful views in this book."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relating December 4, 2012
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book and found it refreshing to read the stories of other women like myself who chose to not have children for whatever reason
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being Fruitful Without Multiplying - book review October 8, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent and well written. Very insightful - will definitely help both men and women better understand why some women choose to not bear children. I especially liked the inputs from around the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Perspectives for the Fence-Sitters
This collection of essays was well put together, informative and thoughtful. This is a wonderful read for anyone who is 'on the fence' about having children, and for those who are... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Madeline Galea
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Must-Read Whatever your Situation
Women have made enormous progress in the past hundred years. It's accepted now that women can, of course vote. Of course they can do well in higher education. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lisa Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars Being Fruitful Without Multiplying
I was interested in this book because as a married man never having children of my own but having an adopted son,I found myself always having to explain why not. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Scott L. Rule
5.0 out of 5 stars A Healthy and Much Needed Perspective
"In Being Fruitful Without Multiplying," Patricia Yvette, Renee Ann and Janice Lynne provide a much needed, healthy viewpoint that is as refreshing as it is honest. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Lee Witt
2.0 out of 5 stars OK as a starting place but title was misleading
From the title and overview, I mistakenly thought this book would feature cross-cultural perspectives on childfree living but it didn't really deliver that. Read more
Published on December 9, 2012 by Minimalist who hates shopping
5.0 out of 5 stars It is about time for this book.
I read it all and really enjoyed everyone's perspectives. I enjoyed reading the views of the three main authors and how they began living lives without children but now have... Read more
Published on October 8, 2012 by anneliese39
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