114 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource for the undecided!
I bought this book as I was seriously contemplating the idea of a childfree life, and had very few people to talk to that would not try to persuade me one way or the other. For me, this book really solidified my decision, but I think it would be helpful for someone who hadn't already pretty much made up their mind. In it, there are so many comments from people who have...
Published on February 19, 2006 by T. Macy
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This topic deserves quite a bit of attention. Many never realize that childbearing is a choice, such is the social stigma which surrounds those who choose to remain childfree.
"Childfree and Loving It," however, is a disappointment. The writing is a bit juvenile at times, and while the book is fairly comprehensive on the issue, it lacks focus and depth.
Published on September 12, 2008 by J. Price
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114 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource for the undecided!,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I bought this book as I was seriously contemplating the idea of a childfree life, and had very few people to talk to that would not try to persuade me one way or the other. For me, this book really solidified my decision, but I think it would be helpful for someone who hadn't already pretty much made up their mind. In it, there are so many comments from people who have followed a childfree life, wanted to but didn't, and those who wanted kids and have them, and they are all helpful in seeing the 'big picture' of parenting, without the rose-colored glasses that your friends with kids always look through. The best thing for me was to find out that there are other like-minded people out there that choose to be childfree, and they did not come to regret it. They too have experienced the stigma of being childfree, and I felt like there was a subset of society out there that I could finally identify with (but had trouble finding!). This book is also not as anti-children as many of the childfree organizations can tend to be. It reinforces the idea that it's ok to be childfree (and still like children), and you should absolutely be sure of wanting children before you decide on having them. It is an easy read, with lots of great insight. Well worth the money and time to read!!
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the subject by far...,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I was so stoked when I heard this book was coming out. I enjoy any books I can come across on the subject and I especially enjoy this one. All the bases are covered in this book. Every reason one would choose to remain childfree is discussed: from overpopulation to spending more time with your spouse to having more money and retiring early and on and on. The chapters are filled with real people's thoughts on the subject and not all of them are positive, although most are. I noticed one reviewer said there is "bashing" in the book. It is not a book on how wonderful life is with kids; it is a book on why one would choose NOT to have them. So if that seems like "bashing", don't buy the book. But seriously, this book will reaffirm that you have made the right choice in staying childfree (assuming you HAVE made that decision) or it will give you pause on why you should have kids. I find myself re-reading chapters all the time and the stories really hit home. Nicki does a wonderful job balancing her own writing and views and the thoughts of everyday childfree people that share their take on life. If you buy any one book on the subject, this has to be it.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childfree!,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)Earlier in the year (if not last year) a professor loaned Childfree & Loving It! to my SO and I. We were warned that the book was a lot of "fluff" but still an enjoyable read. It sat on my bedside stand for months until I got through The Childless Revolution and The Baby Boon only in an act of frustration to pick up this book thinking: "There has to be something better!" And I was right, there does have to be something better, and if this book is not entirely something better it's an improvement over these other books.
Before going too much into this book, all of the childfree literature I've read has offered alternative interpretations and perspectives. Childfree and Loving It! is no different except it full embraces a positive look at being childfree (not to mention not treating the environmentally childfree as loons) without negatively portraying parenthood but with no fear of criticizing parenthood.
This book offers a lot of representation of the childfree within the pages and goes back and forth from being "fluff" to the occasional, grabbing sentence that deserves more thought than some of the entire chapters. For example, one area of interest is how, especially in western cultures, we embrace choice and the disgust and rejection that can (and does) occur when anything is suggested to be done as a result of social pressures rather than choice. Another area of interest for myself was Defago's discussion of the effort some childfree people/women feel is necessary to prove that they still like/care for children and can still be caring/compassionate without eating babies for breakfast.
This has definitely been my favorite childfree book so far. While it lacks some of the academic spin of The Baby Boon and avoids a lot of the mistakes in The Childless Revolution, it's still a solid work that's easy to read and does a good job exploring the childfree.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Childfree book I've read thus far,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I have read close to 4 books on the topic of being Childfree and this one tops my list. In fact, I have reread it after people make mean remarks to help myself calm down. It is a great book, especially if you are thinking you are the ONLY one struggling with the decision or feel like you are alone. Thank you AMAZON for selling this book. I have been to several retail book stores that rarely sell these type of books. This book tops my list of all time favorite books. Good research and well written. If only someone had shown this book to me in my mid-twenties.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, a must read!,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I am almost finished with this book and I have to say that out of the five other books on being childfree that I have read, this one is the best. I really enjoy having the quotes from people the author has interviewed, both on having had kids and those who did not have kids. The book was honest and the interviews ranged from those who had kids and love it, to those who had kids and hate it (it seems not many people will admit that), to those who didn't have kids and love it and finally those who did not have kids and regret it. So it really gave all points of view. I highly recommend this book to anyone deciding on whether to have kids.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Childfree Book Out There,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I'm one of those who wasn't sure, until I read this book. It's not as though it braiwashed me, it's just that most of the noise out there leans in favor of reproducing. This is one of the few books that helps to balance the scales. The insight from people who chose not to breed, people who have and have misgivings, and (less so) people who have and enjoy it is what makes this book so great.
Unlike some books, it isn't antagonizing towards individuals who chose to reproduce. But it offers support to people who have chosen not to, as well as reasons why it may be an option for people who haven't decided. It think it's worth noting that I finally had to order this book because 1) my local library refused to purchase it, even after my asking repeated times (despite having numerous books on pregnancy and child rearing) and 2) my local bookstores didn't carry it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars helped me with my decision,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I've always sort of felt like I didn't want children. Even as a kid, I can remember insisting that I would have dogs and not kids. Recently, however, I was wrestling with the issue of whether I really did want to have kids at some point, and I read several books on the topic. This was the one that really helped me feel confident in my decision not to have children.
The one criticism I have of this book is that it devotes a little too much space to complaints about how the child-free are treated, and how most people react with shock and horror to those who choose to remain child-free. This may vary with different social circles, but I've mentioned my decision to many people and not one person has reacted negatively. Most of the people I've talked with seem a little surprised and say something like, "Oh really? Well, I can see how that could be the right decision for some people but I love mine!"
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarified, Confident and Childfree!,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Kindle Edition)I've always felt that I don't want children but recently (my 35th birthday is approaching) I've felt that it was time to make a decision once and for all. Although I don't have any urge at all for children I occasionally wonder if I'll regret it once it's too late. Hence why I bought this book - to explore my childfree feelings!
The book is a mixture of Defrago's research and discussion alongside quotes from a variety of parents and non-parents. The quotes from people with children are interesting and there are some very honest accounts of parents who, although they love their kids, they regret having them - a rather taboo subject indeed.
I found it very encouraging to read accounts of childfree people who have gone through the same feelings, confusion and experiences that I have. It has given me confidence that I'm not weird, strange or selfish as some parents would have me believe. My feelings have been clarified after reading the book and I would highly recommend it to anyone not sure about having kids, people who know they don't want kids and don't want to feel alone in our child-centric society, or for people like me who are 99% sure they don't want kids but want to feel 100% sure!
Kindle Edition Specifics: The formatting is not great in the Kindle version of this book. You have to view it in the smallest font; larger fonts result in some strange line spacing and indenting. Words in the print edition that were obviously split with a hyphen at the end of one line before going onto the next line are still hyphenated in this Kindle Edition. Very irritating when some paragraphs are littered with words with hyphens in the middle. It makes for an awkward reading experience.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good reminder that parenthood shouldn't be entered into lightly,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)It is a truth universally acknowledged that all females in their mid- to late twenties must be in want of a baby, and the thought that such a woman actually really doesn't seems incredibly alien to most people. In a recent survey, it was found that a lot of mums don't necessarily find motherhood all that it's cracked up to be. There was another study done, can't remember the link, where they had measured people's happiness, and it was found that childfree people were a lot happier in general than those with kids. "Childfree and Loving It!" delves deeper into both of these issues.
Nicki Defago has interviewed a lot of people, childfree and not, and this book tells of their experiences. It also goes into various reasons why women and men alike have chosen not to procreate, while staying away from being judgemental. As a whole, it's not about looking down on people for choosing to have children (yes, it's a choice, at least these days), because after all, if that's what you want, that's what you want. The book is saying "this is why I'm choosing not to have children", not condemning people who have chosen to have them. Granted, the book is written as a support to those who choose not to have children, which should be taken into account. If you want a book that supports people who choose to have children, this ain't it, put it that way.
All in all, I didn't feel as if I'd learned something all that new from reading "Childfree and Loving It!", because most of it were things I had already been thinking about. The book has lots of observations and lists a number of reasons why people choose not to have children, from environmental reasons (CO2), over-population and over-crowding to financial reasons and having time for each other as a couple. No major revelations there. If anything, the book has helped me remember the reasons why I have never wanted children.
The most interesting thing was instead to hear the stories from parents, and how many of them would have chosen not to have children if they could go back in time and do it all over again, regardless of how much they love their children or what their kids' behaviours are. The biggest thing I've taken away from this book is that you should only have a child if you're absolutely sure you want one, because once you get one, it's too late to change your mind.
"Childfree and Loving It!" tells the side of the story that most people never tell you when they're busy waxing lyrical about their darling little tots and think everyone else should have a "bundle of joy" too. Reality is a little different. Being a parent isn't a walk in the park, and parenthood should not be entered into lightly. It's a commitment, for life. For better AND for worse.
4.7 out of 5 restful nights.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Honest,
This review is from: Childfree and Loving It! (Paperback)I have read several of the books in this category and this one was the most accessible. I find that all of these books are trying to convince us that it is ok to be childfree. I had already made my decision and needed affirmation that I wasn't alone in my reasoning. This book put in black and white what I had been feeling and thinking about already.
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Childfree and Loving It! by Nicki Defago (Paperback - October 28, 2005)
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