Customer Reviews: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice
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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on January 30, 2010
I am childfree by choice and love it. I do not refer to it as "child-less" because less makes it sound like I am missing something, and believe me I am most certainly not missing anything. This is an excellent book, that is only a small step in the direction of shutting up society about the stereotypes of why individuals get married. A large percent of society needs to read this book, and reprogram their way of thinking. I get asked countless times "when are you having kids" or the "oh, keep trying it will happen, or why not adopt". How absurd. I married, like many other childfree persons, married because I love my spouse. I love spending time together, we have a passion for the same hobbies, the same interests, and share the same beliefs. Extended families, jobs, and pets complete our lives.
This is an excellent written book, and covers the topic incredibly.
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on March 18, 2010
I'd love to give it a 4.5 stars, but I'll round it down to 4 as its mostly a good introduction and defining of the subject and the general possiblities for the choice. Just to be clear this is about about the choice not to have children not the difficulty or inablity, though it does address some couples who try to, fail to, and ultimately choose not to have children.

Personally, I've struggled with my choice of not having children. I was always told that one day I'd change my mind about having kids, when I was older and fell it love. I was also told it was a phase- that happened to last over 7 years- and I would joyously one day find myself with child. I did fall in love and still was 92% sure I didn't want kids. I have picked out names and the like and considered what it might be like, but generally those thoughts last no longer than a week or two a year and then I go back to being very uncomfortable with the idea. This book brought to light a lot of things I've thought and felt over the years. It even bought up the subject of changing one's mind about having children if a couple decides to. It also gave a lot of healthy suggestions about talking with your partner about the subject of children, and bringing it back up every few years to make sure you're always on the same page.

Reading this book on a break in one of my college classes brought up the discussion which lead to a story that horrified me, and I later had a personal experiance on. Women who agree to be childless with their partner, and later change their mind and 'accidently' get pregnant. What a horribly underhanded thing to do! And yet it's considered entirely acceptable in our society. This does even briefly bring up the subject of what to do if your partner changes their mind, and you don't.

It does address some cultural differences, but it doesn't address some societal sterotypes. Particularly those surrounding men and children. It's mostly from a woman's perspective on children, though most men are also very opinonated on the subject. It's assumed most men don't care either way about having a family or would rather not and it's ultimately the woman's choice.

My only pet-peeve is one I no doubt will have with all books on the subject. Homosexual couples are entirely able to have/adopt children. It is commonly publicly accepted that these couples choose not to and there is no question of the struggle of that choice, yet publicly scrutinized when they choose to. Yet privately it's entirely different matter. Getting the media out of it and family and friends may still expect the same from you. It is a struggle for gay couples in the GLBT community on to have kids or not, now that it truely is a choice for us and has been for years. And just as it is with straight couples, some of our family and friends do expect us to have children and start our own family and never question the idea of that choice being difficult to make. But again that's just my pet-peeve.
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on January 1, 2012
As a previous reviewer stated, this is a book with a lot of good information and includes extensive analysis of studies done on those who are childfree by choice. However, this book is in NO way a guide on how to live as a childfree couple as the title suggests. As a childfree person myself the book was a bit redundant, but it would be a *fantastic* read for someone who is undecided on whether or not to have children.
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on April 5, 2010
I just read this book for my own information. I felt it was well-written and gave good case studies/ examples of people living childfree. I would recommend it for anyone who's thinking about being childfree or has already realized they will be childfree. I would also recommend this to someone who may know someone who is childfree - I think it gives a good idea what it's like to live in a world where one is expected to have children, but for one reason or another, a person does not have children.
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on March 8, 2012
Madeline Cain's book "The Childless Revolution" left me frustrated and irritated with simplistic writing, characters, and motives for being childless by choice. Thankfully, Two is Enough was another experience altogether. No, it is not necessarily a "couple's guide" because it does not tell you "what to do if you are childless by choice/childfree"...But, really, what would such a guide look like? There are some suggestions by interviewees on how they answer obnoxious questions like "WHEN are you going to have children?" or condescending statements such as "Oh, you will change your mind!" There is also a list of resources in the back of the book (other literature and websites). But, otherwise, this isn't exactly a "guide." But parents don't get a real "guide" either.

This book does address specific stigma for those who are childless by choice/childfree in articulate language. Laura Scott in no way suggests that a childless by choice path is suitable for every individual...but it does smash many cliche and overused stereotypes.

I really think this book is most appropriate for those who are undecided about whether or not to have children and those people who HAVE children! People who are already quite grounded in their "childless by choice" decision may feel this information is "obvious" and innate. For every person who has ever suggested non-parents are "selfish, immature, etc. etc. etc." or a whole other myriad of negative labels--those people should read this book. Excuse the weird syntax. I would love to loan this book to any willing parent--so they can better understand my perspective--if they are willing to listen (or have the desire and time).

The only other issue I had with this book was that it primarily focuses on "married" couples. Now, not every couple chooses to be married. More so--not every couple has the privilege of making that choice! I did not notice any heterosexual or queer partners mentioned in the book...most were married. Scott focuses on societal assumptions of having children...another assumption is that everyone will be straight and get married.

Otherwise, a worthwhile, well-written, easy to navigate book. I would encourage my baby obsessed friends to read! :)

My FAMILY does not include my own, biological children. I wish people would recognize family as such!
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on July 30, 2012
This isn't really a "guide" to being childless, but more so a collection of interviews and stories of those chosen to be childfree. It illustrates various reasons why these couples didn't have children, and are categorized by common rationale themes. I enjoyed it more for the variety of perspectives (which I did relate to).
Good book, but not really a resource on how to enjoy a childless life in a pronatalist world.
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on May 28, 2013
I loved this book. It offers the diversity of opinion I was looking for. The author interviewed over 150 child free couples on their reasons to chose to live childless by choice. It is fun to read and is written in a straightforward manner. It covers all the subjects I expected from: how to answer to the Why don't you have any children of your own? question to changes that take place when your best friends start having kids and the relationship suddenly changes because you don't have any.

It is a positive book in the sense that, even if it states that the childless by choice are still a minority group, it is a group that has decided to enjoy life in a way that is not the most typical but still valid in an era when the pill and abortion are legal in America. This book strengthens the view that choosing not to have children is as valid an option as it is to have them, even if this choice is not that widespread yet.

I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it if you are looking for validation in a position that is not the easy way to go in a society where having kids is what is expected, especially if you are a woman. This book is full of positive reasons that have led others to choose to remain child free.
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on November 24, 2010
I do agree with what others have said about this book but I hate it when someone stops half way through then thinks that they know the book. Read the whole thing to understand it, not just half way. This book repeats a bit over and over about the same issues and what not. But at least she is through with what she writes and talks about. She goes into good descriptions and explanations. I very much enjoyed this book and she's right, the world forgets about us CFers, they think of the baby boom or talk about the baby bump all the time in magazines. We are ignored as if we don't matter. World revolves around children which isn't totally fair. What's even better is that people she interviewed decided that having kids wasn't for them because of very good reasons. My favorite being environmental issues, money costs or generics. Very responsible people and I have had a lot of women tell me how much they wish that they could have done as I have done, thought before getting pregnant because looking back they would have said no to it.
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on December 16, 2012
I really think Scott left out some incredibly important issues in her discussion, particularly around the assumed selfishness of the child free (are motives for having children any less selfish?) and the continuing need to argue that love is enough to keep a relationship together (as if this should be a surprise to us). Otherwise, I thought the book was quite thorough and fascinating not just because I identified with many of the interviewed couples but also for where my views difffered
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on September 5, 2010
Not a bad book, alot of stats can get you lost, but all in all the book flowed well. The book did let me know that my husband and I aren't crazy.
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