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164 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reveiw of the factors which contribute to a decision to live a life that is childfree by choice
This book stemmed out of author Laura Scott's Childless by Choice Project, a research project comprised of several different components. In the Introduction, Scott, herself a woman who choose to marry and yet remain childless (or childfree--she uses these two terms interchangeably) by choice, notes that she wondered whether she was alone in her decision, and if not, how...
Published on September 29, 2009 by doctor_beth

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a "couple's guide"
I have to confess I read this book REALLY wanting to like it, but it just didn't do much for me. I was looking for "a guide to living childless by choice" however her writing came up short. The book mostly has a vibe of 'you are not alone' and 'there are other people who feel the same way.' Literally over half of the book was focused on her interpretations and statistical...
Published on May 21, 2011 by Joe B


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164 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reveiw of the factors which contribute to a decision to live a life that is childfree by choice, September 29, 2009
This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
This book stemmed out of author Laura Scott's Childless by Choice Project, a research project comprised of several different components. In the Introduction, Scott, herself a woman who choose to marry and yet remain childless (or childfree--she uses these two terms interchangeably) by choice, notes that she wondered whether she was alone in her decision, and if not, how others arrived at the same choice that she made. She further explains that she had two main goals when starting her research project: 1) to determine what people identified as their most compelling motives for remaining childfree, and 2) to better understand the decision-making process which led to someone identifying themselves as childless by choice. Based on these goals, Scott designed a questionnaire which would yield the data she sought; she then recruited a total of 171 childless by choice individuals to respond to her survey. Finally, Scott supplemented her survey results with an additional series of 28 in-depth interviews she conducted with various childfree couples.

The chapters which follow present the main findings of Scott's research. There is information on "Who Are the Childless by Choice?," the decision-making process that occurs along the path to becoming childless, and the a list of the resulting "Eighteen Reasons (and More) Why We Don't Have Kids." The latter chapter may surprise some who believe that childfree individuals are "selfish" or "must hate kids"--comments that participants in Scott's interviews had been subjected to in the face of their decisions to remain childless. As it turns out, however, the highest-rated motive statement in Scott's research was "I love our life, our relationship, as it is, and having a child won't enhance it." Rounding out the top three motives were "I value freedom and independence" and "I do not want to take on the responsibility of raising a child." In general, Scott found that the couples she interviewed did NOT take their decision not to have children lightly; in fact, through her research, Scott discovered that childfree couples often spend more time talking about their decision not to have children than those who actually HAVE children.

The more I continued to read this book, the more I could relate: yes, I myself am childfree by choice. I particularly appreciated the final three chapters. Chapter 6 addresses "The Myths and Realities of Living Childfree." As Scott points out, the #1 assumption regarding those who are childfree is that they dislike children. This is definitely not the case for me (I absolutely adore my 10 nieces and nephews!), but going back to the motives noted above, just because I like kids does not mean that I want the constant responsibility of raising one of my own. In Chapter 7, Scott talks about what it is like for the childless by choice to have to live in a "pronatist" world. I'm sure that those who DO have kids never give this a second thought, but American society is definitely extremely biased towards families and children. There is general a lack of understanding for anyone who chooses not to conform to this standard by not having kids of their own, which can result in prejudices, stigmas, and even preferential behavior in both social settings and the workplace. I believe this can be a particular challenge for women of child-bearing age--for example, at family gatherings, I often find myself hanging out with the men, as the women's talk/behavior tends to center around children. Scott's final chapter, "A Place at the Table," offers a view of how those with children and the childfree might co-exist--that is, in a world where the latter is truly seen as a valid, acceptable choice.

In summary, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has made the decision to live their life childless or childfree by choice. Those in this group are likely to find the results of Scott's research to be extremely validating and to gain a great sense of acceptance for their choice thanks to Scott's efforts. Unfortunately, I am less certain that anyone who DOES have/want children would be able to understand or even to appreciate this book. But that's okay--us childfree folks are not out to convert anyone; we just want all the parents out there to stop trying to convert US. ;)
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Resource For Those Choosing To Be Child Free, September 30, 2009
By 
Dave Lakhani (Boise, ID United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
I may be the oddest reviewer of this book as I do have a child and it was by choice . . . but.

For quite some time I wasn't sure I wanted to have children and then when I decided I did want children wasn't sure that it would be possible. So we made the decision to stop trying and to be child free, simply to be super aunt and uncle to our siblings children.

We ran into so many of the prejudices and odd looks from people who always said the same thing "but you'd be such great parents!" And that is when I began reading the literature around a child free by choice life.

This book is the work of Laura Scott and her Child Free by Choice Project. The interviews included in the book are powerful, insightful and clearly demonstrate the process most people go through making this choice. I really think after reading this book that many more people would likely make the decision to be child free if they knew they weren't alone in how they feel.

The book does an exceptional job of outlining the reasons and rationale many childless by choice couples used to come to their decision. It was comforting to read and find that the thoughts I had were very similar to many other people. This work removes so many of the stigmas around not having children for those who choose not to.

For me, the choice to have children was the best one ultimately and when my daughter came along, I couldn't be happier. But this book did a wonderful job of helping me better relate with the feelings I had when I was choosing not to take heroic efforts to have children or to adopt and it has really given me great insights into the feelings and beliefs of those I know who have remained childless by choice. I know I'll be able to relate better and be a more engaged friend from reading this book.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Child-free, January 30, 2010
This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful introduction, March 18, 2010
This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for the Childless/free by Choice - Includes Men, May 18, 2010
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This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
This is a great resource for the childless/free by choice. It is unique because it includes the perspective of men in childless/free relationships. Couples are interviewed and this is refreshing because there are two people in a relationship and the choice to not parent can be very important to both men and women. There are literally no resources for my husband and it was nice for him to know that he is included. I haven't come across any other childless/free books that include men.
The book takes a statistical and scientific approach to outlining the most popular reasons for choosing not to have children. It also attempts to dispel common misconceptions regarding the childless/free by choice. I feel like this book outlined the reasons I personally don't want to have children and never really could put into my own words. It is very informative and helps one not to feel so alone in a society where most are parents.
The book is written in a manner that makes it very non confrontational. It can be used as a resource by the childless/free to help other people understand their choices. It is unfortunate that you have to help someone understand your adult decision, but so be it. I am thinking of buying a copy for my mother-in-law to help her understand why we don't want to have children.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a "couple's guide", May 21, 2011
By 
Joe B "Joe" (Blaine, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
I have to confess I read this book REALLY wanting to like it, but it just didn't do much for me. I was looking for "a guide to living childless by choice" however her writing came up short. The book mostly has a vibe of 'you are not alone' and 'there are other people who feel the same way.' Literally over half of the book was focused on her interpretations and statistical analysis of questionnaires submitted by childfree couples. She also gave synopsizes of interviews she conducted. She managed to find folks from every walk of life enjoying life to the fullest without children; the couples also talked about their struggles and trials in dealing with society / families.

I'm right on the edge between 3 and 4 stars. It's worth reading, but the title is somewhat misleading: "guide to living childless by choice" is over-sold. As I read, I ended up highlighting & underlining a number of passages that resonated with me. Unfortunately, as a whole, the book was just too `academic' for my taste and not much of a "guide." It's definitely useful to other authors writing on this topic. This book will help articulate the mindset of those childfree by choice and it's a great resource for future writers. I got this hoping it would be a "self help book" but I finished it and was a little disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book on living Childfree, April 5, 2010
This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really a guide, but gave different childfree reasons, July 30, 2012
This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Validation, February 8, 2013
By 
Rcst (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
I'm a 41 year old male, and I've recently struggled with the idea of having children, due to a relationship I was in the past year. I've always felt that I didn't want children, but this book provided me with a lot of validation regarding my feelings for not wanting children. For a while I was just feeling alone with my feelings, or that something was wrong with me- and I was feeling guilt as well. I recommend this book if you are on the fence, or you simply need to know that you are not alone in your preferences for your life. Good luck to you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, February 10, 2010
By 
Avid Reader (Charleston, SC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Paperback)
This is the first book I've read on this topic and it was insightful, well-written and really informative. It made me feel much more comfortable about my own decision and had lots of stories and advice from other people who either didn't have kids or were on the fence about it. Would definitley recommend!
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Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice
Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura S. Scott (Paperback - September 22, 2009)
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