Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Kid Me Not: an anthology by child-free women of the '60s now in their 60s (Boomers Remember) Paperback – February 17, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
I liken us to pioneer women who took a break from our individual journeys, to circle the wagons and sit around a campfire telling our stories. We have listened to each one carefully, mindful of the rich thread of history that runs through every life.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I remembered how women without children were regarded, at least in my experience and from my memories. I have several friends and acquaintances who are without children and I can honestly say I would never ask them why they don't have kids. When we were growing up I recall it was a hushed topic. People may have whispered a comment or taken a guess, but it never came up in open conversation. My Mom, in the last few years of her life had many phone conversations with one of her nieces who had never had children. But it wasn't until that woman, also a pediatric nurse, had a hysterectomy that my Mom came out and asked her, "You weren't able to have children?" She replied, "No, I wasn't." That was the extent of their exchange on the topic.
Women sitting around the kitchen table into the wee hours of the night, talking about their child bearing. And the ones without children were not often included as I recall. That's what I remember as a child of nine or ten years pretending to be asleep upstairs with my girl cousins, but we were really listening at the heat vent. Our Moms' voices carried. Carried through to my own kitchen table many years later where I sat with my own women relatives, having the same sorts of conversations. But we haven't really asked ourselves a more important question: Are we, as women defined by our ability to have children or by the number of our offspring? Or will we define ourselves by our own choices? And will we share those choices and those stories with other women who've made choices of their own? And will we accept and appreciate and learn from their stories?
The first story I read when the book arrived was the one written by Kathleen Clark. Her story, "Questioning Authority" was amazing! It made me laugh and cry. All the other womens' stories were wonderful accounts, each different, each riveting, each one keeping me turning the pages and wanting to know about their lives!
"Kid Me Not", full of the stories of women who, either by choice or by circumstance, did not have children of their own is an important read for women everywhere. Fifteen women, now in their sixties, who never had children, their stories are important and compelling for all women. Their stories are well written and emotionally stirring. I'm thankful they finally have a place at "the table". I've read through all the stories at least once so far. But tonight, after everyone else is asleep, I'm going to pull a chair up to my kitchen table and read it again.
We'll start easy: what I expected from this book. I expected to embrace what it was like before these women were part of the generation that fought for our current right to have accessible birth control options. I expected to hear first hand what it was like before Roe v. Wade and safe abortion options for women. I expected to learn what it was like, before this generation of women made it more acceptable, to chose NOT to have a family when most women still only went to college to get their Mrs. degree. (Let's be honest, it's still outside the cultural 'norm' to not have a child.) I expected to empathize with the struggle to live 'alternative' lifestyles when it was even less socially acceptable that it is now. (Why does it have to be alternative, why can't it just be life...even now?) I got what I expected but oh so much more as well.
This is were it's gets more difficult. Let's start easy, birth control is something that my generation and generations after me take for granted. The options are almost limitless and it's no longer just a simple, take a pill and home the side effects don't get ya. There's implants, and shots, and still even variations of the 'pill'. A girl what's birth control, no biggie just hope down to the doctor, health department, or any family planning clinic. Done! Choosing not to have children, or even follow the traditional path of marriage is still not considered the norm. You aren't looked at quite as sideways as you once were. But the judgement is still there by society. Honestly, it will probably always have some judegement. So you don't have kids, wouldn't it be nice to have someone to share 'insert whatever the prevailing reason is here' with. Don't you get lonely? There are so many reasons that people chose to get married or even have long term relationships with. And so many reasons people have children. But not everyone fits that mold. We've come a long way but I'm not sure that human nature will ever be like ok whatev's ya know?
I'm going to be honest, the term alternative lifestyle pushes my buttons. Why does it have to be alternative? Regardless of the type of companionship a person chooses (hetero, gay, single, oh the options are limitless) it's still just a life. I use the word chooses openly. All people choose how to build their family the way they feel is best for them. Therefore to me, lifestyle is a choice. My choice of words will most definitely upset someone I am friends with on either side of the issues. I have super conservative friends, I have 'alternative' friends and I love and respect all of them the same. Even when we don't agree on stuff. I have to say though, that someone that is not part of the heterosexual 'norm' had a much more difficult time in past generations than now in regard to family choices. Marriage wasn't an option, adoption wasn't an option and really even alternative means of adding children to your chosen family for all was much more restrictive than it is now.
The hardest topic of all to address in this litany is abortion. When it comes to abortion I personally am pretty conservative. I, with all my fiber, believe that there is a time and place where this is a real option for many women (and girls) and I will never be for removing the availability for a safe legal means of obtaining one. However, I also feel as though if you are using abortion as a means of birth control you are doing something so very wrong. There were a few stories in this book that I felt like fit the second aspect and that greatly bothered me. Choosing to have an abortion, in my opinion, should not be taken lightly. And it bothered me even more when I felt like it was. I get that for many of this generation it was not safe and very much not legal. But I can't imagine that making that choice does not have a longer impact on a person. Whether it was oh so necessary for the individual or not. I felt like abortion was treated so lightly in this book. That bothers me.
I've read other reviews that talked a lot about how some of the stories were very obviously written by women without a background in writing. And I could easily tell which one's they were. They were a bit more difficult to follow as it sorta felt like a word gush that wasn't always linear. However, here's something else to think about. These women broke boundaries and helped to start the change in perceptions. I can't imagine, that even now, even with strongly independent and confident women that telling these stories is still just a flash in the pan so easy. There's still stigma. Not like it was but still. I think it would be hard to sit down and just put it all on the line without a care in the world. There's still parts of you that you would want to protect. To prevent others from potentially tearing you down. At least that's how I feel. I applaud these women for willing talking about things that still today have stigma. I applaud these women for making hard choices when it was so outside the norm, and for choosing to persevere. While I don't always agree with their choices or the options they chose to get there I will always stand by their right to do so.