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Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives Hardcover – March 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Inspired by a letter written to Salon.com requesting more stories about people who chose not to have children, senior editor Leibovich brought together a broad spectrum of writers to create a refreshing, sometimes painful, collection of essays in which, to quote the subtitle, "28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives." Lionel Shriver celebrates her adults-only existence in "The Baby Stops Here"; Amy Richards goes through the seldom-discussed procedure of "selective reduction" in "Triple Threat"; and Kathryn Harrison cares for her dying grandmother as well as her newborn daughter in the beautiful "Cradle to Grave." Other standout essays include Neal Pollack's, defending his right to have only one child (his response to the often-voiced concern "Won't he be spoiled if he's the only one?" is "Not with our credit card debt"), and Rick Moody's, revealing his early-in-life assessment of children as "bloodthirsty dwarves." This bittersweet anthology is the perfect antidote to readers tired of the number of books lauding child-rearing and its many joys. (Apr.)
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About the Author
A former staff editor at Salon, Lori Leibovich has written for many publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Cookie, Harper's Bazaar, and the anthologies Mothers Who Think and The Real Las Vegas. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Top Customer Reviews
Every angle that I had wrestled with and many more were presented by real people who have struggled with the same questions I have. I couldn't believe the diversity of thought, the raw and painful honesty, and the naked love shown in each of these pieces. It helped me sort through my priorities and examine my personality, and gave me a much clearer idea of exactly what my personal pros and cons are.
So much of the writing about parenthood resorts to cliches and easy answers, and none of the writers in this book copped out and allowed themselves that comfort of falling back on the usual sentiments. The writers were honest enough to examine even the negative personality traits which played a part in helping them make their decisions, and were also honest about the positive and negative things they felt and experienced because of their decision.
I was surprised and impressed by this book. It was not a comfortable read and made me squirm inside many times, seeing my own selfishness or worries reflected back at me, but the book got to the heart of the many truths and considerations involved in making this hugely important decision.
The book reads very fast and is an interesting read. But I would not add it to a list for those trying to chose if they should have kids or not. It leans too much towards being a parent. If you want honest anwsers from both the childfree and moms/parents I recommend "do I want to be a mom?" you can find it here on amazon.
If you are ambivalent about having a child, this book will help. Oddly enough, I am still ambivalent but I am now quite sure that I do not want to NOT have children. Now, it is only a matter of deciding WHEN I will have children. If you read this book, you will find sections that resonate with you. Perhaps if you would like to be childless, the first third will really resonate and you will feel confirmed in your convictions. For me, I realized that I did not want to be childless and I hadn't felt the feelings expressed in that section of the book. But I could really understand the fear and uncertainty of the undecided, and definitely some of the parenting stories both scared me and soothed me.
All the stories are written by professional writers. For sure, this changes their perspective on life. Many of them are able to work from home or have flexible work to be with their children more. Unfortunately, this does affect the perspective. If only there was some way to capture the perspective of someone more like me (with a time-consuming business career), but someone like me would probably not have the skill or time to invest in writing essays for Salon.