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No Way Baby!: Exploring, Understanding, and Defending the Decision NOT to Have Children Paperback – July 23, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Foster is a pebble in the shoe of conventional wisdom, shining light on the discrepancies between what we say we should do, what we think we should do and what we do. It all started at the age of 18 when she chucked the traditional college experience and headed to that hotbed of nonconformity, San Francisco. Fortunately, she was too young to know that shouldn't have worked out well, so in her own time, she went ahead and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Clinical Psychology. After years of working in both the non-profit and for profit sectors, Karen realized that there was no profit worth the aggravation of gainful employment. So in the midst of the .com craze, Karen headed north to Portland, where she started her own business as a speaker and a coach. Today Karen travels around the US as a professional development trainer where she encounters all sorts of interesting people who continue to be amazed by her unwillingness to breed (or do lots of other things so-called 'normal' people do.) She still lives in Portland.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (July 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439268568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439268568
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,089,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Hamilton on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If the eye-catching cover makes you think this is a book for child-haters you'd be wrong. This book has something for everyone, including many laughs, after all we've all been children, if not parents. An easy read with open and honest quotes from childfree people (those who have chosen not to have children) that help the reader see the normal human behind the `controversial' life choice. For the childfree the book will help them realise they are far from alone, no small feat in an increasingly child-obsessed world. It will also help explain what is behind the negative reactions childfree people receive, wisdom that is beneficial to the childfree and to those who may not realise the hurt they are causing their own loved ones.

Using facts the author calmly debunks the myths surrounding the childfree life (e.g. They hate children, they're selfish, will be unhappy in old age, or are denying their duty). Refreshingly she highlights the many benefits that we all (particularly children) receive from having childfree people within our midst.

What I didn't expect of the book is that I would recommend it to prospective parents. But while discussing the choice to be childfree and how society treats childfree people the book manages to give a far better idea of the emotional and practical realities of parenthood than will be heard in the media or from parents (notoriously they wait until after the birth to divulge the less pleasant aspects of parenting). While it's not the aim of the book, a handy side effect is that reading it will better prepare people for parenthood.

A great read and particularly fun to pull out in public if there are children running wild!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading the revised 2012 version of this book. I've seen the thousands of books about becoming a parent, so wow ... what a change of thinking this book provides. I'm actually a parent of one, but was ambivalent about kids most of my adult life and have been feeling a little guilty about not wanting to add a second child to keep the first one company. There's a lot of pressure by family and society to do that! But trying to parent, work, spend time with friends/family and manage a household is much harder than I ever thought it would be. Raising kids was probably a lot easier when we lived in villages and a lot more practical with a farm to work. Fast forward to 2012 with over-population, long commutes, 2 working parents, expensive childcare and the fact that kids are A LOT of work to raise well and it starts making less sense to have kids esp. if you're on the fence. Of course, I adore my child, but I wish I had read a book like this before I let the pressure of family and society convince me that having kids was my duty. I know now that my duty is to live a wonderful life, to be a great person and to experience the joys of love and relationships. Kids aren't the only path to all those things. And now I understand there are A LOT of childless by choice people out there. Who knew! So I'm more empowered to say no to future kids.

Bottom line: If you need a new, honest perspective on what's great about being childfree and the not-so-fuzzy-and-sweet realities of kids (as in what % actually care for their parents in old age or how much it costs to raise a child in the middle class) this is an informative, entertaining read.
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I'm 36 and over the past year 9 family members have had babies. Needless to say I feel like the black sheep of the family. I do like kids but having had a sort of unhappy childhood I wouldn't want to put a child through that. I also feel like I wouldn't be the kind of parent a child needs. When people ask me if I have kids or when I am, they do seem shocked at my answer which make me feel like a oddball. I find the interviews in the book a major plus. A well researched, intelligently written and often funny read!
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This book is a good read. It addresses the questions people have of you if you choose not to have children. The book asks the hard questions, things like, "who's going to take care of you when you are old" and "it's so selfish not to have kids". In this day and age of enlightenment you think people would live and let live. I believe misery loves company! A large number of people love that they had kids but, envy us who are childless by choice. As my neighbor says, he needs to live his life vicariously through ours, as we take off to a far away travel destination and he is off to soccer practice in the rain. This book does a good job of addressing the fact these are choices. Each person gets to make their own! Imagine that.
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By Brusso on February 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is really an interesting book. It has a lot of different thoughts on reasons people don't choose to have kids. I think it is a great read for people that are on the fence or even parents that are trying to understand why their children are not giving them grandchildren. Very nicely written.
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It's an okay book. It hits the main issues with being childless, I suppose. The problem is, it's only based on forty or so interviews with volunteers-so, not a solid study, mainly an exploration. It also makes very little use of academic writings on childless living from fields like psychology or sociology or anthropology. It often just quotes from other popular books on the same topic. Then it goes on to deliver life advice (e.g. how to write a will, how to set up a savings account) which is hardly tailored to those without children but applies to the population at large. Sometimes, claims are made that have no backing whatsoever with data - the author seems convinced that her feelings on childlessness should suffice and apply to all people. I understand that she is not an academic or even a journalist (she describes herself as a motivational speaker) but some research wouldn't have hurt.
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