#FridayReads: No Kidding: Women Writers On Bypassing Parenthood

Every Friday I share a book I’ve been reading. Please share your own #FridayReads in the comments!

I do not want to have children. I have never wanted to have children. I will not apologize because I know what I want, no matter how many times people tell me ridiculous things that are none of their damn business.

Some things that have been said to me:

  • “Just wait until you meet the right man.” (I did meet the right man. He doesn’t want kids, either.)
  • “You’re young. You’ll change your mind.” (It’s been over ten years since I consciously made my decision to not have children.)
  • “If you have dogs, you’ll have children.” (I can leave my dogs at home by themselves. Not so much with kids.)
  • “You just got married, congratulations! When are you going to start having kids?” (Never.)

nokiddingSo when I saw No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood at the library, I thought, “Oh, cool, a bunch of essays by women who made the same choice I have. I bet they’ll have some crazy stories about people telling them inappropriate things.”

And yeah, there is some of that. The best essays are Margaret Cho’s “I Wouldn’t Know Where to Begin” and Judy Nielson’s “Buddha and Me,” which touches on issues of health and lack thereof—something I definitely relate to.

But a majority of the essays are little more than apologies. Almost every essay aside from the two mentioned above had some variation of, “Oh but I love children, really, I do! I just don’t want any of my own!”

A blurb from Rosie O’Donnell on the back of the book says something like, “Not wanting children is unfathomable to me, which makes this book all the more fascinating.”

This makes it sound like I—and every other woman who has chosen not to be a mother—are some freak show, when in fact one in five women now choose not to have children.

One in five might be a minority, but that still leaves an awful lot of us out there.

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