Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No

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Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No by Kate Kaufman

Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No by Kate KaufmanStars: *****

She Writes Press (2019)
267 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: A savvy and validating guide to what might be in store for growing numbers of childfree and childless adults worldwide, Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No takes on topics from the shifting meaning of family to what we leave behind when we die. Weaving together wisdom from women ages twenty-four to ninety-one with both her own story and a growing body of research, Kate brings to light alternate routes to lives of meaning, connection, and joy.

Today about one in five American women will never have children, whether by choice or by destiny. Yet few women talk much about what not having kids means to their lives and identities. Not that they don’t want to; there just aren’t obvious catalysts for such open conversations. In fact, social taboos preclude exploration of the topic―and since our family-centric culture doesn’t know quite what to do with non-parents, there’s potential for childless and childfree women to be sidelined, ignored, or drowned out. Yet there’s widespread, pent-up demand for understanding and validating this perfectly normal way of being. In this straight-shooting, exhaustively researched book, women without kids talk candidly about the ways in which their lives differ from societal norms and expectations―the good, the bad, and the unexpected

Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No

Okay so it’s kind of weird that I reviewed this book because I have 5 kids. But that illustrates just why I said yes. I was curious. What IS life without kids like? I know some people live without kids because they can’t get pregnant but for those who choose childlessness, I just couldn’t understand. What do they do when they are older? Who takes care of them? These are all answers I got by reading this book.

The various chapters cover different topics such as who childless adults are, how they make a living, friendships, family, where they live, how they feel about being childless (unable to have children) or childfree (choosing not to have children), spirituality, elder orphans and legacies.

The book is very thorough, interviewing tons of couples and singles without children and sharing how they feel about a topic that isn’t talked about much. (see below.)

“Until I started researching Do You Have Kids?, I never heard another non-mom’s story, nor had I shared much of my own. Perhaps we’re hesitant to talk because we come to be childless from such diverse paths. Some of us have been accused of being selfish because we’re childfree and are weary of justifying our reality. Some still carry soft sorrow for the children we didn’t have and cringe at the discomfort and pity our disclosure can elicit. And some rarely think about kids at all. With silence however, comes stigma, marginalization, and misunderstanding of our situation. With silence, younger women who may forego motherhood are denied access to the possibilities of a future without kids and navigate their life choices solo.” – pg 9

Regardless of whether you believe everyone should have children or everyone should make their own choice, you will find this book interesting. If you have children, you will see what life is like for other people. If you don’t have children, you will find camaraderie with others like you.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.