Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children

I read Corinne Maier's book over a couple days in Chapters. I mentioned this to Stephie and immediately was met with, "Oh no!!! Does this mean you're not going to have kids!?!". I thought this was amusing but I reassured her that I do plan on having a child or two sometime but that the book is interesting and important (not to mention hilarious!) anyway.

Before anyone gets too excited, one of the most fascinating things about Maier is that she is a mother herself. Yes, that's right. She loves her kids too and isn't some crazy, ultra feminist, baby eating monster. She's just willing to admit something that the vast majority of mothers would never dream of saying- she sometimes regrets having children and misses her former child-free life.

Should she feel ashamed about this? Is Maier afflicting major psychological and emotional damage on her children by sharing this; especially writing a book about this? I don't really know. What I do know is that society is way too fixated on traditional lifestyles and should really keep their noses out of other people's bedrooms. It's natural for a culture/species to be self preserving and obviously reproduction is a huge part of that. However, not everyone is qualified, able or wants to have children and that should be okay. Instead of being criticized by everyone they meet, they should be supported in their decision. Why does everyone have to have a baby? When you consider what a state the environment is in and all of the children that are starving, being abused, neglected, etc is growing rapidly every day it might not be a terrible idea to abstain from adding to all of that.

So the next time you hear someone say they don't want kids, please don't patronize them with "Oh, you'll change your mind!! Children are the most precious gifts in all the universe and everyone should have a gang of them!!". Imagine if the same rude attitude was presented to an aspiring parent! There would be outrage! It's important to remember that not everyone has to have the same life. It's a good thing that everyone doesn't aspire to be an Octo-mom, an 18 kids and counting, an Angelina Jolie or a Jon and Kate + 8. Otherwise there would be no more room for new programs on TLC and we would probably run out of resources a lot faster.

I definitely recommend this book for the giggles (how can you not chuckle at chapter titles like, "Labour (child birth) is torture" and "You won’t have to use that idiot language when talking to kids"?) and the thinking it produces.


Stephie said...

Please have babies. Thank you.

Matty said...

We have valuable genetic material to pass on. If we didn't have babies we would be robbing the world of our evolved traits. Also, I want to live out my failed dreams through my children.

Simone said...

Thanks for posting this! I feel like this post compliments my post on marriage very nicely. Its nice to hear that other people are thinking the same things I am. I feel like less of a freak!

I'd definitely like to have a child someday (actually I'm more excited to one day do this than actually get married--this is kind of weird right? I guess I've never really considered the two--marriage & parenthood--mutually exclusive) however, no time soon. Right now I am really enjoying being childless and am in no hurry at all to change that!

And I agree--in the mean time people need to recognize that everyone is different & to mind their own business :)