Is it possible for a relationship to work when one partner wants children and the other doesn’t? This is the question that is still resonating in my head days after I finished reading Kidfree & Lovin’ It (reviewed Jan. 2). The opinion of most of the people author Kaye D. Walters surveyed is that this is a deal-breaker, that compromise is impossible, that the relationship is doomed. They say it is better to break up than to have a child you don’t want—or force a child on someone who doesn’t want to have children. Don’t date, don’t marry, don’t pretend it’s okay; it won’t work.
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were good and wish you all the best for the new year. This morning I finished reading one of the newer books on the childless life, so I’m sharing my opinion. In the interest of full disclosure, I am quoted once, on page 20, as someone who regrets not having children, and the author gave me a small discount on the purchase price. This has not influenced my review in any way.
Anyone else feeling all grinchy on this Friday before Christmas? As the saying goes, this too will pass.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a couple new books to tell you about.
Kidfree and Lovin’ It by Kaye D. Walters just came in the mail this week. I haven’t read too much of it yet, and I can tell from the title that the book leans a little more toward people who don’t want children than toward people who do. But it is extremely well done, with an almost encyclopedic collection of information and references, and she does include us “childless by circumstance” throughout. In fact, I was one of the many people she surveyed for this book. I was tickled to find one of my quotes on one of the first pages. She doesn’t mention my name, but I’m the “56-year-old writer from Oregon.”
What to Expect When No One’s Expecting by Jonathan Last won’t officially be out until February, but I have already put my order in. This book is not about the whole childfree/childless business, but about what’s going to happen in our world when we’re having far fewer children. Last maintains that it’s going to have a big effect on our economy and culture because the population will be shrinking and getting older. It sounds fascinating.
Jody Day of Gateway-women.com has a new book coming out next year that should make us feel good all over. Meanwhile, don’t miss her blog or her website.
My own Childless by Marriage, which debuted last Mother’s Day, is the only book I know about that spends more than a few paragraphs on the situation where one does not have children because his/her spouse is unable or unwilling to make babies together.
Or, if you don’t have the energy to read, and winter storms have knocked out your cable TV like they did mine yesterday, you can curl up on the couch and watch four episodes in a row of “Little House on the Prairie” on DVD. They sure don’t make guys like “Pa” anymore.
Have a happy weekend.