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Child Free and Loving It!

Child Free and Loving It! by Nicki Defago
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Childfree and Loving It! is a broad and definitive exploration of non-parenthood, challenging the myths of parenthood and boldly proclaiming the joys of a childfree life. ‘The responsibility of parenthood is overwhelming and incredibly stressful. And it’s for life. Don’t give up a pleasant life for a life of unpaid drudgery. Your standard of living drastically declines, and the kids take off as soon as they can, without a backward glance.’ Shirley Conran
Vision Paperbacks; Read online
Title: Child Free and Loving It!
Author: Nicki Defago
It’s fine not to want children, there are so many alternatives these days and nobody should have to justify, explain or apologise for their absence. Good reasons for not having children are plentiful. Most people make the decision because they prefer the quality of lifestyle. Some are sufficiently enlightened to realise that not everyone will make a good parent and the world doesn’t need more human lives. Whatever one’s personal reasons, life without children can be as rewarding and fulfilling as life with children. In fact, the potential is enhanced because one’s own room for growth is freed from the demands that young children, especially, bring with them. Having a baby is a true vocation for some people and it’s wonderful when that’s the case, but it’s not and never has been the making of everyone. Parenthood is now a choice, though talking about it in such terms is only just becoming acceptable in a society still steeped in the values of the now outdated ‘traditional family’. When I got married to my husband Jim we didn’t know if we wanted children. Hearing only favourable endorsements from everyone around made me suspicious, so I embarked on my own research – in my nearest Borders bookshop. The first thing I noticed was attitudes. When I asked at the counter, ‘Have you got any books about women who don’t want children?’ the assistant looked taken aback. I felt rather embarrassed, as if I’d enquired after something inappropriate. After a puzzled exchange (‘What do you … mean?’), she waved me in the direction of ‘Feminism’, then ‘Self-help’. There was nothing in either section, but ultimately I found for myself a couple of titles under ‘Pregnancy and Childcare’. The irony wasn’t lost, but in fact that was the best place for what I was looking for. Being uncertain about motherhood needn’t automatically class you as a feminist, and it’s a label many people feel uncomfortable with. Nor did I have a problem, just a decision to make, so the ‘Skip Your Way to a Happier You’ books weren’t relevant either. First and foremost I was an average person considering life’s options and my focus at the time was pregnancy and childcare – albeit with the subtext ‘is it a good idea or not?’

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