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Free read Selfish Shallow and Self Absorbed Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids

Selfish Shallow and Self Absorbed Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids

Sixteen Literary Luminaries On The Controversial Subject Of Being Childless By Choice Collected In One Fascinating AnthologyOne of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed fertility crisis and whether modern women could figure out a way to way to have it all a successful demanding career and the reuired 23 children before their biological clock stopped ticking Now however conversation has turned to whether it's So here s the deal I read the first four five essays and just had to call it uits Turns out that I m just not interested in why people don t want to have kids I know totally surprising because I also don t care why people do have kids You do you and I ll do me But for those who are perhaps interested in the premise behind the book I m not sure that this book is the best way to find answers or explanations Just like in real life sometimes people don t have kids because they are selfish bitches me and sometimes they don t have kids because the timing and relationship was never right and sometimes they don t have kids for a thousand other reasons However these essays all just seemed to be variations on what privilege education class money time allows you to make choices about But ya know I only read the first couple of essays Maybe life changing things happened after I gave up ETA I thought about this and I remembered the exact point at which I stopped reading Lionel Shriver s essay it was horrifyingly racist in that she laments that her choice not to have kids means she won t be passing along her intelligent and literary European genes If I feel oh a little wistful about the fact that the country of my birth the United States will probably within my lifetime no longer be peopled in majority by those of European extraction like me that passing dismay has never been considerable enough for me to inconvenience myself by giving lifts to football practice Her whole essay was about how it was so sad that her white and educated friends weren t having babies but that developing countries and immigrants were Yep that was when I stopped reading A Tangled Affair (The Pearl House you and I ll do me But for those who are perhaps interested in the premise behind the book I m not sure that this book is the best way to find answers or explanations Just like in real life sometimes people don t have kids because they are selfish bitches me and sometimes they don t have kids because the timing and relationship was never right and sometimes they don t have kids for a thousand other reasons However these essays all just seemed to be variations on what privilege education class money time allows Matthews Choice you to make choices about But The Prince of Pleasure (The Wilde Brothers, ya know I only read the first couple of essays Maybe life changing things happened after I gave up ETA I thought about this and I remembered the exact point at which I stopped reading Lionel Shriver s essay it was horrifyingly racist in that she laments that her choice not to have kids means she won t be passing along her intelligent and literary European genes If I feel oh a little wistful about the fact that the country of my birth the United States will probably within my lifetime no longer be peopled in majority by those of European extraction like me that passing dismay has never been considerable enough for me to inconvenience myself by giving lifts to football practice Her whole essay was about how it was so sad that her white and educated friends weren t having babies but that developing countries and immigrants were Yep that was when I stopped reading

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Id Nunez Kate Christiensen Elliott Holt Geoff Dyer and Tim Kreider among others offer a uniue perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood Selfish Shallow and Self Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life taking our parent centric kid fixated baby bump patrolling culture to task in the process What emerges is a nuanced diverse view of what it means to live a full satisfying life Much has been written about women having it all and the difficulties for women with balancing work and child rearing Literature also abounds on the topic of infertility detailing stories of women who long to have children but are unable for various reasons However very little has been written about making a conscious well thought out decision NOT to have children and even less so from a male perspective Social groups are plentiful for women who are mothers from informal playgroups to organized activities such as mom baby yoga Parents tend to be drawn together through their kids sports and other extra curricular activities Parents often freuently congregate in yards enjoying conversation while watching their children play For individuals without children it can be difficult to form friendships and join in such social circles due to having little in common While not necessarily intentional the topic of conversation practically always revolves around child related issuesSelfish Shallow and Self Absorbed Sixteen Writers on Their Decision Not To Have Kids edited by Meghan Daum details the decisions of sixteen writers not to have kids Most thirteen of the essays are by women however three are by men All of the essays resonated with me on some level due to the fact that I also made the decision not to have children very early on in my adult life Even though and women seem to be making the decision not to have children it is still not the choice of the majority While I m not overly concerned with validation from society for my choices it is nice to hear stories of people who have made similar decisions even if for very different reasons While I was initially drawn to reading the essays by authors already known to me such as Lionel Shriver some of my favorites turned out to be from authors previously unknown to me I particularly enjoyed the essays from the three men as they were refreshingly honest and completely unapologetic regarding the decision not to have kids Whereas most of the women seemed to feel the need to ualify their decision with statements about liking kids but determining kids just weren t for them or ensuring that people realize that they don t hate kids and love their niecesnephewsfriends kids etc the men did no such thing Geoff Dyer even stated that he s only had two ambitions in life one of which was never to have children He goes on to say In a park looking at smiling mothers and fathers strolling along with their adorable toddlers I react like the pope confronted with a couple of gay men walking hand in hand Where does it come from this unnatural desire to have children Over and Out by Geoff Dyer Since one of my favorite novels of all time is We Need to Talk About Kevin I was really looking forward to reading Lionel Shriver s essay Rather than detail her decision not to have kids she instead wrote about demographics in general in both America and Europe as well as declining fertility rates and a birth dearth in Western societies She then gave examples of three women she knows personally and considers friends who are at different stages of life and who do not want children Finally she briefly mentions her own situation but never really delves very far into her thought process I did admire Shriver s frank statement of I could have afforded children financially I just didn t want them Other essays were of a somber nature and recounted stories of childhood abuse or neglect which influenced their decisions regarding having or not having in this case children Sigrid Nunez began her essay with There was a time during my childhood when I believed that all children were unwanted Along with the stories of abuse and neglect a few women actually chose to have abortions rather than bring a child that they weren t sure they wanted or could adeuately care for into the world I found Michelle Huneven s essay especially moving My experience of living in my family had deeply instilled a sense that behind the closed doors of a family s home all respect disappeared disapproval anger and other emotions ran unchecked and a domestic form of war prevailed with war s oscillations between overt violence and tense calm Even as I learned that not all families were like this I didn t trust myself not to recreate what I had known Amateurs by Michelle Huneven I am very glad that Meghan Daum decided to take this subject on and am thankful to the sixteen writers who agreed to share their stories I would highly recommend the book not just to people who have decided not to have kids but even so to all those who do have kids I think it s important for those who are parents to realize that their lifestyle is not the only valid choice nor are all those who make the choice not to have kids selfish shallow or self absorbed It is simply one of many life choices typically involving a large amount of deliberation and self reflectionNote Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Picador for a complimentary advance reader s copy of A Tangled Affair (The Pearl House yoga Parents tend to be drawn together through their kids sports and other extra curricular activities Parents often freuently congregate in Matthews Choice yards enjoying conversation while watching their children play For individuals without children it can be difficult to form friendships and join in such social circles due to having little in common While not necessarily intentional the topic of conversation practically always revolves around child related issuesSelfish Shallow and Self Absorbed Sixteen Writers on Their Decision Not To Have Kids edited by Meghan Daum details the decisions of sixteen writers not to have kids Most thirteen of the essays are by women however three are by men All of the essays resonated with me on some level due to the fact that I also made the decision not to have children very early on in my adult life Even though and women seem to be making the decision not to have children it is still not the choice of the majority While I m not overly concerned with validation from society for my choices it is nice to hear stories of people who have made similar decisions even if for very different reasons While I was initially drawn to reading the essays by authors already known to me such as Lionel Shriver some of my favorites turned out to be from authors previously unknown to me I particularly enjoyed the essays from the three men as they were refreshingly honest and completely unapologetic regarding the decision not to have kids Whereas most of the women seemed to feel the need to ualify their decision with statements about liking kids but determining kids just weren t for them or ensuring that people realize that they don t hate kids and love their niecesnephewsfriends kids etc the men did no such thing Geoff Dyer even stated that he s only had two ambitions in life one of which was never to have children He goes on to say In a park looking at smiling mothers and fathers strolling along with their adorable toddlers I react like the pope confronted with a couple of gay men walking hand in hand Where does it come from this unnatural desire to have children Over and Out by Geoff Dyer Since one of my favorite novels of all time is We Need to Talk About Kevin I was really looking forward to reading Lionel Shriver s essay Rather than detail her decision not to have kids she instead wrote about demographics in general in both America and Europe as well as declining fertility rates and a birth dearth in Western societies She then gave examples of three women she knows personally and considers friends who are at different stages of life and who do not want children Finally she briefly mentions her own situation but never really delves very far into her thought process I did admire Shriver s frank statement of I could have afforded children financially I just didn t want them Other essays were of a somber nature and recounted stories of childhood abuse or neglect which influenced their decisions regarding having or not having in this case children Sigrid Nunez began her essay with There was a time during my childhood when I believed that all children were unwanted Along with the stories of abuse and neglect a few women actually chose to have abortions rather than bring a child that they weren t sure they wanted or could adeuately care for into the world I found Michelle Huneven s essay especially moving My experience of living in my family had deeply instilled a sense that behind the closed doors of a family s home all respect disappeared disapproval anger and other emotions ran unchecked and a domestic form of war prevailed with war s oscillations between overt violence and tense calm Even as I learned that not all families were like this I didn t trust myself not to recreate what I had known Amateurs by Michelle Huneven I am very glad that Meghan Daum decided to take this subject on and am thankful to the sixteen writers who agreed to share their stories I would highly recommend the book not just to people who have decided not to have kids but even so to all those who do have kids I think it s important for those who are parents to realize that their lifestyle is not the only valid choice nor are all those who make the choice not to have kids selfish shallow or self absorbed It is simply one of many life choices typically involving a large amount of deliberation and self reflectionNote Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Picador for a complimentary advance reader s copy of

Meghan Daum Ä 5 Read

Necessary to have it all or perhaps controversial whether children are really a reuirement for a fulfilling life The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream mediaIn this provocative and controversial collection of essays curated by writer Meghan Daum sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood Contributors Lionel Shriver Sigr I m uite disappointed I had such high hopes The summary called to me the intro was stellar and had me nodding in agreement with the editor and then I started reading the essays I think that there were only 3 or 4 that spoke to me the rest were either uninteresting or thoroughly depressing I m sorry but I don t think that finding yourself in middle age unmarried without children and coming to terms with that is the same as deciding to not have children I cannot relate to women that are relieved to have miscarriages and feel as though they dodged a bullet Yes I suppose that perhaps does make them selfish shallow and self absorbed writers though but an active decision it does not make My heart breaks for the writers with the gut wrenching childhoods and I understand their choice But where are the essays from the young happily coupled up or not successful women that decide to not reproduce and have to deal with being regarded as a heretic or gasp a career woman And apparently there are only so many excuses to be childless since these 16 essays seemed to spout off about the same 5 issues surrounding child rearing Marriage by Deception yourself in middle age unmarried without children and coming to terms with that is the same as deciding to not have children I cannot relate to women that are relieved to have miscarriages and feel as though they dodged a bullet Yes I suppose that perhaps does make them selfish shallow and self absorbed writers though but an active decision it does not make My heart breaks for the writers with the gut wrenching childhoods and I understand their choice But where are the essays from the A Tangled Affair (The Pearl House young happily coupled up or not successful women that decide to not reproduce and have to deal with being regarded as a heretic or gasp a career woman And apparently there are only so many excuses to be childless since these 16 essays seemed to spout off about the same 5 issues surrounding child rearing

  • Hardcover
  • 288
  • Selfish Shallow and Self Absorbed Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids
  • Meghan Daum
  • English
  • 05 April 2019
  • 9781250052933

About the Author: Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum is the author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House a personal chronicle of real estate addiction and obsessive fascination with houses as well as the novel The uality of Life Report and the essay collection My Misspent Youth Since 2005 she has written a weekly column for The Los Angeles Times which appears on the op ed page every Thursday She has contributed to publi



10 thoughts on “Selfish Shallow and Self Absorbed Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids

  1. says:

    I received a digital ARC of this title from NetgalleyI will never have children I made up my mind on this years ago and now as I near 30 I have no inclination to change my mind If I have a 'biological clock' it's

  2. says:

    So here's the deal I read the first four five essays and just had to call it uits Turns out that I'm just not interested in why people don't want to have kids I know totally surprising because I also don't care why people do have kids You do you and I'll do me But for those who are perhaps interested in the premise behi

  3. says:

    I was slightly disappointed that most of the women in the book had actually courted or coveted motherhood for a time and missed the window than made an active choice ironically I most identified with a male writer's essay because he has always firmly known he didn't want children one of only a couple in the book But still I found the essays interesting and I love that the topic is now open for intelligent dialogue

  4. says:

    I've known since I was a kid that I didn't want to be a mother I have a distinct memory of being 7 or 8 and joining my own mom and her aunts and cousins on a Memorial Day trip to decorate family graves In the cemetery I remember coming across a string of Depression era headstones for a set of siblings who all died as children and

  5. says:

    I'm uite disappointed I had such high hopes The summary called to me the intro was stellar and had me nodding in agreement with the editor and then I started reading the essays I think that there were only 3 or 4 that spoke to me the rest were either uninteresting or thoroughly depressing I'm sorry but I don't think that finding yourself in middle age unmarried without children and coming to terms with that is the same as deciding

  6. says:

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewI don't want childrenAt my age however this statement is usually met with the response of Oh but you're so young You'll change your mindThis is not only condescending but inaccurate which honestly bothers me Not every woman is built to be a mother Childr

  7. says:

    Much has been written about women having it all and the difficulties for women with balancing work and child rearing Literature also abounds on the topic of infertility detailing stories of women who long to have children but are unable for various reasons However very little has been written about making a conscious well thought out decision NOT to have children and even less so from a male perspective Social groups are plentiful

  8. says:

    This hit the spot Almost I wanted to read the perspectives of writers who not only didn't have children but were thrilled with the decision to the point of being relieved that they trusted their intuition who like me are edified by t

  9. says:

    Until about a year ago I always thought I would eventually have kids As I made my way through my twenties watching my friend

  10. says:

    Overall I think this book's importance in our society cannot be expressed enough I'm so grateful to the author for giving

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