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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I enjoyed this book. It is the first book I have read about deciding not to have children and felt it was a good introduction. I did find the repeated text that the previous commenter mentioned unnecessary too (the original text could have been bolded for emphasis) though all in all, I enjoyed it and found it useful. I am in my mid thirties and am happy with my decision...
Published on 24 May 2011 by Jen Smith

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start ... but affirms some of the stereotypes it seeks to challenge
This book was excellent as an introduction for about some of the issues surrounding deciding not to have children. It was also excellent as a free Ebook. However, I think it can't be regarded as anything more than a starting point for the topic because it lacks any in-depth analysis or even anything that goes beyond basic anecdotal evidence from a limited number of...
Published on 18 April 2011 by Kugelschreiber


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start ... but affirms some of the stereotypes it seeks to challenge, 18 April 2011
This book was excellent as an introduction for about some of the issues surrounding deciding not to have children. It was also excellent as a free Ebook. However, I think it can't be regarded as anything more than a starting point for the topic because it lacks any in-depth analysis or even anything that goes beyond basic anecdotal evidence from a limited number of people. There isn't much research and the research that is used isn't used or examined extensively. At times it can come across as quite patronising - it repeats parts of the text that you're supposed to find important and writes them in bold, suggests questions at the end of every section in case you weren't capable of finding the questions the book raises for yourself, and there's just something about the writing style, the constant repetition and the explanation of some of the terms that makes it sound as though the author is trying to explain herself to a very dim-witted person. Still, that doesn't really spoil the experience of reading the book that much, I suppose.

The only element of it I'd serious contend is the way that it examines the childfree lifestyle in relation to the advantages it has. The author sets out to try and show that people who decide not to have children are not just 'selfish' and that it can be a dignified and meaningful way of life - which is definitely true - but then goes on to look solely at how the people she's interviewing can indulge themselves at weekends, pursue their own hobbies, have great sex, eat what they want, go out when they want, do what they want, spend their salaries (that they keep more of because they don't have kids) on whatever they want and the emphasis is always that they can do all this WITHOUT BOTHERING TO THINK OF OTHER PEOPLE. The people interviewed often have long-term partners or are married, do a lot of voluntary work and help out in their communities on top of their normal jobs. They must be used to making sacrifices for other people and are probably not remotely selfish, but because the emphasis is so much on the freedom that having no children can bring, they don't come across as anything but. The book also claims that there's no one personality type that unites people who don't want children, but then goes on to say that they tend to value their independence from a very young age, they don't want to compromise their own sense of order, and even - interestingly enough - that they don't want to lose their youth and believe that children would force them to do this. It specifically says that many adults who don't want children do so because they want to continue having fun. From whiney comments about friends with children not being available to 'play' with them any more to boasts about how they're free to ride their motorcycles all weekend without once having to think about anybody else, the book somehow manages to confirm the major prejudice that it's trying to dismiss. It's a real shame. I think a very different approach is needed to convince more people that deciding not to have children is equally valid and dignified.

I think the issue that's being skirted around is that the decision about whether to have children is an innately 'selfish' one whichever side of the debate you end up falling towards. If people who don't want children are thinking about freedom and lack of responsibility, then the other people want children because they personally WANT them, not because they're bravely willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of mankind.

Other minor things: It didn't have very much of a male contribution. Some men were involved but the focus is almost entirely on women. There also any representation of young people either and despite vague references towards these people it almost assumes that every reader will have already made these choices anyway. I'm twenty. I didn't feel very included, particularly by the questions at the end of each section which are directed towards people in their forties and older.

In any case, it was still interesting to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 24 May 2011
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This review is from: Complete without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book. It is the first book I have read about deciding not to have children and felt it was a good introduction. I did find the repeated text that the previous commenter mentioned unnecessary too (the original text could have been bolded for emphasis) though all in all, I enjoyed it and found it useful. I am in my mid thirties and am happy with my decision to be child free but I actually found the exercises at the end of each chapter useful and thought provoking. It's not the 'usual book format' but I felt that the style of the book, helped take you on your own journey and unearthed some questions and thoughts for me that I hadn't considered before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful, 26 May 2013
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This book could be, for someone who's uncertain about their child free status, a really thought provoking read. For me, it simply confirmed a lot of what I already knew about myself ... But it is nice to be validated sometimes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kidfree Guide, 20 May 2013
This review is from: Complete without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance (Paperback)
Reluctantly, I confess that it is strictly my own decision and idea to be child-free (since the age of 8). I say reluctantly because my husband expressed his feeling that I would have made a good mother and that we would have had beautiful children together. However, his decision to spend the rest of his current lifetime with me is constant even with my choice to be child-free.Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance by Ellen L. Walker caught my attention because of my interest to seek out books that support a voluntary choice to be child-free. There are more than enough families who have more than four children per household (just in the United States of America alone) to make up for the number of men and women who voluntarily decide to stay child-free.I admit that I'm not sure how my biological mother and adoptive mother would have felt about my firm decision to stay childfree. This is only because both women died within 18 months of each other and before I married my current husband (who I met in 2002 and married in 2004). However, I would like to think that both my biological mother and adoptive mother would have been supportive about my certain decision to stay childfree (if they were still alive today).Additionally, most women that I see who truly enjoy being mothers are depression free, are prosperous enough to afford help in caring for their children and/or have parents around who would immediately drop what they were doing to help look after the children.I am thankful for all of my family members and friends. Additionally, some of the celebrities and people that I admire in real life are parents. However, it is important to me that I collect information on others who bravely share their stories on being childfree. This is especially due to both my acceptance and awareness that there are others who are going to judge my husband and I for voluntarily choosing to be child-free. Additionally, I come from a large family where many of the adults enjoy being parents and a big portion of their identity is proudly tied into that life experience. To be one of the few adults to politely declare my decision to be kid-free can be tricky in such a situation. I actually knew since the age of 8 that I was going to choose the child-free path, but I was obviously only taken seriously in my decision about 9 years ago (after I got married).

Walker courageously interviews and shares the stories of other adults who have chosen to be child-free. She explains the dynamics behind the decision making of voluntarily choosing to be childfree and how the concepts of love and money tie into such an important choice. There are also resources included for those who are certain that they want to partake in the child-free route. "Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice Or By Chance" by Ellen Walker is also a suitable accompaniment to Kidfree & Lovin It by Kaye D. Walters.
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