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Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by [Valenti, Jessica]
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Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Review

"This timely volume, which should generate much controversy, is a call for much-needed change and may unite a new generation of moms." -- "Publishers Weekly" "Timely...[Valenti] states early on that her book is meant to anger people and incite discussions...She wades deeply into the moral and logistical problems facing mothers, with interviews, research and her own anecdotal experiences." - "Kirkus Reviews
"
"In a culture that glamorizes motherhood, Jessica Valenti daringly articulates the hard work and the personal decisions that are an essential part of parenting. This book is a must-read for new parents." - Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, "New York Times" best-selling author of" The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
"
"A brave and bracing critique of our unrealistic parenting ideals." - "Elle"

"This timely volume, which should generate much controversy, is a call for much-needed change and may unite a new generation of moms." -"Publishers Weekly"

"Timely...[Valenti] states early on that her book is meant to anger people and incite discussions...She wades deeply into the moral and logistical problems facing mothers, with interviews, research and her own anecdotal experiences." -"Kirkus Reviews"

"For mothers like Valenti, who felt guilty admitting impatience at the drudgery and boredom that constitutes much of parenting, this book may be a revelation. And a comfort." -"People Magazine"

"A brave and bracing critique of our unrealistic parenting ideals." -"Elle"

"There's a lot of really profound, great questions in this book. As a new father myself, they cut pretty deep."- Chris Hayes, host of "Up with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC and the author of "Twilight of the Elites."

"In a culture that glamorizes motherhood, Jessica Valenti daringly articulates the hard work and the personal decisions that are an essential part of parenting. This book is a must-read for new parents." -Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, "New York Times" best-selling author of "The Dressmaker of Khair Khana"

"Jessica Valenti is a breath of fresh air. She offers the kind of raw honesty that can feel like a punch in the gut, but leaves you with the warmth of a deep embrace." "- Ms. Magazine"

"Jessica has been hailed as one of the most influential female voices of the last decade, so it's not surprising that after she had her first child, she had plenty to say about the culture of modern motherhood." -Meagan Francis, "Babble.com"

"When it comes to unpacking what it means to be female in America right now, Jessica's one of the smartest minds out there." -Jesse Ellison, "The Daily Beast"

"In Why Have Kids?, feminist author Jessica Valenti poses a question that few people actually wrestle with before taking the plunge into parenthood." - Lori Leibovich, "Huffington Post"

One of "20 New Releases Check Out" in The Atlantic's Fall Books Preview

A "Fall 2012 Must Read" -"Huffington Post"

"Why Have Kids? should be required reading in sex education classes." - Kathy Megyeri, "USA Today Letter to the Editor"

This timely volume, which should generate much controversy, is a call for much-needed change and may unite a new generation of moms. "Publishers Weekly"

Timely [Valenti] states early on that her book is meant to anger people and incite discussions She wades deeply into the moral and logistical problems facing mothers, with interviews, research and her own anecdotal experiences. "Kirkus Reviews"

For mothers like Valenti, who felt guilty admitting impatience at the drudgery and boredom that constitutes much of parenting, this book may be a revelation. And a comfort. "People Magazine"

A brave and bracing critique of our unrealistic parenting ideals. "Elle"

There s a lot of really profound, great questions in this book. As a new father myself, they cut pretty deep. - Chris Hayes, host of "Up with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC and the author of "Twilight of the Elites."

In a culture that glamorizes motherhood, Jessica Valenti daringly articulates the hard work and the personal decisions that are an essential part of parenting. This book is a must-read for new parents. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, "New York Times" best-selling author of "The Dressmaker of Khair Khana"

Jessica Valenti is a breath of fresh air. She offers the kind of raw honesty that can feel like a punch in the gut, but leaves you with the warmth of a deep embrace. " Ms. Magazine"

Jessica has been hailed as one of the most influential female voices of the last decade, so it s not surprising that after she had her first child, she had plenty to say about the culture of modern motherhood. Meagan Francis, "Babble.com"

When it comes to unpacking what it means to be female in America right now, Jessica s one of the smartest minds out there. Jesse Ellison, "The Daily Beast"

In Why Have Kids?, feminist author Jessica Valenti poses a question that few people actually wrestle with before taking the plunge into parenthood. Lori Leibovich, "Huffington Post"

One of 20 New Releases Check Out in The Atlantic s Fall Books Preview

A Fall 2012 Must Read "Huffington Post"

Why Have Kids? should be required reading in sex education classes. Kathy Megyeri, "USA Today Letter to the Editor""

This timely volume, which should generate much controversy, is a call for much-needed change and may unite a new generation of moms. Publishers Weekly

Timely [Valenti] states early on that her book is meant to anger people and incite discussions She wades deeply into the moral and logistical problems facing mothers, with interviews, research and her own anecdotal experiences. Kirkus Reviews

For mothers like Valenti, who felt guilty admitting impatience at the drudgery and boredom that constitutes much of parenting, this book may be a revelation. And a comfort. People Magazine

A brave and bracing critique of our unrealistic parenting ideals. Elle

There s a lot of really profound, great questions in this book. As a new father myself, they cut pretty deep. - Chris Hayes, host of Up with Chris Hayes on MSNBC and the author of Twilight of the Elites.

In a culture that glamorizes motherhood, Jessica Valenti daringly articulates the hard work and the personal decisions that are an essential part of parenting. This book is a must-read for new parents. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, New York Times best-selling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Jessica Valenti is a breath of fresh air. She offers the kind of raw honesty that can feel like a punch in the gut, but leaves you with the warmth of a deep embrace. Ms. Magazine

Jessica has been hailed as one of the most influential female voices of the last decade, so it s not surprising that after she had her first child, she had plenty to say about the culture of modern motherhood. Meagan Francis, Babble.com

When it comes to unpacking what it means to be female in America right now, Jessica s one of the smartest minds out there. Jesse Ellison, The Daily Beast

In Why Have Kids?, feminist author Jessica Valenti poses a question that few people actually wrestle with before taking the plunge into parenthood. Lori Leibovich, Huffington Post

One of 20 New Releases Check Out in The Atlantic s Fall Books Preview

A Fall 2012 Must Read Huffington Post

Why Have Kids? should be required reading in sex education classes. Kathy Megyeri, USA Today Letter to the Editor"

Review

“This timely volume, which should generate much controversy, is a call for much-needed change and may unite a new generation of moms.” –Publishers Weekly

“Timely…[Valenti] states early on that her book is meant to anger people and incite discussions…She wades deeply into the moral and logistical problems facing mothers, with interviews, research and her own anecdotal experiences.” –Kirkus Reviews

“For mothers like Valenti, who felt guilty admitting impatience at the drudgery and boredom that constitutes much of parenting, this book may be a revelation. And a comfort.” – People Magazine

“A brave and bracing critique of our unrealistic parenting ideals.” – Elle

“There’s a lot of really profound, great questions in this book. As a new father myself, they cut pretty deep.”- Chris Hayes, host of Up with Chris Hayes on MSNBC and the author of Twilight of the Elites.

“In a culture that glamorizes motherhood, Jessica Valenti daringly articulates the hard work and the personal decisions that are an essential part of parenting. This book is a must-read for new parents.” –Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, New York Times best-selling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

“Jessica Valenti is a breath of fresh air. She offers the kind of raw honesty that can feel like a punch in the gut, but leaves you with the warmth of a deep embrace.” – Ms. Magazine

“Jessica has been hailed as one of the most influential female voices of the last decade, so it’s not surprising that after she had her first child, she had plenty to say about the culture of modern motherhood.” –Meagan Francis, Babble.com

“When it comes to unpacking what it means to be female in America right now, Jessica’s one of the smartest minds out there.” –Jesse Ellison, The Daily Beast

“In Why Have Kids?, feminist author Jessica Valenti poses a question that few people actually wrestle with before taking the plunge into parenthood.” – Lori Leibovich,Huffington Post

One of “20 New Releases Check Out” in The Atlantic’s Fall Books Preview

A “Fall 2012 Must Read” –Huffington Post

“Why Have Kids? should be required reading in sex education classes.” – Kathy Megyeri, USA Today Letter to the Editor


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 592 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing (4 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008L4KT6W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Why have Kids? addresses an issue that is rarely spoken of. That raising kids is often tiring, repetitive, lonely and without end. In many families the man continues to have a career and the woman's career is relegated to being a job, with a second job at home doing the night shift of looking after home and kids. It questions whether a woman should effectively give up her dreams and happiness and sacrifice all for her children.

The first third of the book lays out these facts clearly and there are many times that I as a father recognised situations and sympathised for my wife's position. This is genuinely 5 star writing and worth buying the book for, especially for any mums who feel overwhelmed and unable to cope!

The second two thirds of the book have no further insights and instead is almost entirely focussed on USA issues. The rights of the state over the woman's body, lack of maternity pay, forced sterilisation of ethinic minorities. Things that are irrelevant to the UK with no such history. Yes, it prompts a warm feeling that the UK has the NHS, maternity, paternity and subsided child care but it is not useful as such.

5 stars for the first third, 2 stars for the rest.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I want to hug Jessica Valenti for writing an honest, important book. It may be small, but Valenti's book expresses many hard facts about parenthood. Reading it, I have felt many powerfull pangs of recognition at situations, attitudes, conventions and prejudices all described so articulately.

As a childless/child-free woman, I have been asked why I haven't had kids. Why shouldn't I ask a woman with children why she had them? It is not seen as socially acceptable to interrogate a mother, but considered perfectly fair game to hold a verbal cattle-prod to a lone woman about her lack of issue. Indeed, if you are a woman without children, you are believed to have 'issues'. You are labelled a freak. This wonderful book lays bare the inequalities of social and personal attitudes towards those (targeting mainly women) without kids. Various American states have laws protecting the unborn child, while putting the mother-to-be in danger, even in jail. If you are a woman, whether keen to breed or not, you are automatically priced up as 'Pre-pregnant': You are expected to protect your womb because it might/should play host to a growing fetus, even if you repeatedly say that you have already decided against motherhood or you are infertile.

Here's an example of my own experience of societal/religious expectations expressed at family functions, usually at funerals. A distant relative - a complete stranger, as far as I'm concerned - has asked me, out of nowhere, how my children are. None of my personal history has ever been relayed to them or, if it has, nothing has registered. The expectation for a youngish Jewish woman to automatically breed like bejaysus is so deeply ingrained.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As with a great many things to do with children, there are a great many things that parents only find out once they've joined "the club" (childbirth can be painful, breastfeeding isn't always straightforward, take time out of your career and risk losing it, you don't have all the answers, you can influence but you can't control your children....)

This book is a frank look at parenthood today and the choices we have. There is an expectation that you'll feel happy and complete when you have a baby. The reality can be quite different, particularly if you didn't actively choose to become a parent.

Only a few decades ago, a child was a potential extra pair of hands in the field or family business. They were fed, watered, clothed but largely left to "roam free". Modern middle-class parents feel the need to micromanage their children's lives from choosing the right brand of buggy to researching the right school and providing a taxi service to an array of after school activities. They often feel that they are not doing enough for their brood.

With most women doing on average 18 hours more housework than their partners, can they still hold down a fulfilling full time career or does something have to give? Why is it the mums who usually sacrifice themselves (their bodies, their time, their careers and any sense of self)? We have as much to give in the workplace as men but if we step off the career ladder to stay at home and raise a family, we risk finding ourselves at the bottom again doing menial unfulfilling tasks.

The author writes about American employment law so a few of the employment discussions are not applicable here in the UK. She had a rocky start to parenthood with a premature baby. The book can feel overly negative at times - bear in mind that she is telling you the facts but the book doesn't balance them with the love/cuddles and positive side of being a parent (yes, there are lots!).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As we all know, having children is not nowadays very popular. Many women skip it altogether and many stop at one child. Children are difficult to care for, expensive, affect one's career etc. In the US, having children is especially difficult because the basic services are lacking or very expensive. In this book, the author has had a very difficult childbirth and traumatic first months and she generalizes from these experiences, to defend the thesis that it is not true that children make you happy and are easy to take care of. She is especially critical of attachment parenting, nursing and other recommendations concerning the welfare of children. She thinks mothers should be more selfish and less oriented towards the needs of their children. OK, if you don't wish to have children, read this book. If you would like to have children, better avoid it. The advice is not good. I mean, once you go for children, they ARE your responsibility. It is better like the work involved than dislike it, once the child is in your hands. Because they notice it. My experience after five children is that good parenting is very simple: just go for it, don't prevaricate. And give the child what he or she needs. And enjoy, while they are small! Don't worry, be happy...
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