Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth about Parenting and Happiness

Overview

If parenting is making Americans unhappy, if it's impossible to "have it all," if people don't have the economic, social, or political structures needed to support parenting, then why do it?

In Why Have Kids?, Jessica Valenti asks this the controversial—but necessary—question. Through on-the-ground reporting, new scientific studies, and her own burgeoning motherhood, Valenti offers an in-depth exposé into the world of having (and not having) children. She cites shocking ...

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Overview

If parenting is making Americans unhappy, if it's impossible to "have it all," if people don't have the economic, social, or political structures needed to support parenting, then why do it?

In Why Have Kids?, Jessica Valenti asks this the controversial—but necessary—question. Through on-the-ground reporting, new scientific studies, and her own burgeoning motherhood, Valenti offers an in-depth exposé into the world of having (and not having) children. She cites shocking statistics about parental happiness and child care, new science that's shaking up the parent-advice industry, and stories from a generation of parents who are finding out that having kids isn't all they thought it would be.

Why Have Kids? presents startling, new material that will change the way you think about the age-old questions of children, parenting, and happiness.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469210452
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Valenti is widely recognized as the most prominent young feminist in America. Valenti has written three books: Full Frontal Feminism , He’s a Stud , She’s a Slut , and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know , and The Purity Myth . She is the founder of Feministing.com, the most read feminist publication online and off. Valenti’s writing has appeared in publications including The Washington Post , The Nation , The Daily , The Guardian , The American Prospect , Ms. magazine, and Salon.com.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If there's one thing I love it's a book that makes me think. Thi

    If there's one thing I love it's a book that makes me think. This one certainly did that. I didn't have to think about if I wanted kids...as my librarian pointed out when I checked this book out, "Isn't it a little late for you Jen?" (I already have 3 children.)

    This book did make me wonder about the reasons why I had kids. It made me think about the expectations women face, about our seemingly limited options.

    I'm especially fascinated by woman who decide not have children. Here is where I'm supposed to say that I'd do it all over again, I'd have my 3 kids and live my life exactly the way I have. But who knows? If I knew then what I know now? Who knows.

    "Given the reality of unintended parenthood and parental unhappiness, one would think that women and men who make the decision not to have children - who are deliberate and thoughtful about the choice to bring another person into the world - would be seen as less selfish than those who unthinkingly have children. Yet the stigma remains."

    In Why Have Kids? Jessica Valenti talks about the reality of motherhood. Is it really the hardest job in the world? Is it really the most rewarding and joyful thing that a person can do? These questions may shake up your view of parenthood...and that's a good thing.

    Why Have Kids? is one of the most thought provoking books I've read.

    Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

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  • Posted November 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very informative and passionate

    Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to hate this book. Why? Well, she explains it very well in here, but personally I find the book to be very informative and most of all, relieving! Maybe I really am not so crazy for doubting whether I want kids. Maybe I really am not insane for thinking that it's okay to not have kids, just like it's okay to have them. Everyone is different. Unfortunately, our society still has to catch up with this positive mentality toward being child free.

    Some of my favorite parts of this book are when Valenti challenges the belief that all women are natural mothers. As a woman, I'm supposed to have a baby and magically know what's best for him/her. Personally, I don't believe in that. Like Valenti says in her book, it's okay to not know everything when it comes to parenting. Why put ourselves through so much stress and negativity? Parents bash themselves, and for what? It really is disheartening. Maybe I shouldn't say anything because I do not have children, but I think it's unfair for parents to have all this pressure to be so perfect. Of course children matter, but what about the parents, especially the mother?

    Jessica makes excellent points and provides plenty of evidence from professionals but with a touch of sympathy and understanding. I am sure that many people will immediately hate this book, but honestly, they should give it a chance. It opened my eyes about a lot of things. It's made me more comfortable with my indecision to have children. I don't feel like a freak. Maybe one day I will change my mind and be 100% sure that I want kids. Or maybe I'll be 100% sure that I don't want kids. This book helps me feel like either choice will be okay. The world won't blow up if I choose to not have children. Also, it's made it pretty clear that having kids IS a choice, and that women should be given that choice.

    This review is a little personal and honestly, how can it not be? I think Jessica is brave for writing Why Have Kids? Even though it is centered on heterosexual relationships, I think it did a good job explaining the way having children affects parents, especially mothers. It would have been great if she explored gay and lesbian couples more, though.

    All in all, a very informative and quick read. 3.5 stars so it rounds to 4 stars.

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