Off the Charts and On the Horizon – do you have kids? life when the answer is no (Kate Kaufmann)

Ahoy there me mateys!  Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were. I received this non-fiction eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

do you have kids? life when the answer is no (Kate Kaufmann)

Title: do you have kids? life when the answer is no

Author: Kate Kaufmann

Publisher: She Writes Press

Publication Date: TODAY!! (paperback/ebook)

ISBN: 978-1631525810

Source: NetGalley

Q: “Do you have kids?”

A: No.

This title caught me eye when perusing NetGalley because it is a question I have been asked one million-billion times.  And every single time I answer this question in the negative, there is usually awkward silence on the questioner’s part and/or the usual follow up questions of befuddlement.

Now personally, I have known that I never wanted kids from an early age. – like around the age of five.  While me sister was contentedly holding babies, I was always trying to find a quiet spot to resume readin’.  Family assumed that I would change me mind when I met “the right person.”  In me 20s I ended a five-year relationship because me partner changed his mind about children once he became an uncle.  I be childfree and that’s how I love it.  The “right person” is the first mate who doesn’t want kids either.  And I personally have no problems answering the questions of the befuddled.  I always find books with this topic to be fun to see how the statistics have changed and to hear stories about what other women without kids do with their lives.

This book was different from previous reads on the topic in that the women in the story were mostly in the latter stages of life.  I felt like most of this book dealt more with people who didn’t have children due to infertility or “destiny.”  This book seemed to be geared towards women who feel a need to justify their choice to not have kids or to explain why they couldn’t have kids to those that do.  I don’t think that focus is a bad thing in a world where children are valued so highly.  Infertility is a serious issue and I do not make light of it.  I just personally found other parts of the book to be more interesting.

The sections that I enjoyed most were about some of the unique problems when you don’t have children.  In particular the sections about estate planning, end-of-life health decisions, and reproductive cancers were the most fascinating.  I also loved the updated studies and the perspective from women looking back on their choices about children.  The other books I read tended to focus on women at the beginnings of that choice.  The vignettes showcasing personal stories were less productive because there wasn’t always clear delineation when the speaker changed.  Also the writing style was a bit erratic and the through-line was hard to follow.  But I did enjoy the book.  Here of some of me interesting takes from the book:

  • 1 in 5 American women will not have kids
  • Women’s fertility is linked to farm animals with words like “eggs” and “harvest.”  Men’s fertility is linked to finances with words like “collect” and “bank.”  Why is theirs not “milk” and “silo?”
  • Taking oral contraceptives for 10 years or more can reduce chances of many reproductive cancers by half.
  • Unspayed cats and dogs get reproductive cancers.  Chimps and other primates don’t even though they share 98% of genetic material with humans.  Scientists are looking into if the reasons are in the 2% difference.
  • All American adults should have wills and advanced medical directives.  A place to start working on this is found in an online checklist called The Conversation Project which is a not-for-profit that “guides people through talking about their wishes for end-of-life care.”

I choose to celebrate me decision to not have children.  If ye be interested in the topic feel free to check out this book and other childfree titles.

So lastly . . .

Thank you She Writes Press!

Side note: The first mate decided to entertain me with answers for the question of why I don’t want kids.  They were irreverent and made me laugh.  So if ye think ye will be offended skip these:

“F*ck you, breeder!”

“I was informed my children would be the anti-christ so I’m doing this for you!”

“I didn’t know you were my mother!”

Hardy har har!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s  Goodreads’ page go to:

Kate Kaufman – Author

To buy the novel go to:

do you have kids? – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

17 thoughts on “Off the Charts and On the Horizon – do you have kids? life when the answer is no (Kate Kaufmann)

  1. Lol! I liked the First Mate’s humor.

    My thoughts on having kids have changed over the years. As a kid, I thought since I was a girl it was expected of me. That thought continued until maybe high school/early college when I thought I wanted 8 or some craziness like that. Now I flip flop. I don’t want a kid right now and am not sure that I really want one, but I do like children. They are sweet when they aren’t being horrible. I’m just glad that my family doesn’t pressure me about it.

    Those facts you listed at the end are really interesting, especially the second. I’ve never considered the terms used for women and men’s fertility.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I be glad that yer family doesn’t pressure ye. I know it be an individual choice and that the want or not wanting of kids can vary over the years. I just hope whatever choice ye finally make is the right one for ye. Arrrr!
      x The Captain

      Like

  2. “The ‘right person’ is the first mate who doesn’t want kids either.” <<<THIS. This made me so happy. My mom used to say that I would "change my mind" when I told her I didn't want kids. I was telling her I didn't want kids when I was a kid. I used to have nightmares about being pregnant when I was, like 13. My mom told me that she didn't want kids, but then my dad convinced her, so they had kids and it was the best thing ever. I think that's why she thought I would change my mind. I always wonder if she feels silly for being so righteous in this conversation. She also went to a palm reader a few years ago, who told her that a little girl was in my future. No little girls. Ask for your money back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still think being pregnant is gross if it happened to me. The body makes permanent changes that, well, don’t go away. That said I have seen pregnant women who glow and look happy. Most women tell me that they didn’t want kids when they were me age and that when they did it was the best thing ever. Good for them. It is how it should be if ye have them. I still know I am right though. And aye, yer mom should totally have gotten her money back. Charlatan! The palm reader not yer ma. I am so glad I was born in a time where I had a choice about kids. Though granted I was a premie so I would be dead had I been born in any other timeframe. Arrrr!
      x The Captain

      Like

  3. Wow, I really need to read this. I definitely do not want to have children. (It’s hard enough living with Boyfriend’s daughter fifty percent of the time.) I feel like I’m often looked down upon for not wanting to have kids. Or, worse, people reassure me that I’ll change my mind. Like I’m just going through a phase? Ugh.

    Good for you for knowing what you want and living your life the way you want. Xx.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit that I think ye would like this book. It is fully of sassy cool women. When Boyfriend’s daughter is there are ye in a more parent-like role? Or do ye leave that to him? Me sister’s family and I shared a house for about a year and it could be rough. I look back on those times with fondness for the quality time and gladness that me life is childfree. I wouldn’t trade it but I am sure that I never want kids under me roof for long periods of time again. Well not until they are at least 20 years old.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I pretty much just let Boyfriend do the parenting thing and I play more of the cool friend/confidante. His daughter is a really good kid. (I say kid, but she’s almost a teenager. Yikes.) At times though it’s weird and I’m like “What did I get myself into?” 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved hearing your thoughts on this one! I’m also happy with my decision and always knew having kids wasn’t for me. People give you all kinds of weird reactions, but my favorite was the condescending one, even from doctors, who said “you say that now, but you’ll change your mind.” Like they know you better than you know yourself.

    I’d be interested in reading this but also not personally interested in issues of fertility, just more how the decision shapes your life later. Thanks for such an insightful take on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always wanted to smack the doctors who told me that I would change me mind. Well literally EVERYONE told me that. It wasn’t until after I hit 35 that people started thinking I was serious in the decision.

      This book also had a lot of focus on women with no kids or spouses and what their choices were later in life. I enjoyed that too. I wouldn’t buy this book but I do recommend getting it from a library if ye be interested. Thanks for the lovely comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true, it’s not only doctors who say it…I think their saying it is what’s stuck with me most, though, it just seemed even more condescending coming from them.

        Good to know, I might be checking the library for it. Thanks so much for writing about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The first mate has had to come with me to multiple appointments and ER trips and comments pretty much every time about how a) doctors don’t believe women; and b) how condescending so many of them are about well everything. He is surprised at how even the women doctors can be dismissive. He said that it puts his white male priviledge in even starker contrast. I hadn’t really noticed because it was the norm for me.
        x The Captain

        Like

  5. I applauded your decision to not have children. To be honest, I never thought much about having them – until I got pregnant. I have two and I love them to pieces, but they change your life so profoundly, that you can never go back. Definitely something to think about. That word usage between men and women makes me mad, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I happen to come from an area where all of me girl and guy friends always wanted kids. So I was way outside the norm. It seems like in other places more folks were like ye who had kids due to good circumstances and then were happy being parents. But I do know some older folks who love their kids but regret them. I think that would be the worst. Because kids should come first and be loved. And aye, I always laughed when me friends said they were ready for kids and then talked about what it would be like unrealistically. They sure learned. I am fond of me neice and nephews but a little time with them goes a long way. And aye, the word usage made me made too.
      x The Captain

      Like

  6. Sounds like an interesting read. I didn’t know that taking birth control for 10 years could greatly reduce the risk of many cancers.
    I don’t want kids either, luckily either does my husband. Perfectly content being an aunt and uncle and handing the kids back to their parents when they’re being too difficult or poop themselves. Lol.
    My reasons? Giving birth has never interested me, everything about it sounds horrible. I like sleeping through the night, and we’re finally at the point where we can afford to travel more. Just to name a few.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aye, I love being an aunt and seeing me little loves. But about two days of that is me limit and then I am done for a couple of months. Giving birth has always sounded disgusting frankly. Me best friend (who has a kid) says it was like housing an alien. She hated being pregnant. Loves being a mom though! I love me freedom, sleep, and traveling too much as well. Thanks for reading!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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