No Kids by Corinne Maier

No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children by Corinne Maier (2009-08-04) - Corinne Maier;

Corinne Maier sets out to give people 40 good reasons to not have kids in this short book. Maier herself is a mother, and believe she can give these arguments without needing to be told she'll change her mind once she has kids, something most women who don't want children hear (myself included). So I read this from the perspective of already having my mind made up on this matter. The "you'll change your mind when you get older" is the most common answer to "I don't want kids". Early in the book, Maier points out something she has to deal with: A mother herself, she sometimes regrets having children. Voicing this thought is unthinkable to many people. Mothers might complain about what having children brings with it, but they are not allowed to actually regret having them which is a huge difference.

Maier then gives her 40 reasons. Personally, I agreed with them since many of them are the same reasons I'd already considered before reading this. While the arguments are solid, Maier's presentation isn't. She's often condescending, close to telling those disagreeing with her stupid. She also contradicts her argumentation, which I'll illustrate with an example. For one thing, she argues that when you have child, your lifestyle will change (all true): little or no more spontaneity, no more late nights drinking with friends, always going on a schedule (work, kindergarten or school). Many of these aspects are considered in young people's lifestyles: teens and twenties. Technically, you can then say that by not having kids, one is trying to hold onto a part of their youth (or how many people spent their youth). Then, Maier goes on to look down on (grown ups) reading Young Adult, accusing them of trying to "be young". So she's arguing that by not having kids, you'll stay young, but if youread about youth, you're trying to stay young, which is a bad thing. A tad contradictory. She tries to argue that Shakespeare, Proust, and other famous author don't write Young Adult. Quite a strange argument to make given that these authors worked in a time where the Young Adult term wasn't even coined yet. Young Adult is a relatively "new" category, and to say that these big authors didn't write YA is flawed. Especially considering the publishing/book industry and its history, and what demographics that had access to reading at all.

I agree with many reasons the author states: time consuming and expensive, overpopulation in industrial countries, and more. At the same time, I disagree with the author's way of arguing; rude and condescending. This book appears to be for people who have already made their decision to not have children rather than trying to actually convince people that do want children and have thought about the pros and cons already.