No Nest

NO NEST

BOOK-CLUB

Follow and join us as we explore books that concern the voluntary choice to be childfree, and inspiring books that can help bring clarity to the decision!

Photo by Jasmine Celeste

This book will help parents with feeling less shame over sometimes regretting their choice to have kids, while also giving those who are still deciding, 40 reasons not to have kids.
Corinne Maier is a psychoanalyst and author living with her husband, and has two children in Brussels. She originally wrote this book in French, then was able to translate it into English to continue to help the public in realizing the many valid reasons not to have children. It appears that she takes from her own experience as a mother and psychoanalyst to describe her 40 reasons.
 
Maier does a great job at being objective, realistic, and honest. She illustrates why the glorification of parenthood, especially motherhood, is often very false and very political. Reading through the 40 reasons, I think readers will increase their intellectual understanding of parenthood and the many ways that our society idealize the family and children themselves. She often focuses on our "child-centered society" to help readers grasp the influence of consumerism and the politicized family unit.
Her brutal honesty about regretting having kids is refreshing and bold. She normalizes the feeling of regret, while also acknowledging that she does undoubtedly loves her children. Still, the love for her children does not change the fact that, if she had more knowledge before having her children, she believes she would not have done it.

Photo by Jasmine Celeste

Mother hood Optional

Man's Search

for Meaning

Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, Oil on canvas, 1890

No Kidding

Select Chapters On Intersectionality

Chapters 4 and 5
Chapter 3
Chapters 1 and 5

By Milan Kundera

“…This is the real and the only reason for friendship; to provide a mirror so the other person can contemplate his image from the past, which, without the eternal blah-blah of memories between friends, would long ago have disappeared. …so you just won’t understand that I don’t give a damn about the mirror you’re holding out to me?”

Identity is about letting go of people and what happens to our identities when we do. It's also about why we don't like to let people go, and may even insist on holding on to fantasies of maintaining these relationships, when in truth, things have changed. The book explores those times when we consciously let go of others, as well as those times when we don't want to; when we'd rather hold on to that version of ourselves that they've helped create.

 

In relations to the decision to have kids or not, Identity is a helpful texts in illuminating the many ways one's identity would change with an additional relationship (that is, with your child), and the space it will take from other relationships. Parenthood is one identity that you can never let go of, and it seems to be one that usually supersedes other identities, like lover, friend, daughter, sister...etc. (as it usually should, I guess, maybe, I don't know). 

Success and Luck

By Robert H. Frank

Two is Enough

By  Laura S. Scott

Radical Acceptance

By Tara Brach

Beyond Motherhood

"This book is about making a conscious decision not to have a baby--how to do it, how it feels, what it means, and the impact it has on your life. It grew out of personal experience, because this was the choice I made myself.

I spent years examining my feelings about motherhood, struggling with my ambivalence and my anxiety, until I eventually came to terms with how I felt about a course of action that had profound effects on virtually every aspect of my identity as a woman and a person" (pg 1).

Beyond Motherhood Choosing a Life Without Children
by Jeanne Safer, Ph.D.

The Art of Travel

By Alain de Botton

This book

the mother knot

A Memoir by Kathryn Harrison

Photo by Jasmine Celeste

The

Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

Dreams from My Father

by Barack Obama

Photo by Jasmine Celeste

Words

by Jean-Paul Sartre

"But books were my birds and my nests, my pets, my stable and my countryside, the library was the world trapped in a mirror; it had its infinite breadth, its variety and its unpredictability..."

I first read Words while going through an important transition in my life. It was both an inspiration and consolation. I recommend it for anyone who has had a confining childhood, and/or, has ever used writing and/or literature as their escape. 

The autobiography is also useful in illustrating the creativity and imagination that can be built and strengthened with a disadvantaged childhood, though it is still not a preferred childhood, and pain of course ensues. 

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