In her foreword to KID ME NOT, Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) says: “I have come to believe there are three sorts of women, when it comes to questions of maternity. There are women who are born to be mothers, women who are born to be aunties, and women who should not be allowed within ten feet of a child. Those of us who are natural-born aunties….love children, we enjoy children, but we know in our deepest marrow that we are not supposed to have children of our own. Now, listen – if you put a baby in front of me, rest assured: that baby is gonna get cuddled, spoiled and adored. But even as I’m loving on that beautiful infant, I know in my heart: This is not my destiny. It never was.”
“In the 1960’s women saw the advent of the birth control pill, making theirs the first generation to have reliable options when considering whether or not to become mothers.”
The editor of KID ME NOT, Aralyn Hughes, has gathered an intriguing collection of essays, hoping “our stories will sow seeds of respect between women who choose paths exclusive of children and those who have chosen the daunting task of being mothers.”
All of these women – Baby Boomers – came of age during this tumultuous decade, and explain how that influenced their decision to remain child-free. These are well-written, insightful accounts of the way these women shaped their own lives; not giving in to pressure, and staying true to their deepest knowing.
As the population on the planet continues to grow and women fight for their freedom to have choices, these timely stories are important both as a reflection on how we got here, and as a roadmap laying out options for today’s young women to consider when it comes to the issue of having children.
The fifteen stories in Kid Me Not are more widely varied than I ever expected, which kept me turning pages, and there are even little posters telling you what was going on every year; e.g. in 1963 Beatlemania swept the UK. There was a new Polio vaccine dispensed on a lump of sugar. And Johnny Depp was born.
With black-and-white photo-collages of the authors in the 60’s opening every story, and a current photo and “where they are now” as a bookend, it’s a fun read! I enjoyed the stories from the women I don’t know, as well as those of my friends, and finished the whole book during my lunch break, cheering each writer on!
KID ME NOT is available at Amazon. Feel free to buy one for yourself, and for each the “nieces” in your life! (Disclaimer: I am not receiving anything, except love, for promoting this book. )