Synopses & Reviews
Your mom can’t describe what it’s like not having kids. Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer Is No offers insights into what life might have in store for the growing numbers of women who will never become mothers, and for those who love them.
A savvy and validating guide to what might be in store for growing numbers of childfree and childless adults worldwide, Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No takes on topics from the shifting meaning of family to what we leave behind when we die. Weaving together wisdom from women ages twenty-four to ninety-one with both her own story and a growing body of research, Kate brings to light alternate routes to lives of meaning, connection, and joy.
Today about one in five American women will never have children, whether by choice or by destiny. Yet few women talk much about what not having kids means to their lives and identities. Not that they don’t want to; there just aren’t obvious catalysts for such open conversations. In fact, social taboos preclude exploration of the topic — and since our family-centric culture doesn’t know quite what to do with non-parents, there’s potential for childless and child-free women to be sidelined, ignored, or drowned out. Yet there’s widespread, pent-up demand for understanding and validating this perfectly normal way of being. In this straight-shooting, exhaustively researched book, women without kids talk candidly about the ways in which their lives differ from societal norms and expectations — the good, the bad, and the unexpected.
"This book is a treasure that details what real-life childlessness can be like. For childless and childfree women, and those still deciding their reproductive futures, Kaufmann offers the insights you’ve been looking for about the many dimensions of non-motherhood — loneliness, faith, prying questions from family and friends, and so much more." Karen Malone Wright, founder, TheNotMom.com & The NotMom Summit
"This collection of interviews, personal anecdotes, and recent data demystifies the reasons people choose not to have children and acknowledges those whose childlessness results from tragedy, disappointment, or circumstance. A straightforward exploration of human concerns through a lens not everyone stops to consider and a resource for people seeking community or broadened understanding." Nicole Hardy, author of Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin
“In Do You Have Kids? Kate Kaufmann turns that dreaded question into a powerful conversation with the reader. Kaufmann mixes her personal story with those of other 'Not-Moms.' Together with a wealth of research, these stories serve to unite an often-marginalized community as well as reminding the reader of the vital role these women hold in our society. This should be required reading for those who choose the childfree life, as well as those who need to better understand this choice. In other words, all of us." Janet Buttenwieser, author of Guts: a memoir
"Want to visualize life once you know you’re not having children? Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No offers facts, figures, and research findings, deftly woven in between the copious and delightfully honest interviews that Kaufmann conducted with people who don’t have children." Maxine Trump, award-winning director of childfree film To Kid or Not to Kid
About the Author
Kate Kaufmann embarked on her life as a non-mom when she abandoned fertility treatments, quit her corporate job, and moved from the suburbs to a rural community to raise sheep. Since 2012, she has talked with hundreds of women ranging in age from twenty-four to ninety-one and advocates for better understanding of the childless/childfree demographic. Kate received an MFA in creative writing in 2016 from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts and has a professional background in corporate staffing, training, and consulting. She's lived in various urban, suburban, rural, and coastal communities and currently calls Portland, Oregon home. Her writing has appeared most recently in the Washington Post.