Thoughts and ideas to inspire, uplift and affirm the childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice
I like to keep an eye on new books coming out on the theme of childlessness and childfreedom and I always take a special interest in where they are shelved in bookshops. Sometimes they hover awkwardly at the very edge of the ‘Family’ section or, more awkwardly still, the ‘Parenting’ section.
Often they find their place in ‘Personal Development’, or ‘Self-Improvement’, or ‘Self-Help’, where So You’re Not a Mother is wedged between So You Repeatedly Fall in Love With Sociopaths and So Your Secret Internet Gaming Habit is Destroying Your Life. There seems to be a kind of confession, as you slide it out (and in doing so, accidentally knock So You Are a Certified Pyromaniac onto the floor) that you have hit some kind of rock bottom. You can almost hear a talk show audience applauding you for admitting that you have a problem.
Of course, we all have problems and I can only speak for myself when I say that living a life I’m designing is not one of mine. But I still like to read, think and talk about it sometimes.
In my ideal world/bookshop (they might, after all, be the same thing) there would be a section somewhere between ‘Home’ and ‘Travel’ simply called ‘Ways of Being’. That is where our books would be shelved.
If you’re interested in the different ways in which childlessness and childfreedom can be conceptualised, you might be interested to read about bias in the ways childless women’s life stories are told or about the relationship between circumstances and choices.