Maybe you’ve already done all of your shopping. You are a good person. Congratulations!
I know I can’t be the only one who’s consistently late with presents. So it is for you, fellow late-in-the-season scramblers, that I create this Last Minute Shoppers’ list. (Note: this isn’t a gag list. It’s real stuff.)
(Another note: These are things I personally, genuinely like and/or think are valuable/useful/informative.)
Whether you know someone who’s confidently childfree, not so confidently childfree, angrily childfree (judgment and pressure, you know), or uncertain about parenthood (what will people say if I don’t have kids? what if I regret not having them? what if I can’t find a partner if I don’t have children? etc.), any one or multiple of the items below could be the perfect gift for that person in your life.
Or the person at work you want to secret-Santa.
In no particular order:
Books by Laura Carroll, childfree expert and researcher extraordinaire:
The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World: “The Baby Matrix takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood.The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe.”
Families of Two: Interviews with Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice : “Families of Two takes us into the lives of the growing number of couples who are choosing not to have children and dispels the myths commonly associated with this choice. Families of Two provides insight for couples who are deciding whether to have children, and to friends and family of couples who have chosen or may choose not to have children.”
This book by Dr. Amy Blackstone
Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence: ” Using her own and others’ research as well as her personal experience, Blackstone delves into the childfree movement from its conception to today, exploring gender, race, sexual orientation, politics, environmentalism, and feminism, as she strips away the misconceptions surrounding non-parents and reveals the still radical notion that support of the childfree can lead to better lives and societies for all.”
This book by Jackie Shannon Hollis
“When Jackie Shannon Hollis marries Bill, a man who does not want children, she joyfully commits to a childless life. But soon after the wedding, she returns to the family ranch in rural Oregon and holds her newborn niece. Jackie falls deep into baby love and longing and begins to question her decision.” (Note: I haven’t read this, yet, but it’s on the very top of my TBR list. We recently interviewed Jackie for an upcoming episode of Childfree Girls, and the conversation with her along with LeNora’s enthusiastic recommendation are enough for me to confidently recommend it to you.)
Items from the No Kids Shop
“At #NoKids, we value every individual’s choice to either have or not have children. It isn’t a matter of what society – your friends, parents, siblings, etc. – thinks you should do, it’s a matter of your own personal choice. As such, we have decided to provide our own line of empowering merchandise to those who reject the “tenet” that every person on this planet is obligated to procreate – and that having children is a matter of personal choice.”
Send them a link to the website of Therese Shechter
Therese Shechter (Trixie Films) is a filmmaker currently in the production phase of her third documentary, My So-Called Selfish Life. “She’s best known for the documentary films How to Lose Your Virginity, I Was A Teenage Feminist, How I Learned to Speak Turkish, and the short “#SlutWalkNYC“.” TrixieFilms dot com
Rent or buy (Amazon Prime) To Kid or Not To Kid
“The first feature film on the subject of living a life without having children. Breaking the myth that if you don’t have kids, you’re weird, selfish or somehow wrong. By award winning filmmaker (Musicwood) Maxine Trump.”
Rent or buy Mona Lisa Smile
“Julia Roberts stars as a novice [note: and childfree] art history professor with a surprising lesson plan that inspires her students to open their eyes to love and life.”
“Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined.” [Note: Aside from the wonderful writing and characterization and story, there’s a thoughtful and uncommon approach to the children/no children conversation.]
This book by Dann Alexander
Planned Unparenthood: Creating a Life Without Procreating, possibly the only childfree book written by a man (if you know of others, please leave them in the comments), looks at the differences between childfree and childless, while promoting adoption as a positive option for those who cannot have kids. It takes a hard look at the reality of a society that rewards parents automatically, while sometimes by default punishing those without children.
Things we’ve done/made
Even now, two decades into the 2000s, women are too frequently defined by their fertility—whether they have it, and whether they take advantage of it—and men by their “sense of responsibility”—whether they have and provide for a “family.” Our goal with Comfort Food for Thought is to provide an antidote to any negativity, judgment, or pressure you might be fielding as a consequence of your choice or circumstance. We’ve been there. And we just want to say: They can suck it.
Invite them to subscribe to Isabel Firecracker’s podcast, a series of inspiring, surprising, and fascinating conversations with spirited and determined childfree women doing interesting things in the world.
“We use the term ‘pro-choice’ to describe people who support the right to have an abortion, but people who don’t support abortion are also obviously pro-choice: they support their choice to have a child. A choice I believe they take for granted. What if that choice were threatened?”
A paperback journal designed for the childfree community created by LeNora Faye, a childfree-by-choice woman who is an avid journaler. The Bitchy Bookkeeper Journal offers a space, offline, to express thoughts, dreams, &/or frustrations. Or use it for grocery lists! 139 (double-sided) pages, lined, with inspiring watermark.
Do you have gift ideas for childfree/uncertains? Leave them in the comments!
Kristen Tsetsi (AKA childfree blogger Sylvia D. Lucas) is a former journalist and the author of the novels The Age of the Child, Pretty Much True, and, under the name Chris Jane, The Year of Dan Palace. Her website is KristenJTsetsi.com.