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Publisher's Summary

In Why Have Kids?, Valenti explores these controversial questions through on-the-ground reporting, startling new research, and her own unique experiences as a mom. She moves beyond the black and white “mommy wars” over natural parenting, discipline, and work-life balance to explore a more nuanced reality: one filled with ambivalence, joy, guilt, and exhaustion.
Would-be parents must navigate the decision to have children amidst a daunting combination of cultural expectations and hard facts. And new parents find themselves struggling to reconcile their elation with the often exhausting, confusing, and expensive business of child care. When researchers for a 2010 Pew study asked parents why they decided to have their first child, nearly 90 percent answered, for “the joy of having children”. Yet nearly every study in the last 10 years shows a marked decline in the life satisfaction of those with kids. Valenti explores this disconnect between parents’ hopes and the day-to-day reality of raising children - revealing all the ways mothers and fathers are quietly struggling. A must-listen for parents as well as those considering starting a family, Why Have Kids? is an explosive addition to the conversation about modern parenthood.
©2012 Jessica Valenti (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nadine on 11-09-13

Useful for Parents, Parents-To-Be, & Non-Parents

What did you love best about Why Have Kids??

As a woman who will one day have kids, I'm very appreciative of this book. I truly enjoy my job and spent years trying to find something substantial that I'd actually want to get an education in. So, I'd hate to think that I have to put my doctorate aside because my future toddler is having a hard time with potty training.

Undoubtedly, my future child will mean the world to me simply because they will be my child, but I now feel and will feel great joy from the career I also have dedicated myself to. Though it's an entirely different types of joy, there's no reason why we can't experience both.

Did Emily Beresford do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

The narrator did just fine, but she sounded more like she was giving a lecture, and I couldn't help but think that there were parts where Ms. Valenti was attempting to sound sarcastic or even playful which didn't translate with Ms. Beresford's more straightforward tone. Even still, her performance was pleasant and relaxing for a long commute home.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By 2ManyBks on 05-04-14

More Accurate Title "Wished I Didn't Have Kids"

Would you try another book from Jessica Valenti and/or Emily Beresford?

Emily Beresford, yes. Jessica Valenti, possibly. Ms. Beresford did a great job expressing the passionate tone that Ms. Valenti keeps throughout the book. Even though I think Ms. Valenti is a very talented and intelligent author, I tended to disagree with a majority of her points about the role of a mother. I would imagine that any other book would have the same political party drive, in which I would appreciate her well supported points, but disagree in the end.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mostly annoyance. I felt like she was proposing mothers are entitled to a life away from her children, after they have them. She seemed to complain a lot, generalizing all men as worthless and irresponsible, and exhausting the point that raising children doesn't always lead to happiness.

Any additional comments?

With all the negative comments listed above, I must say that a book like this is good to read once in a while. To listen to someone you don't agree with - and might I add, one who has done their homework - can only be beneficial, but you must be able to withstand the complaining.
I'd imagine most men would NOT enjoy reading this book and most women with hopes of a beautiful motherhood will only find their experience tarnished. I believe this book will make certain mothers hesitate to enjoy and second guess the truly good times of motherhood. Perhaps it may help mothers that are struggling to fight their urge of believing their child will make them happy all the time, but anyone who has sat in a plane with a crying kid next to them realizes children aren't angels...or a multitude of examples that kid's can drive you crazy...even as a bystander.
I think the average mother is more keen on the expectations of motherhood than the author gives them credit.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By A on 12-18-17

It could be a good book, had it a different title

'The truth' that this book explores is the ways in which society and celebrities made being a mother more difficult for the writer, and claims that then to be a societal issue rather than a particular one.

It does not, in any way, explore the reasons for choosing whether to have children or not.

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5 out of 5 stars
By li on 08-31-16

At last!

Finally found a book that makes me feel sane for questioning if I want kids

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Laure on 04-06-18

Not what you think it is about

I'll start with saying that although the book is very informative, it is not about what you think. The book could also be called: "What it is like raising kids in the USA in the 21th century". it covers pressures from preconceived ideas, the laws, law cases, media influences, working moms and dads vs. stay at home moms and dads.... It does not directly answer the question but paints an overall very negative and depressing picture about having kids. This is how I felt most of the book. It is only towards the end that you realise that, now you have all this info, you can make your decision.
Again, worth reading to get information but dont expect an answer. This really is about painting a picture of the harsh reality. This is not about raising kids but about looking after your own sanity first!
This book will definitely help you be aware of who you really want to be and have as a parent.

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