Why Have Kids?

  • by Jessica Valenti
  • Narrated by Emily Beresford
  • 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not interesting for listeners outside USA

I thought this audiobook would be about becoming a parent in general, but it mainly dealt with the societal challenges US parents face. I live in a country where society provides such benefits as one year paid parental leave (divided between the two parents) and state run quality day care, to mention but a few. Thus, the main arguments of the book are mainly irrelevant to me, except as a way to highlight the differences between USA and Northern Europe.

I also found it irritating how many times the author tries to explain or apologize for her lack of immediate enthusiasm after her daughter was born. There is a somewhat jarring clash between her statement that parents should be less hard on themselves and her own obvious guilt.

I didn't bother to listen all the way through, so the topics of the book might have become more universal as the book progresses. I didn't want to waste time figuring out if this was the case, however.
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- Maria

This book convinced me to get a vasectomy ASAP

What made the experience of listening to Why Have Kids? the most enjoyable?

I had been thinking about getting a vasectomy, but put it off because I wasn't dating. I recently began dating a 42 year old woman I really like but in order for us to continue seeing other, I must let her know whether I share her dream of being a parent to biological child(ren). This book confirmed my concerns that I will be less happy as a parent.

What about Emily Beresford’s performance did you like?

I like that she occasionally used profanity because I could relate to the author's frustrations.

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- Paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio