Tag Archives: maybe baby

Maybe Baby edited by Lori Leibovich

Maybe Baby, edited by Lori Leibovich: This book, a collection of essays by writers about why they decided to become parents (or not), intrigued me because I am a 26-year-old married woman with zero interest in ever having children. It is not, however, a book I would have picked up while browsing in the bookstore, mostly because I don’t visit the Parenting and Family section.

This book is a little lop-sided. A mere 18% of it is spent on people who made the decision to be childless; the “On the Fence” section is misnamed, as all the articles are about people who want children but for whatever reason do not have them (with the exception of the woman who has already children, but they are not biologically related to her). It should have been titled “On the Verge.”

A few of the essays stick out in my mind. One believes that while she practices it herself, childlessness on a large scale will mean the death of American culture. Another admits to wanting a child mostly because she wants someone who looks like her. Another talks about her son’s diagnosis of autism. But while there were certainly differences, I was struck most by the similarity of the stories. Sure, they’re all writers, but it went beyond that. A large number of them casually discussed their travels to far corners of the world, their liberal political leanings, their abortions, their passion for fine art and wine. Most of them also started their families relatively late – in their 30s or 40s.

Unless you are fascinated by the subject of parenthood, this is not a book to be read all in one sitting. The stories start to run together and more than a few feel tediously familiar. That said, I’m glad I read it; I still don’t want children, but now I understand a little better those that do.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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