Childless Living

Let’s talk about not having children

Not having children is on the rise in many countries across the globe and many millennials are quite vocal about not wishing to go the family way. Yet, choosing to be childfree or being childless still is a subject not much talked about–the focus tends to be on having families and raising children, in rural, town, or city life. Childless Living is about what people like us do with our time, about how we spend our money, and–most of all–how we find purpose and fulfilment in the four seasons of our lives.

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“Not having children myself, I became fascinated by the growing awareness that parenting is not for everybody.”

Never truly attracted to family life myself, I began openly discussing why people didn’t have children and how that was for them, resulting in intimate conversations with childless women and men and surprising insights. Inspired to delve further, I interviewed non-parenting people aged 29 to 92 across the globe. I heard stories across the spectrum, from exhilarating to painful, from people still on the fence to the childfree who have always known starting a family was not for them. Many had been waiting to be listened to with sensitivity and no story was like the other. The interviews complemented my worldwide survey and recent research I could find.
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“I wanted to paint a rich picture of the lives of childless and childfree women and men.”

This book is for everyone who has not gone the way of parenthood, who has close family or friends who lead self-directed lives without offspring, and for all those who are still contemplating this essential life choice. The stories in this book also testify that not having children of your own in no way means the joys (and trials) of children pass you by altogether. This book shows that it is ok to celebrate not only the parenting way of life and the children who come to those who love them, but also those who are brave enough to follow the lesser known path of non-parenting.
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  • “With flowing vibrancy, a light touch, and thorough inquiry, the author brings new possibility to the tender path of living childless. Read it and be nourished and inspired.”

    Adele Napier, consultant, educator, soul counsellor, and childless
  • “As a single woman, viewing my own life choices and experiences in the larger frame of ‘childless living,’ this book gives me greater confidence, courage, and conviction in my own life journey … knowing that there is a larger solidarity.”

    Nirupama Sarathy, development sector professional working with young people
  • Childless Living is an ode to discovering and celebrating the joy of life no matter the choices, circumstances and challenges we face when our desire for parenthood is in question--and questioned by others.”

    Melanie Notkin, author of Savvy Auntie
  • “This book shows us that whether or not we give biological birth to children, if we live our lives with purpose we give birth in many other ways--to creative ventures as caregivers, custodians, nurturers, encouragers, inspirers, role models, and even soul models.”

    Jude Currivan, PhD,cosmologist, futurist, and author of The Cosmic Hologram
  • Childless Living is like reading the story no one has ever asked me to tell about my childless self--through the four seasons of my life.”

    Marylin Hamilton, PhD, CPA(ret), author of the Integral City book series)
  • “Lisette Schuitemaker offers a radical reformulation of what is described, in many cultures, as ‘a curse,’ or ‘lacking,’ or ‘a barrenness.’ She hugely expands our understanding of generativity as a choiceful and joyful embracing of what circumstance or biology seemingly imposes upon all women. Highly recommended.”

    Bernd Leygraf, consultant, psychotherapist, and founder and director of Naos Institute
  • "Childless Living creatively takes readers through the seasons of the lives of those who have no children by choice or circumstance and offers worthy insights for fulfilling life journeys that don’t include parenthood. It will inspire rumination and reflection, no matter what season of life you’re in!"

    Laura Carroll, author of Families of Two and The Baby Matrix
  • “A colorful, comprehensive, and nuanced treatment of a complex subject, this book brings a new depth and perspective and helps to liberate childless living from outdated social stereotypes.”

    John Clausen, president of the Hygeia Foundation and “a member of the club!”
  • “So many girls and young women are still growing up in a culture of assumed motherhood. This important book helps us take an important step toward an egalitarian world where we are free to decide not only what’s best for ourselves but also what’s best for the planet--and each other.”

    Tanith Carey, author of The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking?

© 2017 Lisette Schuitemaker. All Rights Reserved.