No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-08-04
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd
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The shocking treatise that was a bestselling international media sensation upon its 2007 publication in France now makes its eagerly anticipated English-language debut. A mother of two herself, Maier makes her deadly serious, if at times laugh-out-loud-funny, argument with all the unbridled force of her famously wicked intellect. In forty to-the-point, impressively erudite chapters drawing on the realms of history, child psychology, politics, and the environment, Maier effortlessly skewers the idealized notion of parenthood as a natural and beautiful endeavour. Enough with this "baby-mania" that is plaguing modern society, says Maier, it's nothing but brainwashing. Are you prepared to give up your free time, dinners with friends, spontaneous romantic getaways, and even the luxury of uninterrupted thought for the "vicious little dwarves" that will treat you like their servant, cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and end up resenting you? Speaking to the still "child-free", to fellow suffering parents, and to adamant procreationists alike,No Kidsis a controversial, thought-provoking, and undeniably entertaining read. Reasons to avoid having kids: You will lose touch with your friends Your sex life will be over Children cost a fortune Child-rearing is endless drudgery Vacations will be nightmares You'll lose your identity and become just "mom" or "dad" Your children will become mindless drones of capitalism The planet's already overcrowded Your children will inevitably disappoint you

Author Biography

Corinne Maier is the author of the international bestseller Bonjour Paresse (Hello Laziness). She lives in Brussels with her husband and two children, where she is a practicing psychoanalyst.


9. Kids are the death of desire

Not every child kills love, but most kill lust. The aesthetic assault on the woman’s body transforms her for months into something resembling an overstuffed beast, which forces her to dress in sacklike clothing. You can go on for as long as you want about how a pregnant woman looks gorgeous and fulfilled — I don’t buy it. When I was pregnant, I saw myself as ugly, with a huge growth pushing out from under my breasts. A number of comments from friends between the fruit and the cheese convinced me of one thing they don’t talk about a whole lot inToday’s ParentorParents Magazine: maybe a lot of men find their pregnant wives or girlfriends to be lovely enough, but they don’t seem to want to make love to them.

And so with pregnancy comes a long sexual winter. And that’s not a case of “I have good news and bad news”: this bad news will not be followed by good. No, the deprivation won’t be over when the child arrives. You just don’t feel much like making love after you’ve had an episiotomy. And even if you do, it’s going to hurt — for weeks. You don’t know about episiotomies? The dictionary tells us that an episiotomy is “an incision of the perineum, starting at the vulva, used during childbirth.” In other words, the butchering of the most intimate part of your anatomy, ladies — one of the parts that allow you to come. According to the medical profession, the episiotomy is a benign procedure; it’s also widespread, at least for those who escape the ravages of a Caesarean section, which is a real piece of surgery. Maybe the episiotomy is a lesser evil, so we should rejoice in this?

And you’re not going to feel much like having sex between diaper changes and the midnight bottle when you’ve already slogged through three hours of housework after getting home from the office. Surrounded by fighting and bawling brats, you won’t feel much like making love. Even less so if you’re in a cramped apartment, with the kids all squeezed in one room right next to the two of you. Can you imagine yourself in a steamy movie, like Kim Basinger in9½ Weeks,with a bunch of kids in the next room? The temperature drops immediately by nine and a half degrees, even with the world’s sexiest actors. Bye-bye, eroticism.

19. Your kid will always disappoint you

The child is such sweet revenge. We procreate in order to exact revenge on a disappointing life. We are convinced we can save our child from the mistakes that we believe victimized us. Even worse mistakes can happen, of course, and to avoid them, mothers are driven to produce the ideal baby: it’s a genuine mission. And it means work.

Countless families, convinced that their child is brighter than average, get her IQ measured at the age of four and start hunting down the perfect school that will let their future Einstein’s brilliance emerge. How do you recognize the “gifted” child? Simple, his progenitors will tell you: “He (or she) is bored at school.” Given the number of students who sit and watch flies zooming around the classroom, anyone would think every kid in school is a genius. Some parents may fret about the long commute for the very gifted from home to the special school and back, but in the end nothing is too good for them,n’est-ce pas? We’ll do anything to succeed by proxy.

And yet the pediatrician D.W. Winnicott warns that what a child needs is a mother who is just “sufficiently good”: anything more would be too much. The Good Mother mustn’t take things too seriously, and this is where it gets difficult. If you can have a sense of humour about it all, you’ll be able to tolerate the idea that your kid is not perfect.Nokid is perfect, and you can

Excerpted from No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children by Corinne Maier
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