Confessions of a Childfree Woman fills a needed niche of nonfiction writings on having no children by choice. Marcia Drut-Davis’ memoir gives us an up close and personal story from who we don’t hear enough from in the childfree community – the elder childfree.
With her heart on her sleeve, she recounts her personal journey of how she went from feeling that “of course” children would become part of her life to being childfree with no regrets. In her 20s, she writes that idea of having children gave her “discomfort” but she thought she would come around. “It’s just what everyone did in those days, right?” With utmost candor, Drut-Davis, now in her 70s, tells us how she came to truly realize she did not want to be a mother in a time when this decision was very socially and culturally unacceptable.
She takes us through poignant times and moments, many of which brought great challenge and strife in her life. Her involvement with the National Organization for Non-Parents (“NON,” which later became the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood (NAOP)) led to one of the most challenging times of her life and heart wrenching parts of the book – her appearance on 60 Minutes in 1974.
Drut-Davis describes the purpose of the segment was “to speak the truth about the realities of parenting, and gain societal acceptance for those who choose not to parent.” Read Confessions of a Childfree Woman and you’ll learn just how far this was from the case. What happened to her on and after her appearance on this show encapsulates what it was like to be childfree in the 70s. And it was not pretty.
She painfully recounts the backlash she encountered in her personal and professional life as a consequence of her national exposure. But we also learn a lot about her, and the ways in which “the backlash only fed my determination to speak the truth about parenting,” how “it’s a choice, not an inevitability” – bold words for the time.
Drut-Davis spent many years as a teacher, and we follow her journey from backlash to courageously teaching parenthood education, to being there for her students during challenging times in their lives. She tells moving stories of how she “pursued and nurtured” student relationships, not because “I felt a void without biological children of my own, but because these are special people whom I love.”
Confessions of a Childfree Woman is like sitting down with a forthright, compassionate and wise aunt who imparts wisdom she has learned along the way…this time it’s about the conscious choice to have no children. Want a sense of where we’ve come in last 30 years on being childless by choice? Read this book. In the midst of your own parenthood decision? Read this book. Childfree? This is a must addition to your childfree book collection. Drut-Davis will educate you, enlighten you, and inspire you to do like she did, boldly walk your own path.