Since the 1984 debut of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, considered the go-to “bible” on pregnancy, there’s been a need for an equally authoritative guide on whether or not to have children. The Baby Decision: How to Make the Most Important Choice of Your Life is that book.
After publishing her first edition nearly 40 years ago, author, clinical social worker and psychotherapist Merle Bombardieri has delivered a fresh, nuanced look at the subject with a comprehensive, five-step process—defining the problem, overcoming obstacles, considering happiness, making the decision and acting on your decision—guiding readers each step of the way.
Bombardieri, who once told a talk show host, “It’s very healthy for couples to decide carefully, rather than simply having children because ‘that’s what people do,’” covers subjects including adoption, choosing to have an only child, gay parenting, infertility and single parenthood, along with just about every pro and con and scenario imaginable, presented in a soothing, upbeat tone. She gives equal weight to having and not having kids, using the neutral term “childfree” instead of the common, negative “childless.”
Subtopics in the Table of Contents make it easy to find relevant sections. Throughout the book, visualizations and other exercises force readers to dig to the root of their fears and unrealistic expectations while offering techniques for avoiding arguments and stalemates with partners. Bombardieri asks spot-on questions many would-be parents hesitate to vocalize, from “Suppose your longed-for son hates sports and wants to spend his Saturdays reading?” to “Are you afraid your husband won’t find you attractive during pregnancy?” and “How firm is your decision?” in a chapter about pressure from others. After 40 pages of useful appendices, Bombardieri candidly shares her own baby decision.
Informative and insightful, The Baby Decision is neither pro-baby nor anti-parenting. This valuable, unbiased book skillfully shows readers how to stop fretting over the choice and take time to make the right one.
BlueInk Heads-Up: The Star designation is given with the understanding that some copyediting issues remain in need of attention.
Also available in ebook and audiobook.