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I offer free 30 minute telephone/Skype consultations for people wanting to find out more about coaching on the 'baby decision'. Email me at and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit for more information about my coaching services.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Book Review: Other Than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind by Kamalamani

Other Than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind (Earth Books) is a book about the intentional choice to be childless or child-free.

In a beautiful introductory paragraph, Kamalanani describes what led her to write this book.

'I was looking for a book capturing the spirit of how I might‘give birth’: giving expression to my nurturing and creative instincts, through living, working, relating, and Buddhist practice. Honoring life, without producing an earthling. Being a woman but not choosing to be a mother. Whilst I found a few interesting books on this subject, they were not quite what I was seeking'

What I love about this book is how Kamalanani explores how giving birth can mean many things - in particular giving expression to nuturing and creative instincts.  She challenges the notion  that choosing to be childless intentionally means rejecting life.  Indeed she looks at how the choice to have children is a life affirming choice.  She explains that while she started writing the book as an exploration of a personal journey, it turned into something which  'explored the relevance of the baby-making decision to the current situation we are in as humans living on planet earth.

Her commitment to Buddhism and the environment played a very large part in her decision. As the environmental plight of the world become more acute, this is an issue that does impact on the decision making of many women concerned about the environment ( see my blog post Can I care about the environment and have children? )

Each chapter in the book is focussed on a different theme or aspect on being intentionally childless or childfree and it is very comprehensive.  She includes exercises for readers to do, to help them work through their own journey.

Towards the end of the book Kamalanani makes a powerful statement, saying that:

'It is not compulsory to have children in order to be an accepted,valid, human being and member of society. I will say that again,because it is so rarely said aloud. It is not compulsory to have children in order to be an accepted, valid, human being and member of society. An important dimension in my post-baby-making decision landscape has been raising awareness about this through research, teaching, writing, and in conversation. Right now, I am particularly interested in raising awareness that it is not compulsory for a woman to have a child in order to be an accepted, valid human being and member of society.' 

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