I've decided I'm going to start periodically publishing reviews of childfree books on this blog, under the theory that hopefully if you enjoy my blog, you'll enjoy some of the same books I have liked. I've read quite a few books on this subject and am always looking for more (if you have any good recommendations, let me know!)
Susan Jeffers's I'm Okay, You're a Brat was the first "childfree" book I ever read. Actually, I'm not sure it can totally be referred to as "childfree" literature, since the author has kids (much to her apparent regret). But the childfree community is definitely one of the groups this book is directed to, and the childfree would definitely enjoy it. I was already leaning toward not having children before I read this book, but this was definitely one of the pieces of literature that was instrumental in cementing my decision.
I'm Okay, You're a Brat mainly deals with the downside of parenting: how hard it is, how much it changes one's life, and how much of a shock it can be if you don't truly realize what you're in for. If everyone read this book before they had kids, I'm convinced that many people would give it a second thought. The longest chapter in the book is chapter two, which deals with all of the life changes parents have to go through, including the partial or total loss of freedom, sleep, mobility, privacy, money, career opportunities, camaraderie, sanity, self-esteem, personal time, relationships, peace of mind, and fun. Whoa! No thanks.
I also found chapter three, which is an entire chapter devoted to exposing how deeply a baby can change a marriage, quite convincing. This chapter presents the idea that people get married because they like "the package," i.e., they like the way it is. They like spending time together, having sex together, and relating to each other. But once a baby comes into the picture, the "package" changes drastically, which not all marriages can handle.
I won't go through every chapter, but those were a couple I found particularly interesting. If you'd like to find out more, I really encourage you to get the book. It's great validation for the childfree and great information for a fencesitter.