I mentioned that, now that I'm in my late 30s and have fully entered my auntie era, I've been reading widely about fertility, parenting, alloparenting and nonparenting. Here's a collection of some lovely essays, books, and podcasts you all suggested for me.
A general content warning: some of these pieces feature explicit discussions of baby loss, so avoid if that's a sensitive topic for you right now.
On fertility, pregnancy and other forms of creating families
- Anna Hartford's essay "Unfathomable Life" in The Yale Review about the impossible choices faced during fertility treatment.
- The superb superb novels Detransition Baby (Torrey Peters) and The Argonauts (Maggie Nelson), about creating queer families.
- Joanne Ramos's provacative novel The Farm, exploring the ethics of surrogacy in a capitalist hellscape.
- Claudia Dey's charged essay "Mothers as Makers of Death" in The Paris Review.
- Leslie Jamison's essay about pregnancy and eating disorders, "The Quickening: A Story of Two Births" in The Atlantic.
- The memoir The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy, about divorce and miscarriage.
On not having children
- Ann Patchett's marvellous essay about choosing to be childfree, "There Are No Children Here" in the collection These Precious Days. My favourite thing ever written on the topic.
- The essay collection Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed - a mixed bag of essays I loved and essays which frustrated the heck out of me, but the overall picture is nuanced and illuminating.
- Lisa Hanawalt's sweet and poignant cartoon essay on choosing horses over children, "Choosing Horses".
On alloparenting and the auntie/uncle/auncle life
- Patricia Lockwood's luminous novel about aunthood and children who die too young No One is Talking About This.
- The practical NPR Life Kit podcast episode "How to be a supportive adult in a kid's life".
- Anne Helen Peterson's helpful, wise essay "How to Kid-Proof Your Friendship".
- The 2023 Mencare report on "State of the World's Fathers".
- The online community Good Inside.
- Season 5 of Jen Thorpe's wonderful Living While Feminist podcast, which is centred on the theme "parenting while feminist".
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