Wait Until You’re Old and Alone: Thoughts about Being Childless By Choice
By: Sebastyne Young
Sebastyne Young has written a book that reads much like a journal of her thoughts and ideas surrounding childfree issues. This book developed out of the blog she authors. It turns out Sebastyne had quite a lot to say about this topic so she took the bull by the horns and decided to self publish her ideas into a book.
Wait Until You’re Old and Alone is quite the title. This of course is a wink at one of the most used Bingos in the arsenal. Given the gusto with which Sebastyne lives her life I have no doubt that she will remain young at heart and fulfilled at any age. Growing up in Finland and now living in Australia (with her Australian husband) she has already embarked on quite an adventure. Sebastyne’s unique views of childfree issues come from both the books and research she reads and from her personal life. Her observations about the choices we make regarding procreating are thoughtful and not always a replica of what is expected from a CF point of view.
The book is a bit rough around the edges but it is full of heart, honesty and passion. The topics covered are not unlike what members here at TCFL discuss in the forums. It is refreshing to read some well developed strong opinions about living childfree from someone who has walked in those shoes. Sebastyne is direct and takes on controversial points such as overpopulation, the reasons for having children, peer pressure, dating, vasectomies and the very personal issues of relationships with family and friends. That she shares so much of her personal story brings a sense of intimacy that is not found in the more research oriented books.
Sebastyne writes about her own family; of aunties living their lives sans children. She displays a curiosity early on about this kind of life. She can trace some of the events that influenced her decisions based on seeing that having children was a choice. She remembers a close relationship with a particular aunt who traveled the world with her husband and brought back gifts and tales of adventure to a shy young girl. Sebastyne recalls announcing at the age of 8 that she wouldn’t be having kids either. The adults laughed and said, of course, she would have plenty of time to change her mind. I imagine there are more than a few people that could relate with similar stories.
Sebastyne had many childless by choice adults around her and she never viewed their decision to not have children as something out of the ordinary. Sebastyne candidly talks about her relationship with her mother. It serves to demonstrate that even though we may love our parents it is not always an easy relationship. Her honesty on this subject is complex and courageous. It takes a lot of self confidence to explore some of the more painful aspects of family dynamics in a public way. I have a hunch that there are more than a handful of readers that will relate to the issue of acceptance and individuality and the struggles associated with living an authentic life.
I recommend this book to those on the fence as well as those who are decidedly CF. There are so few books published for our demographic. Self publishing has opened an avenue to get some more of the decision making aspect and the choice to live a childfree life out in the public domain.
Sebastyne has been very busy with her blog, her book and her newest endeavor, a dating site dedicated to matching the CF, which she recently discussed with Laura Carroll.