Laura Carroll: My Journey Down the Rabbit Hole to The Baby Matrix

 My Journey Down the Rabbit Hole to The Baby Matrix

By Laura Carroll
My book, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, received international attention and paved the way for me to become an expert on the childfree choice.  In the last several years, I have delved deeper.  At first, I wanted to get to the core of why society finds this choice hard to fully accept. It led me down a path to not only talk to many more childfree, but to parents, those who want to be parents but are not by circumstance, and the child "less," -- those who want children but do not have them.

The path got even more interesting when it led me to a specific set of beliefs that has had a deep hold on societies for generations, even though most people remain unaware of it. That set of beliefs is called “pronatalism. Its overarching idea is that parenthood and raising children should be the central focus every person’s adult life. 

The Baby Matrix is a result of my own journey down the "pro-natal" rabbit hole, and how I came out knowing I had to share why it is time for all of us--parents and not, to do the same.

The more I looked into pronatalism I realized the picture was much larger than I thought. Pronatalist ideas affect all people, whether they are parents or not, and not in a positive way. I found the negative impacts of pronatalism’s influence distressing, and was very surprised that many people aren’t aware of this. What surprised me even more was that most people didn’t even know what pronatalism is.

Why do lots of people not know what pronatalism is? The reason is a lot like what we learn about “the matrix” in the movie, The Matrix. In the movie the matrix is something that feels so real we don’t even know it is there, thus don’t think to question it. But we find out that it isn’t real—it’s not what reality is at all. The more I dug into pronatalism, the more I saw it’s the same with pronatalism. In this case, it’s a set of beliefs that we’ve come to believe so strongly they feel “real” or true, when they are really not.

The realization that there is a “baby matrix” out there ignited my fire to write the book. I saw it was time to make people more aware of pronatalism and why we can no longer afford to leave pronatalist assumptions unquestioned.  Like the genesis of all books, there is magic at work; the person who is somehow destined to write the work becomes called to write it. The deeper I got into the pronatalism, the more I felt that call. May The Baby Matrix help readers discover the truths that need to be told about parenthood, reproduction and our future, and why it’s time for us to shift away from pronatalist thinking, and move toward a post-pronatal society.

About the Author:

Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.
In addition to writing nonfiction books, she has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.
Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.
You’ll also find her online at her nonfiction book site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.

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To learn more about Laura, go to her website:

 About the Book:

In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.

We commonly think our desire to have children boils down to our biological wiring, but author Laura Carroll says it’s much more than that. Unlike other books on parenthood, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood.

The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe. It lays out:
-the historical origins of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction
-why many of these beliefs no longer work for society or were never true in the first place
-why we continue to believe them anyway
-the prices society pays as a result

The Baby Matrix shows us how we got here, brings to light what is true, which includes knowing about the powerful influence of “pronatalism,” and explains why society can no longer afford to leave pronatalism unquestioned.

“This is not a book about convincing people not to have children,” says Carroll. “I want people to be very aware of the long-held social and cultural pressures, and be able to free themselves from those pressures when making parenthood choices. This will result in more people making the best decisions for themselves, will foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children and one that knows what it means to bring a child into the world today.”

This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. Whether you are already a parent, want to become a parent, are still making up your mind, or know you don’t want children, you’ll never think about parenthood in the same way.

The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.
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