7 September 2023
Cover design © Luke Bird
Demy format paperback with flaps
Should we become parents?
This question forces us to reckon with what we love and fear most in ourselves, in our relationships, and in the world.
When Gina Rushton considered this decision, the choice was less straightforward than she had assumed. Her search for an answer only uncovered more complexity. How do race, gender and class affect our experiences of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood? How do we address the paradox of creating new life on a planet facing catastrophic climate change? How do we navigate uncompromising workplace cultures and the pitfalls of excessive emotional labour? How does our own childhood impact how we choose to parent, if we do so at all?
Drawing on a depth of knowledge gained through her extraordinary work as an award-winning journalist, as well as her personal experiences, Rushton wrote the book she and others needed to transform the discourse around the parenthood dilemma.
‘Gina Rushton searingly describes the complex internal conflict so many young women feel: do I want kids? And what becomes of me if I do, or don’t? I’ve not read a book that so perfectly captures how I feel as a woman in her late twenties.’
— Zara McDonald, host of Shameless podcast and bestselling author of The Space Between
‘Gina Rushton reports unflinchingly from the disjunction between received wisdoms about motherhood and received realities that continue to constrict the choices of women of her generation. A significant and vital book; a must-read.’
— Sarah Krasnostein, bestselling author of The Trauma Cleaner
‘Grounded in Rushton’s years of frontline reporting on reproductive access, this book reflects on both the politics and philosophies underpinning parenthood. It challenged some of my deeply ingrained presumptions about the career-family binary, and Rushton is unafraid to sit with ambivalence. Contraception, legacy, loss, climate change… it’s all here. I am so glad this book exists and I am glad I read it.’
— Bri Lee, author of Eggshell Skull
‘I can’t remember the last book that made me think so much – about all sorts of things I didn’t expect. Gina Rushton is what every writer should be – both wise and curious – and when I had finished her fascinating book I saw the world in new ways.’
— Sean Kelly
‘The Most Important Job in the World keenly captures the rollercoaster of anxiety and hope that embodies living at this moment in history. Gina Rushton has written a book that is globally impactful and deeply personal at once, further solidifying her status as one of this country’s most exciting writers. This is a generation-defining text that everyone (not only those considering parenthood) must read immediately.’
— Gen Fricker
‘Gina Rushton interrogates the most personal, political and primal anxieties of our generation, and delivers a clarity so sharp, it borders on pain. But the pain is transformative when shared and given shape, and I read The Parenthood Dilemma feeling nothing short of seen, consoled and grateful.’
— Benjamin Law
‘A mesmerising investigation into the beauty and trauma of motherhood.’
— Samantha Maiden