April 25, 2019

I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman

"You'll Change Your Mind." 
That's what everyone says to Jen Kirkman—and countless women like her—when she confesses she doesn't plan to have children. But you know what? It's hard enough to be an adult. You have to dress yourself and pay bills and remember to buy birthday gifts. You have to drive and get annual physicals and tip for good service. Some adults take on the added burden of caring for a tiny human being with no language skills or bladder control. Parenthood can be very rewarding, but let's face it, so are margaritas at the adults-only pool. 
Jen's stand-up routine includes lots of jokes about not having kids (and some about masturbation and Johnny Depp), after which complete strangers constantly approach her and ask, "But who will take care of you when you're old?" (Servants!) Some insist, "You'd be such a great mom!" (Really? You know me so well!) 
Whether living rent-free in her childhood bedroom while trying to break into comedy (the best free birth control around, she says), or taking the stage at major clubs and joining a hit TV show—and along the way getting married, divorced, and attending excruciating afternoon birthday parties for her parent friends—Jen is completely happy and fulfilled by her decision not to procreate. 
I Can Barely Take Care of Myself is a beacon of hilarious hope for anyone whose major life decisions have been questioned by friends, family, and strangers in a comedy club bathroom. And it should satisfy everyone who wonders if Jen will ever know true love without looking into the eyes of her child.

After finding her comedy specials on Netflix, Jen Kirkman became my favorite comedian. Now, I am an avid I Seem Fun listener (her podcast), and I bought both of her books. I figured I should read them in order, so this one was up first.

As a fellow person who doesn’t have kids and possibly won't have them, this book was hilarious. It’s so true that as a woman you always get questioned about if/when you’re having kids.

We aren’t machines, people!

If you like comedy and enjoy autobiographical essays, you’ll likely enjoy this book. Even more so if you’re a woman without kids.

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quote: “I think that people confuse a woman with empathy with someone who has the emotional means to raise a child. I’m not mother material but I’m a nice person, sure. And I’m a nice person because I’m usually in a good mood and I’m in a good mood because I’m not responsible for raising a child I don’t want.”

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