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I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids | [Jen Kirkman]

I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids

"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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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.

©2013 Jen Kirkman (P)2013 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Jen Kirkman has written an excellent - and very funny - guide to promote not having children. Thanks girl, for saving me the time." (Chelsea Handler)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (93 )
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3.9 (87 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amanda United States 05-01-13
    Amanda United States 05-01-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hilarious!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book was funny, amazing, and made me feel good about my decision to live a child free life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the honesty.


    What does Jen Kirkman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her narration was spot on, I love it when an author reads the story, they tell the story best, especially when it's a memoir type.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I can barely take care of myself.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Berkeley, CA, United States 04-27-13
    Ruth Berkeley, CA, United States 04-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "the other reviewer is dumb"

    Jen Kirkman is brilliant and hilarious. I was so glad to find out she was narrating her own audiobook because I knew it would be excellent. Her stories on the Pod F. Tompkast and her comedy act are always incredibly entertaining. Buy it!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Athens, GA 06-20-13
    Megan Athens, GA 06-20-13
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    2
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    "Insightful... I loved it!"
    Where does I Can Barely Take Care of Myself rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best !


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was insightful and meaningful while also being extremely funny.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I can't select just one.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but it was a bit long to be able to do that practically!


    Any additional comments?

    To be a successful comedian or writer, you have to be capable of being honest/reflective while simultameously being witty and entertaining. Jen Kirkman does an excellent job of this while narrating this book about her own life and desire to remain "childless" by choice. But the book is about more than that... it is about dealing with insecuirities and anxiety.. It deals with issues like mortality, anticipating the future (or more appropriately, how much discomfort we have when we recognize that we cannot anticipate the future). It takes a critical look at cultural norms and assumptions about what life is (or ought to be).... all of this while being very entertaining. It is definitely worth purchasing as an audiobook - she has a great voice for narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david Virginia BEach, VA, United States 05-22-13
    david Virginia BEach, VA, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Funny. Not fall down laughing funny, but funny"

    I don't think parents will enjoy this book very much. As a adult that has chosen NOT to have children I enjoyed Jen's take on being purposefully childless. Everything she said was spot on. I love her on Chelsey Lately so I was not surprised I like the book. As my title says, I never fell down laughing or busted my gut laughing, but there were quite a few chuckles in this on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Baltimore, MD, United States 05-19-13
    Sarah Baltimore, MD, United States 05-19-13

    I love to listen!

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    "thank you."
    What about Jen Kirkman’s performance did you like?

    Her honesty.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate that someone is talking about what it is like to be childfree by choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl A. Lowe Marengo, Ohio 05-07-13
    Cheryl A. Lowe Marengo, Ohio 05-07-13

    Grandma who doesn't look like a grandma

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    "Pretty good.... Funny..."
    What did you love best about I Can Barely Take Care of Myself?

    Dealing with people who constantly want to know your reproductive schedule shortly after getting married is so annoying!! She captured and experienced what I a lot of couples have to endure....


    Have you listened to any of Jen Kirkman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ashley evans 05-03-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Loved It"

    I am a HUGE fan of Jen's from her apprearances on Chelsea Lately and After Lately on E!
    Her new book was a great listen and especially refreshing as she riffs a LOT on being childless (and happy!) Her raw honesty was refreshing and hilarious. I could totally relate and I'm glad someone finally wrote on the topic. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan Williamsburg, MA, United States 04-24-13
    Meghan Williamsburg, MA, United States 04-24-13
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    "Ugh."
    Would you try another book from Jen Kirkman and/or Jen Kirkman?

    No.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Can Barely Take Care of Myself?

    Everything after the first 10 minutes.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a bunch of anecdotes about Jen Kirkman's "wacky" childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood - it is NOT about having kids or not having kids, or any kind of validation or substantial thoughts about that decision making process. Very repetitive, self-deprecating humor that stopped being funny after the intro. This should have been a 10 minute comedy sketch - not a book. I gave up halfway through.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard BAKERSFIELD, CA, United States 05-19-13
    Richard BAKERSFIELD, CA, United States 05-19-13 Member Since 2005
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    "A little too much"
    Would you try another book from Jen Kirkman and/or Jen Kirkman?

    Absolutely


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jen Kirkman again?

    Absolutely


    What does Jen Kirkman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice and inflection is awesome


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    There was just way to much preaching about no kids, instead of illustrative stories, which is what i expected. I feel like there was not very much comedy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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