"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
"Jen Kirkman has written an excellent - and very funny - guide to promote not having children. Thanks girl, for saving me the time." (Chelsea Handler)
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.
I love listening to books and I despise bad narrators.
I like Jen Kirkman, but this book was way too focused on the title. Her life seems so interesting yet she doesn't share the interesting points. I'm hoping her next book is better because I do like her voice and her writing style. I hope her next book talks more about relationships and dating and her family. Those were the highlights of this book. I understood after the first couple of chapters that she does not want to have children. Unfortunately she needed to talk about it constantly through the entire book. I was hopeful that the book would be more than just her repeating that she does not want to have children. Because I understood that and excepted it immediately it did not need to take up the entire book. I discovered her from a podcast and she really was hilarious on that. I think I will try the next book.
Busy full time student and part-time fitness instructor. I'm a sucker for lattes and wine.
Jen Kirkman has put into words what I've been thinking for years. She opened up her heart and life to true vulnerability. Although I may disagree with some of what she says, you can't help but respect the woman's decisions and feelings. Very well written.
I love to listen!
I appreciate that someone is talking about what it is like to be childfree by choice.
One of the best !
It was insightful and meaningful while also being extremely funny.
I can't select just one.
Yes, but it was a bit long to be able to do that practically!
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.
Grandma who doesn't look like a grandma
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....
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 :)
Say something about yourself!
This book was funny, amazing, and made me feel good about my decision to live a child free life.
I loved the honesty.
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.
I can barely take care of myself.
Her voice and inflection is awesome
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.
I think having the author read the book was the best way to go. She brings the text to life and is downright hilarious.
I love this book. I'm child-free by choice and she hits on so many issues that I've had to deal with, like people just knowing that you're going to change your mind even though you've been saying you don't want kids since you were 11. It was very refreshing to listen to someone else who thinks the same things I do. Thanks for this book, Jen!
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