Book Review: I Can Barely Take Care of Myself


Jen Kirkman has always known she didn’t want to have kids. In her new book, she’s endlessly entertaining as she finds witty comebacks to the questions she gets all the time:

Questioner: If you don’t have kids, who is going to take care of you when you’re old?

Kirkman: Servants?

Questioner: Men have to spread their seed. It’s in their DNA.

Kirkman: He can spread his seed all he wants. I have a magic pill that prevents it from growing.

Kirkman is better with the zingers than most of us, since she’s a comic who writes for Chelsea Handler’s shows. But her book isn’t just a series of one-liners. She’s calm and clear about her decision not to reproduce: “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 usually in a good mood because I’m not responsible for raising a child I don’t want.”

Kirkman delights in turning childfree phobias on their head. She’s not worried about dying alone, because it would be annoying to die surrounded by young, healthy people. She also writes about her affection for her friends who are parents, and for their kids, and how her love for them has no bearing on her own decision not to have a baby.

If you’re childfree by choice, this book will crack you up and make you feel like you’ve got a strong, eccentric ally in your corner.