Jen Kirkman is a stand up comedian who is most known from being on Chelsea Handler‘s shows Chelsea Lately and After Lately. Her book, ” I Can Barely Take Care of Myself” is about her decision to not have children. She talks about how her friends and strangers all question her decision and have no problem asking personal questions and giving their two cents. People say things like, “You’ll change your mind,” “Don’t you think you’re being selfish by not having children?” “Who will take care of you when you’re old?”
When people ask her if she wants to have kids and she says ,”No” sometimes they follow up with, “Are you able to have children?”And Jen gets offended and thinks to herself, what if I am barren? Do you think that is appropriate to ask casual acquaintance?
She grew up in Boston and tells funny snippets about her mom and her Boston accent. “Jennifah, that just isn’t funny.” I can just hear her mom talking. Throughout the book she also makes a few Kennedy references (which I appreciate because of my love of the Kennedys and understand because of where she’s from), and some pop culture references too which I always like when authors throw those in. For example, when people ask if she wants to give back to the world and help the next generation, and she says that Oprah doesn’t have children either and she’s done so much for society.
Jen says she feels left out especially at birthday parties filled with kids, and feels the pressure from society about not wanting to have children. She constantly has to defend herself and the fact that people without children don’t just party all night, and that she is allowed to be tired. She enjoys her free time and not having to be responsible to another human being.
It’s a very personal decision to have or not have children and it’s somewhat alarming how candid people are and feel the need and the right to judge her. Having kids isn’t for everyone and I think Jen’s really brave and honest for giving this perspective for women everywhere who don’t want kids either.