I Can Barely Take Care of Myself

Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids

I Can Barely Take Care of Myself

Chelsea Lately regular Jen Kirkman is “childfree by choice.” Here’s what she’d like to say to everyone who can’t stop telling her she’ll change her mind.

"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.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451667004 | 
  • April 2013
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About the Author

Jen Kirkman

Jen Kirkman is a world-touring stand-up comedian and the author of the New York Times bestseller I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales of a Happy Life Without Kids and I Know What I’m Doing—And Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction. Her Netflix original comedy special I'm Gonna Die Alone and I Feel Fine streams worldwide, and she has released two comedy albums, Self Help and Hail to the Freaks (which hit #13 on the Billboard charts). She was a longtime writer and panelist on the E! Network’s Chelsea Lately and the narrator of many episodes in the award-winning TV show Drunk History on Comedy Central.

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