EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 21, 2013

No kid-ding: She doesn't want children

“I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids,” by Jen Kirkman

c.2013, Simon & Schuster, $22, 213 pages

This week, two of your friends broke the news: They’re pregnant. One’s due in October, the other in November. Heavy sigh.

It’s not exactly that you’re anti-kid. No, you like kids -- as long as they’re not yours. And you’re pretty firm on that.

In the new book, “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself” by Jen Kirkman, you’ll find a kindred spirit.

If there’s a chance to fly somewhere for the weekend, Jen Kirkman is on it. That’s one of the perks of being child-free, she says. She can choose the lifestyle she wants, without “dragging a kid around” or forcing a child to adapt. She can go anywhere for her comedy career because, after all, “improv and child rearing are not so different.”

But many people are not okay with her decision to remain child-free, though she doesn’t know why such a personal choice should matter to them. It might be that “people who want kids and people who have kids have secret meetings where they come up with … talking points.”

The arguments they give her are varied, but similar.

People say she’s young and she’ll change her mind, but Kirkman is steadfast. The only child she wants to indulge is her inner one.

They say she’s “selfish,” but she wonders how it’s selfish to avoid giving birth to an unwanted baby.

They say she’d be a “really good mom,” which may be true but she doesn’t want to test that theory.

They warn that if she doesn’t procreate, she won’t have anybody to care for her when she’s old. She says there are nursing home attendants for that.

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