Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Can Barely Take Care of Myself, by Jen Kirkman

When people find out Jen does not want kids, they insist that she will change her mind, or they try to change it for her.  Being childless by choice is baffling to some people, and greatly misunderstood.  Jen uses her humor to power through most situations, explaining that she has a hard enough time keeping herself on track without being responsible for another, smaller, human.

As a person who is also living a childless life, I cannot fully express the extent to which I identified with this book.  And there are parts that are really really fun.  But there are also parts that broke my heart, and made me mad, because they were situations I have also faced.  I am not sure at which point it became culturally acceptable to not only ask personal questions about one's reproductive plans, but also to pass judgement on someone because of their choice to not have children.  But apparently it now IS culturally acceptable, because it happens all the time.

I will admit, I did expect the book to be a little bit funnier.  And maybe if I were not dealing with the same situations myself, it would have translated into sidesplitting laughter to me.  But really, nothing is funny about being judged, belittled, or patronized over one's reproductive choices.  However, what the book lacked in hilarity it made up for in relatability.  So, I still think, overall, the book is great.

Those who are fans of humor memoirs, or those who are also childless by choice, will appreciate the book.

This book is from my personal library; I wrote an honest review by choice.




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