“The way most people feel about loving being a parent is exactly how I feel about not being a parent. I love it.” (page 2)
Well said, Jen.
Jen Kirkman is a funny lady. She’s kind of a basket-case, but I like that about her. This book isn’t some weird manifesto for childfree-by-choice ladies – it’s Jen’s exploration of her own life and why she’s so unsuited and has no desire to be a mom. And while she’s trying to figure out her own life – her dream to be a comedian, trying to get her anxiety under control, sorting out her marriage, etcetera – she recounts how she was constantly barraged by people who wanted to know when she was having kids, and when she said she wasn’t, then why not.
I don’t have a ton to say about this book other than it was funny and I completely sympathized with her the whole way. She articulated my own feelings about being annoyed by the constant pressure to procreate way better than I could. For instance:
“For some reason, this prompted him to say, “Aw, come on, Jen Kirkman. You’d be such a good mom!” This statement is at best condescending and at worst patently false and potentially dangerous. It’s like telling a friend who you know has a paralyzing fear of wild animals that she would make a great game warden.” (page 137)
That is so true. I am a responsible, intelligent person and theoretically, I would be a competent parent. But the very fact of me NOT WANTING A KID is enough that I would not, in fact, make a great mom. I would be the mom constantly sending her kid away to the baby-sitters or hiding in the closet just to get 5 minutes of peace away from it.
There were a lot of funny moments in this book, and one section in particular had me laughing hysterically at work, which prompted a weird look from the person I was training (AKA letting him do all the work and then if he had any questions, asking me). It was about Jen’s less-than-ideal experiences as a teenage baby-sitter, in which she mistakenly led one little boy to believe that you could stab people and they wouldn’t die. I read that section aloud to the honeyman later that day and we both cracked up.
If you have EVER had any doubt about whether or not you wanted kids and experienced people rudely making it their business to tell you how much you should have a baby, you’ll probably find something in this book that you like – whether it’s the knowledge that someone else has gone through the same thing, or just a really good laugh. I enjoyed both.
Sarah Says: 3.5 stars