Tattered Rag Magazine

Posts tagged quirksville
July 31, 2015

Playbook For A Childfree Life

i can barely take care of myself by Jen Kirkman is more than just a hilarious series of stories about a young woman’s life being center stage in the limelight of critique and ridicule about her personal decision of not wanting to bring a child on board her already frenzied train to the free-spirited, strangely cool island of Quirksville. Instead, it’s also kind of like a how-to, didactic playbook manifesto for navigating through a life filled with inconsiderate prejudices from persuasive cavilers.

“Most people who don’t want kids also don’t want to be cornered by strangers at parties who launch an informal investigation into our psyches and backgrounds and decision-making capabilities.” - Jen Kirkman.

“It’s time for the bullying from breeders to stop.” - Jen Kirkman.

Between the pages, Kirkman repeatedly reassures and explains how she does not dislike or, dare I say, hate children or the people that want to have them or even her friends, for that matter, that have or want to have them. She points out that, obviously, ones friendships and interests’ do change a little from how you spend your time and money when you have a child, but it should not change your attitude of respect and common decency towards others!

As you grow up, you begin to realize that the peer pressure in high school wasn’t actually all that bad after all.

“This is the real reason lots of people end up changing their minds and having kids. They don’t want to lose their friends. It’s just like drugs. Peer pressure eventually gets to everyone.” - Jen Kirkman.

However, baby, a child, another human being with a heart should not, under any circumstances, give parents the right to become some kind of rude, elite force; an army of ‘spawnists’ who can’t seem to respect others’ personal choices to not want to multiply their genes. I know how to multiply my jeans just fine, thank you.

“Childfree by choice is the new gay. We’re the new disenfranchised group. People think we’re irresponsible, immoral sluts and that our lifestyle is up for debate.” - Jen Kirkman.

True. Babies and children can be cute little blessings (most of the time). But this doesn’t mean that everyone on earth is cut from the same bib cloth. (no pun intended…well, maybe just a little) Not everyone is cut out or even wants to handle that kind of responsibility of caring for another tiny human being’s every desire and demand. Not everyone follows the same generic recipe for life. Some people find it much more fun to concoct their own original recipe.

“It also takes a lot of strength and dedication to carve out a life that doesn’t seem normal to anyone else.” - Jen Kirkman.

For some of us, it’s hard enough making it on our own; surviving the best we can to make sure we alone get the proper amount of food, sleep, exercise, respect and love to and from others, showering and staying potty-trained. How then should we be expected to be responsible for a little ankle-biter when some of us are already daunted by the task of being responsible for just ourselves?

For more information about Jen Kirkman, go to her website at jenkirkman.com or follow her on twitter: @JenKirkman & instagram @JenKirkman. Everything you need and could ever want to know can be found there. If it’s not there, then you were not meant to know about it…yet.

i can barely take care of myself is available in hardcover, paperback, electronic copy and audiobook (which is read by Jen herself).

Download & listen to her podcast “I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast” on Itunes, Soundcloud & Libsyn