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In comedy, motherhood can be as touchy a subject as race or politics. A comic who talks onstage about her parenting skills risks being judged for them by the audience. The same goes for a comic who talks about not wanting children, which is still a foreign concept to many.
But a comedian’s private life is often fodder for her public work. Jen Kirkman, author of the new book “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids,” is one of a crop of female stand-up comics writing about the pressures involved in declaring themselves child-free. Meanwhile, “mom comedy” — comedy by moms, for moms, about motherhood — is emerging as its own genre.