There’s a multitude of reasons why many women choose to be child-free, and Chelsea Handler just called out one a somewhat contentious reason for doing so: the imbalance of labor when it comes to taking care of the kids.
In a new standup clip from her Netflix special Revolution, Handler, 47, explained why she is choosing to not be a mom. “I say I don’t want to be a mother,” the comedian starts, “but I wouldn’t mind being a divorced dad, you know?” Handler asks as the crowd erupts in applause.
“I could crush that role, coming in hot at like 50% all the time,” she jokes. “Showing up Friday afternoons with unicorn frappuccinos, and then back to the Cheesecake Factory, and then back to Starbucks, and then drop them off and skedaddle Monday before s*** really hits the fan.”
“I could crush that role,” she continues. “Or a stepfather. That’s another role I would crush. Nobody expects anything from you guys.”
Yes, there are absolutely bio dads and stepdads who take on the managerial role in cisgendered marriages with kids. But Handler’s joke hits on the very real burnout many moms feel when it comes to being the point person for the entire family. Even in blended family situations, child care duties tend to be assumed to automatically be the role of the woman — even if the man is the bio parent of the kids.
Her new Netflix special also has some other choice material on the joys of not being a mom.
“Nothing serves as a better reminder to not having children as setting your alarm clock for 10 AM on a Monday morning to remind yourself to do mushroom,” she says in another highlight.
Handler previously talked about her decision to remain child-free — but still have children in her life — during a September 2022 episode of her podcast Dear Chelsea.
“I have so much availability for not only my nieces and nephews … but for other children in the world, because I don't have my own. If I had my own I would be all about them,” she explained.
“I look at it like this — because I don't have my own children, I'm able to send strangers to college. I'm able to support kids that I'll never meet, in countries that I'll never even visit. But I'm able to give so much because I don't have my own family and to me, that is my purpose. I would be a sh—ty mother. I would be selfish. I would want everything to be great for my kid and forget about all the other kids in the world.”