The Oprah Effect: Is Not Wanting Kids A Big Deal?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/16/2013 | 10:30 AM EST

Over time, more women are choosing self over having a family

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey said that she doesn’t regret not having kids. The 60-year-old media mogul has been adamant over the years on not wanting to marry her long-time boyfriend, Stedman Graham, as well as being open about her young pregnancy with a child that eventually died from health complications.

“If I had kids, my kids would hate me,” Winfrey told the THR. “They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”

Winfrey also revealed that the idea of motherhood was never really on her radar.

“Gayle [King, Winfrey's best friend and now a mother of two] was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade was writing down her name and the names of her children,” she recalled. “While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King.”

Oprah’s lack of maternal desire isn’t unlike many other women who simply do not see a need to have children. Some 21st century women are opting to put motherhood in the backseat and focus their entire energy into their careers. Oprah, whose unorthodox views have been hyper-criticized over the years, has become one of the wealthiest and most influential women in America. And while she has no children to carry on her legacy, she takes pride in the students at her South African school, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, all of whom she considers to be her own.

Is having children as big of a deal as people make it out to be?

Sure, motherhood is probably one of the most beautiful experiences a woman could have, but there are other things women can find joy in such as romantic relationships, career and other passions. There’s more to life than raising children, but oftentimes our sexist society makes women feel as if they’re less than a woman if they choose to not, or simply cannot, give birth. Parenthood is a choice, and should be made by people who wholeheartedly want the responsibility of raising a child in this world. Sure, everyone can’t be an Oprah, but it doesn’t mean everyone should be a mother either.

(Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images)

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