For many women, the overwhelming joy of becoming a mom is something they crave. In their minds, having a child is more than worth the stress, body changes, and responsibility that parenting brings. For others, it just hasn't happened yet (so stop asking), and still others simply don't want kids.
All valid responses to what's maybe the biggest decision a person can make. Sadly, it's 2015 and the latter group, those who choose to be childless, is still frowned upon. But thankfully, there are famous, successful women who have been open about not wanting kids to look to as examples. Here are seven celebrities on finding fulfillment—and expressing a maternal side—despite being child-free.
On the many ways to mother
“I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor, I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to. There is a way to become a mother in this day and age which doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate. You can express that maternal side, very clearly, very strongly. It feels very satisfying. I didn’t change nappies, which is okay with me, but I did help my niece get through medical school. I did sit down with my nephew when he was [going through] a very tough time to join the army. And those are very motherly things to do, very nurturing things to do.”
— Kim Cattrall, BBC Radio's Woman Hour, September 2015
"This continually is said about me: that I was so career-driven and focused on myself, that I don't want to be a mother, and how selfish that is. Even saying it gets me a little tight in my throat... I don't like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women—that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated. I don't think it's fair. You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn't mean you aren't mothering—dogs, friends, friends' children.”
—Jennifer Aniston, Allure, January 2015
On finding purpose elsewhere
“If I had kids, my kids would hate me. 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.”
—Oprah Winfrey, The Hollywood Reporter, December 2013
"I've never regretted it. I'm so compulsive about stuff. I know that if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would've been my whole focus. But I didn't choose to have children because I'm focused on my career and I don't think as compulsive as I am that I could manage both."
—Betty White, CBS Sunday Morning, May 2011
"Children aren't the only things that bring you gratification and happiness, and it's easier to give life than to give love, so I don't know. That kind of change would have to be either very well thought out, or a total mistake—a real oops!"
—Cameron Diaz, InStyle, July 2010
On considering what YOU want
“It was not my destiny. I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn’t care what people thought.”
— Helen Mirren, British Vogue, February 2013
“There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, 'Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love? Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?' I didn’t feel that my response was ‘yes’ to the latter. You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did.”
—Portia de Rossi, Out, April 2013