22 Celebrities Reveal How They Feel About Not Having Kids

"Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don't think like that."


1. "It's so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn't take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby — that's all day, every day for eighteen years ... Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn't make it an easy decision. I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother." —Cameron Diaz, in a 2014 Esquire interview


2. "I've thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I'd be this age and not have kids. But my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated. I kept feeling like I'd wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven't. And we have a pretty great life together. The chance that we'll regret it doesn't seem like a compelling enough reason to do it. I may wake up tomorrow with that lightning bolt, and I'll have to scramble to make it happen." —Jennifer Westfeldt in a 2012 New York Times interview


3. "I don't think I'd be a great mother ... I don't want to have a kid and have it raised by a nanny. I don't have the time to raise a child." —Chelsea Handler on a 2013 episode of The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet

4. "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 in a 2013 Hollywood Reporter interview

5. "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 in a 2013 Out cover story

6. "We'd probably be great parents. But it's a human being, and unless you think you have excellent skills and have a drive or yearning in you to do that, the amount of work that that is and responsibility — I wouldn't want to screw them up." —Ellen DeGeneres in a 2014 People essay


7. "I have no maternal instincts whatsoever. I am barren. I am bone-dry. When I see children, I feel nothing. I ovulate sand." —Margaret Cho on her 2003 album Revolution

8. "I want to have kids when there's nothing else I want more, and I can make them my world. I figure, I'll be a super-young-grandma age when I have kids. Grandparents are way more laid-back anyway. I'll just go straight to grandmother-hood, like Diane Keaton."—Sarah Silverman in a 2010 Daily Beast interview

9. "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. 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." —Jennifer Aniston in a 2014 Allure interview


10. "I accepted it for a long time and I thought that 'OK, I'm getting married. I'm having children. I'm definitely doing that, just not right now.' I'd put in in the future and then, fortunately, the women's movement came along and made me realize I was actually happy and that there were more ways to live than one." —Gloria Steinem at the Feminist MAKERS Conference in 2014

11. "I try not to listen to the shoulds or coulds, and try to get beyond expectations, peer pressure, or trying to please — and just listen. I believe all the answers are ultimately within us. When I answered those questions regarding having children, I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn't ready to take that step into motherhood." —Kim Cattrall in O Magazine, 2003


12. "That's perfectly fine for somebody who wants to. But at that time I didn't want to — and I'm glad I don't — have any children. God only knows what I would have done with them, poor things. I really do like kids, but there wouldn't have been room in my life to raise children. I was so involved with my career and I would have had to give up the career in large part because I could not possibly have shortchanged the child." —Lily Tomlin in Metro Weekly, 2006

13. "I work too much to be an appropriate parent. I feel like a bad mom to my dog some days because I'm just not here enough. I just feel like I would do a bad job if I took the time to literally give birth to a kid right now and try and juggle everything I'm doing." —Rachael Ray in People, 2007

14. "People assume I'm desperate for a baby. And yes, I would love to have a baby. But I'm 28, and I've been married three and a half years. I love my life, but it doesn't feel incomplete right now." —Khloé Kardashian in Redbook, 2013

15. "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 in Vogue, 2013

16. "Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don't think like that. I never have expectations like, 'When I'm 19 I'm going to do this, and by the time I've hit 25 I'm going to do that.' I just take things as they come, each day at a time, and if things happen, all well and good." —Renée Zellweger in the London Times, 2008


17. "It's like, 'Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover?' With kids, your focus changes. I don't want to go to PTA meetings." —Stevie Nicks to InStyle, 2002

18. "I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life. I've loved their kids just like they're my grandkids, and now I've got great-grand-kids! Now I'm GeeGee, which is great-granny. I often think, it just wasn't meant for me to have kids so everybody's kids can be mine." —Dolly Parton to People Country, 2014

19. "I would have been a terrible mother because I'm basically a very selfish human being. Not that that has stopped most people going off and having children." —Katharine Hepburn in Kate Remembered, 2003

20. "No, 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 in 2011

21. "I figured it was selfish for us to pour our resources into making our 'own' babies when those very resources and energy could not only help children already here, but through advocacy and service transform the world into a place where no child ever needs to be born into poverty and abuse again. My belief has not changed. It is a big part of who I am." —Ashley Judd in All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir, 2011

22. "There are women who do it. On the other hand, there are a lot of women writers who never get married and don't have kids. I am married, but I didn't marry until I was 43. I knew when I was young that if I had to make a choice between being married and being a writer, I would have chosen to be a writer. I think it's a career where you have to put the career first. I don't have kids but — and luckily everyone isn't like this — I think if you have that passion, in a way, your career is your child." —Candace Bushnell in a 2003 interview

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