parents

15 glorious celebrity women on why they don't have children.

When you’re a woman over 30 who doesn’t have children, it can feel – in a world of primary-school reading groups and soccer presentation nights – like you’re the odd one out. A walking taboo.

And the question of why you’re not like the others can hang in the air at every unfamiliar social function.

Inspired by a piece in New York Magazine, we bring every woman living awesomely without kids some support and ammunition  – the very best words on living child-free from 15 excellent public people.

Julia Gillard

1. Julia Gillard

“I’m not sure I could have [balanced having children with my career]. There’s something in me that’s focused and single-minded and if I was going to do that, I’m not sure I could have done this.” – Australian Story, 2013

2. Ellen DeGeneres

“Honestly, 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! We love our animals.” – People, 2013

Dame Helen Mirren

3. Helen Mirren

“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 … It was only boring old men [who would ask me]. And whenever they went, ‘What? No children? Well, you’d better get on with it, old girl,’ I’d say ‘No! F*** off!’” – Vogue, 2013

4. Renee Zellweger

“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. I just want to be independent and be able to take care of myself. Anything else is just gravy.” – the Late Show With David Letterman, 2008

5. Ricki-Lee Coulter

“We both don’t want kids… I don’t know whether it’s my experience [being raised by a single, teenage mum] as a kid, but I know how crazy my life is and how all over the place it is, and you have to be selfish to do what I do.” – Daily Mail, 2014

6. Khloe Kardashian

“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. Please. People want to assume that I’m devastated [about Kim’s pregnancy]. I couldn’t be happier.” – Redbook, 2013

7. Gloria Steinem

“I’m completely happy not having children. I mean, everybody does not have to live in the same way. And as somebody said, ‘Everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal cords has to be an opera singer.” – Chelsea Lately, 2011

Oprah Winfrey

8. Oprah Winfrey

“I never had children, never even thought I would have children. Now I have 152 daughters; expecting 75 more next year. That is some type of gestation period.” – Extra TV, following the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2007

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9. Jennifer Aniston

“I don’t have this sort of checklist of things that have to be done and if they’re not checked then I’ve failed some part of my feminism or my being a woman or my worth or my value as a woman. Because I haven’t birthed a child or…

“Y’know, I’ve birthed a lot of things. I feel like I’ve mothered many things. And I don’t think it’s fair to put that pressure on people.” – Today, 2014

10. Elizabeth Gilbert

“I have come to believe there are three sorts of women, when it comes to questions of maternity. There are women who are born to be mothers, women who are born to be aunties, and women who should not be allowed within ten feet of a child. It’s really important to know which category you belong to …

“Now, listen — if you put a baby in front of me, rest assured: that baby is going to get cuddled, spoiled and adored. But even as I’m loving on that beautiful infant, I know in my heart: This is not my destiny. It never was. And there is a curious rush of joy that I feel, knowing this to be true — for it is every bit as important in life to understand who you are NOT, as to understand who you ARE. Me, I’m just not a mom … Having reached a contented and productive middle age, I can say without a blink of hesitation that wouldn’t trade my choices for anything.” – her blog, 2014

11. Zooey Deschanel

“I like being around kids, but it was never an ambition, something, like, I need … I like working. That’s what I like doing. I like to work.” – Marie Claire, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres

12. Julie Bishop.

“I’m in my mid-50s. I’m not having kids, there’s no point lamenting what was or what could have been. I was 40 when I went into politics and the window closes pretty quickly at 40. So politics is pretty much my life.

“I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve had the kind of career that is so consuming that I don’t feel I have a void in my life.” – News Limited, 2013

13. Dolly Parton

“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! … They call me ‘Aunt Granny.’ 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.” – People Country, 2014

14. Kim Cattrall.

“I’m a woman of a certain age who doesn’t have kids and never really settled down … I enjoy kids but not for long periods. I think they’re adorable and funny and sweet, and then I have a headache.” – The Advocate, 2008.

15. Cameron Diaz

“It’s not like I’m the spinster who didn’t have a child. I just didn’t do that in life, and I’m OK with that. I know the choices I made. I know why I made them. I’m very much a person who lives in the moment. When you come from where I do, there are so many ways my life could have gone.” – the Telegraph, 2014

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