Thank you to sistas Oprah and Octavia for being candid about their childfree status lately. In a recent interview in the Hollywood Reporter, Oprah talks about Gayle writing down future children’s names in 7th grade, while she was daydreaming about being Martin Luther King. When I read this, I thought “Yes!” Not that I too dreamed about being MLK, but I am a “big-picture” person like Oprah. I’d rather spend my energy volunteering and helping a lot of people in small ways than helping one or two people in a big way. Sure, if my hypothetical kid someday found a cure for a disease or became POTUS, he/she would be helping in a big way. And sure, I could volunteer with my hypothetical kids.
But it’s not the same to me. It’s difficult to try to explain why you feel a certain way when you feel differently from most people. No explanation seems sufficient. But then, why do I need to explain? Why can’t people respect other’s choices when they’re not harming anyone?
On to Octavia. She told the Hollywood Reporter she was fine with “her eggs dying on the shelf.” Right now I concur. I do wonder as my eggs inch closer to their expiration date if I’ll be weighed down with regret. I’ll just have to wait and see.
These admissions made me think about the childfree men out there. Do they get off easier because their sperm don’t have as short a shelf life? And because there are different expectations of men?
Naturally, I immediately thought of Jon Hamm and George Clooney. I found an article from a few years ago about Jon and his girlfriend Jen, in which he says he doesn’t have the “marriage chip.” He is also hesitant about having kids because it’s such a huge commitment. George’s reasons align with Oprah’s. George also isn’t interested in marrying again.
Are we all afraid of commitment? Of course not! All of us who are born without marriage and parent chips can be and are committed to other people and spend a lot of our time helping said other people and causes that we believe in. I appreciate these and other celebrities who speak this truth!