Oprah Winfrey is talking about some of her biggest life choices: not marrying, and not having children.
Winfrey, 65, met her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, at a charity event in 1986, and after the couple became engaged, Winfrey considered having children, she told People magazine. She even once bought an extra apartment, should she need the space.
However, the longtime talk show host, whose platform let her see “the depth of responsibility and sacrifice” it takes to be a mother, soon changed her tune.
“I realized, ‘Whoa, I’m talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is,’” said the media mogul, who has also produced and acted to great acclaim over the years. “I don’t have the ability to compartmentalize the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don’t know how you do that all day long. Nobody gives women the credit they deserve.”
Winfrey also noted that her 17-hour days held her back, and that her dogs and Graham allowed her to be herself.
The “Color Purple” and “A Wrinkle in Time” star did note, however, that a marriage with Graham would have been rocky.
“Both he and I now say, ‘If we had married, we would not be together,’” she said. “No question about it — we would not stay married, because of what that would have meant to him, and I would have had my own ideas about it.”
Although some may consider them unconventional, Winfrey stands by both of her decisions.
“I have not had one regret about [not having kids or getting married]. I also believe that part of the reason why I don’t have regrets is because I got to fulfill it in the way that was best for me: the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa,” she said. “Those girls fill that maternal fold that I perhaps would have had. In fact, they overfill — I’m overflowed with maternal.”