Why Oprah Chose Her Career Over Kids

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Why Oprah Chose Her Career Over Kids
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(Oprah)

Oprah Winfrey has been saying it for years: "I always say moms have the toughest job in the world if you're doing it right," she declared several times during her talk show reign. And that's precisely why the hardworking OWN CEO chose not to have kids of her own.

In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey reveals, "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."

The 59-year-old talk show legend also compared her maternal feelings (or lack thereof) to those of her BFF and mom of two, Gayle King, saying the two grew up having very different ideas about motherhood.

"Gayle was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade Home Ec class, was writing down her name and the names of her children," Winfrey said. "While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King."

Of course, the media mogul has addressed her childfree choice in the past. In a 2010 interview with O Magazine readers, Winfrey revealed she had "no regrets" about not bringing up baby. Saying she felt "really good" about her decision to not have children, she added, "No regrets whatsoever. Gayle grew up writing the names of her would-be children, making little hearts and putting children's names in them. Never occurred to me to do that. I never had a desire. And I don't think I could have this life and have children."

Noting that mothering requires a huge sacrifice, the former talk show queen -- who had a tumultuous childhood and was raised by several different relatives -- even admitted that perhaps she didn't have the proper tools to do the job.

"One of the lessons I've learned from doing the show is just how much sacrifice and attention is required to do the job of mothering well," she said. "Nothing in my background prepared or trained me to do that. So I don't have any regrets about it at all. And I do feel like I am a mother in a broader sense -- to a generation of viewers who've grown up with me."

While Winfrey travels to her all-girls Leadership Academy in South Africa several times a year to teach classes and spend quality time with the school's nearly-300 students, according to CNN she once hinted that perhaps the school -- which she built after making a promise to her good friend, Nelson Mandela -- was her true kiddie calling.

"Some people ask me why I never had children," she said. "Maybe this is the reason. So I can help bring up other peoples' children, your children. I want you to trust me to bring up your children and I promise I'll never let you down."

It takes a village, O!


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