In an interview with “People” magazine’s “Women Changing the World” issue out this week, the entertainment media mogul said she gave consideration to both marriage and kids. While she decided against both, she doesn’t regret it.
She met longtime love Stedman Graham, now 68, at a charity event in 1986 and was once engaged to him. It was then she considered children, she told “People.”
“At one point in Chicago, I had bought an additional apartment because I was thinking, ‘Well, if we get married, I’m going to need room for children,’ ” Winfrey said.
‘Sacrifice’ and ‘messed-up people’
Winfrey said that years of working on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” helped her to see that motherhood requires serious responsibility and “sacrifice.”
“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,’ ” she said.
Winfrey added that she knows herself well enough to know that she lacks “the ability to compartmentalize” the way other women do. Because of this, she holds mothers in the “highest regard.”
“I don’t don’t know how you do that all day long,” she said. “Nobody gives women the credit they deserve.”
Winfrey said the show required 17-hour workdays and she would return home to her dogs and to Graham. She said her partner let her be who she needed to be in the world.
“He’s never demanding anything from me like, ‘Where’s my breakfast? Where’s my dinner?’ Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married.”
“Both he and I now say, ‘If we had married, we would not be together,’ ” she added. “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.”
‘I don’t have regrets’
Winfrey said she doesn’t look back and wonder at what might have been. In a way, she has fulfilled a maternal role, she said.
“I have not had one regret about that. 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.”