Having kids is one of the biggest decisions a person makes in their life. And the reasons that some people decide to do it and others decide not to vary greatly — while for others it wasn’t much of a choice at all. But whether you spawned members of the next generation or not, most everyone wonders from time to time what their other option would have looked like.
For Patricia Clarkson, deciding to skip the whole marriage and children thing was not necessarily an easy choice, but at 63, she’s now more than comfortable with the path of her life. The Easy A star sat down with Bruce Bozzi on his iHeartPodcast Table for Two and talked about her life decision, including the both heartwarming and hilarious reasons that she loves being single and childless.
She gets judgement (just like every living, breathing woman) for her choices, but she is perfectly happy with them — even when her mother was a bit of a nag about reproducing.
"My mother said, ‘Patty, I just don't want you to wake up at 50 and be unhappy.’ I woke up at 50 in stilettos and a thong,’ “ the Sharp Objects star shared in the podcast. “I’ve had a great sexy-ass life.”
She added that being an aunt to a gaggle of children really fills her bucket.
"I have so many sisters who have beautiful children, and they now have beautiful children," she said. "I love being an aunt, I love it more than— probably more than acting, which is odd. They’re on par. But I’m telling you, these are gorgeous children, but that doesn’t have to define every woman.”
She added that she did have the opportunity to settle down and start a family when she dated an artist when she was 38. But when she mulled it over, she wasn’t ready to give up so much of the life she had already built for herself.
“I made a big choice, but I knew it when I was young," she said. "I had a window to have a child, but at the end of the day I loved working, and I grew up with great parents who sacrificed everything for me.”
She also admitted she was scared of failure, especially considering that she wanted to focus on her acting career.
“You have to really be committed to having children. You have to be a great parent, and I was afraid I couldn't be,” she said. “I'm fine failing as an actor. I didn't want to fail at being a parent.”
That’s relatable, for sure. So is wanting to up at 50 in a thong and stilettos, though!
“And it’s not that my whole life is that," Clarkson added about the whole thong thing. "I love being an aunt, I love being a sister, I love being a daughter, I love being a great best friend. I’m a very good friend, I think. It’s not what I wanted to define me because I didn’t want to fail.”
No woman should have to justify whether or not she is married or whether or not she has kids (or whether or not she wears a thong). But props to Patricia Clarkson for opening up about her choices, and normalizing those choices for other women to make similar ones.