Kim Cattrall would prefer you not call her “childless.” Cattrall, 59, has not given birth and has never adopted a child, but she thinks she has nonetheless mothered enough young people that she understands what it means to be a parent.
“I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent,” she said in an interview this week on BBC Radio 4. “I have young actors and actresses that I mentor. I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to.”
The Sex and the City actress went on to explain why she feels the term “childless” can be demeaning.
“Child-less. It sounds like you’re less, because you haven’t had a child,” she said. “I think for a lot of women from my generation, it wasn’t actually a conscious choice. It was a feeling of, ‘I’m on this road, and things are going really well, and I’m very happy, and I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it in two years. I’ll do it in five years.’ ”
As Cattrall sees it, women such as herself can still express their maternal side by acting as an encouraging parental figure for young people.
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“I think the thing that I find questionable about being childless or childfree [is] are you really? I mean, there is a way to become a mother in this day and age that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate. You can express that maternal side of you, very clearly, very strongly,” she said. “It feels very satisfying.”
In the interview, Cattrall recalled ways in which she felt she had mothered her niece and nephew.
“I didn’t change nappies, which is okay with me, but I did help my niece get through medical school. I did sit down with my nephew when he was [experiencing] a very tough time to join the army,” she said. “And those are very motherly things to do, very nurturing things to do.”