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Oprah's Last Show: Choosing To Be Childless, How Oprah Made Me A Better Mom

The choice to remain childless.

The time has come to say goodbye to your daily dose of Oprah Winfrey.  Sure she has her OWN network, but it just isn’t the same.

I shared some thoughts about Oprah over on Strollerderby and mentioned how I’ve done my fair share of mocking Lady O, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love her.  Come on!  She’s like family. Even if she did forget how to pump gas and has more in common with Gwyneth Paltrow than your average American.  I forgive her for these things because she has brought so much insight into my life.  She’d call it an “A-HA moment” but I prefer to call it insight.

The first thing Oprah ever taught me was that it’s okay to NOT have children.  That made me realize how special having children truly is.  Sounds strange, but bear with me.

I come from a long line of Mormons.  Aside from whipping up a stellar casserole or a tasty batch of Jello salad, one of the things Mormons do best is procreate.  They believe it’s what God wants.  From the time I was born I was raised to believe I would graduate high school, maybe go to college – but more importantly, I was to find The One and get busy having babies.  I didn’t know a single woman who didn’t have children.  I didn’t know a single woman who didn’t want children.

And then there was Oprah.  She didn’t want children and she was OPRAH.  The concept floored me.  Doesn’t everyone want children?  Aren’t women who don’t want children weird?  But Oprah isn’t weird.

Not only did Oprah undo a stereotype that my religious culture had virtually tattooed onto my DNA, but by choosing not to have children she showed me how important a decision having children is.  And it is a choice.  A commendable one.  Although being a parent requires vast reserves of selflessness, choosing not to be a parent may be even more unselfish and thousands of unfit parents would’ve done well to realize that before conceiving.  But, until I realized parenthood was indeed a choice and not inevitable, I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of parenting.

So, while Oprah may not know how to pump gas anymore and spends time hobnobbing with the likes of uber celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, I’ll never forget the lesson she taught me because it just might be one of the most important things I’ve ever learned.

Click on over here for Babble’s favorite parenting moments with Oprah

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