The women who are proof that there is more to life than having children

By Nina Steele 

Oprah Winfrey, Angela Merkel and Dame Helen Mirren are a few high profile women who seem to be getting on rather well with life without children. Angela Merkel has been dubbed the most powerful woman in the world because of Germany’s economic power and above all because of the leading role that Germany under Merkel has within the European Union. The success of all 3 women in their respective fields and the fact that they seem to be living rather exemplary lives goes to show that there is indeed more to life than having children.

There are many other women around be it high profile or ordinary, who are proof that one can enjoy everything that life has to offer without being a mother. These women show that equating the role of women in society with child bearing and rearing, could not be further from the truth. Not all women want to be mothers and those who end up childless by circumstance should not under any circumstances give up on life.

Having children I am sure brings a great deal of joy to many parents and we as a couple did believe that children would be part of our life. Fate however had a different path for us and it was a case of deciding whether being unable to have children was going to define us or moving on by finding a new meaning to our life and we did of course choose the latter option.

Because we live in a society which promotes the ideal of the nuclear family and because people without children are not as vocal as those with children, you would think that people without children are a tiny minority, when the reality is anything but. Indeed, figures from the Office for national Statistics for 2013 show that there are 5.9 million married couples in the UK without children, with the numbers going up to 7.5 million for all family types. This is a sizeable number and one that cannot be ignored.

To equate a life well lived with having children is not only a fallacy but it has the unfortunate consequence of making some people who want children but are unable to have them, feel as though they are missing a key ingredient in order to be happy. No they are not. Whether we are happy is entirely up to us as individuals and little to do with the fact that we have or do not have children. What we achieve in life as individuals is far more likely to make us happy than just being a parent and the successes of women such as Angela Merkel and Oprah Winfrey are proof that there is far more to life than having children.

Yes it is true that most women are not going to end up running their country or as heads of multi-billion pound corporations, however these examples do show that there is a another way for women.


  1. You often hear the term role model being bandied around in a way that it can be argued has diminished its real meaning. Anyone these days can be called a role model and it seems that the main criterion is to be a celebrity, regardless of what the said celebrity has achieved. Now, no one will accuse Oprah Winfrey or Angela Merkel of being poor role models, considering the place that they occupy in the world without mentioning their respective achievements. That these women are childless and it seems happy and fulfilled, will no doubt help take away some of the stigma attached to childlessness and for that reason, to call them role models is not only right but also fitting.

  2. Great article. Proof that you can make your own life without kids.

    • You can indeed. There is so much more to life that I cannot emphasize this high enough. The other thing is that you often hear how the world resources are being depleted because of population growth, yet some people, particularly women are still stigmatised in some quarters for not having children. I mean honestly!

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