Whether you’re a parent being scrutinised for how you raise your child, or a single woman who’s opted out of motherhood, it can seem like we're damned if we do — and judged harshly if we don’t.
The stigma surrounding women who’ve decided not to have children remains, and that's not helped by the fact that we rarely hear about the decision to be child-free — especially from the point of view of a couple.
According to People, in an interview on the Katie Couric Podcast, Food Network star Ina Garten spoke candidly about why she and her husband, Jeffrey, decided against becoming parents.
“We decided not to have children,” she said. “I really appreciate that other people do, and we will always have friends that have children that we are close to, but it was a choice I made very early.”
In the episode that airs Thursday, the Barefoot Contessa also explained that her life would’ve been dramatically different, had she and her husband had children.
“I really felt, I feel, that I would have never been able to have the life I’ve had,” she continued. “So it’s a choice, and that was the choice I made.”
Ina also made it clear that if she and Jeffrey disagree on something, she usually gets the final say ("He always agrees with me!”). She then revealed how she met her hubby — the man who inspired this cookbook — while visiting her brother at Dartmouth College.
“He saw me walking around the campus, and he said to his roommate, ‘I wonder who that girl is.’ Now you have to understand, Dartmouth was all men at that time, so I was like the only girl walking around,” she recollected.
While Ina and Jeffrey’s kid-free decision may not seem like a revolutionary choice these days, bear in mind that the two lovebirds wed in 1968. This was a pivotal year for women, as reproductive rights were finally acknowledged as human rights by the United Nations. (For what it's worth, it was also the year Rosemary’s Baby made it to theatres — frightening potential mothers everywhere?)
It's clear that Garten made the right choice for herself, her husband, and her career — not to mention her side gig as a pilot. The woman is full of surprises.