Mary J. Blige on why she’s childfree: ‘I don’t want to have to tend to someone all the time’

Mary J. Blige is 51 years old and an icon. She’s also childfree! She has one marriage and divorce under her belt. She was married to Martin “Kendu” Isaacs for 13 years, and he had children from previous relationships. So, she was a stepmom for many years, and we don’t know what relationships she has with those kids (now adults) at this point. While Mary was talking to E! News about some new work, she was asked some slightly invasive questions about her childfree life and all of that.

When Mary J. Blige made a virtual appearance on E! News’ Daily Pop to share details about her latest album and the Superbowl performance, host Justin Sylvester, a self-proclaimed MJB fan, was more interested in Blige’s thoughts on motherhood. He contrasted Mary as a mom with who he described as, “the cool aunty…that comes with the bags for Christmas,” the Mary he aspires to be in the future because he “ain’t havin’ no kids.”

“Do you ever think you’re gonna get to the day where you’re like, ‘Damn, I maybe shoulda done it?’” Sylvester asked to open the chat.

“Oh, I’m not there yet!” she quickly replied with a laugh. “I’m not there yet, so I’m good. Listen, I have nieces and nephews forever. And I’m always watching how people are scrambling, you know, scrambling around for babysitters. I don’t wanna go through that.” she added with another chuckle while grabbing her glass.

“I like my freedom. I like being able to get up and go and move and do what I wanna do. I don’t want to have to tend to someone all the time, you know?”

“Right now, that’s where I’m at, you know, but,” added Blige shaking her head left and right, concluding, “I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”

[From Yahoo]

For what it’s worth, Mary doesn’t have to answer those questions and no one else has to answer them either. Childfree people don’t owe anyone an explanation for our choices any more than parents owe anyone an explanation for their choices. Now, I do love what Mary has to say. She’s basically like “no more drama… specifically with children.” Mary likes her life as-is. She likes being able to move around without having to “tend” to anyone. I would imagine she got a taste of what all of that was like when she was married to Kenzo and she nope’d out of there in the end. Good for her.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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44 Responses to “Mary J. Blige on why she’s childfree: ‘I don’t want to have to tend to someone all the time’”

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  1. OriginalLaLa says:

    I feel her so hard on this – I am happily childfree, and did not make that decision lightly, I have my reasons and it’s annoying that people can’t understand that they are valid.

    • kari says:

      I am right there with you. I’m in my mid-30s and a few years ago I was in the delivery room while my sister was in labor. Apparently my family thought that me witnessing the oh so gross miracle of birth would change my mind.

      It only further convinced me that it’s just not for me. Happy to be the fun Tia for life.

      • dlc says:

        Hard to believe people thought having you watch a woman push a baby out of her vagina would make you say “yeah! I should do that!”

  2. Catlady says:

    I’m also 51 and have never regretted not having children.

    • Iforget says:

      I love it!

      I’ve always said, I’d rather regret not having them than regret having them. It’s a shame how much we have to justify our choices.

    • LooneyTunes says:

      I’m 51 and on the verge of a divorce and the kid going off to college. I will get to focus on ME for the first time in a long time and I’m actually looking forward to it. (That being said, I don’t regret having the kiddo. Everything has its season, is all I am saying.)

      • Aries_Mira says:

        Good for her! It’s a personal choice and it should be respected, not nit-picked or followed up with the “but why” or the “you’ll change you’re mind” replies.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      You’re right. You shouldn’t have to justify it. Feeling pressure to justify it isn’t proof that there’s something inherently wrong with that choice or that as women you’re going “against your essential natures” either. It means we as a society still have work to do when it comes to boundaries and respecting women. Stories of those who did regret it or change their minds are never proof that the trads were right in being crappy, and they shouldn’t be weaponized. Everybody’s situation is different. It’s best to just be considerate and listen.

  3. lucy2 says:

    What a weird thing to ask a musician who is promoting an album, isn’t it? But I love and agree with her answer, I feel the same way.

    • Louise177 says:

      Not really. Women are always asked about kids. I never wanted kids or even the slightest desire. For some reason it’s assumed women do but many don’t. Another assumption is medical issues instead of choice.

      • lucy2 says:

        In a professional setting? We’ve been conditioned to think it’s ok because people feel entitled to know everything about a celebrity’s life. If you worked for a car company and were out promoting a new model, it would be inappropriate for someone to say “Why don’t you have kids?”

  4. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Having children isn’t for everyone. Even my friends that are parents have confided some pretty rough situations to me because they have kids. It’s a struggle. We should all have the choice and we should all be free of judgement on it.

  5. Elsa says:

    Society needs to stop asking women why they don’t have children. No one is owed that information, even from a famous person.

    • hindulovegod says:

      Thank you, Elsa! This is often related to private medical information and wildly inappropriate to ask about. It also posits that women are supposed to be incubators. Women are people. Why is that so hard to understand?

    • Christine says:

      Along those lines, society also needs to stop asking newly wedded women when they plan to have children. It’s like people can’t fathom why you would get married for any reason other than to have children.

    • Valerie says:

      Absolutely! This is not an appropriate interview topic or even one for casual discussion with someone you don’t know. Among friends and family, maybe, but even then…

      I also agree with Christine that people should avoid asking newlyweds about their plans to have children.

  6. HeyKay says:

    Elsa, I agree 100%!

  7. Willow says:

    Yeah, the way she answered those questions, like she was brushing off the answers, she was not happy. That interviewer was out of line! And his excuse of ‘I haven’t had kids yet either’ is ridiculous.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      The “Yet” really bothers me and a lot of people do it because they know they went too far.

  8. Ines says:

    First – thank you for using the term child free and not childless.

    I’m 49. I always knew I didn’t want kids, and coming from a large South American family, I spent my whole life having to defend my choice and assuring people that I wouldn’t change my mind (and I haven’t!). People finally stopped asking and making a deal of it once I got to my mid 40s, assuming, I guess, that it was rude to ask why I didn’t have kids, in case I hadn’t been able to have them.

    In any case, times have changed and I am happy to see that young women these days are not questioned/judged about this choice as much as I was when I was younger.

  9. ChillinginDC says:

    People staying pressed about women who don’t have kids will forever be baffling to me.

    • Malificent says:

      Yeah, I’m single and occasionally catch grief for choosing to have a child without a partner. But I think my married female friends get way more familial or societal pressure to have kids.

      The only bad choice is to have kids when you don’t really want them. The world would be a much happier place if everyone the mental freedom to decide what they really want for their lives.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I just turned 50 and happily childfree. I one time had a co-worker ask me, “Aren’t you afraid of growing old alone?” Being fearful of growing old alone, is not a good reason, imo, to have a child. I like my freedom. I hate the thought of being tied down. Too many people in this world have children and really should not.

    • OriginalLaLa says:

      That line about growing old alone baffles me – care homes are literally filled to bursting with people who have children and grandkids who never visit** … having kids guarantees nothing.

      ** based on my years of going to visit my grandfather in a home where he is one of the very few who gets any visits, let alone regular visits.

  11. Mia_Mia says:

    I am 34 and childfree. I love children; I have plenty of nieces and nephews, babysat a lot as a teen, and worked in child care for 1-3 y/os during college. Children are such a hoot and I enjoy being around them…..and then I enjoy giving them back to their parents, receiving a paycheck for my time, and going home to my quiet, clean home.

    Children are great, but I know my personality and I am NOT suited for motherhood. I see all the hard work parents put in 24/7, and I know for a fact that (for me) the positives would never outweigh the negatives.

    • Valerie says:

      My niece and nephew crack me up and astound me with their brilliance on a near-daily basis. (I don’t see them every day!) They are the funniest, smartest, and most loving kids I know, and I love being around them. I also love knowing that their future does not depend entirely upon me! Having seen firsthand what it takes to raise even one child, let alone two, I know that I just do not have that strength, lol.

  12. Andrew's_Nemesis says:

    Completely cosign everything that has been said here. Stay out of our uteruses. If we don’t want to push one out, we just don’t – and no-one needs or deserves any more of an explanation than that.

  13. MA says:

    Men are never asked this question and made to justify their personal choices.

  14. Mimi says:

    I’ll be 30 next year and do NOT want children. I haven’t wanted children for many years and my mom always says “when u find the right one u may change your mind”… no when I find the right one he will respect my feelings on not having kids/be on the same page as me 🤣 I’m not changing my mind for anyone

  15. Cava 24 says:

    Rebecca Traister has a great book titled “All the Single Ladies” that talks about how society views single women and women who choose not to have kids if people are interested. I think most public libraries would have it in their systems.

    • Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, it sounds like a good read. I’ll see if my library has it. 🙂

  16. aggie says:

    42 and child free. I love her. How dare they insinuate that her life is any lesser without children? She’s a musical genius and international icon. She has also endured a lot of shit in her life and she deserves peace and freedom on her terms.

  17. H says:

    I’m in my early ’50s and don’t have any natural children but that doesn’t mean I don’t have ‘children.’ I have two wonderful nieces who treat me like their mom and I hosted two amazing exchange students.

    I got so tired of people asking me when I’m was going to have a baby. Never. Lol.

  18. LarkspurLM says:

    I’m happy to see women speaking up on this – it’s our choice to do what we want with our bodies. As a 53 y.o. childfree, married, post-menopause (yay!) woman, I do not regret my decision. Happy to hang with other people’s children, but I love my dog more. 🙂

  19. Mrs. Smith says:

    Frankly, I don’t know how parents do it. I hate feeling exhausted and I need my sleep! Our friends all have kids who are getting their driver’s licenses now and I shudder at the thought. I would be a basket case. Mr. Smith and I are happily child free and we have never regretted it.

  20. kim says:

    I am 42 and child free…it is my choice and I survived the 00s with EVERYONE telling me I was selfish and would regret it … was even told I would lose out on love….nope been with my guy for 20 years and we live a lifestyle others would be jealous❤️❤️ so stop telling women who never wanted to be a mom they’re selfish or regret it…we don’t…more over my peers who were popping out kids because they wanted to be young moms all struggle in life right now….just do you and don’t compare yourself to others….live happy

  21. Mindy says:

    I am 35 and never had a desire to domesticate my free spirited nature. My life is filled with not just my career and family and friends and lovers, but volunteering and giving back to the community and amazing solo travel and also an overall level of healthy mental and physical well-being that wouldn’t be possible if I had a bunch of kids by now. A lot of my friends who are moms struggle with constant guilt and financial stress and I don’t want that on my plate. I get the question of “don’t you want to get married?” more than “so you don’t want kids?” though. I’m quite happy to get married in my mid-40s and enjoy my single, child-free life for another decade!

    • Valerie says:

      I’m 33 and feel the same way! When I was in my twenties, I used to hear all the time that I would change my mind when I got older. Now that I’m older, people don’t say it as much, lol. I had been preparing myself for comments about my biological clock.

  22. Valerie says:

    Yup, I’m with her on this one. I don’t call myself child-free, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been of that mindset. I don’t hate kids; I love my niece and nephew and have always been comfortable around other people’s children, but motherhood is just not for me. I’ve known that since I was a kid myself!

  23. TeeMajor says:

    I married later in life (late 30’s) and me and my husband decided that we just did not want children. I am happy with MY choice not to have kids before him and happy that he was on the same level. I am not trying to have any kids in my late 40’s and know too many kids that need extra love. We both love kids but it’s too late for us and we are good w/it. We go and come as we please.

  24. Anna says:

    People don’t have to explain themselves why they don’t want children. Also, it takes so much energy, effort, time and money to raise a child that only people who want them should have them. I applaud individuals who are self-aware enough to make a decision. Otherwise, there is drama and unhappy adults and children. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s nobody’s business how people decide to live their lives. Usually it’s people who are not happy with their choices who force others to choose the same…