Queen of the Day Katharine McPhee Makes Selfish Look Good Parry Ernsberger

Full disclosure: I have no previous attachments to Katharine McPhee. I can’t seem to get down with the American Idol machine and Smash really started to bore me towards the end of the first season. (I’ve never had much patience for ballads, unless we’re talking Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston). She just hasn’t compelled me to feel anything one way or another, honestly. And I’m the kind of person that loves to love or hate celebrities with gusto.

So imagine my surprise when I recently decided that I think she’s really great. First things first: I covet the floral Katie Ermilio top and green Nanette Lepore skirt she wore inside the February issue of Lucky (pictured right). Real cute. But more importantly, Katharine and I are the same age (28) and she said something in her interview with Lucky that really resonated with me:

“I once thought that by now I’d have lots of children, but actually I’m really enjoying being able to go from point A to point B and the only worry I ‘have is have my dogs been walked?,” she says. “I’m selfish right now, but that’s how and where I should be. The thing is, work is the thing I love the most.”

Girl, thank you. A lot of the ladies I went to high school with in North Carolina are married with kids by now (McPhee has been married for five years to Nick Cokas, btw). And sometimes when I go home, I feel like I should also be married with kids by now because I’m almost 30 and still live with a roommate and would rather spend money on shoes over food. Most of the time, at least. I do like food.

But the fact of the matter is that I am SO not ready for a kid. Some days I can barely make time to shower, much less change a diaper. I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life and I’m okay with that because I finally feel like I’m taking care of ME. And it’s kind of cool for a celebrity my age to validate that feeling. Especially since, when I envision celebrities with babies, I imagine ’round the clock help and high-tech newborn muzzles. It just seems easier, somehow. Less long-term life-planning involved, you know?

Work may not currently be “the thing I love the most” (because my boyfriend, dogchild and pizza are in a constant battle for the #1 seed), but it is something that means a great deal to me these days and I find myself happily consumed with it more often than not. So if Katharine is any indication of a modern woman’s struggle to balance work, play and family, maybe women can have it all. We just don’t need to have it all right now. 

Featured image via Lucky magazine

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  1. AMEN Parry. I actually just posted on this very topic (on my own blog) last week after I was featured in an Australian magazine talking about my choice not to have children. I am 26 an I made the decision a very long time ago. I won’t repost my entire story here but let’s just say my decision is often met with nasty or condescending responses. I was amazed at all the support I had when my article and blog post came out, and while the nasty comments never made me doubt my decision, it is just nice to have lots of people in the same boat express their gratitude for you speaking up.

    I don’t want to link spam but if you are interested in my story my site is: The Plastic Diaries dot com. It is on the homepage :)

  2. There is nothing wrong with not wanting children now, or ever. This whole idea of “I’m (insert your age), so I should be married with kids by now!” is BULLSHIT! No woman SHOULD be married or SHOULD have kids; it’s not a rule! There are no rules about these things, there are only personal choices, and whatever feels to be right for you right now is what SHOULD be. And if that means marriage/kids happen later than “normal” (whatever that is, anyway; “normal” is a fallacy!), then that’s great! But, if it means remaining child-free by choice forever, then that’s great, too. I’m 35, child-free and loving it, and I’m NOT selfish; in fact, it’s possibly the most loving thing I could do for my never-to-be-born child, because I’m not sure that I would be the parent it would deserve, since I really don’t feel a burning desire to be one. And, considering the world population is over 7 billion, and increasing exponentially, it may be that the women who decide to remain child-less are actually doing the world a favour.

    • Just to clarify: when I say, “considering the world population is over 7 billion, and increasing exponentially, it may be that the women who decide to remain child-less are actually doing the world a favour,” please don’t think I’m judging negatively those of you who do want/have children! If you do, that’s wonderful!

      • Totally hear you on that, Megan. I definitely want children, but the pressure to have them so young is for sure BS. It creates an unnecessary feeling of anxiety, when all I want to do is be happy in my career before creating a happy little family!

        parry ernsberger | 1/30/2013 04:01 pm
  3. Completely agree! I am also 28, been married 6 yrs, and do not have any kids: BY CHOICE! Most of my friends are younger than me and have two or three kids already, I hear about it all the time. Even from complete strangers, Some people Gasp! and ask me rude questions and poke and pry like I am a science experiment. REALLY? The decision to have a child is a very personal one, and you never know what someone is going through, a ton of woman struggle with infertility and others of us are just happy being “selfish” and it’s none of your business! It also bothers me that as a female this is a question I am asked within the first 5 minutes of a conversation, you don’t see guys at the gym saying “Hey man I am Jeff, You married? You got kids? You want kids?” While they are bench pressing. Likewise: When male celebs are interviewed they never ask them the kid question.

  4. I totally agree with everything written here except the implication that it’s selfish to not want to have children/you’re selfish if you aren’t ready whether that is a “yet” or an “at all.”

    • I certainly can’t speak for how McPhee meant what she said, but I didn’t necessarily read it that way. From my perspective, it was moreso a way of reiterating how she once envisioned her life vs. how it’s turned out to be. She’s just super-focused on herself and her own needs, as opposed to focusing even part of her attention on raising children.

      parry ernsberger | 1/30/2013 04:01 pm
  5. Great article! Totally agree…we can have it all, but maybe now in nice increments over a [long] span of time!

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