Are parental feelings an area reserved exclusively for women who get a card and flowers on Mother’s Day? Kim Cattrall, known best to many of us as Samantha Jones on Sex & the City, takes a definitive stance on this in an interview with BBC4’s Women’s Hour.

In the interview, Cattrall was asked if being called “childless” is offensive. And the 59-year-old actress, who doesn’t have any biological children, had a whip-smart answer to that. She told BBC4 that she takes offense at the “less” part —because it implies she’s less of a human being for not giving birth.

“I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor, I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to,” Cattrall stated. “There is a way to become a mother in this day and age which doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate. You can express that maternal side, very clearly, very strongly. I guess the word is: it feels very satisfying.”

She revealed that she helped her niece get through medical school and counseled her nephew when he was thinking of joining the Army; she also wants to set up scholarship funds to help the next generation of students get through school.

“I didn’t change nappies, which is OK with me, but I did help my niece get through medical school,” Cattrall told BBC4. “Those are very motherly things to do, very maternal things to do, very nurturing things to do. So I feel I am a mother of sorts. I am not completely child-free. Because I care about the next generation … and that is part of what being a parent is.”

In the interview, Cattrall also talks about her own struggles to get pregnant, saying the out of the ordinary measures her doctors recommended for her were things she questioned wanting to do. She is not alone in facing this complication; according to the CDC, 6.7 million women under 44 have an impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term.

They say you can’t pick who’s your family —but that’s not true. We find mothers and parental figures throughout our lives —someone doesn’t need to be blood-related to feel like a parent or a mentor, and Cattrall’s redefinition of what being a mother means and her response to BBC4 serves as a perfect reminder of just that.

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