The actor, 63, recently appeared on Bruce Bozzi’s Table for Two podcast, where she described herself as a “single, straight Southern woman who never married and never had children” and reflected on her “big choice” to stay single.
“I have so many sisters who have beautiful children, and they now have beautiful children,” the Sharp Objects star said on the 22 August episode. “I love being an aunt, I love it more than, probably more than acting, which is odd. They’re on par. But I’m telling you, these are gorgeous children, but that doesn’t have to define every woman.”
Clarkson explained that she knew “when [she] was young” that she didn’t want to have children, although she did have a “window to have a child” at 38, when she was in a relationship with an artist.
“But at the end of the day, I loved working and I grew up with great parents who sacrificed everything for me,” she continued. “And you have to really be committed to having children. You have to be a great parent, and I was afraid I couldn’t be.”
The Easy A star also admitted that she “didn’t want to fail” at being a parent, adding: “I’m fine failing as an actor. I didn’t want to fail at being a parent.”
She went on to explain that her parents have been very supportive of her decision to not have children, and recalled an anecdote her mother once shared with her. “My mother said: ‘Patty, I just don’t want you to wake up at 50 and be unhappy.’ I woke up at 50 in stilettos and a thong.”
“I’ve had a great sexy-a** life,” she said, laughing.
“It’s not that my whole life is that,” Clarkson noted. “I love being an aunt, I love being a sister, I love being a daughter, I love being a great best friend. I’m a very good friend, I think. It’s not what I wanted to define me because I didn’t want to fail.”
This isn’t the first time Clarkson has opened up about her decision to remain child-free. Even 10 years ago, the She Said actor revealed to The Guardian that her choice to not marry wasn’t “deliberate”, but she joked that she was simply “born without that gene”.
“Don’t get me wrong, I hate being single,” she said at the time. “I’ve had beautiful, extraordinary men in my life and I wouldn’t change any of that. But I’ve never wanted to marry, I’ve never wanted children.”