Oprah Winfrey doesn’t have kids of her own, and she’s just fine with that.
The media mogul says she’s a mother figure to the 172 girls in her Leadership Academy, and that’s enough.
“I didn’t want babies. I wouldn’t have been a good mum for babies,” Winfrey, 63, tells Good Housekeeping U.K. in their April issue, on sale March 1. “I don’t have the patience. I have the patience for puppies, but that’s a quick stage!”
Instead, the girls at Winfrey’s boarding school in Johannesburg, South Africa, give her a chance to be a mother figure.
“It is more rewarding that I would ever have imagined,” she says about working with the children at her boarding school. “I was doing this to help them, but it has brought a light to my life that I can’t explain.”
Winfrey — who at age 14 gave birth to a son that died in the hospital a few weeks later — previously spoke about her decision to not have any more children to The Hollywood Reporter.
“If I had kids, my kids would hate me,” Winfrey told THR in 2013. “They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”
Winfrey also spoke to Good Housekeeping U.K. about her 42-lb. weight loss, and how she feels “liberated.”
“[My weight] has been the go-to comfort for me,” she says. “You use it as your coat and your shield, and it keeps you from doing things. You don’t have to go to that party because you don’t have a dress to wear and nothing is going to fit you.”
“Now I feel liberated!” she continues. “It’s the thing I have been looking for my whole life — to feel a sense of freedom. The taste of freedom? There is nothing better than that!”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.
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