Web Original: Suburban Mom Roundtable

We invited five women, all in different stages of their lives, to come together for a conversation that no five men would ever need to have — what’s a girl to do when kids come along?

JESS: My mom was home full-time. It was normal for me. Since my dad had his own company, he would drive us to school and help out with rides. I have an older brother and a younger sister, but I had a lot of time with my mom. Her way of mothering was like teaching. My friends say that I know how to sew on buttons and I know how to sew a seam and I know what the name of certain flowers are and how to cook random things, all because my mom was always there. I learned how to knit when I was seven.

VICKI: Does your brother know how to knit?

JESS: My brother does not know how to knit.

VICKI: Sew buttons?

JESS: Maybe, but probably not.

SANDY: So, your mom felt these were important things to know?

JESS: Yeah. In college, I was the person all the boys brought their button problems to. The guys came to my dorm room, knocked on the door, and were like, "I heard you know how to sew a button." But I’m definitely thankful for knowing all those things and I agree with it, which is why now, as a very career oriented person, I’m thinking about what will happen when I do eventually meet somebody and get married and have kids. What will I do? I don’t know if I want to give up my career 100 percent, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to be there with my kids to teach them the same things my mom taught me. I struggle with it.

VICKI: Can you see yourself not working at all?

JESS: I can see myself not working for a period of time. But I don’t think I could just be a mom for 20 years.