Do you read Philadelphia magazine? Unless you are an upper-middle-class Main Line mom, the answer is probably no. However, if you tore yourself away from gchat for a moment, you would discover that it’s quite a good magazine. But we know this is unlikely, so we’re here to summarize!
So. Because Philadelphia is geared toward the upper crust of the suburbs, most topics it covers fall broadly under the category of “rich people stuff.” Lucky for us, dear old Penn is considered a worthy subject for said rich people to read about. This month’s obligatory Penn shout out takes the form of a roundtable discussion about working and motherhood, in which class of ’08er Katie Motyka participates. In typical Phillymag fashion, Motyka’s sole qualification for participating in the panel is the fact that she’s 22 and went to Penn. Because all Penn students are well-to-do future leaders of society! Motyka shares her experiences as a ’90s latchkey kid:
I always was in daycare. Sometimes we had nannies. It depended. I remember we had a Chinese nanny when my brother was two, and he only knew Chinese. When she would leave, he would only talk to us in Chinese. I had my own key when I was in second grade, and I would just let myself in and chill on the couch. But every Tuesday afternoon, my mom would take us to the Zoo. That was our day. We loved it. But other than that, daycare.
Every woman who works with me says, “Have your kids now. Get it done.” They have kids who are in high school and college, and they’re in their early 50s and they want to travel and they want to do things, and they can’t because they’re still running kids back and forth to soccer. All of them say they wish they had done it earlier.
A lot of my friends are having babies now — in their early 20s — which is really scary to me. I don’t even know where I’m going to work next month or whatever, so I have no idea what I would do with kids. I guess I’d like it if one of us would stay home.
Um, whoa? She can’t be talking about friends from Penn having babies in their early 20s, because they’re all too busy moving to New York and pretending college never ended.
I feel like my mom and I are not as close as we should be because she was never there when I was growing up. She worked too much. She still works too much. She was very career-driven, she was building a business, which is very important. My dad would come home and do all the cooking, all of the cleaning.
We applaud your honestly, Katie, but eek, the description of your family dynamic is making us feel uncomfortable and lonely inside. And we find it weird that a “hard-core feminist” pushed you to consider teaching:
Those were the two occupations my mom told me to do: nurse and teacher. She told me every day I should teach. Every day.
When I think of a feminist, I think of my mom. She is hard-core. Everything is her way. She’s the boss. She wears the pants in that house. My dad knows it. Everybody knows it.
Ack, we’re kind of glad Katie’s mom isn’t our mom. Joke aside, though, guys, it was an enlightening discussion about whether or not women can “have it all,” and by “enlightening” we mean that it made us even more scared of what inadequate grown-ups we’re going to make.