Discussion Questions

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In Beyond One Jennifer notes that with each child a new mother is born. How has each child changed you? Other women you know?

Jennifer portrays the strains a growing family puts on her marriage, even dreaming, at one point, of divore. Is it possible to have a good marriage with small children? Does she have one?

New mothers rely on experts. Experienced moms are experts. What parenting “wisdom” now appears ridiculous to you? What do you do exceptionally well?

Jennifer finds herself isolated after the second baby. (She wasn’t smart enough to join a book club!) How does family size affect friendships?

Jennifer sees herself as a slacker mom after the birth of her second child, but worries about things like yelling that did not concern previous generations of parents. Are mothers better or worse than they used to be?

Beyond One claims that sibling rivalry is overrated. Do you agree? How is your view of sibling relations affected by your own sibling relationships, or by being an only child?

In “Muscles and Wrapping Paper,” Jennifer tries to “mother like a man.” What can moms and dads learn from each other?

Is it possible to really share parenting? Does a growing family make it easier or harder?

Early on in Beyond One, the family dinner and other such endeavors prove a fiasco. Has family life fulfilled your expectations? Are any of them unrealistic?

Kids force all women to make choices, large and small. Do any of your choices need to be reevaluated? How are daily choices that appear small affecting you in a big way?

How can you better learn to live with the sense of incompletion a growing family brings so you can appreciate how complete life really is?

About Jennifer

A former journalist for The Wall Street Journal and Time, Jennifer is the award-winning author of Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life and pens the MidAge Mom blog.

She’s profiled exceptional women from the Middle East to Latin America. Widely published, her essays have been included in two anthologies.

Jennifer is also a frequent radio and TV guest. Full Bio

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In Beyond One, Jennifer chronicles her leap from one child to two, describing the enormous impact the second child has on a woman’s body, marriage, family life, friendships and work.

"Hull is the kind of woman many moms long to be friends with. . ." -The Cleveland Plain Dealer.


The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Atlantic Monthly, CNN.com, MS., Parenting, Real Simple, Salon.com, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Working Mother, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, American Way, Brain, Child, The Christian Science Monitor, and more.