Jordana Horn is a contributing editor to Kveller. She is a journalist, lawyer, writer, mother of six, travel aficionado, and self-declared karaoke superstar. Before her life got too crazy, she was the New York correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. She has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Forward and Tablet. She has appeared as a 'parenting expert' on NBC's TODAY Show and FOX and Friends. She enjoys writing about herself in the third person and, one far-off day when everyone is in school, hopes to get back to work on her novel.
“Enjoy this time…it goes so fast!!”
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ANYTHING SO RIDICULOUS IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE?
Sorry for screaming. But as someone who has been in the baby/toddler trenches for a few…years now, I can tell you, no, that is just bullshit. Actually, Random Person, it doesn’t go so fast. The days are long. VERY LONG. They are tiring to the point where my bones actually ache in the night when I finally get to lie down. Actually, Random Person, you don’t ever get used to… >> Read More
Summer is coming to an end. If you’re in certain parts of the US, summer is already over. I am a Northeasterner and therefore my mind is only just beginning to turn to book socks, shoe shopping,…and gel pens. But hold on a second! Before you turn the page on the seasons, here are my personal patented hacks for next summer—especially if you have a kid who is going back to camp, whether overnight camp or day camp. 1. Start Packing Now I realize this makes me sound neurotic. It’s not… >> Read More
I am not a morning person. I know they exist—people who delight in watching the sun creep up over the dark edges of the world, people who savor those moments when starlight is replaced by sunlight,…people who run on treadmills while the rest of us sleep. In the morning especially, it turns out that I really like sleep. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone? Sadly, sleep is completely incompatible with motherhood. Babies give their little middle fingers to clocks. I… >> Read More
I have an almost-14-month-old baby, and she is my last baby. Because I’m 43, and I have six kids, four of whom are 5 and under, and I am one tired lady who would probably be turned away by the…tummy tuck people (“In all my 24 years of practicing, I’ve never seen anything like THAT.”). Also, I had a sort of medical situation after giving birth this last time that scared me (you NEVER want to hear the nurse ask you, “Would you like to see a clergy member of your faith?”), and I… >> Read More
Should we write about our kids? For me, the answer is yes. But in a piece entitled, “Why I Decided To Stop Writing About My Children” in the New York Times, Elizabeth Bastos writes about how she…came to the conclusion that she should no longer write about her children (let me throw it out there that the title was kind of a spoiler). “There is a hunger in our culture for true stories from the parenting trenches where life is lived mud-flecked and raw,” she wrote. “I’ve written extensively, intimately, damningly,… >> Read More
If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention.
I definitely paid attention this past week, as a piece I wrote for Kveller about Ivanka Trump triggered remarks that went personal rather…than political. In language very different from the usual Kveller discussions, comments, emails, and Tweets, I was called a “stupid judgmental bitch,” an “embarrassing twat,” a “Jew loser,” and a “piece of shit,” everywhere from Kveller’s Facebook page to my inbox. Those statements are very, very different from, “I couldn’t disagree more with your opinion/piece,… >> Read More
I’ve turned a corner: I’m no longer such a big fan of the photos from overnight camp.
I didn’t formally sit down and decide that I would no longer be the “refresh refresh” mom of years…back. A few things happened to make me step away from the computer and into my life. First, I went on a romantic trip with my husband, which was pretty amazing. Everything we looked at was Instagram-worthy. Flowers draped every windowsill. Breakfast was the only meal not accompanied by alcohol, and they made up for… >> Read More
Last week, you stood up and spoke in front of the world. But what concerns me most is your silence.
Ivanka, you may be a beautiful, smart, and successful daughter of the man who…would be King—but you are also a Jew. And I am calling on you as a Jew—especially as a Jewish mother—to stand up for a better world for your children. I know you know the story of Purim, because I saw your pictures of your mishloach manot on your Instagram feed. For those who don’t,… >> Read More
Welcome to the 4th Annual Jordana Horn Summer Reading Recommendation List! Reading is one of my favorite things in the world…and yes, I do read constantly, even though I have six kids. Yes, it’s…actually possible! While I will admit to a definite fiction predilection, I’ve put some deviations from that genre on the list. And in this year–the year we might get the first-ever female president of the United States of America!–I’ve arbitrarily decided to make this list one of all female authors (though not necessarily the oft-disparaged… >> Read More
20 minutes is very little time. It’s not enough to find out how an episode of “Scandal” ends. It’s not enough to catch up with your friend between meetings and really get a…sense of how things are going in her life. It’s not enough. 20 minutes is a lot of time. It can feel like hours if you are running in the cold before dawn and you can’t feel your fingers. It can feel like hours if you are waiting for news from your doctor that will make… >> Read More
Passover is a holiday on which we are supposed to revel in our freedom from tyranny. In the modern age, however, anxiety is the new, less-whip-happy (apologies to Christian Grey) Pharaoh. Once the…Purim megillah is wrapped and put away, I start feeling the stresses of Passover. And this year, I want to liberate myself. And that’s where you all come in. Although I have yet to discuss it with my husband (Jon, consider this a talk), I’m leaning heavily toward using nice plastic plates for the seder… >> Read More
To be sung to the tune of “You Only Live Twice” from James Bond: Sheeeeeee only wears piiiiiiiiink….
When I was a little girl, my favorite color was red. Fire-engine red. I wanted to paint…my room red; my mother refused, saying it would “make her crazy,” whatever that meant. And although I lived in a blue, yellow, and white room, my soul was red. Although I wore other colors, my favorite color was, without question, red. Red: uncompromising, loud, fiery, brazen. I thought red was the most wonderful color… >> Read More
I have six children, four of whom are age 4 and under. My days begin before dawn, and sometimes end before my oldest son has left his tablet on the charging station and made his way up to bed. I…sometimes find myself falling asleep in the shower, not remembering whether or not I’ve put shampoo in my hair. There’s a lot going on with the two older kids—academic competitions, schoolwork, Instagram (!)—but let’s focus on the more cacophonous child mass. For them, days are filled with sippy cups, chocolate milk, Berenstain Bears books, carseat… >> Read More
Weight Watchers, we meet again. As Rafiki said to Simba in The Lion King, “It is time.”
When I got divorced 10 years ago, I decided to re-assume responsibility for my postpartum state of…health, and I lost 60 pounds on Weight Watchers. Even though I was uncertain about my future as a single mother of two small boys, I felt comfortable in my body again, and that was a great thing. Now, I’m happily remarried and I’ve had four more kids in five years. The latter does a… >> Read More
We celebrate Hanukkah because the oil in the Temple lasted eight days. Well, good for the oil, but kids under 5 behaving well for eight days would be quite another miracle. Seriously.
And I get…it: It’s very hard for them to handle eight consecutive nights of staying up later than usual. In addition, they’re often getting presents and consuming sugary deliciousness all of those nights in a row. When you think about it, it’s basically a recipe for disaster. If your kid hasn’t started saying, “Where’s my present?” before… >> Read More
We live in a very Jewish area in New Jersey. It’s a place full of all the institutions of Jewish life, from kosher butchers and bakeries to mikvehs and, of course, synagogues of all stripes. We…live in a strong Jewish community that supports many different streams and outlets for that Judaism, from Tot Shabbats with instruments and microphones to shomer Shabbat (observant) communities. The pre-Passover crush at the Livingston Shop-Rite puts Black Friday to shame. Sadly, a key component of our Jewish community died an untimely death this fall. Gesher… >> Read More
Moving is a pain in the ass. Anyone who has ever done it knows it. And when you have six kids, four of whom are under 4 and range from “unhelpful” to “destructive,” crazy is a best-case…scenario. Thanks to my parents, the kids didn’t have to be involved in the actual move-in into our new home. My parents should get some sort of medal, by the way, for taking my whole family in to live with them for almost five months. Did I mention we moved into their house four days… >> Read More
You are driving the carpool home from sports practice. Your Jewish child and two other non-Jewish classmates are in the car. You pass a big house; you offhandedly mention that your friend is moving…in. Non-Jewish kid: “Is your friend Jewish?” You: “Why do you ask?” Non-Jewish kid: “Because Jews are rich.” Growing up, I was pretty sure that if I ever came across something bad and wrong—anti-Semitism, for example—it would play out like an after-school special. First, the horribly uninformed, ignorant people would do something egregious, like spray… >> Read More
20 years ago today, I was driving through the dark streets of London. I had just started graduate school and was on a bus coming back from a trip out of town. As I was looking out the window at the…unfamiliar city, listening to my Walkman, I saw a shop selling televisions. And every one of them was on, showing footage of the Prime Minister of Israel at the time, Yitzhak Rabin. I thought nothing of it. It was only the next morning, when I picked up the paper, that I found out why: He had been… >> Read More
“Six kids! What’s that like?”
Answers you may expect: “exhausting;” “fun;” “chaotic;” “nonstop.” Answer I didn’t expect, but that I find is true: “liberating.”
Why?…Because I no longer have either the time or inclination to care what anyone else thinks. This doesn’t mean I’m not interested in advice or learning from other parents: There is always more to learn from other people. What it does mean, though, is that I literally have no time for the following: READ: I’m Not… >> Read More
The rooms on the maternity ward of a hospital might as well have revolving doors. From dawn to dusk and after, if you’re a woman who just had a baby, someone will come into your room approximately…every seven minutes. There’s the nurse checking your vitals, another nurse who administers the painkillers and stool softeners, the person who brings your food, the person who takes it away, the nurse who checks the status of your anus (lucky them), the hospital photographer, the lactation consultant, the pediatrician, the hospital clergy…The list is nearly… >> Read More
Welcome to the Fourth Annual Jordana Horn Kveller Summer Reading Recommendation List (see the previous years' lists here, here, and here). As always, this list is not exclusive, and I actively seek…feedback/more recommendations in the comments. These are recommendations coming from a voracious reader who likes both highbrow and semi-lowbrow stuff, mostly fiction. Not all of these are new releases. Annoyingly, many books I still want to read this summer haven’t been released yet! Please follow me on Goodreads and let’s get mutually recommending! Happy summer!… >> Read More
1. The last month of pregnancy: It’s a glorious time. It’s when salespeople help you more quickly because they don’t want you to explode on the sales floor. It’s when none of your pregnancy…clothes fit and your shirts ride up on your belly as if to tempt people with a Lewis Carroll-like sign saying, “Lift me!” It’s when you are already sleeping as though you have a newborn baby because, whether it’s heartburn, gas, or sheer discomfort in your own skin, you are up every hour. 2. The… >> Read More
“Do you believe another Holocaust can happen?”
When I heard this question as a 7th grader, I remember reacting with shock: “Of course not! The world would never let it happen…again!” Here we are in 2015. And somewhere in the swirling sands of the Arabian desert, innocent people are beheaded on YouTube by masked ISIS fanatics to terrify the world into submission. Schoolgirls in Nigeria are kidnapped, taken away from their families for nefarious purposes. Children in Iraq are herded onto vans and taken to… >> Read More
I’ll admit it: When my husband picked up his suitcase to leave to go to the Philippines for a week on business, my first impulse was not to set a good example for the five kids. Instead, I wanted…to take a page out of my 1-year-old’s playbook and throw myself at my husband’s legs, yelling, “No! No! Don’t go! Take me! Don’t leave me here! I’ll do anything!” Somehow, I refrained. So my husband left for the other side of the planet, no doubt experiencing more tranquility in his approximately 24 hours of… >> Read More