To gear up for the High Holidays this year, we’re asking our writers and readers for their Rosh Hashanah Resolution. Here’s one from our writer Yael Armstrong.
In the coming year I hope to…rediscover the woman I was before the mother in me consumed my identity. I am looking forward to seeing who she is four years later, and I think she is looking forward to having a decent haircut and wardrobe. Want to share your Rosh Hashanah Resolution? You can email it to us (details here) or… >> Read More
Dear Future Niece,
When your mom and I were little, we went to the beach one summer with your Nana and PawPaw and even though it was vacation, and we didn't have to, we decided to wake up before…sunrise one morning and go fishing. We got all our equipment ready and made the short walk from the house to the beach, set up our fishing rods, and settled in for what would be a very unsuccessful fishing trip. But I will never forget that day. We were young teenagers with most of high… >> Read More
Occasionally I like to think about the kind of mom I want to be and the kind of mother I actually am. Am I calm and compassionate? Overprotective? Who do my boys see?
Last week when I asked myself…this question it was at the end of a very long day. I was tired from spending hours at the park, then coming home to a house that needed cleaning and followed around by two little boys who wanted me to entertain them but were soon content to entertain themselves by messing up whatever I'd… >> Read More
Last week when I was at the JCC, I saw a girl I knew from our old Ultra Orthodox community. Not thinking twice about it, I took the boys over to say hi. She saw us coming and walked toward us smiling…as she called the boys' names and they rushed to her, waving hello and with arms flung wide, and gave her a big hug. "Long time no see!" I said, suddenly remembering that the last time she’d seen me my hair was covered in a scarf and my legs with a skirt. I wondered, not… >> Read More
I am that mom.
If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog, you know the kind of mom I'm talking about. The one whose posts constantly contain some halfway funny anecdote about her…children. Whose photo albums are so filled up with pictures of a day-by-day documentation of their little ones that you have to scroll through 100 different images of Junior covered in food to find one of her. Status updates, links to news stories, pictures of messy faces, smiling faces, crying faces, all of it stares… >> Read More
A few months ago I asked my grandparents to tell me some of their old stories. I can't say exactly what made me think to ask, though knowing them has always been important to me. I've never seemed to…have the time. There was always some good reason not to call my grandmother or something more important than asking my grandfather what he remembered of his grandfather. Then, all of the sudden, for no reason at all, it seemed like the most important thing in the world. I called and asked them simple questions… >> Read More
My parents separated over 18 years ago and since that time, my younger brother and I have seen three marriages between them and one more divorce. We've gotten six step-siblings, lived in seven…houses, and many times struggled with finding a place in our parent's new world. We were told all the right things, things that you don't understand at 4 and 9. We never thought it was our fault or that we had caused the marriage to end. We never considered that we were capable of breaking… >> Read More
When I was pregnant with my oldest son I made him a promise, and his brother after him, that I would do my best to give them happy childhoods full of wonder and magic, that I would prepare them for…adulthood as best I could and give them the tools to live fulfilling lives. That promise was at the center of my thoughts when we decided to homeschool and is the first thing I think about when I sit down every week to plan our schedule. Next year my son will officially begin a classical… >> Read More
This year, when all of the kids our son's age were entering pre-k, my husband and I made the final preparations on our plan to homeschool.
We looked into all of our options and decided that, while…homeschooling is by far not the only good way to educate a child, it is how we have decided to educate ours. I thought that my explanation would need to go no further. I assumed that most people would give the same response I give whenever a friend tells me their child is going to… >> Read More
Last week my mother came to visit us for the first time in almost a year. Because my kids know my father and his wife (who I lovingly refer to as my second mom) so well, I was very excited for them…to get to know my other mom, too. She got off the plane, jumped in the car, and immediately began talking about her weight. It didn't take long for me to remember what I thought I'd forgotten. My life, for the first 18-20 years, had been consumed and terrorized by weight. My mom never called… >> Read More
"I'd rather shove a fork in my eye."
That was my response when my husband said his parents called and asked if we'd like to come spend the last Shabbat of Sukkot with them in the ultra-Orthodox…community my husband, children and I recently moved out of. It wasn't any one thing in particular that gave me the knee-jerk, panic-stricken reaction to shout, "NO!" In part, it was the fact that my relationship with my in-laws has been cordial but not particularly warm. It was the idea of spending 24 hours in… >> Read More
When I was in middle school, I was lying on the couch one day reading a book when my dad walked through the living room. He asked if I’d done my study guide for a test I had the next day. I told…him, “No,” as I continued reading and he asked if that was a smart idea. I said, half paying attention, that I would be fine. I failed the test. When he asked about it later and I begrudgingly told him that the teacher surely had it out for me, he said, almost to himself, “I… >> Read More
Four years ago my husband and I were married in a traditional Orthodox ceremony. There was no question about what kind of wedding we would have.
My husband was raised as an Ultra Orthodox Jew. Two…years before meeting him I had an Ultra Orthodox (ultra kosher) conversion. I made the commitment to live my life as an observant Jew. I committed to marrying a Jew and raising my future children up in the Jewish faith. I could not have been happier with my decision or felt more fulfilled as a… >> Read More