May 13 2014
A lot of the time that I read Jezebel, the preeminent feminist blog of our time, I find myself nodding along in agreement with its stances of equality, feminism, and personal choice, as well as its clever takes on pop culture (even if it’s a tad too snarky at times for my own taste). Jezebel generally offers commentary that I both recognize and learn from.
And then sometimes, I read something and feel so extraordinarily distant from the prevalent sentiment being shared that it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around this alternate world. In honor of Mother’s Day, the website posted an article on the moms who express remorse over having children on the social network Whisper, a clearinghouse of anonymous confessions that range from the hilarious to the horrible. Some of these “momfessions” are understandable, if tinged with a little sadness: “I’m a mom, but I obsess over my old life. I just miss it so much”; “My daughter ruined my body;” and “I truly love my kids, but I’m starting to regret having them so young.” Others bordered on humorous: “I read my daughter’s tweets, she doesn’t know. She seems like a real asshole.” But some were just plain appalling, like this one: “I hate my son. I didn’t want a boy. I wanted a girl.”
But what really struck me was the comments section, at last count nearing 1,500, and which did vary but mostly stuck to one theme: “Honestly, most parents I know IRL, say this stuff to me all the time. That they love their kids, but if they could take it back….When we tell them we don’t want kids, they say, ‘Good… DON’T DO IT!’” and, “I didn’t want kids when I got married 32 years ago. Now, I’m really happy to say I didn’t give in to the societal pressures that still existed then. So many of my friends whispered ‘You were right’ after their kids were born.’” And this: “I rarely hear anyone say anything positive about parenting.” Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 29 2014
“Take it down,” my 12-year-old told me emphatically when I entered the TV room where my family gathered to watch an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game last week. Prior to the game, I had taken an adorable picture of him and his 9-year-old sister, linking arms, decked out from head to toe in their favorite team’s attire.
The picture was “likable.” It was fun, happy, and symbolic of our family’s love for my husband’s alma mater and the university that my oldest daughter’s currently attends. It was a must-share. Therefore, I captioned with, “We’re ready! Go BLUE,” and did what so many of us proud, kvelling Jewish mothers do–I posted the photo to Facebook.
“Take it down,” my younger son told me again, as I semi-pretended not to hear him. “But people have already liked it and commented on it,” I responded, realizing I was pleading with him. “Mom, please do not post pictures of me without asking,” he said with annoyance. My youngest daughter chimed in, “Yeah, mom, same goes for me!” Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 24 2012
I took my son to his first day of “school” today. Actually, it was half of a half-day, more of a parent-teacher meet n’ greet and let-the-kids-touch-everything to get everyone familiar sort of deal. I didn’t feel worried at all about sending Aiven to school because he adapts well to new situations and I know he needs to spend time around other kids. Besides, my husband and I work from home and I fear our son is getting sick of us.
About a week ago, we started getting inundated with emails from his school: class schedules, after-school programs, PTO meetings, holiday calendars, orientations, donation requests… I’m surprised there wasn’t a parent-teacher conference in there. Or maybe there was. I just had to tune it all out to stay sane (also known as denial). People: the kid’s not even 2! Is this normal or overkill? I have no idea because I am new to this whole school thing. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 10 2012
Our friends over at MyJewishLearning have just launched a new blog in partnership with Keshet, a national grassroots organization that works for the full inclusion and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in all facets of Jewish life–synagogues, Hebrew schools, day schools, youth groups, summer camps, social service organizations, and other communal agencies.
We encourage you all to check it out. Up on the blog now is an amazing tale of being gay at Jewish summer camp. In it, Scott McGrath writes:
I remember feeling like camp – and my camp world – should have been the place more than any to give me solace and support during that difficult time in my life when I was coming out. The vivid memories of all the homophobic comments, jokes and pranks we played, however, negated any sense of safety this community had once given me.
Read the rest of the piece here, and then be sure to keep Keshet on your list of blogs to keep your eye on.
Jun 22 2012
My life is so public (you saw my birth photos yesterday, right?), my friends don’t even bother calling me anymore.
Many of us at Kveller admit to oversharing and I’ve definitely done my fair share of it, both here and on Twitter/Facebook. I post pictures of our family and my status updates reflect funny things my husband says or anecdotes about parenthood. If you are friends with me you probably know we have a taco party once a week and that my 2-year-old put his mouth on the rim of our toilet last week. When I typed that status I didn’t think to myself, “Will this embarrass him in 10 years?” But a recent article in The Wall Street Journal made me wonder if sharing details about my family on the internet could be a problem later in life, or even a threat to our safety. Read the rest of this entry →
May 2 2012
Remember my 12-year-old son? He who points at the Kremlin?
Say hello, son.
Because, just as Sarah Tuttle-Singer was wondering: What Will Happen When My Kids Google Me?, my son… did.
And he ended up on Kveller (which, I guess, yay, for Kveller’s Google search ranking). And he read everything I’ve written up to this point. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 13 2012
According to a post on the New York Times Motherlode blog on Thursday, a new study shows that blogging might “make new moms happier.” I didn’t have to read the rest of the post to be convinced. It’s true, as researcher Brandon McDaniel has found, that by blogging, writers can “connect” with other parents and both give and receive advice in a generally supportive space. But blogging in this space for the past year has provided me with even more. By writing for Kveller, I have found a way to understand who I am as a new parent. By putting some of my experiences down on the page (or into the “machine” as my father calls the computer) I’ve found opportunities to look at those experiences and evaluate them in a way that I can’t do on a day-to-day basis.
When I wrote about disliking synagogue, I realized that there were aspects of community services I did enjoy, and comments from readers and other writers alike helped me begin to think about how my husband and I might remain Jewish-ly connected despite our (serious) aversion to prayer. By writing about my experiences as a new mother to twin girls, I found, amidst the chaos, the genuine miracle that is two babies at once. I even took the liberty of sharing that post with other twin parents, and received appreciative emails for weeks. As the research shows and the Motherlode blog explains, “Everyone has “BTDT” (been there, done that) and mostly wants to advise, support and sympathize.” Read the rest of this entry →