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Dec 7 2012

What We Learned From Dr. Wendy Mogel

By at 11:09 am

Yesterday, as part of the Kveller Book Club, we had an awesome Twitter chat with Dr. Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus, both parenting books that are well-loved among many in our community.

She had a lot of words of wisdom for us, and since we know not everyone was able to join us yesterday, we thought we’d provide a quick recap: Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 9 2012

We Don’t Live Anywhere Near Our Family

By at 9:49 am

The night I realized that we had nobody to parent our children for a stretch of October, I cried.

My husband had a major conference in Reno, and I had a 10-day festival to run. That left us with no one.

For lots of folks, this kind of problem has an easy fix: Granny Nanny. But eight years ago my husband and I, childless and independent, moved to DC, leaving the closest grandparent five hours away. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 8 2012

I’m Not Going to Make My Kids Weight Crazy

By at 5:35 pm

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 me fat. She always said that I was “perfect.” She never criticized me at all.

She criticized herself endlessly. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 2 2012

Friday Night: Shabbat is a Feeling, Not a Routine

By at 1:41 pm

empty hotel roomDriving past towns and daylight and whining, we make our way to my husband’s home town.

I note the sun setting in slices against open fields. Miles of blues and oranges blending together above corn and cows and red tinted barns as Friday makes its way into Saturday.

The kids are immersed in their movie, and we’re just a titch beyond pointing out the animals, the fields, the memories that make this road trip something different.

We haven’t been here for years. But today we drive into town, and tomorrow we’ll visit my husband’s sick grandfather. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 30 2012

Grandma Ought To Be In Pictures

By at 2:33 pm

Hey, Stacey here! Great tip for you: Don’t forget about the other important people in your little one’s life. When I look back at my childhood photos I don’t have a ton of images with my grandparents, or aunts, uncles, or even close family friends. They tend to be forgotten in the heat of the picture-taking moment.

I’m not saying stop focusing only on the immediate family unit which yes, is important…BUT if you have grandparents who are close to your kiddos or that YOU are close with, you should make sure to take the time to include them in your photos so that when your babes are big and grown they can look back and see that those other family members and how they took part in their lives.

The photos themselves don’t need to be anything amazing. Just something sweet and simple to document the time together. Here are some examples of my favorite “extras,” some taken of my own little girl and her important people, and some of my clients and all the wonderful, other people who love and adore their little ones!

A nice group shot

American Gothic plus one

Don't forget the aunties!

A classic grandparent shot

Oct 29 2012

As a Single Mom, Can I Handle Being My Kid’s Sole Provider?

By at 5:05 am

As part of our ongoing series about Women, Work & Money, Emily Wolper, who is currently in the process of becoming a single mother by choice, shares her concerns about being the sole provider to her future child.

I grew up in a traditionally structured, suburban household. My dad worked and my mom stayed home to raise my sister and me. She was very involved with the community, serving as president of the PTA at almost every school we attended and leading boards of various organizations that had a significant impact on our town. Still, with all of this activity, I knew that my mom was, first and foremost, my mom. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 26 2012

Why Do I Hate American Girl Dolls?

By at 9:47 am

It’s actually not that bad. In fact, it’s not bad at all. Yet it’s driving me nuts.

I’m talking about my daughters’ obsession with American Girl Dolls, and my reluctant complicity in all of it.

My older daughter is turning 4 this week, and she has spent a shocking amount of time recently paging through the catalogue (how the hell did we end up on that mailing list?), pondering the possibilities and repeatedly coming back to the baby–the baby in the blue ballerina dress. That’s definitely the one, according to both of my girls. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 9 2012

Am I the Boring Grandmother?

By at 4:18 pm
moma museum of modern art new york

I'd take museum over roller coaster any day.

So I’m hoping I’m not the “boring grandmother.”

My machatenista (Yiddish, your child’s mother-in-law) has three boys and, reliving a happy part of their youth, and hers, loudly cheers on our grandsons at their Little League games.

I couldn’t stand going to those games even when my sons played. It was hot, buggy, the kids looked miserable, and there was always at least one idiot father who acted like a 3-year-old, having a tantrum if the kids failed to live up to his expectations or the ref made a call he didn’t like. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 17 2012

How Did My Great Grandmother Do It?

By at 9:58 am
rebecca and jacob bible

Rebecca and Jacob.

There is a poignant scene at the end of the Torah portion, Toldot. Rivka (Rebecca) has helped her son Yaakov (Jacob) steal the birthright from his older brother Esav by deceiving their blind father. Rivka sends her son to her family in a distant land, knowing that Esav will try to kill his brother.

I imagine Rivka kissing her beloved son and watching as he runs off in the distance. I wonder if she knew that she would never see him again. She must have wondered–how will it all work out?

In the Torah’s account, we never “see” Rebecca again–our last glimpse of her is as a bereft mother, watching her child escape a fate she orchestrated. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 6 2012

On My Birthday, This One’s for My Folks

By at 10:09 am

39th birthdayIt’s my birthday today. Apparently, once you’re past a certain age, it’s somewhat unseemly to be jubilant about one’s own birthday. Well, too bad–I am anyway. Today is the beginning of the last year of my 30s. Rather than feel old (come on!) or anything stupid like that, I feel blessed. What better time to look back on the most tumultuous decade of my life–and to thank the two people who got me through it with flying colors: my parents.

Of course, my parents were great during the other decades of my life, too. I grew up in one of those mythical entities known as a non-dysfunctional family, where everyone genuinely liked as well as loved each other (really!).  I was the oldest of four siblings. I was on the editorial board of the school newspaper and literary magazine, star of the school musical, and about as straight-edge as a person can get while still being liked by more than three people. I had a charmed life with my charmed family. Read the rest of this entry →

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