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May 15 2014

My Sister-in-Law Died From Breast Cancer And Her Words of Advice Still Haunt Me

By at 4:24 pm

guilt

In a conversation I had with my sister-in-law shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she solemnly told me to “just enjoy my children.” She only lived for nine months after her diagnosis, and during the course of her illness, I thought many, many times about those words.

Immediately after we had that conversation, I did spend more time just being around my kids, not rushing off to make dinner, or put in a load of laundry, or hide in my room with my laptop. I would interact with them more, watch them play. The importance of spending time with them was crushing in its urgency. The stark reality that no one really knows how long they have here in this life was in my face, all the time.

I’m not sure how long this attitude lasted. Maybe a couple weeks. Maybe less (I tend to be generous with myself in remembering things like this. It could have only lasted a couple days, honestly). But I do know that the first time one of my children did something that drove me up the wall, I felt an impressive amount of guilt. Read the rest of this entry →

May 12 2014

My Job as a Parent is Not to Model Being Perfect

By at 4:59 pm

My Job as a Parent is Not to Model Being Perfect

The 20th-century philosopher Fred Rogers said, “My hunch is that if we allow ourselves to give who we really are to the children in our care, we will in some way inspire cartwheels in their hearts.” Then he put on his sweater and changed into sneakers.

Maybe I can come clean to Noah and the world that this parenting thing is pretty darn challenging. That I have no idea what to do quite a bit of the time.

Another modern philosopher, Louis Szekely, albeit from a different school of philosophy than Mr. Rogers, has his own take on this: “It’s hard having kids because it’s boring….They read Clifford the Big Red Dog to you at a rate of fifty minutes a page and you have to sit there and be horribly proud and bored at the same time.” Szekely, also known as Louis C.K., certainly speaks his mind. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 13 2014

I’m Glad to Be Done with Breastfeeding

By at 10:07 am

beautiful baby with bottle

We’re not supposed to say that we’re glad to be done with breastfeeding. But I’ll admit it: My name is Jordana and I’m kind of, sort of, glad to be done.

Without question, breastfeeding is terrific when it works. But “when it works” is often interpreted as the simple: when you can get the kid to latch, for example, or have no problems with supply.

But what if it makes you crazy?

Not literally crazy, of course. I’m talking colloquially crazy. As in, “God, this is driving me crazy.” As in being perpetually stressed out, tired, and miserable. As in finding yourself screaming at your other kids because you are so hung up on making sure the breastfeeding is going OK. What about that? Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2013

I Left My Kids for the First Time Ever & Didn’t Feel Guilty

By at 2:11 pm

tova ross reunionWhat happens when a neurotic and overprotective 27-year-old mom of two leaves her kids–for the first time ever–for a weekend with the girls?

Well, now that I asked, I actually had a lot of fun, thank you. So much fun that when my baby snubbed me in public upon our big reunion, I wondered if, crazily, she suspected how much fun I had and begrudged me for it.

I admit it: when I received an invite to my good friend’s bachelorette party weekend at a beach house, I was more excited than nervous about spending over two days away from my kids for the first time ever. I had been feeling a particular sense of ennui lately from the seemingly endless household chores and parenting tasks that must get done despite long days at work. The invitation seemed like a godsend. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 1 2013

I Threw My Baby Down the Stairs

By at 5:02 pm

staircase in homeOkay, before you call child protective services, let me explain…

Three months ago, my husband and I were playing with our 4 ½ month old when it became quite apparent that it was time to sing “Poop Monster” (to the tune of The B-52s, “Rock Lobster”). We’ve pretty much created a song for everything involving our daughter: “We’re Not Gonna Cry Now,” (“We’re Not Gonna Take It”), “Rolling on the Carpet” (“Rolling on the River”) and “Food Glorious Food…” that one needed no editing.

After a brief stare off to determine who would change the little stinker, it was I who danced my little one upstairs to change her. I sang; she smiled. After the “Bare Necessities” were complete, I picked her back up, gave her a big kiss on the cheek and as she smiled at me, we headed for the stairs. And it was right then that I threw her. Read the rest of this entry →

May 14 2013

Jewish Mother’s Day, With a Side Order of Guilt

By at 2:00 pm

darth vaderDon’t go on Facebook on Mother’s Day.

“Look at the breakfast my kids cooked for me,” one of my friends posted, proudly displaying a picture of some beautifully plated granola, coffee, and bud vase of flowers. Honestly. Other friends posted several photos of floral bouquets of varying size. There were status messages that said things like, “Oh, thank you so much, blah blah husband, for letting me sleep until 11! I have the best family in the world!”

When you write, “I have the best family/husband in the world,” the only thing it’s really conveying is “and YOU DON’T!” (Out of curiosity, how would one possibly measure the “best” spouse in the world? In good deeds? Penis/breast size? Bank account? Some combination thereof? And what does it matter if your spouse is the “best in the world”–doesn’t it matter more that that person is the best for you?) Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 12 2013

You Can’t Shame a Woman into Breastfeeding

By at 9:47 am

tamara reese nursing“I want to be a part of the sisterhood of women who use their breasts to give life. I want to redeem myself. I want to try again. I want to know that I am not broken.” Kim Simon’s story over at the Huffington Post yesterday brought me to my knees. But her planning and hope for a second chance made me want to stand up and change the way we talk to mothers about nursing.

Parts of her story were my story, the screaming, the hungry baby, the misinformation. The nurses and lactation consultants with blue gloves manipulating my sore breasts into my tiny son’s mouth muttering words like: jaundice. Failure to thrive. Dehydrated. I didn’t know what a “good latch” looked like and I couldn’t hear a soft “ka” swallowing sound amidst my crying or his crying or doctors or criticism. All those things swirling around in my head became the perfect storm when my own family told me that I was a horrible mother for trying relentlessly to nurse my son. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 7 2013

The Pains of Parenting with Arthritis

By at 9:35 am

arthritis handsTwo weeks after my second son was born, I woke up one morning with swollen wrists that were too stiff and painful to hold my baby. Using my forearms, I handed our son to my husband and whispered, “It’s back.”

It, in this case, was arthritis that had plagued me since before I hit puberty. Brought on by a virus? Possibly tied to that horrific case of the chicken pox I had in sixth grade? Or maybe passed down from an elderly aunt? All the doctors had different opinions. I just wanted to get through my ballet classes in one piece, and maybe work on my tennis game.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 7 2013

I Had to Stop Breast Feeding and I’m Relieved

By at 5:04 pm

After having a few crazy run-ins with vertigo (not the preferable kind, the one performed by Bono and The Edge), I went to the doctor.

I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t having mini-strokes, but rather, just had vertigo as a byproduct of a sinus infection. While a sinus infection is no picnic, it definitely beats mini-strokes. Now I don’t have to waste my spare time writing my husband’s new JDate profile, or making sure the house has enough hangers for my shiva. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 18 2012

Coming to Terms With My Son’s Allergies

By at 2:37 pm

When my son was 10 months old, we started giving him some of the foods that you normally test with a baby.

Many of them went well; egg did not. He threw up and broke out into hives. In subsequent weeks, as we were trying other foods, he developed rashes and had other strange reactions. As we were a few short weeks from a big international trip, we insisted that the doctors run a blood test so we could see what his other allergies were before we left. We had no idea that we would find out that he was off-the-charts allergic to peanuts. We were given Epi-pens before we left on our trip. Read the rest of this entry →

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