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Aug 19 2014

How Can I Be a Happy Mother During the More Difficult Times?

By at 11:03 am

SrulikB&W

There are two sentences that have impacted my parenting philosophy more than anything else I’ve read about raising children. In “The Art of Loving” by psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm, he writes, “The Promised Land is described as ‘flowing with milk and honey.’ Milk is the symbol of the first aspect of love, that of care and affirmation. Honey symbolizes the sweetness of life, the love for it and the happiness in being alive. Most mothers are capable of giving ‘milk,’ but only a minority of giving ‘honey,’ too. In order to be able to give honey, a mother must not only be a ‘good mother,’ but a happy person.”

I didn’t have children when I read those words for the first time, and yet, I made a promise to myself that when I did, I would make an effort to be happy, no matter what life threw my way.

A few short weeks after I encountered Fromm’s writing, my then-boyfriend brought up the idea of starting a family, and before we realized the enormity of our decision, there was a wonderful baby boy in our lives. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 23 2013

I’d Rather Make My Husband Happy Than My Kids

By at 3:42 pm
silhouette illustration long hair

Long hair he wants? Long hair he gets.

I’ve suspected it for a while now, but it didn’t hit me–in concrete words–until the other day: I’d rather make my husband happy than my kids.

I do all sorts of things to make my husband happy.

He likes my hair long, so I keep it long. (Even though it’s a pain to maintain and, in the summertime, hot and sticky, as well.)

You know how they say that women dress for other women? So, so not true in my case. I could not care less about clothes or fashion. (If you don’t believe me, ask my mother. She begs to take me shopping so I might update the wardrobe I haven’t changed since roughly the late 1990s.) I dress exclusively for my husband. He likes to see me in long skirts and tight-fitting and/or cleavage baring tops. So I try to wear long skirts and tight-fitting and/or cleavage baring tops. When appropriate. I obviously don’t wear those to work. To work, I wear clothes from roughly the late 1990s.

For dinner, I try to cook what he likes to eat. (Though not everything he likes to eat. I am still worried about his weight.) Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 13 2012

Blogging MaKes Moms Happier

By at 3:35 pm

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 →

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