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Nov 3 2014

Wishing Away the Newborn Phase

By at 1:40 pm

Wishing Away the Newborn Phase

Trying to live in the moment isn’t so easy when you have a newborn.

In my day-to-day life I attempt to focus on the present as much as possible (taking a lesson from Buddhism). But when my 2-month-old son is on his third or fourth hour of pre-bedtime kvetching and we’re walking him up and down our building’s hallway in an attempt to get him to sleep, it can be a little difficult to live in—and enjoy—the moment. Instead, I’m usually wishing we could just fast-forward through this phase.

My son has generally been more difficult than my now 4-year-old daughter was as a newborn (unless, of course, that’s just the amnesia talking—the amnesia that’s necessary for us to procreate more than once). Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 27 2014

Is There a “Reboot” Button for My Teenage Son?

By at 4:13 pm

Looking for a “Reboot” on My Teenage Son

As the mother of an almost-14-year-old male specimen, I have extensive experience with teenage development and behavior. This specimen is one that I have researched thoroughly for recurring patterns of maturation as well as chronological brain development, physical, social, and emotional milestone achievement, and other intangibles such as resiliency and societal awareness. I have charted each point of development and checked in with appropriate medical staff to determine success as well as possible areas of concern. I have invested high quantities of unconditional love and clocked in well over one million billable hours. I have made sure to allow for mistakes, self-learning, and personal advocacy whenever possible, and use natural consequences as a way to learn and avoid repetitive mistakes.

So after this immense investment, why does this specimen suddenly need a re-boot? If my iPhone functioned this way I would do a full system reset or ask for an update to fix the issue. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 29 2014

My Toddler Brings Out the Best & Worst in Me

By at 11:52 am

Toddler-Mess

This post is part of our Torah commentary series. This past Shabbat we read Parashat Ha’azinu. (Apologies for the delay, we were busy dipping apples in honey.) To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

For me, being a mother is the spiritual equivalent of looking into one of those magnifying mirrors that points out every pore and flaw. I am forced to face myself, not as how I’d like to be, but as I am.

This year, as the Ten Days of Awe descend, I am realizing this part of parenthood is a great preparation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. After all, during this time we are supposed to examine ourselves and take stock of who we are on the deepest level. We are supposed to consider our failings of the past year, the ways we could have been better, the parts of ourselves we don’t like to see. And as a parent, all those things are in my face pretty much every day. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 25 2014

It’s Hard to Honor Your Mother & Father When You’re in the Terrible Twos

By at 9:41 am

kedoshim

This post is part of our Torah MOMentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat Kedoshim. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

This week Sylvie turned 2. On her birthday, she woke up, talked to herself for a while, then called out “Mama, mama!”

I went to pick her up from her crib and as soon as she saw me she stood up and screamed, for the first time ever: “Go away, mama!”

Terrible twos, right on schedule. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 29 2013

How Jewish Teachings Helped Me Be a Patient Parent

By at 9:36 am

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to parenting.

My most recent journey into impatience came last night as my 2-year-old daughter twirled and sang her way into the wee hours of the night.

I had been trying to put her to sleep for three hours, and it just wasn’t working. Given the fact that she had experienced a transatlantic flight, and we arrived in Israel a few hours before (and that she was excited about being in a new place, and sharing a room with her older brother and being out of a crib, and and…) I had to cut her a little slack. But my ability to empathize and (what seemed like) the Herculean task of mustering the patience I needed had grown thin. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 16 2012

What Kind of Mother Do You Want to Be?

By at 11:51 am

I’ve been thinking about the kind of mother I want to be since the moment I found out I was pregnant for the first time. Several possibilities usually come to mind: patient, happy, loving, empathic, and engaged (but not too much). These are all wonderful, and sometimes I do pretty well, while other times I miss the mark. But I’ve often felt like my list wasn’t complete, that some quality of parenting isn’t quite captured in my aspirational adjectives. Read the rest of this entry →

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