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Nov 1 2013

Torah MOMentary: Even Esteemed Matriarchs Play Favorites

By at 10:17 am

sibling rivalry jacob and esau parashat toldot

This post is part of our new Torah commentary series. This week we read Parashat Toldot. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

Maybe you’ve been feeling a little guilty about your parenting lately; you shouldn’t. There is no one perfect way to be a mom, and you’re doing your best with the resources you have. (Remember, #YouAreAGoodMama.)

Still, it’s so easy to feel insecure sometimes–especially when you constantly see other mothers who seem to have it all together, all the time: they take to breastfeeding with the greatest of ease, they throw birthday parties that are Pinterest boards come to life, and they look damn good doing it in their little black dresses two months after giving birth. Meanwhile, you’re desperately tossing back Fenugreek like M&Ms for just a minute increase in your milk supply. Your nipples look like Mike Tyson’s face (or Evander Holyfield’s ear) after a brutal round in the ring; your parties are fly-by-night operations with whatever was left over at Amazing Savings; your fashion style is more worn beatnik than city slick. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 14 2013

Divorce Isn’t All Bad for the Kids

By at 5:02 pm

building castles

For all y’all out there who think divorce is like the worst thing in the world for the kids, let me tell you something: it doesn’t have to be.

My son and daughter are best friends and allies. Born a year and a half apart, they tandem nursed (think National Geographic Magazine, and you get the idea), go halfsies on the last slice of mushroom pizza, and fall asleep holding hands in a queen-sized bed in our one-room apartment.

They’re closer than any other sibling pair I’ve seen their age. Just last week, my daughter chased down two boys from her class who were teasing her brother:

“You will NOT talk to him like that. He is my brother, and he is awesome.”

And a few days after that, when his sister slipped and fell, my son ran over to help lift her off the dirty ground before I could even say, “Sweet Girl, are you OK?” Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 10 2013

Will Your Only Child Turn Out OK? Don’t Ask Me!

By at 1:17 pm

shutterstock_149227610

The other day, I was chatting with a mom friend of mine who has a baby a little younger than my 9-month-old. (We’ll call this baby B… ya know… for “Baby.”) After a lengthy chat about which solids we’re feeding our babies (we’re still doing fruits, veggies, grains, and she’s trying baby led weaning), she gave me an apologetic look and said:

“I think we’ve decided that B is going to be an only child.”

I wasn’t sure how she wanted me to react. It’s up to everyone to decide (with their partner) how many children they would like to have. Sure, sometimes life throws a curve ball with multiples, “accidents,” or fertility issues. So, I was happy that she and her husband came to a consensus together that they wanted baby B to be an only child. But the fact that she was looking at me with almost a disappointed look on her face left me confused. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 27 2013

Dealing With My Firstborn at My Daughter’s Naming Ceremony

By at 3:19 pm

baby naming ceremony howard wolkeSo last weekend was my daughter’s simchat bat, or baby naming ceremony…

First of all, I’ve got to say that the baby naming was SO much easier to deal with than the brit (circumcision) was for my son J. Of course for starters, you don’t have to worry about any snipping. My wife was thankful for that if nothing else.

Also, it was really nice to be able to decide for ourselves when the ceremony would take place. The eight day requirement is kind of restricting. For E, we were able to look at a calendar and say, “Hmm, when would be the best time for us to do this? When will family be able to come for sure?” Plus the fact that you can basically create your own ceremony that fits your style is really nice, too. So, for all those reasons, there was a lot less stress with the baby naming than the circumcision.

However, the second child’s ceremony does introduce a different type of stress–how to take care of the elder child. J is at that unique age where he isn’t young enough to totally ignore everything that is going on, while still not being old enough to fully understand why people would all be gathered for his baby sister who doesn’t really do much and certainly can’t play with trucks or trains like he can. Read the rest of this entry →

Will I Have Another Baby in 5774?

By at 9:59 am

question mark with baby feetTo have another or not to have another? That is the question. That is what I am thinking about as Rosh Hashanah approaches. Not about apples and honey and atoning for all my lashon hara the past year, but is it time to have another baby?

Thankfully, I got knocked up easily the first time around. I don’t take it for granted that at 33 I became pregnant our second month of trying. Isn’t it ironic how much of our 20s we try NOT to get pregnant? Then when we start trying in our thirties, it’s not quite as easy as my high school health teacher made it seem. I remember Mr. Putnam saying if there was any semen within five feet of your vagina, there was a chance you could get pregnant. If we do have another one, I pray that it is as easy to get pregnant the second time around.  Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2013

Baby Sister Writes a Letter to Her Brother at Camp

By at 9:57 am
orli writes letter to brother at camp

The letter-writing baby herself.

When Jordana heard that one of her sons was homesick at camp and missing, of all people, his baby sister Orli, she quickly banged out this poem from Orli to tell him it was okay to miss her and that she was proud of him… and he’s been better ever since. Future at Hallmark, perhaps?

DEAR Z,

I know I’m just a baby, and everyone thinks I’m cheeky –

But look at me! I learned to write! I am SO DARN SNEAKY!

I took the books down off the shelf, and reading took no time!

And look how amazing I am now: I even learned to RHYME! Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 26 2013

Happy Birthday! (And Sorry About That Whole Second Child Thing)

By at 3:52 pm

carla naumburg and rosie third birthday Dear Rosie,

You are 3 years old today. You should know this because we’ve been talking about it for weeks and your older sister threw an unbelievable tantrum yesterday morning that was allegedly about socks, but we both know it’s about you getting birthday attention when she’s not. Also, your Bubbe and Zayde bought you a fancy cupcake with sprinkles for your birthday dinner last night.

Now, I know that when your sister turned 3, she got a big birthday party at the park with all of her friends and a lot of fancy cupcakes, and all you got was dinner with your parents and grandparents. Don’t worry. We’ll get to the party just as soon as I can find the save the date email that I cleverly sent out to our friends and then promptly lost. (Let’s be honest, you’re a second child. You don’t really have your own friends. Fortunately, you seem to like most of the younger siblings of your sister’s friends.)  Read the rest of this entry →

May 23 2013

Why Can’t You Be More Like Your Brother?

By at 12:05 pm

little boy frustrated with homework“Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?”

It’s a question parents are advised never to ask.

But, that’s a tall order to fill. At least for me.

I have three children. And, except for the fact that they look ridiculously alike (my husband’s and my joke is that if they gave us the wrong baby at the hospital, we got all three of them from the same family), they are all completely different. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 10 2013

How I Pretty Much Raised My Brother

By at 11:57 am

adina and brother alloparentingI had my oldest son a few months before I turned 30. Not young in the majority of the world. Not even particularly young in the United States. On the Upper West Side of New York, however, when I asked my doctor if, at 36, I was too old to think about having a third child, he told me, “Most of my patients your age are still thinking about thinking about having their first baby.”

The thing is, even though I gave birth to my first child in 1999, I’d already been raising one for about two decades prior to that. My brother. Read the rest of this entry →

How I Prepared My Son for his Little Sister

By at 9:52 am

baby nursery crib pinkThe conversation was simple and direct: Mommy had a baby in her belly and in the spring, when the flowers came out, so would the baby. Our nearly 2-year-old son took it in stride, though my heart ached for his pending journey into big brotherhood. Our goal was to involve him as much as possible so he could feel like he was part of the process and not a victim of the change. Read the rest of this entry →

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