May 9 2013
“Apparently I picked the wrong number of kids to have,” a friend and mother of three kids posted on my Facebook wall the other day. “Maybe you are onto something?”
She–and every other mom of three kids I know–was referencing the recent survey by TODAY Moms (full disclosure, for which I’m a contributor). The survey came up with the unexpected finding that the moms who have it hardest are moms of three kids:
Mothers of three children stress more than moms of one or two, while mothers of four or more children actually report lower stress levels, according to an exclusive TODAYMoms.com survey of more than 7,000 U.S.mothers released Monday. Call it the Duggar effect: Once you get a certain critical mass of kids, life seems to get a bit easier.
Let me let you in on a secret that you probably already know: this is bullshit. Sorry. But here are the reasons: Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 10 2012
Passover is a time of new beginnings, a time to meditate on themes of slavery and freedom, a time to consider the mitzrayim, or narrow place, where we may find ourselves. The hametz crumbs that usually litter my dining room have been cleared out, but they were replaced by matzah crumbs just as quickly. The house cleaning that took so much of my time last week was important, but the effects were fleeting, and my internal hametz remains. The details may differ from person to person, but we all have our struggles, including toxic relationships, family difficulties, physical and mental illness, and employment and financial stress. Many of the challenges of life are beyond our control, but what we can change, the hametz we can begin to clear during the Passover holiday, has to do with our own personal attitudes and behaviors. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 23 2012
This Shabbat, we may be saying goodbye to the crib.
I submitted an article to Kveller earlier this week, and then asked Debbie, my editor, to ignore it. It wasn’t very good. She read it and agreed–my heart just wasn’t in it, she said.
She was right. My heart wasn’t in it. My heart, and my mind, have been in a million different places lately, everywhere and thus nowhere. I’m packing the family for a long weekend vacation for a cousin’s bat mitzvah. I’m wiping the snot from my toddler’s face, who has been battling the same head cold for a week now. I’m worrying about where my big girl will sleep (or not) in the hotel, as she’s too big for a travel crib, but unwilling to sleep in a bed. I’m thinking about friends with cancer, and friends of friends with cancer. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 12 2011
Calm, cool, and relaxed are not the words usually used to describe parents.
Batya Sherizen, our resident baby sleep coach, just published an article on Kveller about stressing out your baby. As a sleep consultant, she tries to help all sorts of parents help their children to fall asleep. But if the parent is too tense, it doesn’t always work. Batya writes,
This mom, for example, was fully committed to the program we outlined, but she was just too anxious to allow her baby to respond naturally. Her intense frustration rubbed off on her baby, hampering the learning process.
It made me wonder–what else do we do that stresses out our kids? When my daughter purposefully threw her toys on the floor today, over and over again, until I gave her a time-out (and another and another), did she sense the stress in my voice? (Probably.) But what can I do to lessen that stress? How can I calm myself so I can calm her?
Batya suggests yoga, deep breathing, or even meditations on your mp3 player. My mom would recommend acupuncture. Personally, I’m a fan of massage (though I get them way too infrequently).
What do you do to lessen your stress level so you can stay calm around your kids?