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Nov 20 2014

Mayim Bialik: I’ve Come to Accept a Lot About Divorce, But I Don’t Want to Accept This

By at 11:15 am

mayim bialik hates to plunge the toilet

OK God, I get it. I get that you’re in charge. You’re just in charge of it all, aren’t you? In charge, all-knowing, always there.

You were there when Mike and I announced our separation right here on Kveller. You were there when my get was signed and Mike handed it to me in my open hands. You were there when my car accident happened and when my hand was so hurt, and you watched over me during my surgery in the ER. You were there when I woke up and asked for my children, and you were there when I had surgery again this summer. You were there when my ex brought my kids to see me for the first time after surgery, and you were there with us in shul this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: me and my ex and our kids, davening (praying) together. You were there for all of it.

You’re in charge. You give. And apparently you take away, too. But even your taking is giving; this much I have learned to be true in these past two years.

Here’s one I want to give back to You, though: plunging the toilet. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 13 2014

Mayim Bialik: Missing My Sons’ Purim Carnival & Other Downsides to Being a Working, Single Mom

By at 1:01 pm

mayim-purim-2014

Last year, I was recently divorced when Purim fell. Purim, for those of you not in the know, is a spring holiday commemorating the near destruction and redemption of the Jewish community in Iran some 2000 years ago. For the record, it’s the Book of Esther, God’s name is curiously never mentioned in the entire Megillah that recounts it, and the hero of the story is actually a heroine named Esther. She’s awesome. Anyway.

Last year, amidst the still-clearing rubble of the mess and chaos that is divorce (even one that is managed extremely maturely and lovingly as my ex and I strive to do), my kids assumed that we would do a family costume like we always did. At that time they were 4 and 7. So we did a family costume in the middle of a divorce. We went as the cast of Tintin, with both of my boys as Tintin, my ex as the drunk Captain and me as Snowy the Dog, of course. Here’s me as Snowy in case you missed it last year. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 19 2014

Going to a Harlem Globetrotters Game with the Kids and the Ex (And Heidi Klum)

By at 2:33 pm

globetrotters

When I was a kid, my parents took us to see the Harlem Globetrotters play. I have only the best memories of watching those games. The players are part comedians, part athletes, and part choreography geniuses. It’s a really fun spectacle for all ages and I really was thrilled to finally have my kids be old enough to take them to a game.

Last year, the ex and I took our sons to their first Harlem Globetrotters game at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. It was mostly disturbingly and shockingly loud for Little Man, who had me cover his ears the whole time but turned out to enjoy the game that way, so besides my tendinitis flaring up from holding my hands over his ears for hours, everyone was happy. Firstborn loved everything about it and laughed his butt off. He was the perfect age for that kind of humor and spectacle.

We went again this weekend, a year later and with an even more cautious Little Man and an even more terribly excited Firstborn. Yes, it was yet another “Mayim and her ex go to a basketball game” just like when we went to the Bruins game a few weeks ago, but this time was different. It was with friends of ours and their sons, and this experience left much more of an impression than the Bruins game did because of the following things. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 13 2014

Despite Racy Lyrics, Mayim Still Lets Her Sons Listen to Pop Music… In Moderation

By at 2:25 pm

shutterstock_157793939

My sons love pop music. Despite literally raising them on Bob Dylan, Dan Bern and The International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, They Might Be Giants, Israeli extravaganza David Broza, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, my 5- and 8-year-olds like gyrating in their car seats to Pink, Katy Perry, Macklemore, Drake, and–yes–Miley Cyrus.

I didn’t used to play any music in the car for the first years of my older son’s life. I was that hippy who believed that my son’s interactions should be with voices and conversation only. It worked with #1, but once #2 came along, #1 was almost 3 and was already used to hearing music by then. Also, #2 screamed bloody murder in the car for literally two full years, and sometimes music helped drown out his screaming. Or at least provided some illusion of drowning it out. (Ugh, those years sucked big time.)

Anyway. I played CDs for my sons initially but at some point the radio became introduced (should I blame my ex? OK! Just kidding, Mike. Sort of.). And that was the end of the innocence. Pop music is like the best candy ever. It’s generally mindless. It has no nutritional value. But it tastes so good. Like really delicious. Yummy. So yeah, I get it. I like pop music, too.

The issue is that pop music is/has become, in some cases, kind of racy. I am generally admittedly a socially conservative fuddy-duddy even though I am a complete bleeding heart liberal politically. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 3 2014

Mayim Bialik in Kentucky for Her Biggest Speaking Engagement Yet

By at 11:54 am

mayim bialik speaks at morehead university

I spoke at Morehead State University last week for about 3,000 people. That’s the most people I have ever spoken for! I have done a lot of speaking engagements, but this was actually the first I have done since my divorce I think. (I’ll check with Fancy Assistant Brandon.) I have missed speaking and this was a great first talk after a break of almost a year.

Morehead State is in Kentucky, but I stayed in Cincinnati since that’s where the only direct flight to Los Angeles was. My talk focused on academia and the choices I made to become an actress, the choices I made to become a neuroscientist, and the choices I made that led me back to the world of acting.

A few neat things happened on this trip. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 29 2014

Sitting Courtside at a UCLA Basketball Game… With the Ex

By at 12:50 pm

MAYIM

I took my ex-husband to a UCLA basketball game last weekend. I mean, we went together. But I got the floor seats and the VIP wristbands. So it felt like me taking him.

Why did I do this?

1. Him

The ex loves UCLA sports. We were friends at UCLA for a year and a half before we started dating and we dated for five years before we got married. (Newsflash for those of you who don’t know: we were married nine years and got divorced a year and change ago). Anyway, I never knew him to miss a UCLA game the whole time we were students. He slept on the pavement outside Pauley Pavilion to get good seats (I joined him in this ritual once and only once), he had special t-shirts he wore for games, he won a really nice Swiss Army watch and the CD player I still possess in a “supershot” half-time competition once, he knew every player’s name and shoe size, he knew all of the student section chants…he was a HUGE UCLA fan. I wanted to give him the VIP experience of sitting first row on the floor of the new Pauley Pavilion. So that’s why I asked him to come. Yeah, we’re divorced. Yeah, it’s stressful sometimes. But he loves this and I wanted to share that with him. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 27 2013

The Top 10 Things We Wish as Divorced Women

By at 11:49 am

mayim bialik top 10 things i wish as divorced woman

As the resident Kveller Contributing Editors Who Are Divorced & Not Remarried, Sarah Tuttle-Singer and I took issue with Sarah Buttenwieser’s recent post about envying divorced people and wishing for a 48-hour “break” from marriage.

No, we have not lost our sense of humor–or irony–just because we are divorced. No, we don’t literally think everyone envies us and doesn’t understand the complexity and pain we have gone through.

Both Sarah and I did not arrive at the divorce decision lightly. It was not the “first resort” for either of us. It was not done lightly and without acknowledgment of the tremendous strain it would put on our children and the tremendous amount of shifting of priorities that our lives would entail as divorced moms. But we digress. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 2 2013

Eight Things Mayim is Thankful for This Hanukkah

By at 1:59 pm
mayim bialik in maccabeat's miracle video

A still from the video of the Maccabeat’s cover of Matisyahu’s “Miracle.”

 

Since Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving this year–or did Thanksgiving fall on Hanukkah rather!?–I wanted to share eight things I am thankful for so far this Hanukkah. Context: I just got back from the weekend with my ex and our sons at my ex’s mom’s house. All of us together. In one house. For three nights. Cozy wozy, indeed.

1. I am grateful that my ex and I communicate so well, even when it’s hard. We planned the gifts, the travel, the meals; everything together.

2. In my dreams I would do a “No-Gifts” Hanukkah, but in reality, the ex and I made modest choices that suited both of us not perfectly, but reasonably. We chose medium and small gifts our boys truly have been wanting and will hopefully enjoy for a long time.

3. I love celebrating Hanukkah with my ex’s mom who converted to Judaism from Mormonism about six years ago. She is such an inquisitive Jew, and she studies more Torah and Talmud than most Jews from any denomination that I know. She makes a mean latke and even buys vegan sour cream for me to smear on mine. And she doesn’t even complain about how every Jewish food is destined to make us all fat, and her kitchen stove top all greasy. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 15 2013

Mayim, The Ex & The Kids Do Disneyland

By at 11:43 am

mayim bialik disneyland 2013I have never taken my children to Disneyland. They are 5 and just 8. We went on Sunday. Me, the ex, and the mother-in-law. All five of us. One car. 10 hours. Disneyland.

Why I Have Never Taken My Kids To Disneyland

There are many reasons, some of which you may think are legitimate, some of which you may not think are legitimate. Here are some:

1. It’s so ridiculously expensive. (I am cheap.)

2. They have never seen a Disney movie or TV show. (I hate crowds.)

3. They are very sensitive, especially my younger son, to lots of people, sounds, things, new things, newish things, scary things, overly exciting things, things. (I am very sensitive to lots of people, sounds, things, new things, newish things, scary things, overly exciting things, things.)

4. There are so many other things and places we enjoy that it just didn’t seem necessary. (I am cheap, hate crowds, and I am hypersensitive to people, sounds, and things.) Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 8 2013

Experimenting with Shabbat Sleepovers

By at 12:11 pm

mayim bialik sons kidkits shabbat

As I have talked about here on Kveller quite a bit, I love Shabbat. I love turning off anything electronic for 25 hours, not working, not driving anywhere, having leisurely meals, taking a nap while my sons play hopefully safely and sort of quietly nearby. Oh yeah: I also love celebrating the miraculous religious experience of echoing God’s cessation of labor by engaging in the blessed Sabbath; it’s not just the hanging out and napping and not working, although those are pretty awesome too and sometimes seem more needed than the religious ecstasy.

What I don’t love is that I don’t currently live in a neighborhood with other Shabbat-observant Jews. I am not in a position to move just now, and so Shabbats are often “home days” with my kids. Sometimes we walk to synagogue but the closest one is about an hour’s walk away and since we don’t know anywhere well enough to eat after synagogue, we end up walking longer than we even stay in synagogue. And some of us get tired and cranky and hungry. And sometimes so do my kids.

What I have decided to start doing since my divorce is to try and take my kids to a Shabbat-observant neighborhood once a month and stay over for all of Shabbat. I don’t find driving in the spirit of Shabbat, even if it’s just to go to synagogue. It forces me to engage with streetlights, roads, people, traffic, and other things which do not make me feel the peace of Shabbat. I know some people drive on Shabbat and that’s fine for them, but it has never felt right since I took on observing Shabbat the way I currently prefer to. Read the rest of this entry →

About Mayim

Mayim Bialik is the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the mother of two young boys. She is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

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