Zibby Owens is a freelance writer and mother of four in NYC. Her work has been featured in Marie Claire, Redbook, SELF, Shape, Modern Bride and other magazines. She is the host of popular podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” She has written online for the New York Times, Huff Post, TODAY Parents, Medium (where she is a Top Parenting Writer), Mommy Nearest and Scary Mommy. She also co-authored a book entitled Your Perfect Fit, published by McGraw-Hill. She already has her twins’ b’nei mitzvah date reserved in 2020. Follow her on Instagram @zibbyowens.
I think the iPhone should come with an instruction manual that’s required reading. It isn’t enough to know how to connect to Wifi or how to Facetime five people at once — it’s equally…important to understand how to communicate with other humans in a decent, which isn’t intuitive to new users (i.e., tweens). If you’re going to cave and give your kids phones before they’re mature enough to use them — like, um, I did — then it’s important that somebody teach them the rules. (For what… >> Read More
I met up with an old friend today to go to our rabbi’s funeral. We popped into a nearby coffee shop and slid into a booth in our matching black dresses — hers with a blazer, mine with a sweater…and pearls. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year. She’d had a baby; her third child. I’d gotten remarried. My older kids had started middle school. My little ones were almost too heavy to lift. But the eternity since our last catch-up didn’t matter — we picked up our conversation as if we’d… >> Read More
Last night, I went to a bat mitzvah, just a few hours after a dozen fellow Jews in Pittsburgh were brutally murdered during a bris. A bris! I remember the brises of my two sons like they were…yesterday: the pride I felt, the fear of hurting my newborn during this religious and medical ritual, the warmth of my family gathered around us like a cocoon, the comforting sounds of Hebrew prayers. With every Jewish tradition, I always feel the reverberations of history — the echoes of all the boys’ cries that have… >> Read More
Halloween is the ultimate anxiety amplifier. Not just for kids — for me.
As someone who has gone through life with what my 95-year-old grandmother calls, “the worry gene,” I try to sidestep…situations that make my anxious tendencies spike, like being stuck in a crowd (which is why you won’t find me at a music festival). When it comes to managing my anxious feelings, I’ve found the most helpful thing is to stay busy; I have trouble relaxing because then my brain starts spinning. Instead, I’m always… >> Read More
I’m a mom of four kids. I am also book lover. And for years, I felt discouraged and pathetic when it came to reading. The only time I could find to read was when I finally crawled under my covers…at night, exhausted. It would take months for me to get through even a short, mindless read — most evenings I’d have to backtrack a few pages because I couldn’t even remember what I’d read the night before. Short chapters were my savior. I used to stare longingly at the new releases through bookstore windows… >> Read More
I have a fantasy, and it goes something like this: I'd like my family to pile into a DeLorean Time Machine, Back to the Future-style, and head to the early 1980s. And stay there. Forever.
And this…isn't because of smart phones or Fortnight. It's because I want to take my Apple TV and throw it out the window. I also want to disable my TV’s OnDemand function. Then I’d like to erase my kids’ memories so they forget that they’ve ever had the option of selecting which shows or movies to watch,… >> Read More
I observe Shabbat every Friday night. Well, kind of. I mean, I try to. I’d like to. But with four kids and all the summery stuff we try to pack into three short months, it can get pretty tricky for…a busy, modestly observant family like mine. I do a much better job in the winter, when the sky darkens before I can even get in my afternoon coffee fix. Sundown just seems more prominent in the daily schedule in those dark months. During the school year, when it’s Friday evening, out comes the challah,… >> Read More
Recently, I had a life-changing experience that completely transformed how I feel about my body, my health, my sleep, and my identity. And it all started with a gob of spit.
I don’t know why I…bought a 23andMe DNA kit. Maybe I saw an ad. Perhaps a friend recommended it. I can’t remember, but I’ve always been curious about my ancestry, my background, and my health. (I mean, who isn’t?) So I went online and bought a kit. When it arrived, however, I let the small, square white box sit… >> Read More
I saw an old video of myself the other day. I was packing for an upcoming trip and my twins, who were about 2 years old then, were circling around me.
I don’t remember where we were going, but…what has stuck with me is how, on camera, I appear as frantic as a contestant on a reality TV cooking competition. My hair is flying and my brow is furrowed as I appear in and out of the frame, grabbing clothes, zipping and unzipping duffel bags as I shove things in. The twins, meanwhile,… >> Read More
When I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child, I cried. In fact, I cried for a couple weeks — when I wasn’t vomiting, that is. I had a 10-month-old at the time, and I was still getting…used to dealing with three kids. How I could possibly manage four? I wasn’t one of those carefree, laidback moms who dealt with things calmly and happily. I like order, clean rooms, being on time, being in control. And as desperate as I was to have my first three kids, I’d literally never considered having… >> Read More
Remember Filofaxes? Mine was my bible. I would enter all my plans in ink, sometimes weeks ahead of time. I would carry the green leather book with me everywhere I went.
“8 p.m. at Tiramisu with…Avery,” I’d input. The crazy part is that, on the appointed evening, Avery and I would both show up, on time, at the restaurant. It was that simple! There were no last-minute cancellations; there wasn’t an endless email or text chain debating the plan. We just showed up. And sometimes, when we were wrapping up… >> Read More
Last night at 2:12 a.m., I was laying on my back in my daughter’s twin bed, my knees up to the ceiling. Her arm was around my neck, her monkey lovey affectionately placed across my face. I was wide…awake — and so was she. We’d been in a version of that position for 45 minutes. She had clearly had a bad dream and had woken me up at 1:30 a.m., crying, telling me she was never going to sleep again. After we spent an hour and a half lying awake together, I was… >> Read More