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Joys and Challenges

I Didn’t Want This Child
I had been suffering silently for years, but it was only six weeks into the pregnancy when my PTSD exploded.
Welcoming a Son at the Dawn of Day
The weather turned to rain. The contractions came and went.
A Lesson From the Mommy Who Felt Like a Failure
How can this family survive the rest of this corona without a functioning mother? Will I fall apart? Don’t I need to stay strong and make this all work somehow?
How My Daughter’s Heartbeat Monitor Showed Me Life’s High and Lows
There is a hollow feeling of déja vu, one that I haven’t felt in a while.
Three Life Lessons My Israeli Midwives Taught Me
When I first moved to Israel with my husband and three children, I was apprehensive at the thought of giving birth in a new country. Thankfully, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
My Baby Failed to Thrive, and I Felt Like a Failure
Although I may never be fully at liberty to do exactly what I wish when I want to, the gift of children and the challenges they have afforded me can only make me stronger, wiser, better.
A Mother's Perspective: Impressions from My Baby's Hospitalization
Sharing a hospital room provides a glimpse into the life of fellow sufferers, which helps to put the trials and tribulations of life into perspective.
When I Am Sandwiched in Love
I marvel at the love that surrounds me in this moment
Blocked, Distanced and Betrayed
Why do some children distance themselves?
The Mommy Factor
For all her charm, five-year-old Leah exhibited serious developmental issues . . .
Anger Is Expensive
Anger and criticism are not building tools; they destroy people’s sense of self-worth, trust and security.
Hear Me Out: A Mother of a Deaf Child
Everyone who’s a mother—or who has a mother—knows a mom’s love is infinite. But some moms have found themselves doing things for their kids that are extraordinary.
Silent Music: Teaching Our Deaf Children
Khana already had three hearing children when she gave birth to a deaf son, Mordekhai. Whereas other mothers might have seen only negative, Khana remembers those years as full of positives.
My Son's First Siddur
We count the days until the big party. We count the words of your solo that fall throughout our home like handfuls of pearls. I try to hold them, but they fade so fast.
Being All Mother
I tried to explain that sometimes mommies can make mistakes and lose sight of what is most important, and I asked for her forgiveness . . .
Adopting Our Daughters
In the footsteps of Moses
Most couples are given G‑d’s natural blessings; it’s only certain ones whom G‑d gifts with the even loftier, perhaps supernatural blessing of adoption...
The Child I Prayed For
Life after Loss
Getting to Know my Daughter
I had always thought that I treated each child as an individual and worked to bring out his or her best. What hadn’t occurred to me was that I was treating each child the way I saw that child, and in my limited vision I was missing out on abilities and capabilities that I simply didn’t know were there...
The Secret Burn
Understanding Our Children
When I’m paying attention, I think the opportunity to raise up another person in the world is pretty mind-blowing, pretty awe-inspiring. And I’m raising three little people. The problem is that most of the time, I’m not paying attention...
Giving What You’ve Got
If I truly have so much faith in my levels of compassion, then why can I be so kindhearted toward an unhealthy baby, but lose my patience so easily with my perfectly healthy twins?
Becoming an Empty Nest
I stood there like a fool, with tears rolling down my cheeks. Had I forgotten? My baby is getting married...
Letting Go Takes Love
I reflect on their lives and realize that they don’t belong to me. That they never did. A part of me lives in them, but they belong to themselves...
My Firstborn Son
Sometimes I forget how old he is. I know I put more weight on his shoulders than the other ones. He definitely has more responsibilities, and I expect more from him...
The Transformative Haircut
In the weeks preceding this event, I found myself surprisingly ambivalent. My husband was all for it, as he had never been a staunch supporter of growing it in the first place. The other kids were also excited at the prospect of a party. Me? I wanted to hold on to this cute babyness a little longer...
Living in the Moment
Do we take enough time to look into our child’s eyes, to touch their hand, to really talk? “In one minute, when I finish this phone call.” “Let me just clean up and I’ll be right with you.” The problem is that “one minute” is never just one minute, and that the one minute might be a minute too late...
Real Life Happens Here
I want to treat both my children equally, drawing from the same deep pool of bottomless devotion. But their differences make that impossible . . .
My Daughter Has Celiac Disease
Just because I may not have an anaphylactic reaction doesn’t mean that I am not allergic to certain things. My daughter’s celiac finally helped me recognize that something can be extremely dangerous (even deadly) to us, and there may not be any obvious symptoms to show for it...
A Letter to My Adult Children
Know that I am proud of each of you. Of your accomplishments and achievements, but more importantly, of who you have become in life. Not what you do, but who you are . . .
Always Asking for More
Are my children so wrong to ask? Maybe it’s me who is wrong by becoming angry that they ask so much? Am I teaching my child that’s it’s not okay to want, that’s it’s not acceptable to ask? Is that the message that I want to give to them?
More Than Words
I was still in the same pose, clueless to his disappointment. And that’s when it hit me. I had been clueless all along . . .
Recognizing All I Do
Being a Mommy
It’s eight o’clock in the morning. My husband leaves to take the kids to school. I am sitting on the couch nursing our three-week-old baby. Four hours later he returns and finds me in the same spot, doing the same thing. I have barely moved; I have not accomplished anything that I planned to do....
My Son’s Badge of Honor
Wearing his kipah in public
There is no mistaking a kipah, especially to a fellow Jew. Whether real or not, I imagined our parents thinking, “Now they’re forcing their newly religious, fanatical ways on their innocent children, having them show their Judaism in public.”
Two Pictures
Trying to Understand My Child
It would be so easy to frame his smiling self, and pretend that this single shining moment defines him. Perhaps others would choose to dismiss this moment as an anomaly, and embrace the other photo, the one that captures his otherness. Yet these photos are the two sides of my son, and I struggle to embrace both of them, despite their extremes . . .
Baby Me
She’s quirky, but yourself you call strange, weird. You say that she is strong-willed and independent. Yourself you call stubborn. Her creativity you praise, but yours you say gets in the way of getting things done. Honey, you are judging by a double standard . . .
Out of Bounds
Raising Children to be Inviduals
I tell the psychiatrist that in our family we are all a bit weird. She seems taken aback by my openness. Perhaps she does not remember as clearly as I do what it means to be a child...
Regaining the Throne
Life without my Nanny
The days before Mariam leaves are an emotional rollercoaster. "What am I going to tell the kids? They're so attached to her," I think, lying in bed and staring at the moon. "And what about me? I can't handle my family and run my business without her. And yet, in the midst of my panic, I become aware of a part of me that's rejoicing because Mariam is leaving...
2/3 of a Mommy
Dealing with the Loss of a Child
Sometimes I look at my living family and feel so filled with love that I could radiate with it, overwhelmed with joy to the point of spilling incoherent tears because these people are just so amazing. But even those heavenly moments of crazy-lady love are so augmented by the constant presence of grief that happiness is now a completely different emotion than it once was...
When My Son Turned Moonlight into Torah
I would reach out over the edge of the cliff to feel the spray of the waves and to see the moonlight reflected off my fingernails. I closed my palm to grasp the silver rays, but the light was far, far away; it belonged to another world. A world I could not yet reach...
Riding Out the Storm
Dealing with Temper Tantrums
I don’t give into these explosions of emotions. I’ve read the literature that says to ignore and contain the tantruming child -- which I’ve tried to follow dutifully. But to my shock, dismay and even guilt that I have not raised her well, they keep on coming...
Pulling Away to Draw Close
I wonder if she is comforted knowing that as our relationship evolves Mommy is still here for her. Even though it appears that I’m pushing her away...
On-Ramps, Off-Ramps, and Mommy Ramps
It seems like women return to the work force after years at home are altering the workplace, beginning with the advent of a whole new language...
Mommy's First Day of School
When the Separation Anxiety is Mine
As I picked a little space in the corner, there was a tug on my skirt. Moo's shining, little face was upturned, "Gimme a kiss!" How could I refuse? And then, "Ok, bye Mommy."
Living in Perpetual Mourning
Raising a Severely Brain-Injured Child
I am here with my son, Adin, now seventeen years old. When he was two and a half he choked on a grape, sustaining a severe brain injury as a result of that horrific accident. For twelve years he remained relatively stable, but that all changed two years ago...
Waking Up on the Right Side of Me
When everyone is somewhat quietly engrossed in their food, I return to my room to try to wake myself up, thinking all the while, "It is 5:30 in the morning and I am being treated like a waitress." The rest of the morning doesn't usually go any better...
From Illness to Faith
Living with My Son's Crohn's Disease
At the outset, he had an extremely positive outlook and oftentimes said, "However uncomfortable I am right now, it could always be much worse." These self-soothing words were a source of comfort, motivation and positive perspective, all of which served as a real anchor...
The Juggler
Appreciating the Challenges of Motherhood
the broken vase on the floor is just that, a broken vase—and the spilled milk is easily cleaned up. Women who watch me ask me how I have such patience. The patience comes with perspective...
Learning to Mother Again After Losing My Baby to SIDS
The internet is an amazing thing. In an instant, mothers from all over the world can connect with each other online. We share interests, tips, stories about our children; we compare ourselves and pick one another apart...
The Importance of Space
Lessons From My Teenager
I began to "get it". My son is creating space to put new boundaries, those that will be established around his autonomy, independence and free spirit...
From Harvard to Homemaking
Everyone readily admits that parenting is physically and emotionally demanding. But, intellectually demanding? That's overlooked...
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