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Joys and Challenges

Tehilah: Our Answered Prayer
People said that, given our disabilities, we'd be irresponsible if we went ahead and had a baby.
Gopher Hunting
The road to maternal gratitude
“Loser! You are wasting your higher education on changing diapers and wiping runny noses! You are squandering your potential on scrubbing dirty dishes and baking macaroni and cheese casseroles!” It’s at moments like this that I know that no tape or book or inspiring thought can provide the heavy-duty help I need . . .
The Missing Ponytail
The Importance of Individuality in Children
It seems that my daughter is expected to appear in school each day with a ponytail, which is taken as a sign that she has a good mother. And I have foolishly allowed her to choose how she wishes to wear her hair . . .
Dear Chezi
A Letter to My Little Maccabee
I see you throwing things with an awesome force when you don't get your way. I see you running to me for protection when our turtle gets too close to your toes. And at the same time, I see you growing up, towering over me...
The Best Self-Help Guide
She asks for what she needs, recognizes what she doesn’t, and appreciates what she has. She never stops moving. Nothing is boring to her; everything has potential . . .
A Part of, Apart From
When Our Children Are Grown
Some things never change. The four seasons. The four directions. The hands on the clock. The rising of the sun and the moonlight in the trees. Mothers are here forever. Their children will always be their children...
If a mom can have the flu, can she also have a broken heart, a quick temper, or an absent-minded nature? Can we raise our children to be a little more whole than we are ourselves?
A Mother's Love
I hear the muffled volley of voices. First, the high pitched, tiny voice of my little girl; her pleading tone rings out clearly. Then the staccato angry bursts of my teenaged daughter's refusal...
The Game
I look at his pajamas, unzipped almost to his belly button. I think of the thousands of parents who, when confronted with this same situation, would end it with a slap. But that is not an option here...
Call Me Baby
"Call me baby. I'm the baby. Right, Mommy? I'm your baby?" I looked at him and then at his six-month-old sister and my mind started to analyze the situation. My son, the practical one, brought me back to reality...
My Jewish Mother's Top Ten List
Why do we focus on the bad and not on the good aspects of motherhood? It is the same reason, I realized later, that we complain about a splinter in our pinky toe rather than give thanks for our whole healthy bodies...
Measuring Up
What works for one mother may not work for another, and mothers get themselves into trouble when they try to conform to an overly narrow and constricting definition of what makes a "good" mother.
Daddy's Home
As a child of divorce whose father was awarded custody, my dad basically raised me. As a result, I felt well prepared to be a father, but not as prepared to be a mother...
With My Arms Open
Already at age five, I had moved much further beyond my own mother's boundaries than my daughter could ever imagine, and by age eleven, I had broken out of those boundaries entirely...
Another Sleepless Night
For the first time I realized, "Elana, this is spending quality time with your child. Instead of seeing it as a struggle and dreadful event, see it as a precious moment and enjoy it...
Let Freedom Spin
As they dance breathlessly and tell their stories with tulle and tiaras, I am struck by how free they are in their expression...
Mother's Milk, Mother's Faith
It's been two years. Two years of holding my son close to my heart and feeding him from the milk that flowed forth from my body. Two years of sleepless nights and exhausted days...
Down on the Floor
Burn-out is a wake-up call that we have lost touch with the inner reality and meaning of what we are doing...
The Unanswered Telephone
My daughter got married a little over a month ago, and for the first time, we are trying to learn a new way to relate. Let me rephrase that. I am trying to learn a new way to relate...
The Plunge
For the first time in my life, there is no visible record of my accomplishments. In fact, when done well, it is impossible to perceive parenting being done at all...
Finding a Better Mute Button
There is no question that American business expects you to be 100% focused on your work. Working from home therefore has its unique challenges, on numerous levels...
Mother the Grouch
There are days in my life when I think, "I am a great Mom. These kids are lucky to have me…I should give classes." And then there are other days...
A Survival Guide for Mothers
I remembered back to when Dina was a confident, upbeat, and thriving single woman. In contrast, during our conversation she seemed so tense, so exhausted, so distressed by her frequent power-struggles...
Honor My Mother?!
I am disgusted by the things my mother has done. She is old now and needs me, but there is nothing in her life that deserves respect. How can I respect her without losing my dignity?
Mommy, Don't Run Away
Through my daughter's persistent and insightful questioning, I was able to move beyond my confusion, and experience my own excitement...
Songs Of Innocence
My spiritual mentor drinks heavily, straight from the bottle. Most of his wisdom is culled from the works of Dr. Seuss and of a certain purple dinosaur
The Smell of Kid
I I wouldn’t exactly say I look “cool.” It’s 12:30 in the afternoon and I’m still in my pajamas. I’m carrying my bald headed beauty in utero, which definitely has a certain mystique, but only when I wear maternity clothes, otherwise I just look like I need to do some sit-ups...
When the Static Stops
Every day we travel down the highway of life. Yet there are times that we are tuned in and the reception is perfect and other times that we are so far away that all we hear is static...
A Matter of Thyme
The Importance of Family Dinners
As we sit together, laughing about anything and everything, savoring the meal and reviewing the day's events, I gaze at my children...
It is true that I spend the vast majority of my life in my house and I am a devoted wife. With that said, I am still very far from being the domestic goddess the term "housewife" evokes....
"If you don't eat, you'll die." Lovely expression, and so true. It comes from my grandmother. Isn't it wonderful how platitudes bridge the generation gap? Someday she will use it on her own children. If she doesn't, I will.
My heart is so full. So full that it aches. One day, you will understand it. But not for a little while. Not until you become a parent.
Dear Mom
Normally, I’d send her flowers for Mother’s Day, but this year I’m taking the opportunity to write her a letter. I hope she reads it and understands how much I truly value her...
A Jewish Boy's First Haircut
Musings from the mother of a newly “upsherined” boy
Then it was haircut time. I squeezed my eyes shut, half expecting the same cries I heard at his bris, which seems like it was just yesterday. But when I looked up, he was grinning.
It is those rare times when I can go that extra mile for them, when in times of trouble and distress I can swoop out of the sky and play Supermom-those are the highest, sweetest moments of my mothering life.
Seven Signs of Love
When the article continued with “the seven signs that show your child loves you,” I wondered if these basic signs were applicable in our love affair relationship with G-d...
Tantrum Season
I'm just Mommy. I'm not the most fun. I'm not the most playful. What I am is the most constant...
Inspiration, Anyone?
Don't you dare mistake this three dimensional work of art in progress for a heap of peculiar garbage. You chance to deeply offend its architect...
Digging for Treasure
There he goes again, the Treasure Hunter. Fifteen paces from the door. Turn left. Climb the hill. Gravel crumbles beneath his sneakers, and he slides a bit to the right while searching for a foothold. To my boy, it must seem like a mountain. And yet he climbs . . .
It’s the first word a baby learns to speak. It’s the kindest word in any language. It’s the name of G‑d.
Do Children Find G-d on Their Own?
Rarely do I stop searching for clues to his becoming traditionally orthodox, or a “Torah observing Jew,” as he would say. I struggle to identify the mistakes I made as a mother. Could it be that our crime was living in a predominantly Christian town that holds elections on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath?
The Sandwich Generation
As filling in this generational sandwich, I am constantly tested as well as blessed. Both my mother and my daughter color my life in different ways...
Fly Away Home
I'm not normally hyper-emotive over my kids, other than graduations, when I admit I fall to pieces. But the sight of those huge suitcases in his room turned me into one maudlin mom.
A Mother Who Stayed Home
In the parallel universe in my mind, I was there with them, looking at pictures on the wall. I anxiously awaited the end of the day, for my son's class to return home. Would he be a changed boy?
Room in the Pool
For one magical afternoon, there were no power struggles, no discipline problems, just one very wet mommy enjoying her kids as much as they were enjoying her...
When Two Becomes Three
The new arrival plunges its parents into the lifelong role and responsibility of motherhood and fatherhood. This is combined with the equally lifelong puzzle of how do we do it? There are no training schools for parenting...
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Drawing from my family experience, and those of my friends, I want to share some of these precious moments spoken with such innocence that it warms our heart and makes us chuckle out loud...
Risk Takers
To her, some things work, some don’t, but eventually you will figure it out. I love that attitude. I wish I had it. And actually, I better get it. Because at this rate, if I want to stay a few steps ahead I already have a lot of catching up to do.
Model Moms
I recently received a call from a journalist who asked me what I thought of the TV show "The Hottest Mom in America." The show is currently auditioning housewives desperately trying to convince producers that they are wonderful, hands-on mothers and also... well... hot. The reporter specifically wanted my opinion as a modern Jewish mom...
Wedding or Deal?
For two days I did mock job interviews with MBA students at an Ivy League business school. This was to prepare them for the real job interviews they will have soon afterwards with the biggest, hottest, most competitive companies today...
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