The Up Side to Losing my Temper at My Kids


I love motherhood. I do. But the biggest challenge, I find, is not losing my cool. It is not easy to stay calm in the face of little screaming, whining people. Cute little people who are pulling on my skirt and asking a trillion questions, repeatedly, incessantly.

Whenever I would lose my temper, I would berate myself for it. I had read enough parenting articles, books, attended enough parenting classes to have internalized the horrible side effects of getting angry at my kids.

So not only would I get angry, but then I would feel despondent immediately afterwards. Fun!

I wrote about how I dealt with those difficult emotions, and how, even though I’m not finished with my work to minimize my anger, I can see a silver lining to losing my temper. It’s up over at Kveller today, so go read it and let me know what you think!

anger's silver linings

Why I Love Restrictions


Yesterday I saw an advertisement for a vacation to Tasmania. It extolled the beauty of the land’s rugged landscape as well as the friendliness and easygoing disposition of the local population.

When I read about far-flung places, I image what it would take for us to go there. The logistics of traveling with four small children notwithstanding, just thinking about if it would be a possibility. How tricky would it be to eat there? Would there be any anti-Semitism which would necessitate being very incognito?

Going through this mental checklist caused me a moment of angst. For a moment, a too long moment, I felt frustrated. I wished that I could just pick up and go visit anywhere in the world that I wanted to without having to worry about kashrus or Jewish safety issues.

I’m very happy with my life and with the choices I’ve made. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t have twinges of not exactly regret, but a second cousin to that emotion. After the feeling of frustration at the restrictions I’ve brought upon myself mellowed, I thought about the trade off.

Continue reading

Of Interest – June


GUYS!!! My kids are in camp. For the first time since we moved to Cleveland, I have a significant stretch of time where there is this thing called, wait, I can’t quite remember, oh yeah. QUIET.

Though, as much as I may kvetch about how it’s been challenging to do things like go grocery shopping, or hear myself think, I have really enjoyed these past few months with my kids. I’ll probably write about it. Now that I have the time to write.

Today’s post is your monthly collection of things I’ve found around the internet that you may or may not be interested in. It’s a short one this month. Feel free to link to interesting things you’ve seen down in the comments!  Continue reading

Do I Really Want Facebook to Just Be Pictures of Babies and Food?


Last week I saw a Facebook post which got me all emotional in a defensive way, and, after some (not enough) reflection, I commented, even though I was aware that my opinion might not be well-received. I rationalized my decision to comment by telling myself that if we only comment on posts that we agree with, we miss out on the chance for dialogue, and, importantly, on the chance to connect with others whose views diverge from our own.

In theory, that’s great. In practice, I ended up feeling a lot of regret for wading into a discussion where I felt like I came off sounding like a backwards, insensitive person. I don’t feel like I expressed my views very clearly, and I don’t feel like I was heard. In short, I’ve felt very uneasy about it since it happened. I feel like I was inadvertently offensive, and that feels horrible. The one silver lining is that I did learn something from the interaction, I did grow from it. So it’s not like it was worthless, but it was painful.

In the aftermath of that contentious interaction, I began to miss the days where Facebook was simply friends sharing pictures and moments from their lives. When it was a just nice way to connect with my friends who lived too far for me to have coffee with. Before politics and news filled so much of my feed. Continue reading

Rosh Chodesh Video Series


I know, it’s a little unexpected to have another post from me since I just posted yesterday, but hopefully it’s a pleasant surprise. Right? Right. Right?

In any case, I’ve been asked to do some more videos, and I had an idea to do a short video each Rosh Chodesh. Here’s the first one, where I muse about how what we put in is what comes out. Yeah, maybe just watch the video to see what I’m talking about.

The Not Quite Definitive Guide to Long-Distance Moving


I absolutely love getting mail from readers, and have been fortunate to get both emails AND mail mail. Like letters. In envelopes. From other countries, even (you know who you are – thank you!!).

Recently I got an email from someone who may be moving soon to a different state, and wanted to know about 1) how to pack kitchen things, 2) cost effective moving methods, and 3) what to do with her valuable items, like a big menorah, since they would be flying to their new location and shipping their stuff. Also, she wanted to know 4) what’s good to sell in the old location and buy new in their new city.

Between my mother and I, we’ve moved about a dozen and a half times, plus I crowdsourced a little bit, so while I’m not going to say this is a definitive guide to long-distance moving, I hope it’s a good start. And I hope that some of you who’ve had experience in this area will chime in in the comments (which I also love, by the way, the comments. Love them) with your expertise. Continue reading

The Only Thing That Is Keeping Me Sane


I’m getting that colorful beachball of doom again on my laptop. The spinning wheel that portends potential crashing and loss of many, many precious files. Unless things are backed up, which they mainly are on my laptop, except for, ironically, my pictures, which are practically the only thing I value on here.

My life has felt a lot like that spinning color wheel lately. The reality of all my children being home with me the whole day – except my daughter, who is out of the house from nine to noon – basically means that I can’t keep up with the housework, which means that I often feel like the walls are closing in on me.

The only reason I can even type right now is because I did two or three loads of laundry (I lost track), the dishes have been washed or are in the washer, and the random books, clothes and toys have been cleared from the floor. Continue reading