Category Archives: Inspire

Dealing with my “eco” mom guilt

Like many (maybe all?) moms, I often feel guilty about my parenting choices. Do I let my kids have too much screen time? Should I force them to eat more vegetables? Do I yell too much? I am ruining the environment just by raising a family?

That last question is one I have asked myself from the moment I had my first child. Living in an apartment at the time with a communal laundry room, cloth diapering was not practical option, so I used disposables. But, not just any disposables, mind you; I had to have the most natural, sustainably made diapers your could buy (read: the most expensive).

Using the fancy “eco” diapers made me feel a bit better. Still, I was worried about all the garbage I was adding to the world. I decided to try elimination communication, or the concept of letting babies/toddlers go diaper free as much as possible. I guess I did manage to reduce my diaper use, and my oldest did potty train on the earlier side, but I am not sure all the time spent cleaning up messes was worth it in the long run. When my second child came along, I was often too distracted by other matters to really focus on teaching him to use the toilet. He was in diapers much longer than my oldest.

Over the years my guilt over my family’s impact on the environment, has evolved to include, worrying about how much packaging we’re throwing away, wondering if we are being energy-efficient enough, and thinking about how to be less car dependent.

I also constantly consider choices that are best for my family and compare them with their impact on the environment. Like my choice to use disposable diapers, often my desire to help the Earth and my family don’t always align.

A more recent example, is driving. Where my family currently lives, we need a car to get to most places safely. You may ask why someone like me, who cares about the environment would live in such a place, but again, sometimes needs don’t always align. Right now, this is the best choice for my family.

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How To Celebrate Lag B’Omer

Lag B’Omer is a lesser-known Jewish celebration, which commerorates the 33rd day of the Omer, or time between the Jews leaving Egypt and their receiving of the Torah 40 days later.

So, what’s so special about the 33rd day, and why do we honor this occasion?

The answer depends on who you ask. However, many scholars believe Lag B’Omer is observed because, according to the Talmud, during the Omer, the esteemed sage Rabbi Akiva’s students were killed by the thousands, on all the days, save for the 33rd one.

Yikes! Seems like a dark reason for a celebration, but hey, have you seen pretty much every other Jewish festival? Celebrating not getting killed is our bread and butter, or bagel and schmear, if you prefer.

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How to engage kids in chores, from a mom who despises cleaning

From extra allowance to special gifts, there are plenty of ideas for encouraging kids to help out around the house.

While those techniques may work for many families — and I encourage you to do what’s best for yours — I have found other approaches work best for my own brood.

I should mention having a picture-perfect home is far from a priority for me. I myself am the type who’s desk is often scattered with papers, and I rarely make my own bed. I am hardly an expert when it comes to “keeping a home.”

Knowing all this, and you want to bail, I understand, otherwise continue reading for some tips from a messy mom like me.

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Rich, creamy vegan roasted cauliflower soup

My husband and I have made a point to eat more healthily this year, by making vegetables a bigger part of our diet.

Our go-to veggie of choice is cauliflower. Packed with nutrients, this versatile vegetable lends itself nicely to a number of dishes.

We particularly love cauliflower when it is roasted, and this past winter have enjoyed the warm flavor of my roasted, cauliflower soup (recipe to follow).

Note, I almost never use measuring tools while cooking savory foods, so the measurements are very much an approximation. Please adjust as needed to suit your taste.

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Five ways to make the Seder a meaningful experience for your whole family

Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday, and even as a child, I loved the ritual and storytelling of the Seder.

Now, as a parent, I enjoy witnessing my own kids share in these traditions. However, I realize they (and frankly many grownups), may have trouble engaging in the Passover Seder. And, if your Seders tend to run on the longer side, they can be very overwhelming for little ones.

However, with some preparation and creativity, you can help make the Seder a wonderful experience for guests of all ages.

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Purim for kids, the PJ Library way

Costumes, treats, permission to make random noise? No wonder kids love Purim so much!

Indeed, Purim is an exciting and fun-filled holiday, and the story of Esther risking her life to save her people is an intriguing and adventurous tale, but parents of young children may worry that the more “adult” themes of the Book of Esther are too advanced for their kids.

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During this pandemic, I am grateful for my marriage

My husband and I celebrated ten years of marriage in October — an impressive feat in any year — but, this year feels especially triumphant, considering how difficult these past several months of staying home, schools closing, job uncertainty and more have been on us and so many other couples.

This pandemic has pushed many marriages to the brink, and indeed, we know a few couples whose unions are already dissolved or soon will be.

Then, of course, there are those high-profile splits, including that of self-proclaimed life coach, Rachel Hollis, that have left us disillusioned over what exactly makes a lasting marriage.

Did these couples fall suddenly out of love? Or, were there deeper issues uprooted by the challenges imposed by an unprecedented pandemic?

I wonder why other couples are struggling, while my husband and I, so far any way, have come through this mostly unscathed.

More than unscathed, I would argue or relationship has strengthened and evolved, as if the shared experience of going through hardship together has forged a greater bond.

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Handy parenting tips for each stage of your child’s development

By Kristin Louis

Parenthood enriches your life in many ways, allowing you to experience the world anew through the fresh eyes of a child. Being a mom or dad can also get stressful, however, resulting in negative consequences for your own health—and negatively impacting kids, too. 

Luckily, there are many useful resources available to make your role easier at every stage of your child’s development. Maybe I’ll Shower Today wants everyone in your family, from youngest to oldest, to be happy and healthy, so read on. 

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Planting trees and more ways to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, or Jewish Earth Day

Spending time in nature and appreciating the beauty of the world around them is an ideal I hope to instill in my kids that will stay with them for years to come.

Tu B’Shevat, which begins at sundown on January 27 and ends at nightfall on January 28, is known widely as the new year of the trees, or Jewish Earth Day. In Israel, this time of year is when the most rain falls, rain that we as Jews pray for, rain that brings fourth new life and new hope. We celebrate by eating new fruits and expressing our appreciation for new life.

Of course, if you live in area of the world that is smack in the middle of the cold winter months, it’s hard to imagine celebrating a holiday about growth and renewal.

Yet, even those of us living in colder climates can find ways to get out into nature and appreciate the beauty of the world.

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Spice up your family’s health with these flavorful recipes

Getting kids to eat healthy is a battle I know all too well. From artistic uses of fruit, to “hiding” vegetables, parents seem to have to go through extreme lengths just to add some nutritious foods into our children’s diet.

While eating produce is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and sometimes we do need to get creative with our recipes, there is an even easier way to add nutrition to your family meals, and chances are, you already are doing it.

Herbs and spices, the stuff you pull from your pantry to add flavor to your favorite dishes are packed with the vitamins and minerals our families need to promote healthy living. From improving digestion, reducing inflammation, to boosting immunity, just a pinch or two of these small, but mighty spices cand do wonders for your nutrition.

Read on for some delicious ideas to add flavor and health to your family meals.

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