Category Archives: Think

Understanding the emotional language of boys

My two boys wrestle. They roll around on the floor, alternating who is pinned to the floor and who is on top. My oldest drags his brother around our home, all the while the little guy is laughing along gleefully. I have seen things escalate to aggressive headbutts and forceful shoves. And, I’ve seen them soften to cuddles, gentle pats and kisses.

emotionboys

My husband and I joke about our boys inability to be away from one another. Whether they are playfully roughhousing, kicking one another in anger, or sleepily snuggling together in our master bed, our boys are almost always engaged in some form of physical contact. Their emotional language is touch.

As a boy mom of more than five years, I have learned a fundamental difference between how young males and young females express themselves. I see this not only in my sons, but in other boys as well. Boys are are physical communicators and us female parents, teachers and caregivers need to respect that. Continue reading

Towing the privacy line as parent blogger

I started my blog in 2013 out of a need to keep writing (my lifelong creative outlet) and to vent about my struggles as a new mother. While, I understood anything I put online wasn’t technically private, I did little to promote my work and gain an audience beyond my family and a few random followers. My writing was raw and more like what I would journal in a private notebook than something worthy of a larger audience. However, even from the beginning, I hesitated to reveal every personal detail.

privacy

While, I want my blog to be a place where I can be candid about my experiences as a mother, I also need to be mindful of my family and how my writing impacts their lives. I am sure, I have already written plenty which could embarrass my children, which is why, I will never write anything which mentions their real names, or share photos of them with clear shots of their faces. I do understand that because I myself am not anonymous, there are ways for people to find out who they are, but I at least can make it more challenging. Continue reading

Come for the fun, stay for the traditions

“My favorite part of Passover is the presents and the matzo treasure hunt,”  said my five-year-old, the other day.

passover

For the unfamiliar, during the seder, or ritual Passover meal, a piece of matzo (unleavened bread), is broken off and hidden. Traditionally, the younger family members are tasked with finding the piece of matzo (known as the afikomen), and may be rewarded with a gift. The size and amount of prizes given are at the discretion of the host family. Growing up, I remember getting a lot of books. I am pretty sure my kids are getting better stuff, but hey, that’s grandparents for you!

No matter our individual religions, most of us parents can lament the overblown nature of the holidays. I imagine many of my Christian friends are wondering how Easter got so consumerized, and how much money they will drop on baskets, eggs and other trinkets. I agree, it can all seem a bit much. Continue reading

Bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex

BedroomsSex

Long before marriage and family was a possible thought in my brain, I watched an episode of a daytime talk show (I want to say it was Oprah), which would shape how I would eventually set up my home.

In this episode, a very famous decorator/designer (I want to say it was Nate Berkus), was the special guest, whose task was to revamp a couple’s home. I can’t recall what colors he painted their walls, or what artwork he picked for their living room or what curtains he hung on their windows. However, when it came to their bedroom, one thing the designer said planted itself in my brain:

“Bedrooms are for sleeping and for sex.” Continue reading

‘Mom Life: Perfection Pending’ is the book all moms need

MomLifeBookCover

This post contains an affiliate link. I get a small commission based on purchases made from this website.

Motherhood is far from perfect. In fact, it is often downright difficult. Yet, despite the numerous resources available to new moms or moms-to-be, very few provide the raw, in-depth truth they seek. Maybe, it is because people are afraid of “scaring” moms. Well, women are pretty tough, and moms are about as strong as you can get. To borrow from “A Few Good Men,” not only can we handle the truth, we need it, badly.

Enter, Mom Life: Perfection Pending, the new book, from Absolute Publishing, authored by beloved blogger, writer and meme-extraordinaire, Meredith Ethington. Continue reading

No two truths are alike

I am a terrible liar. Withholding truth manifests as physical discomfort in my body. Perhaps, this is why my five-year-old knows more about where babies come from than most of his peers, and I will probably end up buzz killing the tooth fairy. If there was an opposite for compulsive liars, it would be me. I am compulsively honest.

truth

My propensity toward the truth doesn’t mean I never lie, or skew the facts. There are aspects of my life, which I choose not to share on this blog, for example, as well as the general societal expectations, such as not telling a stranger you find there outfit unattractive. We all have to navigate our own reality.

We are a society craving authenticity. We want to experience things that are tangible and real. We want to read an article and not have to second-guess its motives. We want to follow our favorite influencers and trust they are presenting their true selves.

What is truth? Seems like a simple enough question to answer. Truth means facts. Truth is real. Truth is right. Truth cannot be debated or skewed. There is the truth and there are lies.  Continue reading

How I use cooking to encourage independence

Raising children is a lifelong lesson in letting go. From the moment they are born, our instinct is to protect them, to shield them, to make their lives easier. We help them with as much as we can — not because we are overprotective — but, because we love them and want them to succeed.

cookingindependence (2)

Ultimate success, however, comes by stepping back, and letting our kids do more on their own. Each age offers new opportunities for growth, and each family can decide what works best for them.

I look out for signs from my kids to guide me about when they might be ready to try new tasks. So, when my son, who is five, started insisting on making meatballs on his on, I let him. Continue reading

How I got bedtime back on track

Around the time my youngest turned two, he became difficult to put to bed. I would start his routine with a bath, then dress him in his pajamas, read him a story or two, and then cuddle for a bit. After a few minutes, however, he would jump out of bed and run downstairs. My husband or I would grab him and bring him back up, but inevitably he’d bolt again. It didn’t matter if one of us was in the room, he didn’t want to be there.

We tried leaving him in the room, but he would keep coming out. more agitated each time.

bedtimeontrack

Eventually, we would just give up, and let our son play downstairs. Mind you this was already well past 9 p.m., and eating into our chill time. Aside from the obvious reasons to get our kids to bed early, my husband and I were missing out on our time together.

You might be thinking, maybe you are putting him to bed too early? Maybe he just isn’t ready for bed before 10 p.m.?

Most toddlers need to be in bed well before 10, and mine is no exception. The day after a late bedtime, my child was cranky and miserable, until he inevitably crashed late in the afternoon, when even just a 30 minute nap would push his bedtime back by hours. It was a horrible cycle.

I had to get bedtime back on track. Continue reading

I see myself (and my kids) in pop culture

Staring up at the young performers in “Dear Evan Hansen,” watching in awe as they masterfully captured the angst, confusion, boredom and small joys of being teenagers, two thoughts popped in my head:

  1. Wow, this reminds me so much of high school. 
  2. Is this what my kids will be like?

I am privileged to say I have attended a number of Broadway shows, several with strong, emotional stories and engaging characters. When I watched these shows in my teens and my 20s, I felt their struggles and connected with their emotions. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what it was like to be a 20-something in the late 80s living in the East Village (RENT), or a sexually-confused teen in 19th-century Germany or green witch struggling to find acceptance in Oz (Wicked); I saw myself in those characters.

I See Myself (And My Kids) In Pop Culture

We all see ourselves in fictional characters, whether on the stage, screen or the page. It is what drives us to experience these stories. That deep connection. That sense of knowing exactly how a character feels. We are moved by them, because we are them. Continue reading

Here I am, 35 and OK

During the early 2000s, “Sex and the City” was one of the hottest shows on television. I, a young college student, watched in awe as those 30-something-year-old women gallivanted about New York City, enjoying an endless slew of men, fashion and cosmopolitans. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha seemed to have it all — great apartments, fabulous careers and access to the best clubs. Yet, no matter how wonderful their lives were, there was an undercurrent of emptiness following through the series.

35

This feeling was exemplified by the episode featuring Carrie’s 35th birthday. In one of the saddest displays ever seen on television, we find Carrie, sitting alone at a huge table, wondering when her friends will arrive. Making matters worse, at a nearby table, an exuberant young lady is celebrating her own birthday, at which she exclaims, “Twenty-five! Fuck, I’m old!”

I turn 35 this week, and as a married woman with kids, my life is very different than the one portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker on “Sex and the City.” Funny how when I watched the show in youth, I pictured my adult life involving lots of parties and a great career. Marriage and family were not top of mind. My life is very different than how I envisioned it at 19, and in many ways, I have what those women were striving for, a husband, a family – people with whom I can share my celebrations as well as sadness.

Continue reading