During our first few years of marriage, when my husband and I were in the thick of dirty diapers, sleepless nights, stress-induced fights and the general haze of early parenthood, I would wonder why more couples weren’t splitting up during this time.
I had no data to back this up, just my observations of couples we knew, who had been married for many years, and had decided to separate. I couldn’t understand what had driven them apart. After all, their kids were grown up, or at least old enough to not be a major source of stress, and, in theory, they had more time for one another.
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.
“The Old Cocoon,” by April O’Leary arrived in my mailbox just when I needed the encouragement.
After weeks agonizing over our children’s education, reviewing statistics, reading through our district’s plans, and consulting with our friends and family, my husband and I submitted the forms to enroll them in their respective, modified, in-person learning options.
Though the deed was done, I still felt anxious about my choice. I was scared about the future, frightened by the uncertainty. Did we do the right thing? How will our children handle this “new normal?”
I am comforted by knowledge and being able to control situations. Yet, as we all know, these days, that’s a difficult task.
Reading “The Old Cocoon” reminded me of the beauty of change and how we can embrace the future with hope, knowing we are held by those who love and support us.
Through a beautiful, 34-page tale of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly, O’Leary addresses the hardship and fear of change, while offering a path toward acceptance and positivity.
I believe people of all ages will appreciate this beautiful story. The words are uplifting, genuine and heartfelt. They are truly written with love and a passion for helping others.
I especially feel this is a wonderful story for parents and children to read together as the school year begins (whether virtual or in-person) across the country.
“The Old Cocoon” can serve as a tool for discussing your child’s concerns about school, wearing masks, canceled trips or any other “disruptions” caused by the current pandemic.
Even beyond the uncertainty of the current global environment, “The Old Cocoon” will guide you and your loved ones through such moments as the death of a loved one, moving to a new city, or the ending of a long friendship.
Now available with the limited time offer to “Buy One Get One” via the O’Leary Publishing website, “The Old Cocoon,” which is designed to fit easily inside most standard greeting cards, is a wonderful gift of hope and comfort to deliver to the loved ones in our lives.
And as a special gift to you, I will be giving away four copies of “The Old Cocoon” to the first four people who comment on this post with how they think this book can help them or someone they love.
“The Old Cocoon” is available for purchase through O’Leary Publishing and on Amazon in both soft cover and Kindle format.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All views expressed are my own.
Our human bodies are marvels of creation. We are divinely crafted specimens, whose intricate functionality surpasses even the most advanced of machinery. Every part of us moves in beautiful synchronicity to enable us to live out our lives as best as we are able. And flowing through our impressive vessels are hormones, perhaps one of our greatest gifts from G-d.
Hormones? Are we seriously talking about those things which caused our faces to turn into bumpy messes as teens, and turns us into irrational rage machines about three quarters of every month? What’s so great about hormones?
If you stop and think about some of the greatest moments in your life — the moment you first fell in love with your spouse, your wedding day, the birth of your first child — almost every one of them can be attributed to hormones, those strange chemicals in our bodies which make us who we are and influence so many of our decisions. Continue reading →
I supported and believed in basic human rights for LGBTQIA folks long before I had children. And, now that I have kids, and understand how relatively easy I have it by comparison, I believe it is just as important — if not more — to continue to stand with my gay friends and family and to show my own children that indeed love is love.
Large crowds make me uncomfortable, and you often won’t find me at large marches or protests, even if they are for causes I support in other ways. I am also vary weary of hostile opposition, and the mama bear in me wants to keep my kids away at all costs. However, I make an exception for gay pride and related events, because, my experience with them is always positive and enlightening. Continue reading →
Three years ago, you wasted no time vacating my womb. You had a world to explore and life to get living, and you weren’t letting a little thing like birth stand in your way. Nope, you cannonball-blasted your way out of my body and straight on to your next adventure.
Things weren’t so smooth, at first. In your eagerness to baby born, you were met with some adversity. Your body fought hard to keep up with your tenacious spirit. Your strength, gifted doctors and the faith of loved ones, pulled you through. You were here to stay. Continue reading →
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:
Thanksgiving has passed. The store shelves are stocked with ornaments, tinsel, and lights. The mainstream radio stations are playing holiday tunes. Holly and pine adorn streetlights and shop windows. Santa and his elves are depicted in countless commercials. Christmas season is here.
As a Jewish mom in a predominantly Christian society, I do feel a need to shield my kids from the Christmas stuff. The lights, the tree, Santa, the presents—I get it—it’s pretty awesome. I can’t blame my 5-year-old for wanting in on the action.
I could respond by playing up Hanukkah, telling him we get eight nights of presents instead of one. Or I could diminish the role of Christmas in our secular society, and hope he just gets over it.
Instead, I will share with my son all of the wonderful teachings of Christmas. Continue reading →
It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m catching up on Facebook after spending a lovely morning disconnected from technology and reconnecting with my body and soul.
I was blissfully unaware of the ugliness happening around me. With a quick scroll through Facebook, that ignorance quickly faded away.
I read post after post about Virginia. I see pictures of young men who would rather I not be in this country, let alone exist. It doesn’t matter that I’m a third generation American — more than many of them, I’m sure. It doesn’t matter that both of my grandfathers fought for the United States during World War II. I’m Jewish, so that’s just not good enough. My family isn’t good enough.
The fear, worry and anger of my friends is reflected online. As I scroll through my feed, my heart sinks. This is not the world I want for my kids.
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