Archive by Author

The Weeping Mess, The Beautiful Doll

16 Jan

I’ve been coming back to this space quite a bit in the few weeks. Not to write, but to read.

A month ago, an old post popped up on my Timehop. OLD. 5 years old to be exact. From the first days that this  blog existed. Before I had thousands of readers.

Before I lost most of those thousands.

I read the post and was horrified. Horrified by my abysmal writing style. My inability to craft a clear narrative.

Even more horrified by the dramatic, whiny, insufferable version of myself that wrote that post.

When I talked about the post with my therapist I talked about “her”. About how “she” was a drama queen who didn’t know how good she had it. About how annoying and insipid “she” was.

My therapist called me on my bullshit. Yes, I need to be more compassionate toward myself. Toward my old self.

I hadn’t been here in quite a while when that post popped up and brought me back.

So I’ve been reading. Over and over. Re-processing events I described here in detail but that I don’t even remember happening. Grieving for my son again.

The most enlightening revelation has been how clearly and absolutely I understood my own neuroses at any given moment. I read these clear descriptions of them – my anxiety, my tendency to disconnect, my depression. I understand that those descriptions were written in a fog, but the clarity of them is not lost on me.

I was more aware of myself than I thought.


Yesterday, in a fit of boredom I took one of those personality tests. How strongly I agree or disagree with statements like “I like to be the center of attention.” and “I keep my living space tidy and organized.”

Several times over I selected an answer, then stopped myself and selected the complete opposite. What I was, and what I am.


I’ve been in a weight loss group for the last couple of months, in an effort to rehab some unhealthy habits. I usually show up wearing a tunic and leggings – my old “constant pregnancy” wardrobe. An outfit I throw on to be comfortable after work.

On Wednesday night I ran into the group wearing a dress and heels, full makeup, and a rushed demeanor. I’d come in to get weighed and leave. Client meetings back to back and a trip to the UK next week. I couldn’t stay. I’d shown up wearing my strong, put-together persona. Not the usual vulnerable mess that steps on the scale.

The next day the woman who heads up the group (who I love), called me. It was to catch up since I missed the group but I also knew she was curious. She didn’t recognize the frantic, put-together woman that she had seen the night before. She told me I looked “like a beautiful doll”.

She seemed surprised and amazed that the person who sometimes leaves her group a wet, sobbing mess was also a high-functioning professional.

She knew the messy part. The mother that openly wept the week before when she spoke about pleasing everyone but yourself.

The other part was foreign to her. Energetic, smiling. A”beautiful doll.”


This last week has been busy. My manager was in from New York and I was in meetings all day, every day. I ran home in the evening, all makeup and heels, to hug my daughter and put her to bed.

And every evening she looked at me and said that my dress was pretty. That she liked the flower pattern on my tights. She touched my made up eyes and asked “what is this?”

On Thursday night when I got home I hugged her tightly and told her I had missed her. When I looked her in the eyes she smiled and said “mommy!” in a way that I knew – I just knew she was seeing me. Truly SEEING me.

The energetic, smiling, “beautiful doll” was present and accounted for.


I don’t know where this long, meandering post is going. Maybe it’s a tribute to that other long, meandering post that stirred up my ire a few weeks ago. That made me confront “her”.

Worlds collided this week. My daughter saw my heels and makeup. The weeping mess met the “business woman here on business“.

Perhaps this post is about melding the two. Re-embracing “her”. Accepting her for the train wreck that she was. That she is. That I am.

Because she’s still here. She IS the beautiful doll. She is the weeping mess.

It’s just that those two don’t seem to be on speaking terms very often.

I wonder if they’ll continue to be mutually exclusive.

Maybe worlds are coming together. Maybe not.

Maybe 5 years from now I’ll read this and barely recognize myself.


Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.


Forgive Me Flying Spaghetti Monster, For I Have Peed

29 Nov

In my defense, I’m 8 days late.

Look, just the thought of spelling out when my last period was, or breaking out the old acronyms (AF! PCOS! HPT! PUKE!) is making me a little queasy. Long story short:

My cycle gets out of whack when I am over a certain weight.

I started stress eating when we decided to stop preventing.

I am now over that certain weight.

Que the whomp-whomp sound effects.

So either I was subconsciously sabotaging myself, or…

Ok –  I was probably subconsciously sabotaging myself.

Regardless, the diet begins this week. Because 3 pee sticks and the scale have told me that apparently I have to make a conscious effort.


(You may now commence the throwing of the stuff and things)

I Always Wanted 3 Kids

12 Nov

That’s what I told Shmerson tonight as we were wrapping up a meltdown by me which morphed into a semi-fight, which then morphed into a productive conversation.

We’ve made a lot of big decisions around here lately, but we’ve made them with little fanfare and even fewer “official declarations”.

I felt like we had to make it official.

Me: So do you think we’re ready for another kid?

Shmerson: Yes. I think we’re not ready now but we’ll be ready by the time we have the baby. That’s what happened with Lili.


Me: True. Who knows how long this will actually take, assuming it works.

Shmerson: But I don’t think I can do a third. 

Me: I didn’t think I could do a second up until a couple of months ago. 


Me: But I always wanted three. Having another one will make it three. 


He’s been visiting me a lot over the last few weeks. My baby boy. Maybe because I want to have a boy now.

Maybe because there’s a small part of me that’s terrified.

What if something goes wrong again? Am I really equipped to handle this?

Me: We need to find another name for a girl. We have a name for a boy ready but not another for a girl. 

Shmerson: You’re not even pregnant yet. 

Me: When I got pregnant with him, I wanted a girl. That’s been eating at me ever since. Lili had her name before he had his. He only got his name when we found out he was a boy. 

That can’t happen. If I get pregnant with a girl, she has to have a name in advance. She has to know that she is wanted. Even if I do want to give Lili a little brother. A little sister would be just as welcome, just as loved. We have to have a name. 

Shmerson: Ok, we’ll have a name. We’ll come up with a name.

Fuck. I guess we’re in this.


PS: Still not peeing on sticks or monitoring, so no need to throw stuff.

Howdy, Stranger!

3 Nov

When I typed my blog’s URL in my browser, it wasn’t the first link to auto-complete. That’s how long it’s been.

And I’m ok with that. These last few months have been pretty exhausting, and pretty awesome too. Bunny’s growing. Work is great. Shmerson and I are great.

And now I’m here.

I was going to end the post with “Anyone wanna guess why?”

But that was for the one hot minute that I forgot who my audience is.

No, I’m not pregnant.

But as of a couple of weeks ago – we’ve officially stopped preventing. I’m not saying we’re trying. I’m not going down that rabbit hole. We’re not trying.

We’re just not preventing.

I’ve somehow gained 5 pounds in the last two weeks. I haven’t gained an ounce in over a year.

So… Yeah.

Now everyone is updated. Which gives me the permission to come back here and spill my guts as-needed. If needed. Who knows.

But in the name of all that is holy/spaghetti-related, if I start peeing on sticks I officially give you all permission to troll me, or even better – fly over to Tel Aviv and throw stuff at me.

Because I refuse to do that to myself, my marriage, or my daughter. We are going to do this like any normal stupidly lucky super-fertile couple would do it. Which is irresponsibly and ignorantly. Otherwise I will most likely lose my shit. And I’ve got too much stuff to get done to lose my shit. So I refuse to lose my shit.

I hereby solemnly swear that there will be no temping. No ovulation sticks. No cycle day counting. NONE! NONE I TELL YOU!

(Now all I have to do is stick to that. Wish me luck. Here goes nothing.)

Owning It

26 Jun

Never for a moment did I think 4 months would pass in silence here.

Or maybe I did.

This space lies dormant as my life is a wonderful whirlwind of challenges, triumphs, travel, and motherhood.

Are things perfect? Not even close. I struggle daily as my career has gone from zero to sixty, and I find myself leaving Bunny far more often than I ever thought I would.

I struggle to understand my role as a mother, both amidst my ambitious, careerist nature, and the legacy of loss that has brought me to my wonderful little girl. I originally wrote “baby girl” but she’s not really a baby anymore.

I would post 100 pictures of her here. But she’s too big now. It no longer feels right. She has found her own identity.

As have I.

I have re-embraced my drive and ambition and “leaned in” with all of my might. At the same time, trying to push away the demon that is my ingrained image of what a mother is supposed to be. One who only has her children, and nothing else. That is what I grew up with and I am working like hell to break loose of it.

I am carving out a path that is far different than the one my mother demonstrated. That of an equal partnership, equal parenting, and being a strong, ambitious mother who is building a career.

I can only hope that what I’m modeling for my daughter will be an inspiration and not a hindrance. I assume, like all parents, I’ll most likely be responsible for hours of therapy sessions and countless issues.  I have to be ok with that. Because every parent messes up their kid. They just do it differently than their parents before them.

I’m muddling through it, working on embracing motherhood. Working through the anxiety of being different and trying to balance it all. Working through what it means to raise my daughter, while being who I am naturally, but also recognizing the fight and legacy of loss that brought her into my life.

And coming into my own.

For the first time – most likely ever – I feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel absolutely grateful for what I have, and I’m trying to embrace this contentment.

My mother-in-law commented today that I keep on losing weight.

I told her I actually haven’t lost a gram.

Maybe it just re-distributed?

Nope. I’m the same size. Everything fits the same.

So what’s changed?

I hold myself up – just a little higher.

And everything I have at this exact moment? It would not have happened without everything that had come before it – for better, for worse.

Will I return here more often? If I were a betting woman, I’d say yes. But not yet. Not quite.

There will be a moment, sometime in the future, when we will decide it’s time to try to make us a family of four.

And when we decide to jump back into that freezing ocean, I hope this place will continue to be a warm retreat.

And I hope some of you will still be around.

In the meantime, we are basking in the sun, and embracing chaos, routine, and contentment.

I wish all of you the same. I’ll see you again soon.


Birthday Boy

21 Feb

This week I’ve been teetering between being on the verge of tears and working so much I don’t have to think or feel.

Yesterday at the office, work was no longer enough. I locked myself in a room and cried until I couldn’t any more.

Lucky my little corner of the open space hides my face.

He’s been moody. Blaming work stress, but we both know that’s an excuse.

She’s been clingy. Maybe she’s taking her cues off of me and him. Maybe it’s because I went away for five days and she’s still recovering from that. Maybe it’s because she’s cutting another tooth.

Last night she woke up crying and I went in to comfort her. I started singing, but my voice broke. I cried and cried until he heard me and came in to take her.

This afternoon as he slept, we played. Puzzles. Play dough. Dr. Seuss. Looking at her through a fog. Smiling, but not present.

It was my turn to read her stories and put her to bed. But he did it. I didn’t think I could manage it.

She wakes up crying. Once. Twice. Three times. When he goes in, she yells “momma”. When I go in she yells “aba”. Always both of us. One is not enough tonight.

The fourth time she’s burning up. He asks her if her mouth hurts. She points at it and says “mouth”. We give her something to break the fever. Put her back down in her bed.

Up she goes again. Five times. Six times. She’s feeling better now. But is too wide awake.

The seventh time comes and she’s screaming.

“Maybe I should just take her to our bed and let her fall asleep on me?”

“That hardly works any more.”

I insist.

“Well, nothing else is working.”

“Will you be ok?”

“I think so.”

I go in and pick up my baby girl. She’s red and raw with tears. I take her to our room. She calms.

I hold her on me. She rolls next to me. I put my arms around her and start to rock gently.


She gently starts whispering a song to herself about the rain. She claps her hands quietly. She strokes my face.


Her breathing slows.

As February 20th ends and the 21st begins, she grabs my finger with her tiny hand and whispers “momma” as she finally drifts off to sleep.

I whisper back.


I put her back in her bed. Deep in slumber. Quiet.

1am on February 21st and the tears come back again.

Not sure if they’re happy or sad. Not sure if they’re for her, for me, for her father.

But I am sure of one thing.

They are always for him.

Happy third birthday, precious boy.

These tears I’ve cried
I’ve cried 1000 oceans
And if it seems
I’m floating in the darkness
Well, I can’t believe that I would keep
Keep you from flying
And I would cry 1000 more
If that’s what it takes
To sail you home
Sail you home
Sail you home

I’m aware what the rules are
But you know that I will run
You know that I will follow you
Over silbury hill
Through the solar field
You know that I will follow you

And if I find you
Will you still remeber
Playing at trains
Or does this litte blue ball
Just fade away
Over silbury hill
Through the solar field
You know that I will follow you
I’m aware what the rules are
But you know that I will run
You know that I will follow you

These tears I’ve cried
I’ve cried 1000 oceans
And if it seems
I’m floating in the darkness
Well I can’t believe that I would keep
Keep you from flying
So I will cry 1000 more
If that’s what it takes
To sail you home
Sail you home
Sail you home
Sail you home


The Big Podcast Giveaway

15 Feb

**Disclaimer: This post was written with the consent of only one other person, though I believe is respectful to other people’s ownership of the Bitter Infertiles podcast. I have made every effort to do so.

Two and a half years ago, in an attempt to find some healing, I had an idea. That idea later became a podcast. It was a podcast that originally started with four hosts, then down to three, then down to none.

There were a lot of reasons we stopped doing it. Some would say it was “drama” because there was a backlash that the three remaining hosts were all pregnant. Some would say there was “drama” behind the scenes.

But that’s not the truth. Yes, there was backlash. There was some drama behind the scenes. But I think most of you know me well enough to know I can deal with backlash and I thrive on drama.

That’s not why we shut down. Not really.

We shut down because I, being the primary driving force behind it, was very down. It was February. I was just heading into bed rest and dealing with Nadav’s first birthday. I was struggling. I couldn’t keep it going because I just couldn’t find the energy.

Then other stuff happened. But we won’t go into that.

A couple of months ago, me and one of the other hosts had a lovely discussion about possibly passing the torch. The BI podcast was important to us. It was important to a lot of people. It should have a chance to thrive.

We still hadn’t figured out the semantics of how to pass on the torch without hurting feelings. Because we knew it didn’t just belong to the two of us. It was a discussion. We were getting there.

Then another host decided to beat us to the punch without thinking about others’ feelings or discussing it with us. Which inevitably has forced our hand.

Notice I’m not naming names. If you know, you know. That’s fine.

I am not writing this to start a flame war. Because the truth is the person who “forced our hand” had a darn good idea, despite the very bad way she chose to go about sharing it. The past is the past. I have bigger and more productive things to do. And I don’t want this amazing thing, which a lot of people worked very hard to make happen, to be marred with bitterness and BS.

Here’s the thing: This podcast was and is bigger than egos. Bigger than passive aggressive BS. Bigger than drama. It meant a lot to a lot of people It meant a lot to me and the other hosts.

So after discussing it at length with one of the hosts, I am passing the torch, because I know I am no longer built to hold it.

I am passing it on with fairness and love of what it was, what it can be, and the good it has done.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

If you want to take up the Bitter Infertiles brand, complete with iTunes approval, blog and gmail access, podcast hosting service password, EVERYTHING, send me an email and tell me why you want it and what you’d like to do with it.

I will forward your email to ALL FOUR ORIGINAL HOSTS of the podcast. Because we all deserve a say. There will not be drama, we will vote on the merit of the person who wants it. Nothing more.

When a consensus is reached – and it will be reached because I don’t intend on making any of this personal –  the new owner will be announced on this blog and on the BI blog, and will be handed the keys to the kingdom.

A few things to keep in mind:

1) Running a podcast costs money, and the more popular it gets, the more it costs because of hosting and streaming costs. At its peak, I was spending $300 dollars a month to keep the podcast running. You can try to crowdfund it, but whatever you do, you need to find a way to fund it.

2) This will take a lot of time out of your week. I spent an average of 5 hours a week planning, answering emails, and booking guests, 2 hours recording, then anywhere between 5-10 hours editing the podcast every week.

3) Running it requires a minimal knowledge of audio editing and exporting.

4) This podcast meant a lot to a lot of people. Please be willing to take my baby and nurture it for the long haul. I can promise you the rewards are worth the hard work.

When something is created, all of its creators deserve credit and a say. This is the way to do it. I want this podcast to live on. I can’t keep it going myself.

Though I hope whoever takes it over will let me and the rest of the girls drop by for a visit every once in a while.

So… Who’s up? Feel free to share this post with anyone who you think would be a good fit.

The Gap That Is and Isn’t

4 Jan

There’s a community I used to belong to. A community that saved me on my worst days. A community I left with a protesting whimper.

Every once in a while I check in. I pop into the old reader and see what’s going on. Every time I see why I left. Every time I understand it was the right decision for me.

But I still check in. I see the debate. The infighting. The pain. The ongoing triumphs and tragedies.

And when I do, I get thrown back to the days I was a train wreck myself. I find myself being what made me so angry so long ago. A spectator.

So on nights like these, when I go through and click on links from the yearly list I stopped being a part of…

Nights like these are when I cry for my Nadav.

I cry for him and sneak into Bunny’s room, just to see that my little girl is breathing.

Then I pick myself up and realize that I am still glad I left.

I left because I have chosen to move on. This space is still my space, I am still a part of that club. But I choose not to be an active member.

I choose to forget the meaning of BLM and TTC and PCOS and TWW.

On nights like these, if Shmerson is up, I usually tell him I miss Nadav. Because on nights like these I do.


I read about a mother telling her four year old son again about the older brother he’ll never meet. And I wonder – will I tell my four year old daughter the same?

No. She is here and ever present. He was here and fleeting. He was and always will be a gap. An abstract. Something that could have been, that never was. Someone I loved more than anyone I loved before him. Until now.

Had he been there, my lovely amazing wonderful little girl would not be.

And she is here. And she is present. And messy. And scary. And wonderful.

No. I won’t tell.

There will be a day, when the time is right, when I will tell my little girl the reason her dad was the one who dropped her off at daycare every day.

The reason he talks to her teachers and not me. The reason I cry sometimes when I read her a story. And sometimes when I tickle her. And sometimes just when I look in her eyes.

The reason the paintings hanging on our walls are abstract.

That they are what he is to me. And abstract that hangs on the wall in my daily life. Often overlooked, sometimes lingered upon.

I will tell her one day. But she will no longer be my baby girl when she learns the reason her momma used to be a much sadder person.


I read about a mother about to lose her son at 19 weeks. I click to her home page and see she now has another on the way. I see how slowly she is embracing the physical. The present. The “what is” and not the “what should have been.”  I am happy for her.

I read about a mother visiting her daughter’s grave. I wonder where my son is buried. I cry and cry and cry for him.

But then I stop. I look at my daughter sleeping. I pick up discarded pacifiers from the floor. I straighten her blanket and feel a sense of calm.


Loss broke me. Loss shattered everything i was. I am still picking up the pieces. I am rebuilding. Trying all at once to capture what once was and reconcile it with what is.

I am building up. Slowly. Slowly.

Building my career. Building my sense of self. Building my identity.

Nights like these I dive back into a world I lived in for years. A world I loved and hated. A world that saved me. But a world I am no longer a part of – at least not in the way I used to be.

A world I choose to stay away from because I am building bridges over gaps rather than staring at them.

I build and build. Sometimes the bridges fall. But mostly they stay up.

Nights like this a brick falls off of the bridge, into the big gap. The one that had to happen for us to be here. In the present.

Building bridges, building contentment.


Today I was folding laundry. Bunny can’t stay away from our bedroom when I fold laundry. She loves climbing on the bed, getting eaten by the tickle monster and bouncing up and down to the horsey song.

Shmerson and I look at each other and smile as she struggles to stand on the wobbly bed so she can bounce.

I look at him and say:

“You know another great thing about waiting another year or two? By then she’ll be in municipal preschool so we won’t have to pay for daycare twice.”

He nods.

I start singing the horsey song and Bunny bounces until she falls back, giggling.

There is no gap when that laughter is heard. There is only her. Only us.

“Abba. Mama. Una. Yiyi.”

Shmerson, and me, and Luna and Lili. There is no gap when her voice fills the hallway, squealing those names gleefully.

“Abba. Mama. Una. Yiyi.”


I look up at his paintings. Wipe my nose. Long day tomorrow. Wonder what I’ll make Bunny for dinner.

Good night.

4 Years, 500 (and One) Posts

18 Dec

Me: Hey! Hey you over there!

Me: Yeah, what? Oh crap. What are you doing here?

Me: Just thought I’d come by and say hello.

Me: Hello! Bye now!

Me: Aw come on don’t be like that!

Me: Look, I like you. Really I do. But I’m just not ready to restart our relationship.

Me: I saw some choice pee sticks at the pharmacy today. You know they’ve got ones that tell you how far along you are? I wanted to pee on them right then and there!

Me: Do you in any way think I find that story tempting? Besides, you know better than I do that beta levels aren’t really that indicative of the age of your pregnancy.

Me: So are you telling me the pee stick makers are LYING?

Me: Yes. It’s just a way to get more money out of women. Those tests are very inexact. You know the only way to actually date a pregnancy is –

Me: Do you want to talk about it? Let’s talk about betas!

Me: Oh hell no! This has already gone far enough, thankyouverymuch.

Me: Come on! Let’s play the pregnancy symptom scavenger hunt! Let’s pee on all the things!

Me: No. I’ve got Bunny and Shmerson and my career right now. That’s enough.

Me: Look how cute Bunny is! You know you want another one!

Me: Not now. I promise I’ll call you when I’m ready.

Me: You swear? This isn’t one of those things like when assholes say “let’s do lunch” and then never actually call back right?

Me: No, no. I’m sure there will be a day when I will call you and will once again get pulled back into your circle of crazy. But today is not that day.

Me: You swear you’ll call?

Me: Yep.


Me: Fine

Me: Ok. I’ll go away then. All by myself. Maybe I’ll find a bridge to live under where I can corner sad looking women and see if they’re infertile and want to pee on things with me. All alone in the world. No purpose. Just a feather on a breeze. A rolling stone. A lone wolf. A pee stick without a control line.


Me: Ok how about an ovulation test? A single tiny little thing. You’ll barely notice it. Come on, you know you want to.

Me: GO! NOW!

Me: Fine fine I’m going.


Today (well, technically it’s yesterday since it’s past midnight, but let’s not get into semantics) marks 4 years to the day since I started this blog. It’s also my 501st post. Funny enough, when I wrote my last post I didn’t even notice it was number 500. But I think it was worthy of the honor.

I’ve done more than enough reflecting on this blog. On anniversaries and due dates, birthdays and death days, milestones and moves.

So I won’t get mushy, there’s really no point. This space has seen enough mush.

Instead, I thought I’d say hello to an old friend, and then tuck her away again.

I’m sure she’ll emerge victorious again, some day.

Thank you all for reading.



The Paradox of Equal Parenting, to a Child of Unequal Parents

29 Nov

I was raised in a home with a detached and self-involved father, and a stay-at-home mother who made me her whole world, and still does to this day.

At the age of 6, I declared that I want to have a career and liked my first boy because he wanted to be either “an astronaut or a house husband”.

I liked him because of the latter. Well – that and the fact he shared his astronaut ice cream with me.

But mostly the “house husband” thing.

These two facts are important to note because they provide the context to throw my internal struggle into brighter relief. Some of you may read this and declare that I’m ungrateful. I am not. Or you may decide that I think stay at home moms don’t have a life outside of mothering. I don’t think that. I am eternally grateful for what I have. I understand that my upbringing was an anomaly and not that norm. But that doesn’t make things simple. Far from it.

Shmerson and I made the decision to move closer to our office (we work at the same company, in drastically different departments with no overlap) a year ago. In July, we finally pulled the trigger and moved a 10 minute walk away from it.

What was once a 4 hour-a-day commute for Shmerson, and a work-from-home most days situation for me, was transformed into something completely different. My schedule didn’t change by much, but being in the thick of things made me reorder priorities, remember that meetings, networking, heels, make-up, and business trips exist. It brought me back to a very ambitious, career-minded place.

This is something I hadn’t truly felt in almost a decade (pretty much since finishing grad school tired and disillusioned).

Shmerson’s schedule changed drastically as well. Instead of coming home at 9pm long after bedtime, he gets home just in time for Bunny’s dinner and bath. Instead of dropping her off quickly at day care each morning so he can catch a train, he usually takes her in her stroller, and literally has time to stop and smell the flowers. He spends the morning with her and drops her off, I pick her up and spend the afternoons with her.

When once I was the dinner-bath-bedtime officer during the week, we now rotate. We split weekends into time where we each have Bunny separately while the other sleeps, rotating chores, and quality family time.

In short – we’re 50/50 parents. As in – we really are. Yes. For reals.

Sure there are discrepancies. I’m usually the one to make and take Bunny to doc appointments. Shmerson is the one who gets her up and ready each morning. I cook and in general plan meals. He clears the table, does dishes and most of the laundry. I do the grocery shopping, he deals with anything involving paperwork, and running morning errands like going to the post office and bank.

In the 15 (!) months since Bunny was born, and especially in the last 4, we have fought, negotiated, and compromised our way into equilibrium. We both have quality time with Bunny, manage to push forward our careers, and even grab some quality time for the two of us, and with friends.

Granted, we don’t sleep much. But we’re pretty much “in the zone.”

We fought hard to reach this place. I’ve wanted it for as long as I can remember. Before I even knew him. This is what I wanted.

Now that I have it – I’m scared out of my mind.

There are days she clearly wants him to comfort her over me.

There are days I have to work late and I barely see her for an hour.

There are mornings I choose sleep and miss something adorable she’s done. Or a new word she said.

There are things he knows about her that I don’t.

Of course, the same thing can be said of him. Of course there are nights he works late. There are words he misses. There are things I know that he doesn’t.

But –

And I’m just going to go right ahead and say this, my women’s studies minor be damned.

But I’m her mother. I’m not supposed to miss things. She’s not supposed to go to anyone but me for comfort. I should be the one putting her hair in pigtails each morning, and in PJs each night.

This is what a mother does. A mother gives everything to her daughter.

This is the only world that I know.

And now I’m living in one where that isn’t true.

I know I’m modeling a wonderful, respectful and balanced relationship for her.

I know I’m demonstrating ambition, and being a strong independant woman and all that good stuff.

I know that making myself happy is critical to keeping her happy.

I know having two parents that are involved is GOOD FOR HER.

But it goes against what I experienced. It goes against what I grew up on. My mother is my whole world because she was always there, and still is.

Will Bunny feel the same way about me? I want her to more than anything else. And I’m deathly afraid that she won’t.

Every day, logic and experience are in a constant tug of war.

Of course she’ll always love me. I’m her mother, and I’m a good mother.

But I’m not there 24/7. I’m not always her soft place to fall.

That’s good. That means she has multiple soft places to fall.

But I want it to be ME. That’s the way it’s SUPPOSED TO BE.

No. It’s just what you were raised on. It can and should be different, and for her – it is different.

What if she hates me because I’m not always there?

She will always love you, you are her mother.

Yes, but I’ve chosen to be other things as well.


At the age of six, I thought I knew what being an ambitious woman with no desire to stay at home meant.

At the age of 34, I’m starting to realize that it isn’t as simple as I thought it would be.

*Tap Tap* Is This Thing On?

13 Oct

I’m still here. And I don’t plan on leaving.

I think that’s important to say.

I know updates here have been few and far between. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there weren’t times over the last few months that I considered boarding up the windows on this blog. I considered it, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it.

Between Bunny and putting my nose to the grindstone at work, blogging has fallen by the wayside. I want to write, but I don’t have a moment to do it.

Things are hectic, and complex, but all around good. I have so much to say about becoming connected to my ambition again, working mom guilt, my anxiety rearing its ugly head again…

But I just can’t find the time to say it. And for now, that will have to be ok.

A few weeks ago I talked to Shmerson about shutting this space down, but before he even had a chance to put in his two cents, I already realized that the truth is that I know that the day will come where I will need this blog desperately again. I know that day will come. And I want this space to be here then.

Yesterday I took Bunny to the pediatrician because she was running a fever. In the waiting room there was a couple with a boy, around two, and a baby girl.

The boy’s name was Nadav.

I looked at Bunny and looked at that family, and for a clear moment I saw an alternate reality – where Bunny’s big brother was there, wreaking havoc in that waiting room.

Needless to say, last night was a hard night.

Hard nights these days are fewer and further between, and for that I’m grateful. And I know that it may be “wrong” for this space to be a wailing wall, where I come to in crisis, but abandon otherwise.

But that may just have to be what this is for now. And I’m going to have to be ok with that. Because honestly – I have enough to feel guilty about. I don’t need blogger guilt on top of it all.

So bear with me while I deal with occasional contentment, continuing complexity, and routine. Forgive me if I only engage during a crisis. It’s just the best I can do for now.

I hope you drop by sometimes to check on us. I promise to do my best to keep the lights on.

Questions I’ve Been Asking Myself

24 Sep
  1. How is it that tomorrow I turn 34, and I still feel 14?
  2. Bunny is over a year old and I still sometimes don’t feel like she’s real. Is that just me or is it normal?
  3. Will I ever find the willpower to get my weight down?
  4. Is what I’ve been feeling lately contentment, or emotional detachment?
  5. What do I really want to be when I grow up?
  6. Am I dividing my work/family hours right? Because I keep on feeling like I’m not?
  7. Should I shut down this space and move to someplace less anonymous?
  8. If I don’t shut it down, is it fair if I only update here occasionally?
  9. If I open up a new, less anonymous space, should I promote it here?
  10. If I keep on travelling for work, will it affect Bunny? Will she be mad at me? Or traumatized?

Answers welcome, but not mandatory.

What a Difference a Year Makes

5 Sep


For My LiLi, On the Occasion of Your First Birthday

5 Sep

Note: I’m not a big believer in the “letters to babies” genre of blog posts. However, in honor of Bunny’s first birthday, I’m giving myself a pass. Feel free to skip this one if you don’t feel like slogging through it. This one’s for my daughter. :-)


To My LiLi Love,

Exactly 365 days ago you came into this world, and this world became a whole lot better.

You don’t know this yet, but with time you will learn that birthdays involve a lot of “thank you”s.

You thank people for their good wishes, you thank them for coming to your party, you thank them for gifts.

But you’re not quite old enough to say thank you yet.

I’m sure the time will come that you’ll say it quite a lot on your birthdays, since your mama and aba will make sure to teach you how to do that.

But in honor of your first year, I’d like to turn the tables a little bit.

I’d like to say thank you to YOU. Because you’re not old enough to understand this yet, but for such a little person you’ve given your mama some pretty huge gifts over the last year.

So: Thank you LiLi Love.

For teaching me what it means to love another human being in a way that transcends all reason.

For every time you smile and bounce up and down when I come to pick you up from day care.

For every night that you can’t sleep, and I take you in my arms and cuddle you in mama and aba’s bed, and you promptly drift off, and keep your hand over my heart.

For every time you start dancing when music plays.

Especially when it’s good music. Like yesterday, when Queen came on and you immediately started rocking out. That made me very proud.

For your exuberant love of my cooking. Watching you passionately pig out on my chicken meatballs is one of my favorite new hobbies.

For your boundless curiosity, which helps me see the world differently.

For having the most exquisite laugh I have ever heard, and for sharing it with the world so freely.

For smiling and waving at total strangers, even when you’re tired and cranky.

For making me laugh. All the time. Because you’re freaking adorable.

For being as stubborn as your mama, and helping your mama understand that being stubborn is ok.

For giving me perspective.

For making your aba and I work hard at being good parents for you.

For grounding me in reality.

For loving me even though I’m imperfect.

For making me constantly strive to do better.

For giving me the best year of my life so far.

For being you. For being exactly you.

Like I tell you every night: I love you more than anything in this world, and I will always love you no matter what. Even if you grow alfalfa sprouts out of your ears, paint your skin purple, decide to talk exclusively in Latin, and pursue a career as a roller skating fire eater. I will always love you without limits.

From here to the moon to the sun and back. Times infinity to the power of infinity.

Happy birthday LiLi Love. Mama loves you.

Not Freaking Out at ALL

29 Aug

Next Sunday night, I’m getting on a plane and flying to the US.


For 6 days.

2 days after Bunny’s first birthday.

On one hand – I’m SUPER excited. This is a really important move from a career standpoint. On the other:


Any working mommies out there have any tips for making this easier on Bunny?

And on me? Because let’s be honest – I’m going to take it harder than she will.

On a slightly different, but related note: Who’s coming to Content Marketing World?

I know you’re out there, FSM knows enough of us do this writing thing for a living. Email me if you’re planning on going!

An Open Letter to a Battling Mommy

22 Aug

Dear Mom Who Is Judging Me For How I Raise My Child,

It’s going to be ok. No – really. I swear. I know you’re feeling insecure right now. I understand that you question your parenting decisions, and therefore stick to them fanatically in order to quell your lack of confidence.

But really – it’s going to be ok. You don’t need to yell about how right you are. You just do what’s right for you. I promise you that you don’t need the world’s approval to parent how you see fit.

We all question our parenting decisions. It’s part of being a parent. We all feel insecure. We’re all secretly afraid that we’ll somehow break the fragile beings we are in charge of. You’re not alone.

Like the other night, when I saw that my baby girl wasn’t liking the cucumber I gave her, and barely ate her bread and eggs? I admit – I gave her a cookie. Did I question that decision? Of course I did! Does that mean I now have to go out and judge and berate every mother that chooses NOT to give her child a cookie?  Hell to the no.

I also sometimes give my daughter jarred baby food for breakfast. I work full time, and I can’t find the time to puree fruit every day on top of the two other meals I cook for her.

Does that mean that I go out and give those who don’t cook at all the stink-eye? Or curse out a mother who gives their child only homemade food?  Of course not.

I gave up on breastfeeding when my daughter was 10 days old. I do not go out and berate women who breastfeed until their child is 3.

I speak to my daughter in a different language, so that she will hopefully be fluent in two languages her entire life. I do not curse out other bilingual moms for not doing the same. It’s hard! I don’t blame you if you don’t do it.

I do not believe that full-on cry-it-out sleep training is right for my daughter. But I would never insult someone who does.

Because like you, my dear insecure friend, I question my parenting choices.

But unlike you – I flaunt my insecurity. I share it with my friends. I share it on this blog. I embrace it.

I don’t try to mask it by entrenching myself in my decisions as if they were gospel I needed to preach to the masses.

You know why? Because every parent ends up screwing up their kid in some fashion.

Too much junk food.

Too little junk food.

Too much TV.

Too little TV.

Ingrained racism, or sexism. Or sleep problems, or materialism. Or irresponsibility. Or messiness.

My mom was awesome – and I’m an almost 34-year-old who has NO IDEA how to properly fold a shirt.

I also throw my shoes next to the couch when I come home. There’s literally a pile of shoes next to the couch. And I only noticed when my daughter attempted to put one in her mouth today. True story.

My mom was awesome, and I’m a slob.

I’ve also spent countless hours and countless dollars on intensive psychotherapy.

Because my mom tried really hard not to mess me up, because her parents messed her up. And as a result – she messed me up in a completely different, unexpected way.

And I’m ok with that.

Just like I’m ok with the fact that despite my best efforts, I will somehow mess up my child.

And it will probably come from a place I never imagined, because that’s how these things work.

My dear, sweet, insecure friend. Stop yelling. Stop posting sanctimonious preachy gifs and links on facebook. Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax. Play some Candy Crush or something instead.

Because you really don’t need the world’s approval for your parenting decisions. Just like you have no right to approve or judge mine.

And I promise you, everything will be ok.

Just start saving up for those inevitable therapy bills in the future. I know I am.


A Fellow Mom Who’s Doing Her Best

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20 Aug

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Don’t Let the Thought Possess You

13 Aug

I was very depressed as a teen, and throughout my 20s. The thing is I also suffered from terrible anxiety. I guess the “upside” to that (if you can call it an “upside”) is that I never once thought about self-harm. That scared the shit out of me.

Something changed when I lost Nadav though. A dormant switch was turned on in my head.

And sometimes, to this day, a thought creeps in. An invasive thought. An awful, terrible thought.

I had a bit of a wake up call a few months ago and saw my psychiatrist, and told him that I was having invasive thoughts.

He knows I’m a girl who likes her research. So he pulled out a study about invasive thoughts and read the conclusions to me.

I’ll save you the boring details, but basically the conclusion is that these things are common, especially amongst people suffering from depression and anxiety.

And that the thought tends to linger if you dwell on it.

That if you possess it, it possesses you.

That the best thing to do, when something like that creeps in, is to push it aside, acknowledge that it’s chemical and a lie, and if you’re not getting help already, to seek it. ASAP.

I guess Robin Williams succumbed to the chemical lie yesterday. He let it possess him.

I won’t eulogize him. I didn’t know him. But you should know that he WAS my childhood. That I have been deeply saddened by what has happened.

And I’ve spent the last 24 hours – amongst the stresses of work, a baby with a fever, and very little sleep – reflecting on what has happened.

Last night, as I went to shower, trying to wash my face so I wouldn’t wake up tear stained in the morning, I looked at myself in the mirror.

And I realized it’s been a while since I did that. I’ve been avoiding mirrors again.

And I realized I may not be as OK as I’ve been pretending to be.

And that as soon as the dust settles around this latest bit of chaos I will seek out help. Again.

And that having such a bright ray of light extinguished is what woke me up to the fact that I am, once again, drowning.

That I need to find a better solution.

I hope that if anything, his actions last night will inspire more people to seek help.

Depression is a fucking awful disease.

It never really has a cure. All you can do is be vigilant. Be vigilant, and don’t let the invasive thoughts possess you.

You are not alone.

The Inevitable Has Arrived

5 Aug

Well it was sunshine and unicorn farts for a while there, but it looks like at 11 months, we have to sleep train Bunny. She’s a champ at sleeping through the night, but getting her to sleep has become a nightmare (yes, even when we make bed time later, and after a long day).

And I’ll be honest, I have no patience for a weeks-long research and book reading marathon here – so here’s where you come in.

We want something quick and dirty, to pull the band aid off, so-to-speak. That’s the way Bunny adjusts best to change.

So – links or a quick (or in-depth!) overview of methodology would be awesome.

And I am fully ok with cry-it-out as long as it as there’s something in place which gives her a sense of security.

Also – in case you’re new here, let me make this clear: ALL PHILOSOPHIES are welcome, and any mommy war BS will be outright rejected. This is why I moderate comments, and I’m not afraid to hit “reject” if things get catty.

So please keep it civil, but have at it folks! How do I teach this girl to fall asleep by herself?

Thanks guys!


“Good Night Baby, I’m Sorry for Being a Crappy Mom”

2 Aug

That’s how I said good night to Bunny tonight.

I was up half the night with her last night. She was crying, she was running a fever. At 6am I finally got her to sleep. At 8am I handed her off to Shmerson and got 3 hours of sleep myself.

I’m in a bit of a tailspin.

We’re drowning in boxes. But really, that’s not the issue.

The issue is that I thought moving closer to work would have a bigger impact on Shmerson than it would on me.

Holy fuck was I wrong.

I realized it a couple of days ago. Basically, for the last 3.5 years I’d been living like a hermit. And moving – it was basically my re-entry into the land of the living.

When we moved away from Tel Aviv after my first miscarriage, I started working from home. As time went on, from one loss to another, I became more and more isolated.

We lived over an hour away from most of our friends, so I didn’t see them much. I would venture out a couple of times a week to teach, or for meetings, but that was basically it.

After losing Nadav keeping to myself became the easier option. I rarely ventured out. Lord knows I had a good excuse. Shmerson started working in Tel Aviv so he would come home late every night. Apart from my mom, I rarely saw anyone.

My isolation became complete once I got pregnant with Bunny and spent 6 months cultivating a dent in the couch.

And after she was born, it wasn’t much different. I would get up, and work, and pick her up from daycare, play with her for a couple of hours, and get her to sleep.

I would still spend about 80% of my waking hours alone. I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have any semblance of a social life. It was work, Bunny, work, Shmerson.

That’s it.

And last week we moved.

And now I’m in the office every day.

Rather than sitting in my PJs answering emails, I’m in the office. Surrounded by people.


And at home we’re drowning in boxes. And I’m not even touching on the political situation, and my devolving sense of security because if I even acknowledged that I would lose my shit.

A couple of days ago I realized I was being short with Shmerson.

I realized that I had barely had 15 minutes to myself in over a week.

It’s not like work time was “me time” when I was at home. But there’s a difference when you’re constantly surrounded by people.

To illustrate the point: I had to do laundry over the weekend because I barely had 5 work-appropriate outfits to wear. That’s how rarely I ventured out.

I was a hermit living in a leper colony, and all of the sudden, I’m getting unleashed on society again.

All of this, and Bunny. The situation here has brought a lot of anxiety to the surface and I’ve hated leaving her every day.

It’s clear she loves her new day care. but she spent most of the week pretty much ignoring me. Not making a fuss when I came to pick her up, barely acknowledging me when she played at home.

I was starting to really be hurt by it. Even though I know these things happen. I was starting to think that I was doing something wrong.

Then Bunny didn’t sleep last night, and I still haven’t gotten 15 minutes to myself (until this moment).

Shmerson spent a large chunk of today unpacking and hauling boxes. So he left me to take a nap, and I gave Bunny her bath and put her to bed.

On bad days, it takes her about 40 minutes.

Today it took her almost two hours.

An hour in, I was already beginning to lose my patience. She kept half falling asleep, and then waking up again. Sometimes screaming, sometimes laughing, wanting to play.

And my patience was wearing thinner and thinner.

An hour an 20 minutes in I couldn’t take it any more. I woke up Shmerson and told him to take over.

As he took Bunny out of my arms and took over I kissed her good night and said “Good night Baby, I’m sorry for being a crappy mom.”

30 minutes later she was asleep.

And I’m here, typing this out. Feeling endlessly guilty. I should have found the patience. It’s not like I’m with her 24/7. In practice I only really spend 3 hours a day with her. I should have found the patience.

I feel like such a shitty mom. And so overwhelmed.

And rambling, and disorganized.

And that’s about it.

Sorry – I know this was all over the place.


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