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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: PINKY SWEAR!

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: OH WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT UP ALREADY!

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.

Love,

Mo

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

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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.

Alone.

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:

HOLY CRAP I’M LEAVING MY BABY FOR 6 WHOLE DAYS.

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.

Sincerely,

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.

ALL THE TIME

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.

Reflections on a Home

24 Jul

Three years.

I watched as the new kitchen was installed when I was 10 weeks pregnant with Nadav.

6 weeks later, I lay  in the bedroom hoping he would be ok.

6 weeks later, my water broke on the bathroom floor.

4 days later, I sat on the balcony. Empty. Crying and chain smoking.

I spent a lot of time on that balcony crying and chain smoking.

The room that sat empty, waiting to be filled by him ,became a guest room with paintings of flower vases on the walls.

Then we mourned. And we waited. And the gaping wounds became scars.

I cooked meals, fantasizing about what it would be like to cook those same meals for my child.

I took long baths. I listened to podcasts. I recorded some of my own. I painted. I watched a lot of TV.

We built our careers. We held our marriage together through unspeakable pain.

I spent six months making a dent in the same place on the couch. Working. Crying. Worrying. Counting kicks. Watching a lot of Dr. Who and Masterchef.

We brought our baby girl home, healthy.

I sat in the corner of the living room begging for sleep.

I sat in the corner of her room, the room that was once empty, the room that was now full of her joyous being, watching her sleep.

I cooked her first meal in the kitchen I built when I carried her big brother.

I showed her the trees from the balcony where I used to chain smoke and cry.

I watched her crawl for the first time on this floor not 10 feet away from where my water broke.

I watched her stand for the first time, leaning on the walls covered with paintings made in the service of healing.

I watched her dance for the first time, with the sunlight streaming through these windows that I looked through for all of those months that I sat here, keeping her safely inside me.

This place, which has known more joy and more grief than I ever thought any place could contain.

This place, where I laughed and cried and cooked and hugged my husband.

Where we planted a tree on his first birthday.

Where we danced around the living room with her more times than I can count.

This place, where we thought we would live for a very long time.

This place that has a magical power: It releases grief and retains joy and light.

This place, that can no longer be our home, because it’s time to move on.

This place, which I entered lost, I inhabited wounded, and I leave – found.

This place where I came into my own.

Where we came into our own.

Where we became a family.

Our first true home. Her first home.

Tomorrow it will be emptied, waiting for another family to inhabit it.

I hope it gives them as much as it has given us.

I hope his tree grows big and tall – watching over it.

I hope we find another home that will harbor us and protect us like this one has.

That will empty out grief and retain joy and light.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

20 Jul

Somebody tell me what the fuck I’m supposed to do.

I’ve lost people I love to terrorist attacks.

I’ve seen people around me lose husbands and sons to this conflict.

I’m afraid to voice my own beliefs on this blog for fear of getting attacked for them.

Because even though I’m a moderate I’ve been called a Nazi for even believing that I have a right to call Israel my home.

So I keep my views to myself because I know that this is an English language blog, that gets read by people in the United States. And Canada. And Europe.

And a host of other places where anti-semitism is on the upswing.

A host of places I admit I wish I could move to.

Because I don’t want my daughter to lose someone she loves to a terrorist attack. Or have to run into a bomb shelter in the middle of the night. Or have to watch her government take drastic action that she doesn’t agree with.

But tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

I can’t leave. I’ve lived outside of this country before. I’ve been hated and cursed for being Jewish. For being Israeli.

Yes. I have. I have stories that would make your skin crawl.

But I don’t talk about that on this blog.

Because I know there’s some asshole out there who thinks that I don’t deserve to live because of the place where I was born and where I live.

And another asshole who would think I’m self-hating because I don’t support my government’s decisions blindly.

And another asshole who thinks that me thinking that I have a right to live in this country in peace makes me a bad person.

So tell me

What the fuck am I supposed to do?

I can’t up and leave. I can’t leave my family. Leave my friends. Leave my job. Leave a life I’ve worked so hard to build.

I can’t go anywhere else because anywhere else I’m different. Anywhere else I’m hated.

But how the fuck am I supposed to raise my child in this? How the fuck am I supposed to live in this reality?

Where my country is under siege by a group of monsters who use their women and children as human shields.

But that means that my country hurts those women and those children in the name of protecting us.

And as I sit here and type these words all I can think about is how every Israeli right wing fundamentalist will read this and curse me out for being a traitor, and every anti-Israel nut job will read this and say that I’m a criminal simply for living here. For having my child here. For building my home here. For belonging to this country.

But this is my home.

So tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

Stay silent. Wrap myself and my child in a bubble of denial.

But she’ll be old enough one day to understand the things that are going on around her. She’ll be old enough one day to be afraid. To ask questions.

This never ending war. It’s been going on since before my parents were born. How long will it continue?

How long until EVERY HUMAN BEING in this region will feel safe in their own home?

How long until I can stop shedding tears for the grief, fear, and sense of insecurity that my daughter will one day inevitably feel?

But I can’t leave. Because this is my home. And I’m hated and shunned everywhere else.

Yet I’m hated and shunned here. And I’m hated and shunned for living here.

And I don’t see how my daughter’s fate will be any different.

So tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

Bullets on Bunny – Holy Crap This is Overdue! Edition

11 Jul

*tap tap* is this thing on?

  • Things have been INSANE. I don’t even know where to start!
  • Meds: No sir, I did not like them. I was on them for 4 weeks and saw that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits completely. I’m officially off them as of yesterday. Going to try an extended release Xan.ax regimen and see how that goes.
  • London, baby! Shmerson and I survived 4 days away from Bunny – all in the service of seeing Monty Python’s first live show in about 30 years. Yep – we actually did that! It was AMAZING and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We were acutely aware of the fact that this was most likely our last time away as a couple for a long time to come, so we did our best to make the best of it. And I only lost my shit twice because I missed Bunny! Otherwise denial was my friend. As was an ungodly amount of shopping (clothes and toys for her, an irrational amount of Dr. Who merchandise for us). Bunny loves her new Dalek plush. He now kisses her goodnight during our bed time routine and tops it off with an EXTERMINATE! For good measure. It’s her favorite doll. Yes, we are dorks.

  •  Speaking of being away from Bunny – I will be going to Content Marketing World 2014 in Cleveland in September! I know a bunch of  you do the content thing for a living. If you’re planning on attending, drop me a line. We can network and/or find out together if there’s anything interesting to do in Cleveland in the evenings. Now I just need to figure out how to manage 6 days without her and Shmerson. YIPES!
  • And now for the biggest news (and the main reason for my chronic MIA status): We’re moving! We didn’t manage to sell our place (the real estate market here is currently just WEIRD). But the commute has been killing us (Shmerson is on the road 3-4 hours every day and always gets home long after Bunny is asleep, and I make the same commute twice a week), so we decided to rent out our place and rent a place closer to work. Today the agreement was signed and we’re moving in TWO WEEKS! We will be a 10 minute WALK from the office. This will do wonders for our quality of life. I cannot wait.
  • I’m sure some of you have been watching the news and see that the fit has hit the shan once again in the region. I NEVER talk politics on this blog, and I’m not about to start. I’ll just say we’re safe, but having to endure missile sirens and a fair amount of anxiety. Hoping the current crisis will pass soon.
  • And Bunny. Oh my flying spaghetti monster I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing she is. She’s babbling, standing (almost!) on her own, crawling around like a mad woman and waving “hello” to everyone and everything, which is the cutest thing ever. She’s also starting to show signs of similarity to her momma: an irrational love of carbs and a stubborn streak that is a force to be reckoned with. I am doing all I can to savor and enjoy every single moment with her. She is a ball of pure unadulterated joy.
  •  Alas, dear readers, now that Bunny is a bit older I’m afraid her father has become more paranoid about my posting her pictures in this space. So I will leave you instead with a blurry picture of the stage at the O2 theater in London, about 10 minutes before Monty Python stormed it with th energy of 5000 killer bunnies with big pointy teeth.

IMG_0222

  • So that’s the long and short of it! How are all  of you guys doing?

Back in the Saddle

15 Jun

So I know I’ve been away for a bit. Things are their usual insanity, but the truth is I’ve been going through some stuff.

I spoke about it here quite a bit lately – postpartum anxiety. I’ve been treating it with Xan.ax. But the truth is, like I wrote here in the past part of my way of dealing is taking care of Bunny with a bit of emotional detachment.

I wasn’t liking it. And it was starting to bleed into my other relationships. I was getting more detached for longer periods of time. Finally, Shmerson said that he thought it was time I check in with my therapist. So what if I don’t have the time. I need to MAKE the time.

So off I went, and it was truly a wake up call. I don’t want to go into it here, but the long and short of it is that 20 minutes into the session she said she thought it was time I get back on anti-depressants.

I credit cym.balta with saving my life. I also credit it with a huge chunk of my weight gain, and with obliterating my sex drive completely (though 3 miscarriages and a stillbirth obviously did their part to contribute).

But the fact is she was right. Sure I am super-functional right now. But overly so. I’m functioning so much I’m forgetting about living. I function to deal with things. I keep myself so busy I don’t have a moment to think or reflect.

And the moment I did – at my therapists office – I had my first panic attack in months.

Don’t get me wrong, things are truly very very good. It’s just in moments of quiet, anxiety sneaks in. When I’m alone with Bunny, if I’m 100% connected to her, I get overwhelmed and can’t deal.

That’s not good for me, and that’s not good for her.

It’s partly emotional, yes. But the truth is that when I step back and examine it, a lot of it is chemical.

I left my therapist’s office, called my psychiatrist to make an appointment, and called Shmerson to break the news that I most likely have to get back on my meds.

He was of course super supportive, but also a little sad. He was hoping we were past this. He was hoping things were good enough that I wouldn’t need meds.

In the week that followed, the realization that I had spent the last couple of months basically repressing everything brought a lot of things back up to the surface. I had more trouble sleeping. I felt more anxiety. My eating was back to being out of control.

At my psychiatrist’s I told him what was going on. He actually wasn’t incredibly concerned. He gave me two options: Go on a very low dose of cym.balta or just continue dealing with things on my own.

I was truly debating what to do. I hated the decreased sex drive and how hard it was to get off of these pills once you start taking them. I told him that my big concern was that cym.balta made me feel like the volume on my feelings was turned down very low. Like I was always not 100% present.

He answered: Well, that’s how you’re dealing now, isn’t it? You’re making yourself emotionally detached in order to deal with your anxiety. This will do the same, only in a more controlled way, and without you having to work so hard.

I asked him what he thought I should do. He said he could go either way. It was up to me.

So I thought of Bunny.

And I thought of the fact that 90% present is better than o% present.

And I realized that I’ve never taken meds when I wasn’t in crisis mode. That maybe- just maybe – they can help me get to contentment, and not just survive the latest trauma.

Maybe they would let me enjoy my daughter more. And free up the energy I’ve been using to try to control my anxiety to be used in healthier, happier ways.

And worst-case scenario: If I don’t like it, I can stop.

So I did it. I bit the bullet.

On Friday, I took the first pill.

Now it’s two weeks of fuzzy brain while I adjust to the pills again.

And we’ll see where we go from here. We’ll see if a chemical helping hand will be what it takes to tip the scales over to contentment.

Wish me luck.

 

It’s Just Like Paris

28 May

Wow, no posts for almost 2 weeks and then a flood. I guess consistency isn’t  my strong suit as of late. 

When Shmerson and I were together for about 2 years, a bit before we got engaged, we went to Paris.

At the time, I was the #2 person at a small startup company that was launching an international cable channel. My salary sucked. But I loved the job.

Shmerson and I went to the airport to go home, and realized we left our passports in our hotel room safe. We were out of cash. We made a couple of (expensive!) phone calls and a cab was on its way to the airport with our passports 20 minutes later. We had to pay a ridiculous ATM fee to get the cash to pay the driver. My bank account balance was painfully lighter after that debacle.

In line to check in, they announced that they were looking for people to give up their seats on the flight. They were willing to pay each person 400 (!) euros and cover a hotel for the night.

One more day in Paris, a free hotel, and 800 Euros if Shmerson and I stayed.

But there was this big meeting that I had to prep for at work. It was supposed to happen three days after. I was nervous about it. I had a presentation to put together.

So we said no.

800 Euros and an extra free night in Paris.

We. Said. No.

Even my boss at the time, when he heard the story, said it was a dumb move.

No shit. To this day I cannot for the life of me understand why that meeting felt so urgent at the time. But it did.

So we said no.

5 months later, the economic collapse happened and the company went bust.

I was unemployed.

And I had given up 800 Euros and a free night in Paris.

I can say I have a lot of regrets – but that – giving up that all for the sake of one meeting for a company that no longer exists – that is one of my biggest. To this day I facepalm each time I think about it.

Stupid, stupid move.

And I know – I know it’s not really the same. I know there are reasons. There are really good reasons why I work. And I’m not at some dinky 4-person startup. I have stability. We have stability. We need that.

But some days, when I sit in front of the computer, answering emails, knowing that Bunny is a 10 minute walk away being taken care of by someone else…

It’s Paris all over again.

4 Years

27 May

Anniversary number one was spent picking up the pieces of three losses.

Anniversary number two was spent seeking escapes, and searching for fragments of our two broken hearts.

Anniversary number three was spent at home, feeling fear, anxiety, and hoping beyond hope that 4 would be different…

Anniversary number four was spent laughing at our baby girl as she stood up in her crib, an hour past her bedtime, dancing around and looking very proud of herself. Finally getting her to sleep. Cuddling, while (finally!) watching “Breaking Bad”.

And thankful. So very thankful that despite heartbreak, loss and unending sadness, we made it to the other side.

Marriage can mean walking through hellfire and coming out the other side scarred and bruised, but still holding hands.

Happy anniversary to my rock. My love. My family. The father of my children. Those not with us, those to (hopefully) come, and the precious daughter that we fought so hard to bring into this world, together.

I love you Shmerson. More today than I even thought possible.

Protected: Leaning Sideways (Part 2)

26 May

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Protected: Leaning Sideways (Part 1)

18 May

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