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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 7, 2006 / 7 Adar, 5766

Lesson one: Mom has feelings, too

By Marybeth Hicks



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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Is it any wonder women of a certain age sometimes experience a lack of self-confidence when our children ask questions such as, "Did you start bleaching your teeth? They don't look as yellow as they usually do."

Realizing the gaffe, the child attempts to salve your wounded feelings: "They weren't that yellow, really. I just noticed they look different. I mean, better."

Never mind that mom is embarrassed, self-conscious and concerned that her smile formerly resembled George Washington's.

I usually try to maintain a brave facade with my children when it comes to hurt feelings. I do this to model the wisdom of ignoring people who are insensitive.

Also, I do it because the whole process of becoming a mother leaves a woman with very little personal dignity, and I'm trying to preserve the meager portion I have left.

Stoicism aside, there comes a time when children need to know that moms have feelings, too.

Case in point: the day last fall when I had my hair done ("done" meaning cut, colored, styled and sprayed to the tune of $120). After two hours in the salon, I felt pampered and pretty.

I appeared freshly coifed at a high school cross-country meet where my two daughters would compete. Striding confidently to the area where the team was gathered, I waved to Betsy, then turned to see Katie in animated conversation with her fellow runners.

Just then Katie caught my eye, smiled and shouted her greeting for all to hear: "Hi, Mom. Did you get your hair colored? It looks darker."

It would have been hard to miss that my hair looked darker. When I consulted my stylist that morning, I lifted my long locks, pointed to the brownest shade on my head and said, "Let's make it all this color."

Still, I would have preferred if the adults with whom I stood could have done the socially appropriate thing and pretended they didn't notice the change.

Instead, Katie's comment prompted a full-blown symposium among the parents about hair color, including the relative merits of going gray, why men look distinguished and women look haggard as we age, and the going rate for highlights.

I've been a mom long enough to know that children simply must blurt out what pops into their heads. They don't yet have filters between the brain and the mouth to prohibit the odd question or comment whenever it occurs to them, even if the passing thought will compromise mom's delicate sense of propriety.

This is why women everywhere must suffer while standing at the grocery store checkout when a child looks up at her and says, "What's that big red thing on your chin?" (Or worse, "Eew, gross. There's something hanging from your nose.")

Dignity? Be serious.

I suppose it would be a genuinely self-possessed woman, if not an earthy one, who could respond, "It's a pimple, honey. Women get them when our hormones surge or when we're really stressed out. I spent 10 minutes this morning trying to hide it with concealer, but the makeup has worn off. I guess Mommy needs to touch it up, huh?"

I'm not that self-assured.

I respond like this: "Here's a quarter. Go get a gum ball." Then I prop my elbow on that little shelf meant for writing checks, sink my chin into my cupped hand and attempt to hide both the offending blemish and my embarrassment.

At some point — perhaps when one of my children conspicuously asked if I knew that my pants were too short — I realized I haven't done an adequate job of conveying to them that mothers are, in fact, people with feelings.

This is an eye-opener for most children. They think of us as "bionic moms" — flesh on the outside, mechanical on the inside — maternal machines whose only emotional concerns are for the well-being and happiness of our offspring.

Revealing our true emotional selves is critical. Otherwise, how can we teach them that everyone has feelings that can be injured and that kindness and charity begin at home? They need to know that mothers are first and foremost grown women who deserve thoughtfulness and respect.

Without this life lesson, we could end up with a generation of self-absorbed, insensitive buffoons; children who "dis" their moms and everyone else they encounter.

Oh wait. We have that.

Let's just say I'm doing my part to mitigate the cultural trend toward bluntness.

I don't recall the comment that caused me to snap, but finally I did. We were in the van — a great place to snap if you must because your children are captive — and I let loose with a list of offenses I have endured, or at least a few that illustrated my point.

I confess I exaggerated my emotional distress to encourage genuine remorse, but you could hardly blame me.

By the time I was finished, I had conducted a guided tour on a guilt trip intended to raise the collective consciousness of my brood. I think I even yelled something like, "Come hell or high water, I'm going to teach you how to be nice" (all the more effective with the veins popping out of my neck).

I can't say for sure if it worked, but the other day, I walked into the living room and one of my girls asked, "What's that smell?"

Lucky for her, she liked my cologne.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 18 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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© 2006, Marybeth Hicks