Friday, November 02, 2007

Guest Posting From My Wife - One Baby Step At A Time

I just completed Chana Weisberg's new book, One Baby Step at a Time: Seven Secrets of Jewish Motherhood, in under one week's time. This is an amazing feat because it is probably the first book I have read in its entirety since my third baby was born almost 16 months ago. It is truly an inspiring, honest, heart-warming and thought provoking book compiled of essays, helpful hints and tidbits and interviews with many Jewish women from varying backgrounds.

Upon receiving the book, I was eager to begin reading it, so I packed it in the car on my way to take my three year-old to nursery school. I read the first to introductions pages at a stop light (one that usually take at least three minutes to change.) The small section I read moved me to tears. I think in part because Ms. Weisberg makes honest statements and as a mother of three children, five years-old and under, it is incredible for me to read that another mother admits that being a mother is the hardest job, that there are ups and downs and that she wanted to write a book to inspire and encourage Jewish mothers around the world.

I found myself sitting down to write this review and realized that going back through the book, I marked many, many pages that inspired me. Almost too many to site for you in this review. To keep it short and sweet, and without revealing too much detail, the book provides SO many helpful tidbits and ideas to make being a mother easier.

One particular section I found changed my outlook was the comment that the word "Mother" in a child's eyes is analogous to Hashem in an adult's eyes. Just as an adult would never want Hashem to turn away in their time of need, a child would not want his mother to turn away in his time of need. I read this section and in the same day my three year-old called out to me in the middle of the night. Admittedly, in the past, I have gone to check on him and sometimes, we just tell him to go back to bed. But, this time when he called out, I thought about the idea in the book, and I went to check on him and visit with him in his room. I could see in his precious eyes at 2 AM, that he really did call out to me and needed me at that moment it time. Truly a precious moment in time.

As mothers, we also need to be easier on ourselves. We often say YES to too many things and expect ourselves to be perfect. It is okay to admit we have harder days. It is okay to ask for help. And, it is okay to let things wait until another day, like folding laundry or cleaning the house. Related to this she discusses the website. Curious, I checked out the site and signed up for the daily email digest. In it is a bunch of really clever and useful hints.

In conclusion, Ms. Weisberg gives us an honest account of Jewish motherhood. In her collection of essays, tidbits and interviews, she shines light onto motherhood and also provides us a book to recommend to friends and family.


At November 2, 2007 at 2:03:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. ASJ, I'm on the same page with you and the author of this book! It sounds like you have your priorities straight. (Even though I have no small children at home, the housework is STILL last on my list! ;-)

I'm sure some people will tell you not to make it a "party" when a child wakes up in the middle of the night, but you, as a sensitive mother, know whether your child needs that special moment of closeness, or whether he's playing a game. (And maybe that game is his way of expressing a need, too.) I don't think you can err on the side of warmth and support.

Know, too, that this phase is only temporary (it may be hard to take a long view when you have three kids of 5 and under, but trust me on this!). They really do wean themselves, sleep through the night, and learn to handle stressful situations confidently, on their own. But growth toward independence can't be forced. When your children outgrow the need for your reassurance and attentiveness, believe me, they'll let you know!

At November 3, 2007 at 9:12:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for your commentm, Shoshanna. I take each day individually and treasure the small things in life. I know the kids won't be little forever.

At November 3, 2007 at 9:14:00 PM EDT, Blogger Alice said...

Sounds good!

At November 4, 2007 at 1:55:00 PM EST, Blogger Batya said...

I wish I had such a book in my day. And believe me, the laundry may wait decades to be folded. Whoever needs something will learn how to search or fold. Mothers don't have to do everything.

At November 12, 2008 at 8:05:00 PM EST, Blogger Norma said...

My kids turn 40 and 41 next week and I still remember those sweet times at night being called for.


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