I Punched My Husband In the Gut

I started writing a blog for today until my husband came home. It wasn’t this one. I couldn’t go back to writing the other one, after the conversation that followed.

My husband has a break from coaching this week and it’s the first time that we have been able to sit down together.

We haven’t been on the same page recently. We have been in the same book but far from the same page. If any of you have ever been in a relationship, than you know when you are not on the same page, conversation can get a little tense and blow up out of no where. I say no where but it’s definitely from somewhere, like the last five conversations and one argument that didn’t go so well.

There was a show playing in the background where two people bumped into each other after splitting up, the woman was now married and the man was upset he missed his chance. My husband looked at me and said that he was so happy we are married. I didn’t respond immediately. I responded, “Me too babe.” then brought up that the other day I felt the opposite.

Oh, did you hear that bomb go off?

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All that build up the past few weeks of both of us being incredibly busy and wrapped up on our separate pages left me throwing my hands up in the air irrationally asking myself, “Why did I get married if I was going to be alone in this?”

My husband wakes up around 4:30AM, that’s if our girl doesn’t wake him/us up earlier. He goes to work and comes home in the late morning, which is when I go to work. He then takes Kanga to work and I meet them there for a nap and lunch break. Then baby girl and I head back to my work. Hubby stays at his work. I finish work, then head home to bathe, feed, and put our little one to bed. I make dinner as best I can in between a couple wakings. Papa comes home. We eat, then we sleep. This is usually the routine in our life. We usually handle it with smiles and laughs. With the lack of sleep and complete exhaustion it’s been a a little more rough than usual.IMG_4451.JPG

We are both very aware how taxing the routine is on us as individuals. But what I think my husband and others who aren’t mothers or caretakers for someone who solely depends on you for their survival, is that it gets lonely as fuck. I become jealous of my husband for being able to go to a place where he is loved, and can have substantial conversations with great people. I am jealous that he can go to a place with a foundation where his existence is more than a father. He is viewed and respected as a great man not only because he is a father but because of everything he is plus that. He gets to feel that energy on a daily basis.
The majority of my day is chasing a baby and trying to keep her from choking on dog food or dumping herself into an empty tub, head first. I clean up feminine hygiene pads from every corner of the house because she loves to put them in our dog’s water, under the couch, and all sorts of other places. I’m not saying this to have a pissing contest with my husband. It’s not tit for tat. But what it is, is very different on a daily basis. I’m not saying that I don’t feel loved, I’m not saying that I’m not surrounded by great people. But my daily interactions with others are limited.

We live very different lives from the day to day but with the same purpose in mind. That is the glue that keeps us together. I wouldn’t trade marriage with my husband or mothering my child for a single thing in this world. But this is hard. This shit sucks sometimes— and sometimes no matter how much you love your significant other and the life you live together, when you don’t have the time or energy to get on the same page, shit hits the fan and you throw your hands up in the air thinking mean things. Then sometimes you tell your husband those hurtful things that you thought and everything is out on the floor. All the pages get torn out of the book, re-arranged and put back together so we can all be on the same page.

I don’t write this to whine about my life. I don’t write this to dog on my husband. I’m incredibly lucky, we are incredibly lucky to have such honesty in our relationship and communication where I can tell him something that is probably crushing to hear. We are lucky to be in a position that we can take our daughter to work with us, we have loving people in our lives who love our daughter. We.are.lucky.IMG_5292

Even still, motherhood is hard. Parenthood is hard. Relationships are hard. To pretend that it’s not, to paint some fake picture that everything is just so peachy, is fake. It’s dishonest and it does a disservice to the conversation of parenthood in society.

That being said, laugh. Reach out to other mothers and parents so you don’t feel so secluded and alone in your parenthood bubble. I don’t have the time to go to mommy and me meet-ups or the classes that I wish I could attend. But the group of mothers and women that send supportive text messages, with tid-bits of their crazy mom moments and baby brain stories makes it all better.

My husband and I got engaged after a year, we were engaged ten months, three of those months I was pregnant, six of our newly wed months we were pregnant, then came baby. That is so much change in two years. It is the most blessed change but still two huge life adjustments in the span of two years. Arguing, talking, and laying it all out there with one another instead of resentment is necessary in order to make life work. It is necessary to build strong relationship so we can be the best parents to our daughter.

Communicate and keep life in perspective.

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Our daughter will be in school one day and I won’t be picking up her pads or scooping dog food out of her mouth and I’ll look at my husband and laugh. Maybe after an argument about one of our other future babies running around, but at least we’ll be able to laugh.

Cheers to bumps in the road and having the tools to get over it.

Raffaella

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Persian Traditions with the Little

For most of my life I grew up in the States. I was born here. I’m Persian and American. Most of the time I feel fifty-fifty, other times the ratio slightly adjusts itself based on my mood and experiences.It’s always interesting to me when I meet people who try to deny their cultural background and seem embarrassed by where they came from. Each instance is different. Each situation is unique. And I’m trying to be less judgmental and more understanding of this.  

Like the many American traditions I enjoy, I really appreciate my Persian background and culture. I try to incorporate it as often as possible in my little family. Hubby and I speak our broken Farsi as much as we can to Little Man, so that when he grows up he can proudly say he speaks Farsi. 

Persian traditions are so rich with symbolism and meaning. At the moment, we’re in the midst of celebrating Persian New Year, ‘Nowruz.’ It marks the exact astronomical beginning of Spring, which is why it’s always at a different time (usually on March 21 depending on where in the world it’s observed). This year it was at 9:30 PM. Like every year, we were gathered around a whole bunch of family watching Persian TV, counting down. As soon as the clock struck 9:30, everyone got up at the same time, hugging and kissing, and wishing each other wonderful things for the coming year. Sweets were passed around, and cash gifts were given, usually to the younger ones. 

We have a lovely table called the haft-seen where we have seven items that have symbolic importance (but we put other things of meaning on the table as well).The rule is that the names of these seven items should begin with the Persian letter, ‘Seen.’ For example, one of the items is garlic ‘seer,’ symbolizing health for the year to come. 

We have thirteen days of celebration, where traditionally we visit homes of our elders, eating and celebrating. On the thirteenth day we end the whole shebang by going to a park to picnic and have more good times. 

So many sweet traditions…I haven’t even listed a fraction of them here. I think it’s so important to teach our kids about our cultural backgrounds. It builds more character, adds more depth. And I really hope that these wonderful traditions don’t slowly fade away. I’m proud of both of my cultural backgrounds. And I hope Little will be too. 

Baby steps, and happy spring,

Roxy 

  

Noa’s Freestyle Friday-You wanna be healthy?

If we want to be healthy, we need to eat nutritious foods. If we want our kids to be healthy we need to eat nutritious foods. Why? Because we are their role models. It really isn’t difficult. So many times I have mothers come to me for advice and say: “my kid just won’t stop eating sweets. To that my answer is always: “Well, what do YOU eat? If we teach our kids that a 1 lollypop is ok, but more than that will give them ouchy in the tummy then they’ll understand. Unfortunately billions of dollars are spent every day to seduce us. The food industry, drug companies, politicians, civil servants and even the medical profession all have strong vested interests in making money and nit in protecting our health. In one way or another, almost all the sources of information we would expect to support our quest for overall health are contaminated for reasons of financial gain. Face it America, being sick and overweight keeps corporate profits healthy.

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But the world is beginning to wake up to the reality that healthy food created healthy people. We see it in papers, in social network blogs, and on TV commercials. Sales of organic produce in the U.S increased from $1 billion in 1990 to $24.8 billion in 2009. Corporations are responding. The success stores such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods and the incorporation of organic sections at other stores illustrate that consumers are concerned about their health and the quality of their foods.

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When parents and individuals stand up for improving our health and the health of our children, things do change. If we buy our food from health-food stores, farmers’ markets, and don’t spend our money on unhealthful chains, consuming long term damaging foods and instilling bad habits in our kids, corporations get the message. Get involved with the local government, the school system, the office, the church or synagogue and wherever else your family spends their time. If we speak up what we know is true, we will change the current healthcare system in this country. And when families change America changes.

To our health,

Noa

Praise.

When we speak about motherhood, I have found that we so quickly focus on the challenges and shortcomings of society, the help that is so lacking, and on and on. I’m not saying that these aren’t important because believe you, me, there is no end to the conversations I could have about all of the above topics and every tiny detail that falls under each. There is a lack of help and unity within communities that leaves so many families in the dust and trampled. There are women who can’t pull themselves together to put one foot in front of the other due to a lack of support, postpartum depression or a number of other reasons. There is not enough talk about the subject, about women, about mothers, about children, about childbirth. That being said, I feel there is even less talk about mothers who do rise-up. The mothers who are self-aware enough to get up and out of the house regardless of how depressed or shitty they feel. What I want to do today is focus on these women, these caregivers, rather. I say mamas but it is not limited to mothers.

To the mamas who take an honest look at themselves and say, “Shit, I’m in trouble.” To the mamas who recognize that the deep hole is only going to get deeper if they don’t pull themselves out of it every day over and over, regardless. Yes, there is a baby, babies and children to attend to. You have to get out of bed because you have to take care of them, right? Wrong. So many women are so overwhelmed by the responsibility and are struggling so much that they don’t get out of bed, they don’t help themselves. Which means they won’t be able to take care of anyone. You see, there is always a choice. Some have fallen so low past the ground that they aren’t able to get up, they know there is a choice but for them, they don’t see it yet.

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To the mothers who drag their asses out the door and manage everyone’s lives plus their own, regardless of the intense anxiety and odd feeling of despair while holding a beautiful baby in front of you. You recognize that if you don’t do it, no one will.

Battle ship hit, not sunk. Maybe flooded, but not sunk.

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Mama, I applaud you and admire every ounce of your will to get to the park and meet other mothers. I applaud your motivation to find free yoga classes and mommy and me classes. I am so proud to call you a friend and a woman in the community. What you may not know is that your strength shines. What you may not get is a pat on the back, but I would hug you a million times over. You may not realize that you’re not only saving yourself but your saving other mamas around you.

To the mamas with the silent strength.

You inspire me.

Thank you.

Raffaella

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Then and now.

 I think about my life pre-baby and remember some good times with fondness; Late night restaurants, group hangouts, marathon tv shows, last minute road trips, organized cupboards, and most of all privacy. Privacy was amazing; Restroom, showers, dressing. All of these things seem like such a luxury to me now. And sometimes I miss it. We’ve tried to add pizzazz by incorporating some of those events into baby life. But let’s be honest here, it’s not the same. I’m not the same. Hubby’s not the same. Our house is not the same. How I used to describe myself is not the same. My life is a ponytail and leggings. I’d rather go to bed at 8 than watch a movie. My living room looks like a mini-daycare and I gave up organizing it over a year ago. I spend most of my free time reading articles about toddler life. I daydream about donating 80 percent of the contents of our house bc it’s become way too cluttered. 

But I feel that we’ve slowly come to a place of acceptance. Instead of trying to re-create the moments we used to have, we’ve re-defined them. We no longer want to go to trendy restaurants, leaving frustrated because we didn’t have the kind of experience we envisioned. We still go to nice places with Little once in a while, but we go prepared. We take an iPad, make sure we feed him before-hand so we don’t stress while we’re eating, and try to get a booth to keep our ball of energy enclosed. And…it fulfills me. As cheesy as it sounds my heart melts when I look at that tiny face jumping up and down pushing the curls out of his face. The tiny face that made the two of us a family. We may not have the same experiences that we used to have. But why should it be the same? Same is boring. We don’t evolve by being the same. Sure I’d like to dry my hair without tiny hands pulling on the cord. But part of evolving is learning how to adjust to a changing environment. 

And my environment is pretty darn great…tiny hands and all.

  

Noa’s Freestyle Fridays-Why not 4?

It seems to me that average American families, especially in big cities like LA, NY and Chicago don’t have, for the most part, more than 1-2 kids. We are 3 siblings and both my parents come from families of 7. Now, I know that those were different times and neither my grandmas had a career per se, outside of the household, but it does make me look back on my childhood and remember how much fun I had growing up with 50 cousins and big Shabbat and holiday dinners . I LOVED IT! So when I mentioned to my in-law that we’d like to have more than 2 kids her response was “oh no!”

I tried to ‘defend’ our decision, not that wanting to have more children needs defending, but you get what I’m saying.

I do have a few mom friends that have 4 and 5 kids AND a career and they seem so much at ease about it.

 

 

Something about them not making a big deal out of it makes it exactly that: NOT A BIG DEAL. I know that private schools here are super expensive, but who’s to say that public schools, in the right areas, can’t be as good? And what about home schooling, maybe that’s even a better option? I don’t have all the answers, but I do have the will, the patience and plenty of love for our kids to want to at least entertain this wonderful idea of 4.

I’ll keep you posted!

Shabbat Shalom,

Noa

Kim K. Show Me Your Real Nudie

I was recently asked my opinion on Kim Kardashian’s post- baby nude she posted on Instagram. I didn’t know what they were talking about so, I laughed and pulled out my phone to check it out. I rolled my eyes and said she was a joke. Then that burning feeling of fury really started to come up and out. The friend who asked about the picture continued to ask my thoughts on her mothering skills. I don’t know a thing of her “mothering” other than what I saw in the tabloids at the supermarket and what people speak about. She continued to tell me bits and pieces of what she has read from her blog…that you pay to read. No, she did not pay but one of her friends did and then she found herself in a deep dark hole. One tidbit of information she shared was that Kim K. covers up when she nurses.

Honestly, I had an inner battle with the pictures posted and what my friend told me about her nursing under a cover. I thought, I understand wanting privacy and protecting my child while nursing while photos are taken. Not that  I’m a celebrity or anything, but everyone has their phones out all the time. Then I laughed because let’s be real, this chick does not give two shits about privacy. Her living is made from being a public figure.

My issue with this is beyond the public/private thing and the mothering thing, or my opinion of Kim Kardashian’s character. I don’t know her. I don’t know how she parents. What I do know is that she has posted all these naked photos, all these damn naked photos. Honestly, my issue isn’t even with that. My issue is with her nonchalant attitude about it. My issue is with the re-touching of photos, especially on her Instagram pictures. It is not real. It is not the reality of what her body looks like. Post your naked pictures, mama. Post the shit out of them, but be real about it. The girls that follow her, the women that follow her, the mothers that follow her. The men that follow her, for all those who follow her, it creates a false sense of reality. That is not what postpartum looks like, that is not what a curvy woman looks like, that is not what real looks like. If you want to represent women and to empower women, post that naked picture. But don’t edit it. Instead of your tagline being, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear. LOL”. Let that picture be what it is and share a little, “Hell yeah, I look good.” or something of some worth. Just a little bit of worth rather than your attitude that you don’t have anything to wear from your million dollar closet.

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Here’s the thing, sexuality isn’t bad. This whole a mother is separate from a sexual being is a crock of shit. Humans are sexy, women are sexy, motherhood is sexy. Rep it true. Please don’t cover up while nursing then post naked pictures. Don’t tell mothers to cover up their breasts when feeding their babies but let them loose to represent sex. You can do both. You can be a sexual woman and a mother.

To the women who follow Kim Kardashian, for the women who are impacted by her presence, because at the end of the day, her being such a public figure impacts all of us whether or not we pay attention to her. Understand that you can post a sexy picture and be a mother, you may not have flat abs, you may not have the perfect hair style, make-up on, all done up, all whatever. Please post a picture of your confident, sexy, self with or without the baby, but don’t do it looking for acceptance. If you want to help make boobs, sex, vaginas, birthing babies, motherhoood, a little less taboo, rock it. But lets rock it right. Let’s get real and raw with it and stop putting this bizarre spin on what real women look like. It’s not  healthy, and we want healthy mothers and healthy women to raise our babies, and step out into the world killing it.

I encourage you mamas to take a picture right here, where you are at. Actually, not just mamas, I encourage you reading this, man or woman, take a selfie. Take that fucking selfie and say out loud, “Damn, I look good.”

Post it, or not.  Here’s mine.

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Raffaella

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