ScaryMommy.com: This one is for the mom who is heading back to work

A version of this essay was originally published in ScaryMommy.com on Feb. 25, 2017

I see you, Mama, pacing from room to room, recalling what still needs to be packed for tomorrow. You pause by the sleeping baby’s crib, in awe of his eyelashes and his measured breathing, unsuspecting that tomorrow someone else will be reading him his favorite bunny story and putting him down for nap time.

You try to cook as much as possible to prepare for your upcoming 11-hour, perhaps 12-hour, absences. You bought a crockpot and bookmarked recipes online; you stocked up on groceries as if Armageddon is fast approaching, and now your freezer door won’t close.

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Kveller: Embracing borscht, pies and mayonnaise for the next generation

This essay was originally published by Kveller.com on Dec. 29, 2016, titled “Embracing the Russian Food of My Youth for the Sake of My Kids”

I never thought I’d miss Russian food, the unassuming cuisine of my birthplace. I was self-conscious about Russian salads, for instance, referring to boiled and chopped root vegetables loaded with mayonnaise, not microgreens. Traditional Russian recipes use just one kind of cheese, called cheese. Growing up as an immigrant kid in the United States, it’s awkward having to always explain that sour cream really does make everything better, that Herring under a Fur Coat isn’t furry, that the jiggly meat jelly is no weirder than the processed American chicken tender.

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The Washington Post: How new mothers can avoid injury when starting to exercise again

 This story was originally published by The Washington Post on Dec. 13, 2016. It was republished by the Chicago Tribune on Dec. 15, 2016.

One January morning, while attempting my first jog since the birth of my 6-week-old baby, I was taken aback by my low endurance as I plodded along, hyperventilating and draped over the stroller’s handle.

I soon discovered endurance was only the beginning of the physical challenges I’d experience as a new mom. Pregnancy and childbirth can also weaken abdominal muscles, loosen ligaments and cause structural changes in the rib cage and pelvis. All of this makes a woman prone to injury if she pursues a bikini body too quickly. Continue reading

Okay with preschool dress code? Psst, you might be a little bit Russian

Turns out my kid’s preschool has rules. Not just your usual “Refrain from biting others, bringing allergens in your lunchbox and showing up with infectious diseases.”

It’s dress code rules.

Disney and fantasy characters are prohibited, since the preschool is based on the principles of Maria Montessori, a physician and educator, who believed children until the age of six have an absorbent mind, unable to discern between concrete and abstract (not to be confused with creativity or imagination). Jewelry and flashing lights on shoes are not permitted, to avoid distractions.

Learning this sounded familiar and Soviet. As in, “Eww, Soviet,” not “Yay, Yuri Gagarin, first man in space!” Soviet.

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The Washington Post: How I lost and rediscovered my self-image after having kids

This essay was originally published by The Washington Post on Sept. 16, 2016

Our culture’s obsession with weight, from diet fads to the thigh gap, takes a particular toll after childbirth.

According to medical books, a 25- to 35-pound gain during pregnancy is considered healthy. A woman becomes roughly 12 pounds lighter immediately after childbirth. The rest is supposed to just melt away.

But instead of fitting a statistical bell curve, many new mothers feel like outliers.

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Kveller: 6 Parenting Lessons I Learned As a Restaurant Server

This post was originally published by Kveller on Sept. 13, 2016

Waiting tables at a Moroccan restaurant in New York isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about parenting. If you’re a student who lives off a credit card and walks 30 blocks to save on subway fare, yet splurges on cocktails and believes fatherhood potential and artistic talent are the same thing, children are not in the picture. Continue reading

The Parenting Aptitude Quiz

Ever wonder how your parenting stacks up in our world of benchmarks and parenting philosophies? Take this quiz to find out, picking one best answer for each question.

1.Baby transportation: Baby wearing or stroller?

http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/7-reasons-i-will-never-give-up-my-stroller/

From Babycenter.com

a. Baby wearing forever! Or at least until he tells me he prefers to drive.

b. Stroller. My back hurts.

2.Manners: Your toddler said he hates you and threw goldfish crackers in your face. Your response:

https://a.dilcdn.com/bl/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2012/03/23a9e3d3280c21eeca818407f95391c2.jpg

From Babble.com

a. Discuss why throwing and name-calling is wrong, suggest postponing anti-parent angst until he is a teenager. Work with your toddler to pick up the goldfish from the floor together. Name the goldfish. Find an appropriate container for storing the goldfish. No, not the green cup. Incentivize as needed.

b. Deal when you have the energy. Pick up the goldfish yourself and eat them.

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