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Archive for the ‘Large Families’ Category

An Israeli research team from the prestigious Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center discovered that among menopausal women the most important factor contributing to quality of life is number of children. In other words, researchers were surprised to find that bigger families mean happier and more satisfied moms.

The research team interviewed 151 women between the ages of 45-55 and at various stages of menopause. Researchers asked the women about the severity of their menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. They also asked the women to rate their quality of life in terms of employment, health, intimacy, and emotional well-being. The researchers had thought they would find a correlation between the severity of menopausal symptoms and lower quality of life. To their surprise, they found that there is actually very little connection between menopausal symptoms and quality of life.

It turned out, instead, that the biggest factor contributing to quality of life among menopausal women is the number of children they have. Menopausal women with two or less children rated their quality of life as 91. In contrast, women with three or more children ranked their quality of life at 99.

Dr. Chaimov-Kuchman attempted to explain the research team’s unexpected findings, “One of our hypotheses is that women in Israel view menopause as the beginning of infertility…It could be that women who gave birth to 2 or less children feel that maybe that is not sufficient, and that they did not actualize their potential, and it’s possible that that has an impact on their quality of life.”

Read the original Hebrew article on this groundbreaking research

Special thanks to Rachel Reinfeld-Wachtfogel for sending this article my way!

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A Russian news program recently reported that a first-time mother gave birth to 10 babies. According to this news report, the mother did not see a doctor during her pregnancy, which explains why there was such off-the-charts shock when she gave birth to 10 babies.

According to the report, the husband fainted when he realized that he had been transformed overnight into a father of 10. The hospital nurses say they were in shock when one baby after another were coming out of this woman. The mother is just doing everything she can to keep the names straight of her 5 newborn sons and 5 newborn daughters.

I was just laughing when I watched this, it just seems so unbelievable. But is it unbelievable/incredible or un-believable/I just don’t believe this?

I’m leaning now to thinking this is a made-up story…Watch this video and vote in the poll below what you think the truth is…



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Me In Timephoto © 2009 Vincent van der Pas | more info (via: Wylio)
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Over the past few days I have been feeling breathless. I think this borderline hyperventilation might be due to my perpetual motion machine life, and the fact that it’s finally starting to get to me.

And then I read the results of a recent survey of 3000 working British moms, which breaks down the average day of a working mom as follows:

(reprinted from the Motherlode Blog):
Get up 6:42am
Get ready (shower, dress, coffee) 55 minutes
Get children ready 47 minutes
Commute to work 52 minutes
Working day 7 hours
Pick children up 33 minutes
Makes / eat dinner 46 minutes
Children’s play and bedtime 1 hour 9 minutes
Household chores 1 hour 13 minutes
Work from home 1 hour 12 minutes
Go to bed 10:45pm
Spare time = 1 hour 30 minutes a day

What is it that parents miss most? Here’s what they told pollsters:

1. Spend more time with the children – 48 per cent
2. Read books – 37 per cent
3. Do more exercise – 34 per cent
4. Put feet up in front of the TV – 32 per cent
5. A lie in – 31 per cent
6. Go to the pub – 30 per cent
7. Meet friends – 25 per cent
8. Take a walk in the park with their partner – 22 per cent
9. Go to the cinema – 19 per cent

My first thought after reading this was that I really don’t get how these moms do it. I work only three hours a day, not seven, and I am the one borderline hyperventilating as I type these words.

What do you think of the results of this survey? Do you think the 90 minutes spare time a day sounds realistic? What does your daily schedule look like and what do you miss most from you BC (Before Children) days? I’ll be interested to hear your comments on this…

Don’t forget to read author Liza Mundy’s wonderful response to this poll entitled “The Strands of Time”…
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Lorraine Candy, the Editor-in-Chief of Elle Magazine, is currently expecting her 4th child, and she is under heavy attack on all fronts for it. In a recent editorial, Candy attempted to defend her decision to continue reproducing beyond the 2.2 kids norm:

“…of course we will be (and have been) criticised for being selfish, environmentally irresponsible and naïve.

It’s your right to think what you think, but I really don’t care. We’re not trying to prove anything or expecting anyone to make our choice any easier. It will be what it will be…

But I also know how much more love we will have in our lives, how much happiness we can look forward to and how long it will last…

I think life is supposed to be an adventure — and this is the next part of ours.”

Pretty eye-opening to be reading Candy’s self-defense against her critics as well as the hostile comments against her at the end of the article. When I walk down the street with my crowd of kids in Jerusalem, Israelis of all shapes and sizes greet me with wistful smiles. I had pretty much forgotten that anybody is still ANTI big families!

Yet another reminder to thank God that I’m living in this world and not that one! Thanks for Rena Lewis of Jerusalem for sending this my way!

I would be interested to hear from moms with big families living outside of Israel. What kinds of reactions have you received to your bigger-than-average family?
Read the rest of Why do Other Women Resent me for having a 4th Child?

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The dreams of life, the future of our beings, the beauty of life, hope will be fulfilled! Enjoy my friends!:)photo © 2010 UggBoy UggGirl | more info (via: Wylio)
A few months ago, my teacher Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi advised us to bless our kids before they leave for school in the morning. I’ve been blessing my kids every weekday morning ever since, and I’ve been loving it. And my kids have too. I think the Weisberg kidlings really crave that extra concentrated dose of Eema love and blessing before they rush out the door at 7:21 AM for the big wide school-ish world.

So every morning since school started, I have put my hand on the head of each of my children, and recited the required verses from the Priestly Blessing:

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם

 

Which means:
“May God bless you and guard you.
May God make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God lift up His face onto you, and grant you peace.”

And every morning, after that, I think of an issue that that particular child is struggling with (or some sort of struggle that I’m having with that child) and I give him or her a personalized blessing related to it. Here are some recent examples:
Please bless this boy that he should stop coming into my bed in the middle of the night…
Please bless this girl that she should start loving her teacher, and that her teacher will start loving her…
Please bless this girl that she should stop fighting with her sister…
Please bless this girl that her nose should FINALLY stop running…

But this morning, I had a fantastic JewishMOM lightning bolt of an idea that I really wanted to share with you…

This morning, for each of my children I said the Priestly blessing and then added, “Please bless this child that he/she should grow up to be a great light for the Jewish people!”

What a wonderful feeling it was to give that blessing.

At the moment I said it, it plucked me up by the scruff of my neck out of the sisterly bickering and the perpetually runny noses and the middle-of-the-night bargaining with my son to go back to his own bed. And it placed me, instead, twenty, thirty, forty years into the future, looking straight at the kind of grownups my kids will, G-d willing, grow up to be. Sincere, idealistic, passionate and caring people, parents, and Jews.

That switch of blessing made me look into my children’s faces as I blessed them, suddenly free of the traces of frustration that tinge my motherly life all too often. And replaced, instead, by respect and anticipation for the adults they will become. Please God.

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Frum family closephoto © 2008 David Howard | more info (via: Wylio)
Last Shabbat, for the first time ever I attended Friday night prayers at my favorite shul, the huge Belzer synagogue in Kiryat Belz, Jerusalem. When I arrived, there was an unusually large crowd in the women’s section, and I didn’t really know why until the Belzer choir started singing their otherworldly, sweet-as-honey Lecha Dodi niggun.

You won’t believe me, but I think I could hear Hashem Himself singing along with the Chassidim in an undertone, and I imagined the angels above circling around to celebrate the beginning of Shabbat with all of the Belzers.

The most moving moment of the Friday night prayers was when the little boys, hundreds of them, call out “Amen!” in unison. What a holy and unforgettable “Amen” it was! Hearing those little boys, I imagined the unfathomable tragedy of the million Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust. And I thought of these little Chassidic boys who are being raised keeping the same traditions as many of those lost children, speaking the same language as they did, and loving the Torah and mitzvot with all their hearts and souls– just like so many of those lost souls who lost their lives sanctifying G-d’s name.

A tear came to my eyes imagining Hashem’s tremendous nachas to have such holy kinderlach filling His world and His synagogues once again.

Oifen Pripetchik is probably my favorite song. It moves me so deeply. I am dedicating this to all our holy children who still bring God’s light into the world with their shining faces as their teachers teach them “Dem Aleph Beis.”

The huge bar mitzvah celebration for the Belzer Rebbe’s grandson

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SUPERMOM.jpgphoto © 2008 Mike On Maui | more info (via: Wylio)
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This Israeli news report about the Zalmanov family moved me very deeply, even to tears.

I love this report so much because this is the first video I’ve ever seen that provides viewers with a real taste of a bustling Orthodox kidling-filled home.

I so loved watching mother Sima Zalmanov in action, at the epicenter of the 21-member Zalmanov family. In this video, we see Sima Zalmanov dealing with the inevitable personal and financial stresses of raising a large family. We see her attempting to have an adult conversation– and the muddy socks and the falling toddler and the phone call to her husband that interrupt her. We see her in her ongoing struggle to maintain order amongst their 21-plus pairs of shoes and the six daily loads of laundry and the 3 filled-to-the-brim shopping carts. And we ultimately see her hard-earned nachas, and her intense sense of mission equaled only by her intense love for her children.

As a mom who is working like the dickens just to keep her head above water (and the laundry pile, and the diapers, and the playdates, and the “Eema, can you help me!”), I find it absolutely awe-inspiring to see a mother like Sima Zalmanov who manages to keep a smile on her own face and on the faces of her kids and husband even though she is mothering SO MANY more children than me!

Sima Zalmanov is totally my hero! Enjoy!

Click here to watch one of the most beautiful videos I’ve ever seen– the Zalmanov family prepares for Passover. A must-see for every Jewish mom. Enjoy!

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Yesterday I posted something about the Bateses of Tennessee with their 18 children, but I realized that it’s a shame to post only about a Christian family when there are so many JewishMOMs out there blessed with jumbo-sized families.

And then I remembered the legendary Sima Zalmanov of Tsfat and her 19 children. I love this lady. She is such an inspiration.

More than anything else, I love Sima Zalmanov’s clarity about the tough-ness of pregnancy and birth vs. the priceless gift of a new baby. Or, as Sima Zalmanov challenges her interviewer, “Tell me, if someone told you that you would have a difficult month, but that at the end of that hard month you would receive a million dollars, would you agree to it?

I also love when she says, “Whatever the Holy One gives, we are happy. He knows what is best for us.” Simple but infathomably wise advice for all situations in life.

Here is a news report about Sima Zalmanov and her family, with English translation provided below. Enjoy!

An English translation of the video:
Anchorman: Sima Zalmanov is 47 years old, and she already has 19 children and 7 grandchildren.
Are you confused? Eliran Tal is too…

Interviewer in voice over: Anyone who thinks that “full house” is just a term used in poker apparently has never met the Zalmanov family from Tsfat. Father Yosef and mother Sima (who is only 47-years old and is a school principal) have no less than 19 children, and the youngest of the crew was born this past weekend. (CJW: this video is from 2 years ago)

The interviewer asks Sima: My wife is in her eighth month of pregnancy and she complains: “It hurts me! it’s hard for me!” and that’s just a first pregnancy. You’ve been through 19 pregnancies, how did you do it?!”

Sima Zalmanov: Tell me, if someone told you that you would have a difficult month, but that at the end of that hard month you would receive a million dollars, would you agree to it?

Interviewer: But pregnancy is nine months!

Sima Zalmanov: If you had to suffer a bit for 9 months, would you do it for a million dollars?

Interviewer: So you have 19 million dollars?

Sima Zalmanov: At least! More!

Interviewer in voice over: So the question is, how is it possible to raise 19 children and host 7 grandchildren in a 4-room apartment that is not especially spacious. And what do the children do in their
free time in a home without a computer or television? The Zalmanov family proves that this is a difficult mission, but that it’s definitely possible. All you need is 3 refrigerators, a 3-meter long kitchen table, a bit of faith, and, more than anything else, a good memory.
(CJW: If I had been the interviewer, I, of course, would have changed this last sentence to “All you need is…a good memory, and more than anything else, a whole lot of faith.)

Interviewer asks: Do you remember all of your children’s birthdays?

SZ: Of course.

Interviewer: What about Estie?

SZ: Estie’s birthday is on the 16th of Adar

Interviewer: What about Yisrael?

SZ: On the 4th of Adar

SZ (pointing to fridge) We have a rotation system. This chart says who is bringing the younger children to nursery school. And this chart is for the sandwiches for school. So that there won’t be any questions,
each child said what he or she likes and doesn’t like…

Interviewer in voice over: By the way, even though it’s difficult at times, there are definitely plans for the future…

Interviewer asks: Do you have plans for a 20th child?

SZ: Whatever the Holy One gives, we are happy. He knows what is best for us. Whatever He does, we will be overjoyed.

Interviewer: There is room for another one…

SZ (smiling): There’s always room.


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I found this ABC report about a family with 18 children to be VASTLY entertaining.

I’ve been feeling recently that while I’m doing a somewhat OK job at being a good mom to my 6 kids (and I am trying every day to be even more somewhat OK), I am not really cutting it in terms of taking care of the STUFF of the ever-expanding Weisberg family.

The overflowing pajama drawers, the hallway carpeted with laundry, the occasional socks that sprinkle the stairs, the beds, even the bathroom. I just can’t seem to get this clothing-for-8-people thing under control!

My favorite scene in this video is, therefore, watching Mrs. Bates taking on her Mt. Everest sock pile– and winning!

Watching Mrs. Bates handle everything she does with 3 times as many kids as me, and with so much grace and dignity and positivity, made me feel hopeful. If Mrs. Bates can do it, maybe Mrs. Weisberg can too?

Vodpod videos no longer available.


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