It’s almost January 1,
2014 2015. On to a new year.
First, I announce the winner of my giveaway from the commenters on my blog post on the Hanukkah Hoopla. The winner is: Lisa W from Cycling Grandma! I will send her a copy of my book, Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby! (Israel Bookshop Publications, 2012).
Here’s Lisa’s blog, if you have a chance to get a look! . (Thanks again, Renee Schuls-Jacobson, for planning the Hanukkah Hoopla!)
Next, I’d like to introduce Revital Belz from Israel, who blogs about being a Mom of five boys (sound familiar?). Revital has been published in the Jewish Journal, and blogs at Ajudaica.com, where she enjoys creating stylish items for men, including personalized yarumulkas and T-shirts.
Enjoy Revital’s special simchas hachayim (Hebrew for joie de vivre) that comes through in her writing. Please feel free to comment below. Revital and I would love to read your thoughts!
A GLIMPSE INTO ANOTHER WORLD by Revital Belz
I introduce myself as Revital, a mother who is blessed with a large family.
There is so much talk about these “wonder ladies” that I want to open a window and give you a peek. It is a chance to share with you the joys and enormous satisfaction I derive from raising my large family.
I come from a traditional home but became strictly Orthodox in my teenage years. I married at the age of 22 and today have five children ranging from two to ten with a set of twins in the middle. In spite of my heavy home commitments, I work in our family Judaica business. I know that I am a walking advertisement for motherhood so I make sure that I am always put together and I don’t leave the house without makeup.
“When people ask me what I am doing with my life, I tell them that I am a Judaica artist. I was granted five packages of raw material – human substance – and given the task of forming them into learned G-d fearing Jews who will make a contribution to their family and the community – beloved in the eyes of man and Heaven, individuals! Sotheby’s recently sold a small statue for $100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars – in case the zero’s confuse!). How much would they give for my artistic creation?”
“I don’t understand it when people asked me if I feel burnt-out or deprived. Do they ask a doctor who sweats for five years to get his degree and another few years as an intern if he is neglecting his personal development”
“Motherhood is the greatest challenge to my personal development. I was a spoiled indulged child when I got married. I could just about boil an egg. Over the years, I have learnt to be giving and compassionate, patient and diplomatic. I never knew I had these qualities or that they were so important to life. My husband and children have enriched my life. Yes, sometimes I would like to read a book, attend a concert, or drink coffee with friends. I do not deny myself these personal pleasures. I simply say to myself – not now.”
“I often think of my grandmother’s life advice – nothing worthwhile is achieved without hard work. Sure, raising a large family demands energy and is sometimes draining. I make mistakes. I have learnt to pick myself up and continue. Everything always works out in the end.”
“Before each birth, I wonder how I will divide my love to include an additional child and every time I discover anew that with each child, love multiplies not divides. Children growing up in a large family have a unique opportunity to share and give and be considerate. Of course, my kids fight and argue and have tantrums – like kids everywhere. But, growing up in a large family is giving them the best tools for life.”
“The secret is to make your children your first priority. I try to constantly be aware of their needs. This demands thought more than time.
When my oldest had a major test, he found a candy in his school bag with a note wishing him success.
When Dudi was having a rough time in school, he got lots of extra ‘I love you’ hugs. My little one needs to feel good about himself. I cooked him favorite lunch and told him that he is the greatest kid. From time to time, we have a ‘king for a day’ project. On that day, the lucky child will put a crown on his head in the morning and know that it is his day – the day that he is spoiled by everyone.”
“The climax of the week is the beautiful Shabbat when we sit around the table, talking and singing together. No matter how exhausted my husband and I are, Shabbat is children’s time. We tell stories, play games and check up on what they have studied during the week. We relish the Chagim (Jewish festivals). Each one has its special flavor that is almost tailor-made for children and gives wonderful family experiences.”
“Sometimes, I wonder if I am doing a good job. My best endorsement came last week from my seven years old (the inspiration for this article).
He has just learned to read and proudly uses his Siddur (prayer book) every day. With great self-confidence he confided in me, “Imma” he said, “I am praying to G-d that you should bring us another baby. I would like triplets!”
Thank you for reading Revital’s post. Please comment below! And check out Revital’s Judaica blog.