MelissaAnneCohen.com

I'm a very happily married SAHM to three kids, my oldest daughter is ten, my son is six and our baby girl is three.  My husband also has two daughters from his first marriage, they're thirteen and eleven.  We live in central Massachusetts.  When I'm not writing (melissaannecohen.com)," you can find me chasing after my kids, cleaning my living room or reading. I'm endlessly fascinated with the challenges that come with raising a busy family with five children.

Perks of Anti-Social Children

Not that my kids are anti-social.  They aren’t.  They just aren’t party people, in a lot of ways.  And I’m generalizing – because each one is different, but as a group – big loud parties with lots of strangers are not their cups of tea.  Jessie is pretty relaxed, and after four hours or so, Sam loosens up as well.  Julie usually follows the lead of which ever sibling is closest, it’s tough to tell how she is independently....more

Interfaith Matters

According to most definitions, I’m not in an interfaith marriage.  I’ve converted to Judaism, and it’s the only religion practiced in our home.  We are a religious family, as well as spiritual (and I think there is a difference).   We come from different backgrounds, my husband and I.  On almost every level, we’re total opposites, in terms of history.  His parents have been married for fifty years, I grew up in a single parent family with an absentee dad.  He grew up as an enthusiastic, practicing Jew....more

Parenting Fails

I'm not the parent I thought I'd be. I had big plans, BIG plans before having kids. I was going to be endlessly patient, I wasn't ever going to yell. I wouldn't swear under my breath (on a good day). My kids would be HAPPY. They would be well adjusted, content. Polite, confident. Neat. Clean. My kids were going to be living proof that I was a good parent....more

Shoveling

I thought he was trying to run away.Sam had a temper tantrum yesterday, and lost his Wii privileges.  He had melted down spectacularly for no real reason, and it got progressively worse until he finally stormed off into his bedroom.  I had put him in a time out, which he screamed thru, and then spent another ten minutes with him hollering and begging me to not take away the Wii.  I was past the point of talking to him, and had taken out my book....more

Don't Trust Your Instincts

I know - it flies in the face of conventional parenting wisdom.  You always are supposed to trust your instincts as a parent, when that little voice tells you that the fever is something serious, get it checked.  When your child answers "nothing" in an innocent tone of voice when you holler in to see what's going on, and your instincts tell you otherwise, most often they're in the middle of something they shouldn't be doing.  And when your instincts tell you that your child is scared and vulnerable and anxious, and wants only to be picked up and comforted - don't do it....more

Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah starts on Sunday night and ends on Monday at sundown.I haven’t taught the kids about the Holocaust yet.  Other than in the most general of terms – they know about WWII, and they know that Hitler and the Nazis were terrible, terrible people, and they did awful things to the Jews.  They even know that a lot of Jewish people died during the war, and that’s part of why Jews are such a minority....more

Marriage

It’s the background for my everything, and often I forget to notice it.  I’m good at noticing the little things about motherhood, the quiet moments when everything is so sweet that it aches, or when you’re so tired and touched out and desperate for a little alone time.  Parenting is my full time occupation – I write, I clean the house, but mostly, I take care of the kids.  And the relationship that makes it all possible has a tendency to fade into the background....more

I'm not there yet

I read a blog post earlier that really got me thinking. It was about starting a new chapter in life. On moving from growing a family to raising one. To saying goodbye to the part of your life when you're having babies. And while I thought, have thought, for a while now, that we're probably done with that chapter - I realized after reading this blog post that I still don't know for certain....more
I feel the same. Our situations are a little different but you mentioned all the same things ...more

Grandparents

I loved my grandfather. I loved my grandmother as well, but my grandfather was special. He and I were kindred spirits, and I have these amazing memories of times we spent, just the two of us, at museums or hiking or stargazing at the golf course. I was the oldest of four, so any alone time with an adult was something I adored.  We were the only readers in the family, and he bought me a subscription to National Geographic magazine because he wasn't at all impressed that I was spending so much time reading Sweet Valley High books....more
We're coming up on the three year anniversary of my grandfather's passing, so this hit a special ...more

Raising a Son: I Don't "Get" Boys

Raising a son: It's very different from raising a daughter. Not in some ways, but in others -- it's a completely different experience. I'm not talking just about pointing the peepee down when changing diapers (a lesson I sincerely wish someone had mentioned before I went through a week of leaking diapers; postpartum, with no sleep, it took a ridiculously long time for me to clue in). I'm not even talking about learning all of the names of farm equipment and construction vehicles, or understanding why fire engines and trash trucks are so fascinating. I'm talking about the deeper things. I'm talking about masculinity....more
Great post! I feel the same about boys. My boyfriend's son is 14 and I cannot relate to him AT ...more