‘Mishegas’ celebrates New Year with #100 milestone

This week’s “Mishegas of Motherhood” is special for me because it represents my one-hundredth column.

That’s right, 100 times I wrote a story that had something to do with being a Jewish mom, although I’ve also been known to digress and talk about food, my marriage, and my dog.

Since the parenting humor column was first published in March 2006, “Mishegas of Motherhood” has become a household name, at least at my house.

Even so, I realize “Mishegas of Motherhood ” is a mouthful to say and an even longer title to spell out. That’s why I would like to propose the abbreviated title for “Mishegas of Motherhood” as “M.O.M.” What do you think?

For me, 100 represents more than a number; it’s a milestone.

Never before have I stuck with a job for this long without getting fired. More importantly, the timing of the one-hundredth “M.O.M.” is perfect.

In synchrony with the Jewish New Year, I have the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve learned and to renew my commitment to explore how Judaism influences every aspect of parenting.

Recently, for example, on my daughter’s first day of Sunday school in fourth grade, I was reminded of one of the most important lessons about being a Jew.

Jewish education doesn’t stop when we leave the synagogue. It’s my job as a parent to extend the Jewish classroom into my everyday family life at home and into the community.

The foundation of Judaism is deed over creed, in other words, being a Jew requires more than saying a prayer in synagogue on the high holidays. Parents can strengthen their family and their Jewish identities each time they keep the Sabbath, celebrate the holidays, read Jewish books, do a mitzvah for the sake of others, study the Torah, and worship together.

Being Jewish is a lifelong process, so when I drop off my children at religious school, I show them, not just tell them, how important their Jewish education is by staying at temple myself and participating in an adult Hebrew class or Torah study group.

In the last couple of years, “M.O.M.” has allowed me the privilege to reach a lot of people and share my opinion on everything from God and Torah to politics and Jewish music. Readers of all generations, men as well as women, both Jewish and non-Jewish, relate to my experiences and offer me all kinds of feedback and advice. After all, raising children takes a village, or in this case, a kibbutz.

Moreover, my readership expands beyond the local community, and my Web site (www.mishegasofmotherhood.com) gets hits from all over the world. Whether this Jewish connection is made by accident or intentionally, it doesn’t matter.

Maybe somebody in Guam is curious about bar mitzvahs or matzah balls or what a sukkah is. In addition to the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, my Web site traffic comes from Israel, Palestinian Territory, Belarus, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, Gatar, Netherlands, Malaysia, Norway, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Egypt, Ukraine, Brazil, France, China, Panama, and Guatemala.

I suppose no country or island is too small to Google the subject of “Passover,” including Trinidad and Tobago, which is actually the birthplace of the limbo and deserves royalties from all those popular bar mitzvah party dances.

Even though “M.O.M.” barely scratches the surface when it comes to the Jewish religion and culture, it’s one perspective, and it’s a start that hopefully stimulates conversation. I look forward to the next 100.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Currently, she is patiently waiting for apple picking season to start. Feel free to send any comments to: [email protected] or visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.