- My Great Aunt Sara: My grandmother's sister was substantially older than my grandmother, was born back in Russia under cloudy circumstances that no one ever really clarified (did her mother marry a bigamist or have an affair?), came to America at the age of 2 with her single mother. She kept my great-grandmother's maiden name even after my great grandmother remarried and gave birth to my grandmother. None of that could have been easy in early 20th century America. She was a fierce feminist - becoming a nurse and starting the nursing program at Sinai Hospital in Detroit. She is the one who bought me shirt that said, "A woman's place is in the House…and the Senate." She collected Susan B. Anthony dollars and gave them to me. She taught me basic skills like how to tie my shoes and whistle and more esoteric skills like dreaming big and standing up for myself. She was a feminist before there was a word for it and made sure the next generation took pride in that tradition.
Blog Posts by Rebecca Levey
- Rebecca Levey | Yahoo Motherboard – Mon, Mar 28, 2011 8:28 PM EDT
- Rebecca Levey | Parenting – Sat, Feb 26, 2011 7:37 PM EST
My daughter came into the living room with tears in her eyes, a big pouty lower lip and a look of pure devastation on her face one Saturday morning. I asked her what was wrong - did she fall off her chair? Bang her knee? Stub her toe? No. It's turns out that while playing Club Penguin someone had come into her igloo and pronounced it "lame." She proceeded to tell me through her tears how hard she had worked to decorate her igloo, the coins she had spent on a multi-colored dance floor and disco ball. I am not kidding, she had spent the last two weekend mornings obsessed with decorating her igloo and planning every inch of that ice filled room. And now all it took was one lousy penguin to deem it "lame" for my daughter to deflate and wither in total despair.
At first I couldn't help but laugh. Not the best reaction I know, but it sounded so absurd. To find out that an imaginary penguin had insulted her imaginary igloo and that this little virtual interaction could cause so muchRead More »from Virtual World, Real Tears. Learning About Emotional Internet Safety
- Rebecca Levey | Financially Fit – Mon, Jan 24, 2011 4:20 AM EST
Last week my husband and I had brunch with some cousins visiting from Seattle. One of them looked at me with pity and said "How can you live here - it's so expensive!" Now, she doesn't live in some tiny town she lives in Seattle! But still, there they were shaking their heads and thinking we were out of our minds for choosing to live in a city where the price of a 1,000 square foot apartment is the same as a 4 bedroom house in most other parts of the country. Trust me there are days where I shake my head and think the same thing. However, living in Manhattan is vital to my well-being - even though sometimes the trade offs can seem ridiculous. I have 5 city mom tips for keeping up financially and realistically in a city that seems to have a hand in every pocket.
- Create a real budget. Seems simple right? It's not. Every year my husband creates an awesome spreadsheet with all of our income and expenses in detail, month by month. Yes, it's as anal and nutty as it sounds and it's
- Rebecca Levey | Yahoo Motherboard – Tue, Dec 21, 2010 10:06 PM EST
- If your child is a raging maniac for no reason chances are they will wake up in the middle of the night vomiting with 103 degree fever.
- Always put a bowl next to your child's bed if they say their stomach hurts before bedtime
- The first 6 weeks of school are always terrible. It will get better
- The last 4 weeks of school are always terrible. Deal with it.
- Sleep-away camp is good for kids and even better for your marriage
- Parenting is all about follow through - make good on promises and consequences or you will lose all credibility.
- Don't rush your kid. There's plenty of time to see plays and movies and read books that they aren't quite ready to emotionally process yet. Just because something has music in it doesn't mean it's kid-friendly. Glee is not a kid's show.
- Don't underestimate your kid. Sometimes a child is ready for something new. Don't let your own fears keep them back. Unless it's horseback riding. Or swimming in the ocean. Yeah, I'm still
- Rebecca Levey | Parenting – Sun, Nov 28, 2010 9:14 PM EST
This past week Thomas Friedman wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times, U.S.G and P.T.A, about parental involvement making a difference in student achievement. When I first read the article I yawned. Tell me something I don't know. Kids do better when parents are involved? Of course. Kids do better when parents lay down boundaries, set expectations and create study spaces and structure? Obviously. None of this is new or interesting to me. I'm not sure what his point was other than to say American parents have become lazy while first generation parents are way more effective at encouraging and pushing their children to excel. Again - snore. What was actually interesting to me in this article was how off the mark and off point it really was when trying to talk about the role of the P.T.A.Read More »from User post: Why Education Reformers Need to Listen Parents
Yes I am one of those read-all-the-labels, organic milk buying, farmers market shopping, will not make mashed potatoes from a box kind of moms. But then Thanksgiving rolls around and every inch of my Midwestern rooted soul craves some particularly 1950s-centric foods. I spent every Thanksgiving of my childhood in suburban Michigan, staying at my grandmother's house and feasting at my aunt and uncle's with no less than 40 people every year. Kids' table? Check. Tex-Mex dip? Yup. Giant round pumpernickel bread filled with spinach dip? Hell yes. But the most steadfast and true addition to the Thanksgiving buffet had to be the Jell-O mold shimmering brilliantly alongside the pumpkin and apple pies.
The Jell-O mold is a lost art. Both of my grandmothers were masters of the form. It wasn't enough to pour that boiling, artificially colored liquid into a mold and just let it set up. No. There were ribbons to be created, sour cream to be swirled in forming pastel shaded layers, slices ofRead More »from User post: A Retro Thanksgiving
- Rebecca Levey | Yahoo Motherboard – Tue, Oct 12, 2010 3:50 AM EDT
This is the first time I've had a guest post on my blog. My friend Shari watched her mom battle metastatic breast cancer for 5 years. I never knew her mom as a non-breast cancer patient - but for the first 3 years it was hard to believe this intrepid, funny, strong women who traveled, cooked for huge family gatherings and never complained could be going through the agony that everyone knew chemo and radiation must bring. This is my friend's story about why she walks in a grueling 3 day event - why she puts together an amazing team of women and feels the need to honor her mom in this way...
Throughout the years, my mom was always within arms reach. Whether it was setting up my new dorm room, fielding a helpless phone call after a lackluster term paper, or providing that last supportive hug as I whisked off for my honeymoon, no matter what was happening in her own personal life, she never once dodged any of the emotions, needs or complaints I so often (selfishly) hurled in herRead More »from User Post: 3 Days, 60 Miles, 1 Daughter's Perspective on Walking for the Cure
- Rebecca Levey | Parenting – Mon, Aug 23, 2010 8:31 PM EDT
In the last few months I've read several blog posts railing against the PTA moms at various schools. The complaints are usually the same - they're overbearing and pushy, busy bodies trying to vie for the principal or teacher's attention, do-gooders who get off on making the rest of the parents feel bad. Yeah, yeah. I get it. At my very first Parents' Association (PA) meeting at my daughter's private preschool I actually raised my hand and told the PA President that I thought she was condescending and wrong when she made a derisive comment about how no one gave enough to the school and not to count on scholarship parents for anything. That led to quite the nasty back and forth, and needless to say confirmed all my worst fears about those kinds of groups - and let's be honest, those kinds of moms.More...
But, a year later, I was co-chairing the school auction. It was an ungodly amount of work, but in the end it was hugely rewarding when we raised more money for the scholarship fund thanRead More »from User post: I am One of THOSE PTA Moms - Gotta Problem With That?
"Mommy, what happens if you're pregnant and you don't want to keep the baby?" This is the question my seven year-old daughter asked me first thing on a Monday morning a few weeks ago. I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and I told her that you would give the baby up for adoption. They have quite a few adopted friends so I figured that would be a satisfactory answer. My daughter squinted her eyes at me and said, "You said you had to be a grown up to have a baby but then why does Sarah Palin's daughter have a baby and she is only 15?"
At this point I realized the time had come for a real sex talk. No more platitudes about falling in love, getting married and poof! having a baby. Up until that Monday morning my daughters' questions had always centered around how the baby comes out. And aside from my then 4-year-old daughter loudly broadcasting to a morning busload of passengers that she did not want to be cut open but wanted the baby to come out her vagina we hadn't really run into any sex specific questioning about the mechanics of the whole thing. So, I told my daughters (both of them were hanging on my every word at this point) that I would buy a book while they were at school that day that would explain everything and we would read it together after school.
Luckily for me I knew exactly the book I wanted to buy.Read More »from The SEX Talk - There's No App For That!