Mommy Hunchbacks

I have been thinking a lot recently about the “pekkele,” the congenital package, the inborn weakness, that each and every one of us lugs around with us for life, like a hunchback.

One mom is so disorganized that her whole family lives in perpetual crisis mode- mismatched socks and misplaced vaccination records and missed school buses are a way of life. One mom is unable to control her anger and her frequent screaming and criticisms transform her into the big bad wolf of her young children’s daydreams. Yet another mom suffers from depression, so that the demands of running her small household feel as overwhelming, as impossible, as if the phone company had appointed her as a turn-of-the-century switchboard operator for the millions of modern Manhattan.

And isn’t it unfair? Every single mom is trying so hard to be the best mom possible, and she would be…if it weren’t for that cursed hunchback!

I think of my own personal motherly hunchback every time I recite the after-blessing “Boreh Nefashot:” praising G-d who “Created many kinds of life and made them lacking…in order to sustain all life.”

This prayer reminds me that G-d made me this way, he created me, and all of us, as the Jewish Mom of Notre Dame. Just as the fine pure oil that was used in the Menorah was created by crushing olives, so too none of us can live up to our ultimate potential without pressure and difficulty- without the crushing ,ongoing battle between our weaknesses and our desire to be the best moms for our children.

Without the struggle, day by day, to open the window, to let in some fresh air, and to start again.

The battle of the disorganized mother who fights to get her life under control, the angry mother who fights to replace a reign of terror with one of warmth and love, the depressed mother who fights day by day to return a breath of happiness and life to herself and to her family.

This battle is the most important fight we will every face, and hidden within it is our ticket to spiritual greatness. Because it is through the constant chafing between our G-d given hunchback and motherhood’s reality of constant giving, that each and every one of us can ultimately become her most perfect self.

Related posts:

American Kiddush
Post-Purim Busy, Busy, Busy
A Woman of Valour I Have Found

One comment

  1. Dear Chana,
    Beautiful! It is so nice because it seems that our neighbour doesnt have a problem an only I have a problem. You write so nice that is not a problem but a gift, Hashem gave us te show us what possibilities we have… B”H usualy we do get to the end of the day and most thing got done…
    A lot of koach to all of us!

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