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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.


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Monday, June 20, 2005

On Losing the Baby Race

Come, let us sit in a circle of non-judgment so that I may reveal my deep dark secret to you, my j-blogging brethren...

I am a married, Orthodox, Jewish woman and I have only two children.
Or as my husband likes to say, we are "losing the baby race."

This situation can be interpreted in a few ways depending on your point of view:

My Bais Yaackov buddies:
Since my old high school friends know me from my frummy days (and in fact I am still quite committed to Torah) they assume there must be something terribly wrong with my reproductive health. I'm sure if I could find some record of the ladies tehillim list in Matesdorf or Bayit V'gan I'd find my name on more than one. When we talk about our children they tell me to have faith or try to encourage me by regaling me with tales of miraculous and unexpected childbearing.

Toby Katz:
According to recent excerpts from her great body of work (and by work I mean the alienation of Jews unlike herself) a Jewish woman's sole purpose is to bear and raise Jewish children. That understood I must either be a bad Jew, a bad woman or maybe both! Maybe I'm not even a Jew OR a woman, that would certainly be an interesting turn of events!

My Relatives:
You know Shifra, sweetheart, I wasn't going to say anything, you know we don't like to mix in... But your Uncle Max and I were talking to your Bubby, and you know, we were wondering if you were planning to have more children. I mean of course it's your business but you know that we were hoping you'd name a son after Max's brother Hymie. You are such a good mother, it just seemed like a natural thing you'd want more children, so nu?

Ultra Orthodox Jews:
Just two kids? A shandeh. Not that we are surprised, we didn't really think you were frum anyway.
Your college education and lack of pantyhose were a dead giveaway.
Better that you should just mess up the two you've got with your modernishe ways and leave the next generation to our ill mannered and undereducated little darlings.

Modern Orthodox Jews:
Yeshiva tuition is the best birth control - hahaha!
You guys aren't getting divorced or anything are you?
No?
OK, just kidding hahahaha!


The Rest of the World:
The rest of the world sees me with my two beautiful daughters. They know I enjoy being a mother and that's that. Once in a while I hear "Do you plan to have more?" or "Would you like to have a boy?" But do you hear the language? Do I PLAN to have more would I LIKE to have a boy. There is no judgment, and there is also a realization that this is MY BUSINESS.

18 Comments:

At 10:03 PM, Blogger orthomom said...

Jews have no realization that this could possibly be YOUR business. It's not in their repertoire to mind their own.

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

Enjoy your two beautiful daughters! :)

Speaking of relatives, my brother has two adopted sons. It's really funny to hear relatives (who don't know about the adoption) say the boys "look just like their Dad." We just smile.

 
At 2:05 PM, Anonymous shanna said...

Ah...two daughters, sounds like bliss to me (though the Other Half would probably like a son thrown in there, but I think I'd find the brit too disturbing).

Also, I must be surrounded by and related to the most well-mannered Jews (and other people) in the world, because we hardly ever get any "Nu? Kids?" comments...and we've been married for almost three years now.

 
At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Shifra said...

You are lucky Shanna, perhaps I can use you as a diversion the next time I am accosted by the fertility police. I'll yell "Look! a woman with no children!" and then I'll make my getaway!

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

ya know what's scary,i have 3 boys(no that's not a picture of them in the corner) and you don't know my real name in 10 or 20 years feom now we could be machatanim.hahahahahahahaha

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous shanna said...

Go right ahead, Shifra. I have a whole barrel full of icy stares and scathing retorts.

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Shifra said...

That is scary Amshi!
I'm not sure if your boys are old enough for my girls.

Email me and we'll negotiate.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

We stepped out of the race at 3. That's plenty. Many of our friends are at the same place, and not looking to move up.

 
At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Little Wolf said...

My wife and I don't have any at this point. (numerous reasons) And we get those questions mostly from her family. (Which is the non-Jewish side) So trust me, it isn't just Jews who stick their noses in others business. That having been said ... I think a lot of that questioning is from our 'communual' (sp) orientation.

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

your husband sounds like he doesn't care about losing the race. i always heard its not over 'til the fat lady sings, so don't give up now! (unless you want to. and if you seriously want to win, think...fertility drugs....)

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous shifra said...

Yes, I do believe that fertility drugs are still legal in the baby race.
And I definately know it's not over till it's over!

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

Hey, I was just kidding! i really don't know how those blessed with these miracles cope with life. live in help does come to mind.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Chaim said...

That's so funny, my wife feels the same way Shifra. If choose to "family plan" it's noone else's business but our own. Meanwhile girls from her frummie classes are on thier 4th, 5th and 6th kids. Good for them, right?

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Chaim said...

by the way, when my wife and I were dating we agreed on 3.5 kids, the .5 we'd work out later :-)

 
At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Shifra said...

Rubin- Let me know how that 1/2 a kid thing works out for you- maybe we could split one or something...

 
At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Chana said...

Ye gods! To echo Mirty, enjoy raising/ educating/ loving your two beautiful daughters, and ignore the Toby Katzes of this world.




~~~

Best quote ever:

You should not condescend to me, by the way. I am way older than you, way smarter than you and way better educated than you.

And tell me, if you please, why do you so badly WANT homosexual sex to be permitted?

--Toby

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Shifra said...

"Way smarter" LOL!

 
At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could so identify with this post. Not in the area of having children, but just the general attitude of Jews.

WHY ARE WE SO NOSY???????

 

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