Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Turning Tides: Tomato Soup Punch

As told to Leah Gebber

Kiwi, pineapple, tomato, basil … mingled flavors that tell of the wonderful relief I had that crazy evening. The combination tasted strange, repulsive even, but to me it is the triumphant taste of finally letting go of all the voices that soured my life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

tomato juice punchWhen I made the decision not to work, it was simple. Technical. We had three little kids — a set of twins and a baby — and to spend three-quarters of my wages on childcare, cleaning help, and other work-related expenses, didn't make sense. I handed in my notice, packed up the photos from my desk, and gave away my uncomfortable work suits to the local charity store. Whoopee!

No more seven-fifteen busses. No more guilt at leaving my three little ones. No more would my husband arrive home from work to an upside-down house and a request from me that he gets right back into the car and go buy takeout. Finally, I had joined the ranks of that rare breed: the non-working mother.

Okay, so the sheen wears off after a while. You start to miss the camaraderie of the office; the satisfaction of a job well done (at home, no one compliments you on cleaning out the fridge or ironing what seems like a thousand white shirts). Even the suits started to seem more appealing — at least once in a while.

But even though it was draining taking care of my little ones, I was happy. I'd made the right decision for me, for my marriage, and for my kids. And that satisfaction propelled me right through the diapers and dishes.

What I hadn't reckoned on though, was the reaction of everyone around me. At first, I was barely aware of the judgments people were passing on me and my life. They infiltrated gradually.

It's okay for her, she doesn't work.

What does she do with her time, anyway?

They really must be rolling. We could never afford to make that decision.

My husband's learning is so important, I would sacrifice anything.

She must be really bored.



To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"