7 Shvat 5781 / Wednesday, January 20, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bo
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Hashem doesn’t expect us to be perfect parents; He just expects us to do our best. Sometimes our best just really stinks. But, hey, that’s okay! We are human, after all…




I am completely convinced that every person needs to be a parent in order to see who he really is. No one brings out the best and the worst in you like your kid does; not even your spouse. A few weeks before Chanukah, I discovered something about myself that surprised me: I hate arts and crafts.


HATE. Like, mamash (really) hate them. I hate glue. I hate paint. I absolutely hate glitter. I hate microscopic cut up bits of paper all over the floor.


My kids wanted to enter the school’s chanukiah building contest, so I agreed. What could possibly go wrong? I figured out an interesting chanukiah made of eight little ceramic jugs, and in theory, my idea was awesome. There was a wooden plate with all kinds of beautiful designs engraved into it, and I envisioned a gorgeous, glittery, colorful plate with nine painted and glittery vases on top. Not very masculine, but whatever. The kids didn’t seem to care.


So I set up all of the paint and bowls of water, paintbrushes, and jugs, and let the kids get to work. It started out okay, until my little boyfriend came home and decided he wanted to paint, too. That was the beginning of the end.


In no time, the bowls of water were turned over, the paint was all over the table and chairs, and my kids were covered in paint. After trying to keep up with damage control so it wouldn’t get too out of hand, I finally began to reach my mess tolerance level. And when I got dangerously close to passing it, something strange started to happen.


My heart started beating fast. I started to sweat. My hands began shaking. My eyes began bulging in their sockets. My breathing became heavy and raspy. I started to twitch. The veins in my forehead began to pulse. A scaly tail suddenly began to wiggle down by the bottom of my skirt. In other words, I was turning into a... Momzilla! YIKES!


“Look at this mess!! This is a disaster! A DISASTER!!” I began to yell hysterically as I tried to keep from knocking over the open jars of glitter for the fiftieth time. I put my hands to my face in my frustration, only to realize a moment later that I had just smeared five different shades of glitter all over my cheeks and forehead. “AAARRRGGGHHH!” I yelled as I held my cramped-up hands up in front of me after realizing what I had done. The frustration was quickly turning into anger.


And that’s when things got crazy. All of a sudden, fire started shooting out of my mouth. “This is pretty freakin’ cool,” I thought to myself. I set my angry sights on the little cute and glittery ceramic jugs that seemed to be snickering at me. “WHAT’S SO FUNNY, LITTLE JUGGIES?!” I roared at them. They squeaked in horror as they desperately attempted to hop away from me. “YOU CAN HOP, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE!!” OMG, where did this Freddy Crougar voice come from? Who cares. I focused my evil eye on them and, in an instant, incinerated them with my super-cool and very foul-smelling fire breath. “Har, har, har!” I laughed the laugh of evil victory. In the back of my mind, I was even starting to scare myself.  


My little almost-3-year-old boyfriend was watching me with a mixture of fascination and “This can’t be my mother. Is this really my mother? Really??” He thought he would help things by imitating me: “This is a disast-uh, a disast-uh!” Perfect timing! My cramped up hands were just about to throw my dining room table on its side. As I fell under the sweet spell of his helium-filled little voice, I relaxed my death grip on the edges of the table and stopped panting and shooting out little bursts of fire.


I shook my head and snapped back into reality. “Wait a minute,” I said to myself. “What am I doing? I’m complaining about the mess and then I’m making a bigger mess? That means I just have more to clean up. Oh, shawarma!” Against my will, I began to smile at my stupidity. The veins stopped throbbing in my forehead. The eyes receded back into their sockets and the breath of death turned off. My skin returned to its former non-green shade of desperately seeking sun. The horns receded back underneath my tichel. I was almost human again. Almost. The fangs might need to be filed down a bit.


In the end, after the afternoon of blood, sweat, and tears, I finished the chanukiah. Thankfully, my kids are immune to my occasional (okay, daily) outbursts of insanity. It must be that new vaccine to protect children from maternal cuckoo-itis. You can find this new Big Pharma-sponsored diagnosis in the 2017 PDR.


Sadly, this is but one of millions of instances in which I morph into a Momzilla. Maybe it’s genetic. Can I blame my mother for this? Why not. Honestly, I feel a little bad about being a Momzilla because so many moms seem to keep their cool really well. How do they do it? Maybe they’re just putting on a good front, but at home they’re really monsters? Yeah, that’s it. I feel so much better now.


I distinctly remember bumping into one mom with her four daughters, and she was talking to them in a sign-songy voice dripping with syrup and butterflies. I wanted to throw up and strangle her at the same time, and then dig around in her purse to find her special happy pills. Share the love, lady!


Is there really such a thing as a mom who doesn’t turn into a Momzilla every once in a while? Honestly, I don’t think so. So I’m telling all you lovely moms out there, and myself included, that we should all just give ourselves a break. Hashem doesn’t expect us to be perfect; He just expects us to do our best. Sometimes our best just really stinks. But, hey, that’s okay! We are human, after all. At least some of the time, right?


Here are a few tips that I think can help all of us tired, overstressed, overworked, over-laundrified supermamas. First, eat properly! If you don’t take care of your body, who will? Second, get enough rest! Funny. Right. Third, take a few minutes a day for yourselves! Lock yourselves in your room if you have to and invest in a good set of earplugs. Fourth, talk to Hashem! Only He can give you the super-human strength that you need to do everything that you do.


Until we all reach perfection, I have just one thing to say to all of my fellow Momzillas: Keep up the great work! You’re awesome, and don’t you forget it!

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