After the birth of my second child three months ago, nursing late into the night and surfing the Web, I discovered an online video series geared to Orthodox mothers called Mommy Peptalks. These videos offer words of maternal support, guidance and encouragement from Chana “Jenny” Weisberg, the author of several books on Jewish parenting.
In one pep talk, she provides her take on why raising children is the most important career:
In another, she discusses “what Judaism teaches us about being happy mothers”:
In late 2007, Weisberg began filming the segments (2- to 10-minutes each) in an effort to promote her book “One Baby Step at a Time: Seven Secrets of Jewish Motherhood. ” (Debra Nussbaum Cohen mentions another one of Weisberg’s books in this recent post) But the videos found loyal following, particularly among Orthodox Jewish women living in North America, and Weisberg continued with the series. She reports that her 75-plus pep talks have been viewed upwards of 120,000 times.
Weisberg told The Sisterhood:
I believe that each and every woman raised in Western society today has been brainwashed to believe that paid work she does outside of her home is of value, while anything she does behind her own locked front door as a mom and wife and Jewish homemaker is totally worthless, oppressive and a waste of her intelligence and energy … My goal is that through understanding this, and by watching videos about inspired and inspiring Jewish moms, they will feel happier and more pumped about being Jewish moms.
Exhausted from juggling my own life with a newborn and a toddler, I find her videos to be uplifting. Clean-faced with a warm smile, Weisberg lets us in on her own daily struggles, and gives viewers tips for navigating their own challenges. “It’s really no fun to be a martyr, but it’s even less fun to live with one,” is one of Weisberg’s lines.
Point taken — and thanks.