Forward Thinking

Six Words for the (Bad) Jewish Mother

By Naomi Zeveloff

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wikimedia Commons
Mommy Dearest: Some readers’ mothers left a strong impression.

For Mother’s Day, the Forward challenged you, our readers, to write six-word memoirs encapsulating your mothers — and then we picked 12 winners who penned sweet and silly salutes.

In the process of sifting through your six-word submissions, we learned something important: mommy issues abound in the Jewish world. While most of the memoirs were warm and loving, some were downright disdainful.

Read the Forward’s full coverage of Mother’s Day, from stories to blog posts.

Below, we’ve published the best (or perhaps worst) angst-ridden submissions. We’ve kept the entrants anonymous this time in hopes that they will be able to patch things up with mom later on. Till then, here’s what we discovered:

Some of you think your mother isn’t the brightest crayon in the box:

Yes Mom, I do smoke “marinara.”

Stop texting reminders to call you.

Some of your mothers lay on the guilt and criticism:

Sacrificed her own happiness for ours.

Pressure? Criticism? Guilt? Russian-Jewish mother’s expertise.

Guilt is her paintbrush. Masterpiece. Me.

She expected me to be perfect.

You’re 25! Where are my grandchildren?

That’s not very becoming young lady.

Some of you feel mistreated by your moms:

“My whole family is dead.” Hello??

My mother was an insane monster.

“I’m bored.” “Go play in traffic.”

Mom raged, for she wasn’t adored.

Some of you find your moms supremely irritating:

Mom, why are you so obnoxious?

Listen. Mom is always right. Always.

Mom says, “What’s wrong?” for hello.

Some of you have contentious relationships with your mothers-in-law:

Righteously earned her Gold Meddle Award.

Evidently, I’m not bad for shiksa.

But no matter how you feel about your mother, all of you can probably relate to this one:

It’s complicated, yet I love her.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mother's Day, Mothers Day 2, Mothers, Jewish

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.