The conversation is hopping as I find myself amongst friends, whose facial reactions say it all. With each of us living our busy lives, it can be hard to find the time to successfully meet up and enjoy a girl’s night out. Yes, our lit up faces do say it all…it’s about time!
After the hugs, the kisses, and the “omg-you-look-amazing” conversation starters, I’m reclining on the couch, enjoying the moment, and surveying my surroundings. I looked forward to tonight, and so I try to push away that sluggish feeling that takes over my body after an exhausting day. Zoning out of the many conversations that form a symphony of chatter throughout the room, I hear words like, “my husband”, “my son”, “my mother in-law”…”Balaboostas.”
Balaboostas. It’s been a month since I joined the online Jewish community for married (or divorced) women. At first, I thought I should not bother, as life was busy without a new “obsession.” But I kept on hearing that it has such great resources, practical advice for the day to day things, and a strong body of support for those who seek it. I joined and I laugh when I think that this time, the obsession was worthwhile.
Lost in my thoughts, I try to ponder the meaning of a Balaboosta. Growing up, I remember how when something felt unfair to me in my parents household, they would softly chide that one day, I would run my own home and decide what goes and what does not. That did not stop my legs from trembling as I walked up to the car of my first date. If there was any consolation, he looked just as nervous as I was.
It took a couple of years for me to find “Mr. Right” and it was the beginning of the scariest, yet most wonderful adventure of my life. When he proposed and we announced our engagement, the blessings and wishes for the new couple did not stop raking in. I understood why each of those wishes came with a tip of advice. “Marriage is not easy”, they would say. “It takes time, compromise, and respect for one another to make it through the rough patches.” Although it did not just suddenly dawn on me, I still could not help but feel that constant fluttering in my stomach which reminded me of how excited I was to be in love and to begin a new life with the most amazing guy, but also how much I hoped that I would get it right, and be up to the challenges that face me in the future.
Getting it right meant all the more to me when we brought our first child into the world. After nine months of ups and downs in my moods, crying how fat I am, petrified that I do not have what it takes to be a mom, I try to shove all of my worries down the drain and toughen up for my beautiful and healthy baby daughter. With my husband, family, and friends, I know that they are all there for me and it is okay to ask for help when I need it. As I rock her to sleep, I wonder about her personality, I think about her education, and I hope to raise her well, to be a proud Jewish woman in her own unique way.
I jolt out of my reverie when I hear my name being called. I am being asked what has got me floating off to another world. I smile. I tell her that I am thinking about how it was just yesterday when we graduated high school, and now look at us, as successful moms, wives, businesswomen, all on our different paths, raising families and having it all, well…except the time to do this more often!
“I know, right?!” she shrills back….”It’s a good thing we have Balaboostas, eh?”