I want to preface this post with (1) I am Jewish, (2) I have a mother who I don’t consider crazy, though maybe others do … and (3) please don’t take offense to what I’m going to write because, let’s be honest, we all know at least one Jewish mom who fits the profile of the helicopter parent: “a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.”
There is no exact reason as to why Crazy Jewish Mothers (CJMs) get such a
bad (err … interesting) rap. I think it just comes down to something in our blood, our genes and our DNA, and it happens to make Jewish moms a bit loony. The thing is, though, it comes from a really good place. They care so much and love so deeply, but sometimes they cross that line. Oh boy, do they ever.
Marriage And Babies
At the end of the day, what CJMs want is for their kids to find their Jewish significant other, settle down, get married and start popping out little Jewish babies. That’s it. Seems fairly simple, right?
Not so fast. If you’re not “settled down” by a certain age, your CJM will step in – big time. She will start asking her fellow CJMs to help set you up. It will become her personal mission to find you your soulmate. She’ll get nervous that you’ll never find the one, which means you’ll never have the wedding she’s been dreaming of ever since she gave birth to you, which means you’ll never give her grandkids, and the list goes on.
Finally, the nudging will get out of hand and you’ll agree to go on a date with your CJM’s friend’s son or daughter. You go, and it’s fine. It’s not the worst date of your life, but it’s certainly not the best, and this person is certainly not the one. You and said date laugh over the fact that your CJMs are actually crazy, and you call it a night.
This is typically how it goes. But don’t be surprised when your CJM calls the next week with a new blind date for you.
It’s Just A Cold
Complaining of your cold symptoms in front of your CJM is risky business. Sneeze in front of her and it’s all over; your CJM will automatically think you’re deathly ill and that you need to go to the doctor immediately to make sure you don’t have a never-heard-of disease. Mom, I sneezed once. Relax!
If I’m Hungry, I’ll Eat
And the food! When you have a CJM, one thing you’ll never be is starved. She’s always making sure you eat enough, and I do mean always. Your friends come over and she will ask no less than nine times if they want food (after they’ve said “no” the eight times prior). And if your CJM is hosting a party, she’ll almost certainly order enough food for a small country. There will always be leftovers, most of which she’ll force you to take home to make sure that you’re fed for the next week.
Don’t forget about those classic CJM phone calls. Jewish moms tend to call their children a lot. And by a lot, I mean constantly; it’s totally nuts. I’m sure you screen the majority of her calls, but when you’ve had enough and you pick up, it goes something like this:
Child: What, Mom?!
CJM: Oh, nothing, honey, just wanted to say hi and see if you had a good lunch.
Child: That’s why you called me 14 times?
CJM: And to tell you I love you and don’t forget your coat – it’s freezing outside.
It All Comes From A Good Place
Like I said, all this crazy Jewish mom behavior stems from the fact that they mean well. Everything they do comes from a good place. Sure, some Jewish mothers are a little crazier than others, but in the end they all want us to be fed, happy and, preferably, paired up with the right person. And truth be told, it feels good to know there’s someone out there that truly wants the best for you. As a result, we love our CJMs unconditionally, just as they love us.
The funny part, of course, is that all of us girls are probably going to turn into our Crazy Jewish Mothers down the road, and then eventually our kids will write about us. Except me, because like I said, my mom isn’t a CJM. (Hi, mom!)