I believe that mothers should tell the truth, even - no, especially - when the truth is difficult. It's always easier, and in the short term can even feel right, to pretend everything is okay, and to encourage your children to do the same. But concealment leads to shame, and of all hurts shame is the most painful.
When my first daughter was born, my husband held her in his hands and said, 'My God, she's so beautiful.' I unwrapped the baby from her blankets. She was average size, with long thin fingers and a random assortment of toes. Her eyes were close set, and she had her father's hooked nose. It looked better on him.
There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you'd be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature.
The capacity for extravagant emotion that my husband finds so attractive in me can be exhausting, especially to a child. My moods are mercurial, and this can be terrifying. I know, because I was a daughter of a mother with a changeable temperament.
I was born in Israel, to Canadian parents. My father immigrated in 1948, part of a wave of young men and women who came as pioneers, to fight for a Jewish homeland. Their motive was in large part a reaction to the Holocaust, and their slogan was 'Never Again.'
Because of my bipolar disorder, I tend to these mixed states, which are depressed but loud and agitated. So I can be terribly irritable. I go to cognitive behavioral therapy in order not to yell at my children.