I started this blog to inspire other moms to just keep going, and to keep enjoying the little moments with family in the midst of all the chaos. Join the TradMama tribe for real life kosher meal plans, kosher meal prep & freezer meals, recipes, cleaning and organizing tips, and maybe a little bit of hilarity.
Hi, I’m Chavah Reid, Jewish Mama of 4 with 1 more due in March 2020. My husband and I have been married for 11+ years, and have grown together and inspired each other to pursue our love of creating and making things. He loves blacksmithing as much today as he did when we were dating (he’s just a lot better at it now! @redbeardforge) and I love to cook, bake, experiment with home projects and teach. I am a lover of DIY projects, but my desire is always to learn and process the information on how to do things to the point of being able to do it super efficiently and to ultimately share it.
I grew up in a homeschooling family of 11, with an artist/musician Mom and an inventor/computer scientist Dad. My siblings and I were encouraged to pursue our own interests and endeavors from an early age. I loved cooking and baking as a child, and as a teen I did many experimental businesses and projects around my interests (including making and selling soap and growing and selling Kombucha SCOBYs). I could not get enough of experimenting. I made a lot of foods with substitutions, and sometimes created unheard of food combinations. My Dad always said it was great, and I’m not so sure anymore, but he successfully encouraged me to keep cooking. Mom taught me which seasonings went well together, but I was always trying to think outside the box. I eventually had to establish rules for myself and work within them, adjusting things more specifically, but what mom termed “freedom in the kitchen” really helped inspire my pursuit of recipe creation and ultimately my love of preparing food for the people I love.
My home is a happy, chaotic place. We do arts and crafts, we make big messes. My kids do paper, glue and googly eyes while I make Tempeh, sew reusable swiffer pads or learn how to pressure can meat. I do 98% of the shopping, cooking, cleaning and childcare in our house, and my husband brings home the paychecks, pays the bills, takes care of the vehicles and fixes things. We are a traditional family, and I am so grateful everyday for the life we are blessed with. We work together in symbiosis. I pack my husband’s lunches, wash his clothes and find his hat, keys, gloves, boots and anything else the toddler may have run off with, and he goes out to a job day in and day out, rain or shine and puts up with men in the workforce, hard work and boredom and comes home to play with his kids and build his dream in the garage. I love him, and I love the way we have built a partnership that is based on helping each other achieve our own personal dreams. I nurture him, he supports me and takes care of me emotionally and gives me a house full of children that drive me crazy, just like I have always wanted. We create balance together. I would never trade my life of constant cleaning, chaos and cooking that seems to be a 24/7 job for his 40+ hour plus commute working life and martial arts. He wouldn’t trade for mine either. Yes, we will always do what we have to do to care for our kids, but we have prioritized not outsourcing the best parts of our lives, and live a rich life for it. My grandma said to me once that she wished she could have spent more time with her kids when they were little. I took that to heart, and it has been my goal to work hard saving money and creating value from home that allows me to be the one raising my kids and caring for my family’s needs. It’s a goal, but sometimes it doesn’t work perfectly. I still buy packaged food when I can’t keep up, I still ask my husband for help, hire babysitters and send my twins to part time nursery school, because I just can’t. I send my husband 9 out of 10 quality lunches, but that 10th one can be disgusting, which is the one he calls me about. I wash all of his clothes, but I still forget to put a load with all of his t-shirts in the dryer before bed and send him out in yesterday’s shirt. When I have a new baby, he does everything for weeks before and after. When he gets sick and misses work or goes to school for 4 months and the income goes way down, I make more beans and rice and pasta and get babysitting or baking jobs on the side. We both make sacrifices, and we live with imperfection, and just like everyone else, the constant pressure from the world around us to not only survive, but to look good doing it is real. We have a real life and a real marriage with real kids that really drive us crazy and we are really happy.
I’d love to have you follow me here on my blog, at facebook (tradmama), on instagram (tradmama_chavahreid) and on youtube (tradmama). I’m sharing real life DIY, kosher meal planning, freezer meals & meal plans, budgeting, organization, fermented & traditional foods projects and a bit of everything form this random life.