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What I Realized About My Family

Mother of 14 children Mrs. Toby Lieder of Sydney, Australia says she had a sudden a realization about her family. Full Story

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A lovely article
August 11, 2015 12:01 pm

You have touched thousands with this article. After reading it I certainly became more appreciative of my lively brood! Thank you for the warmth and sincerity in your writing. Please keep these articles coming! We can all gain so much.

To Fraidy from Pardes chana
August 11, 2015 3:29 am

We don’t mind if we’re eaten by cows!
Our name is eisev!!🎼

August 11, 2015 12:25 am

thank you for sharing such a beautiful article

August 10, 2015 9:37 pm

To all of you vibrant Bubbies, continue learning in the time you seem to have. You will feel young and see that you still can do it. Look us up on http://www.cybersem.com, and email me through the site if you have any questions.
Chavi Goldberg, a fellow bubby who also went back to school as a bubby and feels that our experience is right on the mark for what today’s children need.

August 10, 2015 11:56 am

i thank you for sharing your deep thoughts, and being so open about them. and, you covered both ends of the issue….the mailos and chesronos, so to speak. One benefit to this, is that our kids need to understand OUR situation. We have an empty house, after wanting them and loving them. That is hard, and the kids need to remember that they should call from time to time and remember that we are always important to them. In the interum of calls and being included (to a certain healthy amount) we can enjoy our freedom to take a shower… Read more »

Another Mother's reply
August 10, 2015 8:59 am

I liked your reply to the list of previous writers. There is one thing that I hear that young mothers miss and I only learned once mine were older. That is that you cannot imagine the effect of what you do for your children. Every time you bake challah with them, it creates a dynamic in their being. Do not wait til they are older and finally express what they were feeling all the years, but never came out. Many times as the children were teens and adults, they said, OH Mommy, what you did then was so meaningful to… Read more »

August 9, 2015 11:11 pm

Remember me? Havent seen u in 40? yrs……..
very pertinent article! Thank you!
Freida Shpigelman (Gerlitzky)

August 8, 2015 11:16 pm

A beautiful person! A great mother! Am amazing article!!

my grandson calls me Gampa
August 8, 2015 10:11 pm

Your story is on the money, now my wife and I look forward to our weekly visits with our grandson charlie……..

Needed this!
August 8, 2015 9:57 pm

Thank you so much for such a wonderful article! As someone who just entered this stage of life and trying to navigate it I was glad to read this and see that I ‘m not the only one.

I also appreciated the post scripts and the input of others who have gone through this. Any more thoughts that can added to this would be most welcome!

August 8, 2015 6:04 pm


from Tanta Toby G,
August 7, 2015 4:14 pm

Dear Toby,
Haven’t heard or spoken to you in years. My kids showed me your article and I shepped nachas! Just remember that Hashem runs the world. Nothing happens by itself. Just sit back an enjoy!!
luv!! Luv!!

To #79-Mrs.Toby Lieder Tichyeh
August 7, 2015 1:33 pm

Thank you so much for your wonderful words in your ‘Post-Script’.
A gutten Shabbos to you and to all the esteemed readers of this most heartwarming article.
A special ‘thank you’ to C.O.L. for hosting this forum.

August 7, 2015 11:56 am

Don’t they come and visit sometimes?

Proud of you mommy!
August 7, 2015 11:54 am

Guess which child this is? Hehe! I am proud to say mommy you are and were the best mommy ever. You taught us how to love and laugh and that happiness is more important than anything. As I read the part of having a child on every corner of the bed I remember that. How you and ta accepted us each into your room each of us for our own reasons but you kept us close and told us stories. Anyone who says a large family makes you miss out on a lot In life, I as an adult can… Read more »

Busy Mama
August 7, 2015 2:52 am

Wow! Speechless! Tears running down my face. Thanks!!

Toby Replies
August 7, 2015 2:41 am

Thank you everyone for your warm feedback I had no idea this article would touch so many I was just sharing my soulfull thoughts with you about the new stage that one enters in life and is not quite prepared for! I learned these days to be creative and get involved in numerous fulfilling projects like starting my own blog and sharing the best of everything I have collected over 40 years! There’s still tons more to share It’ll take a lifetime to finish! I am busy that wasn’t my point when I said it is lonely. No matter how… Read more »

Rabbi and Toby lieder
August 7, 2015 2:23 am

You guys are amazing. I spent a year in Sydney in some and shlichus 24 years ago and they are one couple I remember, they had a house full of kids and bet 4-8 no one was aloud to come to the house, they didn’t speak on phones and that was the time they took care of their kids. I remember it so well. Toby you were always an inspiration. We all thought you were the perfect mother (we were right) Your life was your kids and nothing else can get in the way. May Hashem bentch you to have… Read more »

Sad and depressing
August 7, 2015 1:13 am

I find this article very disturbing. My mother suffers this empty nest syndrome but wont do anything constructive about it. She and my father plot and fight with all their married kids just so she can still be the focal part in our lives . Obviously this has backfired and they just alienating them selves more . they don’t actually want to be part of the nitty gritty of our lives and grandchildren’s lives they just want the attention all for themselves . I will never be like that so that is why as I approach my kids getting older… Read more »

For Some Love Life And Laughter
August 6, 2015 11:53 pm

Click onto
You will see more of Tobys articles and collections!

Dear Toby what a great article !!!!!!
August 6, 2015 11:44 pm

From you Yonger brother Mendel
You are the bestttt

Regards from Shruli Sharfstein!! He is still
Waiting on the corner
Roller drown is having a Bizzar. Iyyya iyyyya

to # 14!
August 6, 2015 10:52 pm

Thx for posting Mrs. Toby Lieder’s blogspot! It’e REALLY GOOD as well as this article!

August 6, 2015 10:11 pm

We learned from a friend to call it ” open nesters”. Hashem gave us kids so we can grow with them in the nest or out. Living to enjoy all the nachas they and the grandchildren bring is the.reason Hashem put us on this beautiful world. Enjoy each second the gift as yours.

August 6, 2015 9:54 pm

I really appreciate this article. I’m a tatty who is in the beginning middle of the road and this really talks to me.
Thanks so much!!!

bobby age
August 6, 2015 8:36 pm

lovely article yes I totally agree my mother also told me these years when the kids are young and needy are the best!

thank you!
August 6, 2015 7:50 pm

Just exactly what I needed to hear!

Toda Raba Meod Meod
August 6, 2015 7:32 pm

You absolutely special person and I’m very lucky to have you in my life

And stay home with your kids!
August 6, 2015 6:27 pm

Also had Kah same large family. Still have 4 home, but I’m really scared about the next couple years. Used to being so busy,crazy and hectic, won’t know what to do with myself. Grandchildren all live out of town. I see an empty nest Facebook group…for chabadniks

Don't be negative
August 6, 2015 5:38 pm

Toby seems to have a bad case of Empty Nest Syndrome. And her perspective about it is not as positive as it could be. A mother in her situation has a choice, she can wallow in self pity abut not having her kids at home or she can see this as an opportunity for personal growth. There are so many wonderful things an older woman can do that will be productive and fulfilling for her, and she has many long healthy years IY”H ahead. Find some dreams and get busy with them instead of only bemoaning the lost years of… Read more »

Loved it
August 6, 2015 4:38 pm

Toby you and rabbi Leider are my heros
Only simchas

To #59
August 6, 2015 3:16 pm

Well written,thank you so much!

Really touched
August 6, 2015 3:16 pm

I was woken up at 5am by my crying baby for the fourth time in the night, feeling so resentful that hes not sleep trained, and hes already 6 months, and why won’t he just let me sleep a little. Feeling so frustrated as im nursing him, and then I read this! Oh, what ablessing to have such a special reason disturbing my sleep! Thank you hashem thank you!

N0 52
August 6, 2015 3:11 pm

I echo your sentiments totally:(
We too have no children or grandchildren nearby, we have the syndrome in the full sense of the word

Thank you!!
August 6, 2015 2:34 pm

Beautiful article Toby!!! Such an important reminder—-thank you!! btw I still try give my kids the ‘minimum 40 kisses a day’ that you once taught me in Shterny and Nechama Dina’s meaningful motherhood! You’re such a wise lady , love Tanya

The Quiet Doesn't Stay Quiet for Long
August 6, 2015 2:30 pm

Shalom Mrs. Lieder, Boruch Hashem you have a lovely family. I became ba’alas teshuvah by being “adopted” into a yeshiva family in 2001. When I first started to meet the second generation (the grown children of my “adopters”) most had young tots or were still having children. Only one had a married child. My friends are now great grandparents, with the very first great grandchild now a strapping 16 year old. When I first met Shimmy, it was before his upsherin … and I didn’t even know what that was. (I wondered why they had his girly-looking hair tied in… Read more »

To #52
August 6, 2015 2:13 pm

With your current ‘condition’,i reccomend that you take more advantage of ‘Skype’ and ‘Facetime’.It might be a small ‘Nechama’…

August 6, 2015 2:09 pm

Yes, the hours and days seem to shlep but the months and years really do fly by. There is no reason to be sad. B”H we are able to raise our children so that they become responsible adults facing the world and beginning the cycle of life anew. We need to be thankful to Hashem for being honored with caring for the holy neshamas he entrusted to us. Everything we do, from changing diapers, to feeding, clothing, nurturing, educating our children, is a chesed. Sweeping and mopping floors is a chesed. We are preparing our homes, our own Mikdash Mayat,… Read more »

To #11
August 6, 2015 1:49 pm

I might add a line on cleanliness from the Gemarra Tractate Sotah at the very end:”Cleanliness is next to G-dliness”–“U’nekiyus Mayveeoh….Lidei Ruach HaKodesh” …
This was the caption on our ‘Clean-up Flag’ in Gan Yisroel in Montreal when we won ‘Clean-up Day.
I too have a Mishpacha Bruchas Yelodim Boruch Hashem with 9 children already married. With each marriage there are more grand- children B”H and the’nest’ keeps on getting emptier…I can fully relate to Mrs.Lieder’s beautifully written article;Yasher Kochachen!

August 6, 2015 1:42 pm

What an amazingly written article! Mrs Lieder describes literally word for word, feeling for feeling, thought for thought exactly what so many of us are going through; “The empty nest syndrome is something I always read.heard about, and never dreamt that would ‘happen’ to me!:( Like, I thought having all the kids home was a forever thing, and this would just be my life, full stop; and then with the added ‘bonus’ of having the kids leave home, and move all over the world, so that you see them , if you’re lucky, twice a year, thats really the salt… Read more »

Remember the husband
August 6, 2015 1:17 pm

Thanks for the beautiful article. I would like to add to it by emphasizing the importance of actively nurturing the relationship with the spouse through all the kiddie years and when it is just the two of you, you will have each other. Your husband is the only one in the world who really will be with you all your life (hopefully). Be grateful for that blessing and spend the time post kiddies enjoying life and the world together. From someone who is not married, just having a spouse is a whole world. ‘One other’ is a whole different universe… Read more »

Just wondering.................
August 6, 2015 12:48 pm

Which stories did you tell your kids? Sarah pick up that dime or He is watching you

Toby is not only an awesome MOM but an amazing
August 6, 2015 11:51 am

dedicated Shadchan too!!! I have never seen dedication to the cause like Toby has shown to my daughter while dating…and she stays on board coaching the young new datees to guide them thru to help them achieve clarity! Toby we are ever so grateful to you!!

August 6, 2015 11:33 am

so so beautiful. I don’t cry easily, and as a mum of young children with a hectic household BH this reigned true
Thank you toby! You have a heart that is in tune

Empty nest...
August 6, 2015 10:58 am

Yup… Empty nest. Raised nine kids BH.All married BH.All left home and are all over the world on Shlichus.All BH have kids. We are home alone…. No grandkids coming over, no yom Tov family together as they all are needed in their place of Shlichus… I count my blessings…I am grateful to the Abishter…
Is this what the Rebbe meant? No kids near home….

Brought me almost to tears
August 6, 2015 10:54 am

Thank you for this beautiful article.
This is what COL should be posting, and then nobody would have any complaints.
Its honest, raw, uplifting and has a great message.
You are a lucky lady to have had the wisdom to have 14 kids.I have a small family and wish I had more.
Thank you for sharing this, truly beautiful. Thank you.

August 6, 2015 10:50 am

Im not yet there, but i am feeling lonely eventhough all my kids are still home. and aalways have this SCARE of “what happens when they ALL leave the house” my little one is only 10yrs old i feel for you

August 6, 2015 10:47 am

beautifully written! I agree with #20! You should definitely write a book! and yes # 47 I second that. this should be the “first” of many more!

You are not alone!! B7 MN
August 6, 2015 10:22 am

I can see the comments show there are many of us with the same voice. You worded it beautifully. Kol hakavod and Hashem should bless you to enjoy your garden close up for many many years to come.

Thanks for sharing!,
August 6, 2015 10:21 am

So wonderful to see so many comments on such a positive beautiful article! MoveD to tears, very touching

33 and 42....totally agree
August 6, 2015 10:17 am

Great article and enjoyable all the participation. Some of my children more then others, i constantly felt that they are here to do the Eibershter s rotzon, and brought them up with my heart full of intention for them to be ibergegebn to the Rebbe… And the results are BH gebentched in all ways!

safta s
August 6, 2015 10:09 am

All true but each chapter gets better. I am lucky to enjoy my children and grandchildren cause BH we all live near each other in eretzisrael. In addition, i have a little sweet girl dog which keeps me company and that is wonderful.

Your Article Resonates with me except for one thing....
August 6, 2015 9:24 am

As a Mum who “waited” several years before being blessed with the miracle of Motherhood, I never thought about the “empty nest.” I was so grateful for every minute. I therefore tell each young mothers that while it is very hard, the years fly by, all too fast and then one is in the position that Mrs. Lieder and I are in at present: we look at the photos, etc. and wonder where the years have gone? Yes, our children are on loan to us from Hashem, but I still miss my full house, as well as the kochot that… Read more »

Love this article
August 6, 2015 9:06 am

Such beautiful, honest writing!!

I love the part which you write that ‘children are a loan from Hashem’. So true! You can feel fulfilled that you did your part so beautifully and set up to continue on with their families…

take advantage of every stage in your life
August 6, 2015 9:04 am

Every phase in our life is a gift. We have a choice to do what ever we want to do with it. Empty nest? That means we can spend more time davening like a mentch. More time to go to Shiurim. More time for Chesed. The main thing is to keep active with positive things until we get Moshiach here, NOW!!

to number 13
August 6, 2015 8:57 am

Have one more baby? And who will pay their tuition? Don’t tell me it will all work out And to trust in Hashem when my children sit at home confused because there cheder will not let them in until we pay more tuition which we just don’t have. I would appreciate my children more and actually enjoy them if I wasnt struggling under a mountain of tuition.

grand children
August 6, 2015 8:48 am

Reb Yankel Lipskier (770 gabai that build the 770 aron kodesh) once went over to the Rebbe by a farbrengen to say lechaim and tell the Rebbe that his 10th einikl was born. the Rebbe told him “אייניקלאך ציילט מען ניט”

to #19
August 6, 2015 8:30 am

To #19 with sincere understanding: I understand only two well your experience and difficulties as the loving and devoted mother that I am sure you are.I do not write with empty words, but also share the same mothering experience. I do not usually comment on these forums, but felt compelled to answer your “still small voice” among the comments written in response to this article. Please allow me to give strength to you,as I have been through many trying times with our beautiful children within a large family,k:ah. Please know as we know only too well from sources in Tanach,… Read more »

Thank you so much for all your comments and acknowledgements
August 6, 2015 8:19 am

All I can say to you my dear friend is, Seize the moments you have now I am talking now to the young ones that are struggling with a handful of kids of all ages! Seize the moments of joy that pass through your home each day 😀 Seize and grasp those hysterical moments that make you laugh so hard and write them down in a happy family journal for one day😀 Did you know that you are creating history right now for your family! Did you know that you are creating memories as we speak for your kids! Stop… Read more »

Toby ! What a beautiful life you are having
August 6, 2015 8:01 am

We are all on this trip together , Hashem has treated us with so much fun and happiness , we worked hard , we tried our best , the nicest thing is we duplicated ourselves into many new lives , Our Children ! Then our Grand children , we are being duplicated again and again , מה זרעו בחיים אף הוא בחיים This is the greatest gift from Hashem ! Generations of Toby’s and Yankel’s for many generations to come , pat yourselves again for the greatest treasure you both possess you put all your energy into bringing such a… Read more »

Mom of many, B"H
August 6, 2015 7:44 am

I have 14+ children, B”H. None of them are married yet and most live at home. I was told in the early years of my mommyhood to cherish every moment! I feel that I have and continue to do that. This article was so well written. Thank you!
I cherish every child, B”H, and thank Hashem for all of our gifts.

August 6, 2015 7:35 am

A Very wise woman told you make sure your relationship with your husband is #1? I assume that same wise woman would say that make sure that your wife is #1 as well I beg to differ….. all these comments are so la di da … yes we all need to Thank Hashem , Yes the Golus is soooo long . All these Platitudes… There is an old Yiddishe Vort … Until you get to the Kretchme you also need a drink so let’s talk a little more then just the same old Platitudes…. Lets talk about our CHILDREN….. all… Read more »

Made me cry
August 6, 2015 7:08 am

I’m one of those mothers who’s waiting for them to grow up, because it’s hard and bec I don’t have a second to breathe… And I KNOW even now that I will regret it one day… But I can’t control it

Been there and now...
August 6, 2015 7:07 am

I am also there.
B H raised and married off 8 beautiful shluchim.
Now my grandchildren occupy our warm home.
This is a great time to continue our our learning, volunteering and joining cheded organizations
There are stages in life and giving married children good advice is commendable
Invite your friends who are in the same situation and have a lunch and learn in you home
Yes it is lonely at times but fill it up with constructive activities

Only one sister Toby
August 6, 2015 6:52 am

It wasn’t just your children that you took such wonderful care of, it was a special experience being your younger brother. You were barely a teenager when I was born, you added a special sweetness to my younger years, stories, walks, jokes, the nosh, teaching me the ways of life, and just spending time with me. I will always cherish that.

Realize just how good you really are!

August 6, 2015 6:41 am

You are an amazing person

sonia Lipschitz
August 6, 2015 6:36 am

Just wonderfuL

a wise woman
August 6, 2015 6:35 am

A very wise woman told me before I married: Make sure your relationship with your husband is always #1. Make sure that no matter how much you love and invest in your children, when they leave the nest you will be able to live the rest of your lives on a honeymoon period.
My first child is still a baby and im only in my 20’s but I am working towards that every day 🙂

To all your grandchildren
August 6, 2015 6:29 am

Bobbie wants you to relieve her from boredom.
Camp Leider is open. Haha

Love it.
August 6, 2015 5:58 am

Great article and you should have much nachas from all your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren one day.

August 6, 2015 5:33 am

And all of this was done when there were no long day cares this is what youre missing out on today. Cherish each moment

August 6, 2015 5:27 am

Very true !
Thank you
Feel the same!!!

August 6, 2015 5:11 am

Holding my baby right now and appreciating every second

August 6, 2015 4:33 am

Relate too well, though I’m in between; kids almost all on their own but not blessed with grandchildren yet. longing for at least a fraction of what you have BH been blessed with. slowly I’m sure Hashem will help..for the time being i ought to learn how to knit?!

Time flys
August 6, 2015 4:32 am

Beautifully written.. I’m about to have my first baby and already sad to think that time can go so fast.. I will try my best to cherish every moment.. Thank you for sharing!

August 6, 2015 4:17 am


well done
August 6, 2015 4:04 am

Amazing xx
U should write a book!!?

I tried, but...
August 6, 2015 3:32 am

Loved every minute, but it is hard when they grow up and it doesn’t work as you expected. They don’t go ‘through the system’ or the shidduch doesn’t come…and they don’t move on as you would have hoped.

Sarah MH, aka mini minor!
August 6, 2015 3:26 am

Thanks mrs. Lieder for the wonderful year of seminary that I cherish forever! As I read this important article, I could hear ur voice, see your facial expressions, and had so many wonderful memories of your home and family! Ur the best!
This is a great reminder during the summer months when we baruch hashem spend soooo much time with our kids!

Oh how I relate
August 6, 2015 3:00 am

I cried as I devoured each word. I am now working hard at enjoying each grandchild and remembering each detail and thanking Hashem every second that He gave me the strength to endure and that He blessed me with my blessings!!!
Great article!
Hubby’s out there hop your children get thru the challenging days so they can enjoy the blessings… You know what a rough day or week is…. Our children need us…. Our role is just different now.
Hashem should help us so we can help them be the perfect parents
Only nachas and simchadika simchos.

Oh yesss!
August 6, 2015 2:56 am

You brought tears to my eyes.

Beautiful and so true!
August 6, 2015 2:30 am
Check out the blog
August 6, 2015 2:19 am


Excellent fun!
You will laugh
You will cry!

August 6, 2015 2:18 am

It is so scary but true. How we wish we can turn the hands of the clock back. If this encourages one more family to grow by even one more precious, noisy, messy child, it accomplished a whole world.

Dear Toby
August 6, 2015 2:16 am

I know exactly what you mean Boruch Hashem have been zoche to marry off all of them. But I feel like a lost soul. Completely displaced and cant find my place anymore. Sincerely yours, Out of Commission PS I wish is knew the answer

Bubby time!
August 6, 2015 2:08 am

Loved the article! B”H my children are married and out of the house but I still get that empty nest feeling. I guess that is why they say that cleanliness (no one there to mess it up right away)is next to loneliness!

May we only have yiddishe chassidishe nachas from our

Nice story ... Going to kiss my little ones more
August 6, 2015 1:36 am

Proud of you and happy for you ….. You made a mission as a mom , I don’t think so … Maybe it’s a quiet time now in your house but when the family is gathering to YomTov with all the extended family …. Or when you have a full family picture from the wedding – it’s priceless …
Wish you to marry off all your kids soon and have more grand children and only nahes from all your huge family

Yay Bubby!
August 6, 2015 1:25 am

World’s best bubby
We love you!

Friend of the family
August 6, 2015 1:23 am

Thank you for your incredible writing, this article is so beautiful and a true reminder not to take anything for granted and cherish every moment! I personally know and are friends with a few of your children, they are amazing humans, doing incredible things in the world! Hashem should continue to bentch you with an abundance of brochos and nachas from your whole family!

Kol Hakavod!
August 6, 2015 1:11 am

Great piece! I’m in the same position as the writer. But to #1: Don’t worry. I used to cry over articles like these when my baby was 9 months old. I think part of the tears were because it was SO HARD being a mother with a young baby. The writer is making an important and vital point. But the fact is, life is hard at EVERY stage in Golus. Enduring decades of insufficient sleep (including waiting up for teens who came home dangerously late at night…) was nearly impossible for me to deal with. I thought my brain was… Read more »

Sarah kats
August 6, 2015 12:49 am

Beautiful! So happy to have spent a year with your family

Loved reading
August 6, 2015 12:46 am

Thank you for writing!

Love it
August 6, 2015 12:41 am

but no matter what we do we can’t make time last forever!!

August 6, 2015 12:37 am

Yes Cherish every moment with your kids.
When they are small.

great article
August 6, 2015 12:37 am

Thank you for reminding us to love every minute!

im gonna cry
August 6, 2015 12:20 am

im so getting sad, and my baby is 9 months old.