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Kate Siegel says she spends her days like any other 20-something New Yorker — working, spending time with her boyfriend and fielding a barrage of texts from her mom, who offers her steady reminders that her eggs are drying up and that she needs to hit the gym.
In Crazy Jewish Mom, the latest Instagram feed to go viral, Siegel shares the daily text messages she receives from her mom with advice on everything from visiting a family member in the hospital ("Wear black. Look thin. Gorgeous doctors alert!") to the importance of keeping pepper spray handy during a blizzard ("Brooklyn is now cut off from civilization").
More often, however, Siegel’s mother offers up strong opinions about her daughter’s dating life, reproductive health, and current boyfriend, who she lovingly refers to as “Superjew.”
One text reads, “As far as I’m concerned, Superjew’s days are numbered. No ring on the finger you must not linger.”
Another cautions, “Kate, really upset that you didn’t go to the gym today. Unless you are carrying my grandchild, go to the gym and stop eating garbage.”
It’s these types of messages that have caused Internet debate about whether Crazy Jewish Mom is funny-crazy or just mean-crazy. However, Siegel tells TODAY Parents that she and her mom are very close, and that the texts are all in fun.
“I find the neuroses amusing, and I know it all comes from a place of love. I think it's hilarious, and it does not bother me at all. Even the most outrageous stuff comes from a place of love and with humor,” said Siegel, adding that the purpose of her Instagram account is to make people laugh and to show the funny things her mom sends her. It is not to give a complete representation of her mother’s character, she notes.
Siegel says that before texting existed, her mother would leave her multiple voice mails each day filled with similar messages. And, the 26-year-old says that while she didn’t realize so many people would relate to and find humor in her Instagram account, she and her mother are happy that people are identifying with their conversations.
Siegel’s mother lives in New Jersey with Siegel’s father, who doesn’t quite understand the phenomenon his wife and daughter have become.
“My father can barely operate AOL mail, so he's not terribly clear on what is happening,” said Siegel.
Crazy Jewish Mom herself, who prefers to keep her name a secret for privacy reasons, told TODAY that she’s shocked by all of the attention her text messages have been getting. She wants people to know that, at the heart of it all, she’s just a mom having fun with her daughter.
“What can I say? She’s an only child and I am always trying to help. I love her more than anything. We are very, very close. We over-share. Kate always knew she could tell me anything, and I wouldn't be shocked. But I can never get her to go bra shopping with me. I guess she has her boundaries.”