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Friday, April 07, 2006

Pesach Prep

I have to say, this may well be the most stressful time of the year for Orthodox parents. My thoughts on some of the reasons:

1. The exorbitant amount of money that goes into keeping the holiday. It isn't just people who go away to fancy hotels that spend, staying home is no bargain either. Food shopping is obscenely expensive, and during the year, one rarely has the need to stock up on all kitchen necessities at the very same time as is necessary for Pesach. Can't ignore the expenses of new shoes and clothes for the kids, haircuts, lost wages due to Pesach cleaning or packing to go away - and I think you get my point.

2. April 15. It's usually either right before or right after Pesach. That's a boatload of stress right there.

3. Every year, the kids' Pesach vacation seems to start earlier and earlier. Can someone please give me some advice on how to keep the kids from tracking Chametz into the newly cleaned rooms when they are home for almost the entire week before Pesach? I didn't think so. I was in the supermarket today, and I must say I have never heard so much snapping going on between parents and their children. "Mom, can I get-" "Yaakov, we are NOT here for you to GET things! Don't you know it's Erev Pesach?" and "Mom-" "Chani, don't bother me now, I am trying to follow my list!" The shrill tone of voice the mothers in question used is impossible to impart in a blog post - but trust me. I winced. And I really can't blame them a bit. This week is an especially hard one to have all the kids home - and it's not like Pesach prep is exactly conducive to family togetherness. I know, I know, I'm going to get lots of comments telling me that it's a GREAT opportunity for togetherness, and I have to try harder to include my kids in the preparations. I didn't say I don't include them, I just said that pre-Pesach isn't particularly conducive to idyllic family bonding time. Sue me.

Can't wait to sit down for that first Seder.

15 Comments:

Blogger Ezzie said...

My brother-in-law commented today that last year was his first one as a married person and therefore he wasn't home for Pesach - making the preparations much easier. He felt this 'cheapened' Pesach somehow, in that he didn't have that same feeling of really getting into the Yom Tov. His specific term was "getting ready kind of helps me feel like I'm going from avdus to cherus when we get to the seder. I miss that." It was an interesting thought, though personally, I'm happy having less to do. :)

6:27 AM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

Try to organize an ad hoc day camp for the kids and let them nosh the whole day whatever they want to.... in the park.

6:37 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Pragmatician said...

Try to organize an ad hoc day camp for the kids and let them nosh the whole day whatever they want to.... in the park.


That would be a great idea - unfortunately, the weather has been less than beautiful.

8:25 AM  
Blogger MoChassid said...

We have formally suspended all humor in the MoC family until Pesach. When I tried to make a joke last night about MHW's strictness about tracking food, she made it clear she was not amused. As a result, I announced to the rest of the family that no attempts at humor would be permitted until the Seder.

9:32 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

1. I always felt that in today's times, we really have no idea what it means to be mesiras nefesh. In this very country, not very long ago, one couldn't keep shabbos and keep his job, and finding kosher food wasn't easy. So in today's world, our mesiras nefesh is that we spend money on items and needs for Pesach even though we probably can't afford it easily. And that pain we feel is our mesiras nefesh.

2. I hear ya loud and clear sista. It was just this week that my accountant called and informed me that I'd be making an extremely large tax payment this year (and I pay quarterly estimates!). I was fuming because he's had all of my paperwork since early Feb. To call me a week before the taxes are due and tell me that I have to make a monster payment, right before pesach... OUCH.

3. I was troubled by this as well, although I'm somewhat lucky that my oldest can care for my youngest (my son is still in Yeshiva). The times are defintely trying. Although I have a different rant altogether. My kids are already trained about the tracking chometz through the house thing (we start right after Purim, so it helps if you start talking about it with them earlier). But my wife had a friend over the other day and she came to watch TV (we have TiVo and she wanted to watch a show that we recorded) and she brought food to eat while she watched. My daughter told her that "we can't bring chometz in there!" but woman blew her off and said "don't worry, I'll clean it up after"... and my daughter had a major cow. Don't people respect the rules of the house of their host?

10:02 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

but woman blew her off and said "don't worry, I'll clean it up after"... and my daughter had a major cow. Don't people respect the rules of the house of their host?

OMG! That really is nuts! And that is a seasonless rant - I suspect that woman would not be particularly amenable to keeping any of your "house rules".

10:04 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


MoChassid said...

We have formally suspended all humor in the MoC family until Pesach. When I tried to make a joke last night about MHW's strictness about tracking food, she made it clear she was not amused. As a result, I announced to the rest of the family that no attempts at humor would be permitted until the Seder.


LOLOLOL. I hear you. Last night my husband came up and made some light comment about how "he left for work and I was in pajams, and he comes back, and I'm still in pajamas. Didn't I do anything today?" Considering the day I had just endured, I was singularly unamused. Maybe we should enact the same rule in the Ortho family as you did.

10:07 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

lost wages due to Pesach cleaning or packing to go away

You cut work to clean and pack? In 12 years neither my wife nor I has ever done that, and we don't "sell" the house either.

Every year, the kids' Pesach vacation seems to start earlier and earlier

This is an outrage, and it's only because the teachers want time off (or perhaps because some screw loose school administrator thinks the older kids are going to help")

12:10 PM  
Blogger Elie said...

All aspects of the holiday have gotten out of hand; cleaning, shopping, cooking. When my bubbie A'H sat down to the seder she use to say, "ahh, ois pesach!" [pesach is over!]

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must - I find it very hard to believe that you have a Tuma Tube in your house let alone the narashkeit of a TiVo. Jeez Louis!

12:35 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

but my TiVo wears a yarmulka.... ;)

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DovBear,
You actually have a day job, too?

4:51 PM  
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9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 15. It's usually either right before or right after Pesach. That's a boatload of stress right there.

I had my taxes done a month ago. In fact, I received a refund from the state just in time for Pesach shopping.

This should not be a problem. All of the documentation need to do taxes usually arrives by the end of January. Why not do the returns as quickly as possible and get the refund as quickly as possible? OK, so if you owe some money, you might not want to pay it any earlier than you need to, but you could still do the return early, write the check and seal the envelope and store it. Thenm the only task you have during the first week of April is to drop the envelope into a mailbox. How much stress can that be?

9:36 AM  
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