We are now in crunch time. Everyone is thinking about Pesach and starting to get down to work. Tensions are high and it can be hard to keep our cool. Sometimes it feels as if the hardest part about Pesach is trying to get your kids to help out. In last year’s post, we spoke about five ways to get your kids to help out. But we also need help keeping our perspective and getting through this time of year.
Here is one more thing that you need to know about helping your kids help you and one more tip to help you go into Pesach cleaning with equanimity:
- Don’t take it personally:
Most people do not like to clean. It’s just not high up on their list of fun things to do. Kids are the same way. They are truly not interested in cleaning and certainly not invested in it the way we are. We need to remember that our kids are not ignoring your pleas to help because they don’t care about you or how hard you work. They just really don’t like to clean. Try to avoid the lecture, “No one cares about me or how hard I work!” It often leaves kids confused, “Huh? Who likes to sweep? What does that have to do with how I care for my mother?” Or it only reinforces a child’s negative image of him/herself. “I must be really selfish, if I don’t want to clean the house…”
- Things will go wrong:
Richard Carlson in his book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, said something so simple but profound that has always stuck with me. To paraphrase: Electrical appliances break, toilets overflow, and heating and air conditioning systems give out. Children will get ear infections, stores won’t always have the item that you need when you need it, and you will burn dinner at least once in your lifetime. Furthermore, there is never a good time in your life for this to happen. There is never a good time for your stove to malfunction and your plumbing to break.
Let’s take this one step further. I can almost guarantee one of the above household misadventures will occur before Pesach. I talk from experience, (my refrigerator died a week before Pesach last year). Be prepared. Have the number for your plumber, electrician and pediatrician handy; have babysitters lined up and extra food to preempt any cooking disasters (or make sure you have a good neighbor who is going away for Pesach and cleans out her fridge for you! Thanks, Dina!) And, just like above, don’t take it personally, it happens to us all!
So there you have it, two ideas to keep in mind to help you keep your cool as we move into the Pesach season.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.