Practicing What You Preach

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05 Apr 2016

My husband was thoroughly amused when he heard that I wrote last week’s article, Keeping Your Cool When Cleaning For Pesach. “You wrote an article about keeping calm before Pesach!” he laughed. I explained to him that although I am stressed before Pesach, I could be so, so much worse.

The fact is, it’s hard to keep your cool before Pesach. It is not easy. I write about it because I need all the help I can get.

CleaningartI am not a naturally calm person, and it is a real effort for me to remain calm when I enlist my family’s help to clean our house.

I cannot stand a messy house. I need everything in its place.

I like my kitchen counters to be cleared of junk. I don’t like laundry piling up in the laundry room. And when I say it is spring/Pesach cleaning I want everyone to hop to it.

Yes, I know, I have a tendency toward the tyrannical. Like a monarch from the Middle Ages. I have not sent anyone to the dungeon, I would like too.

These articles that I write are ways to remind myself to use the communication skills that I teach.

I have to remind myself that instead of saying:

“What are you doing? I just cleaned the table!

“You are eating again? Without a plate or a napkin?!”

“Your bathroom is not cleaned yet. You told me you were going to clean it!”

I can be non-accusatory:

“The table needs to be cleared.”

“I need to know a time when your stuff that you don’t need will be cleared out of your bathroom.”

Tonight my goal is to express to my family something like this:

“Guys, I appreciate all your help up until now. For the most part, your rooms are clean and we are well on our way to a fully cleaned and organized home for Passover. I am going to try not to drive you all crazy but I can’t promise that I will always ask nicely for your help. Try to be understanding and cooperate as best as you can. I will really appreciate it.”

We can do it!

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.