No really, I'm not just saying that.
Let's see, we're in the process of ripping up the backyard.
Today, we replanted our etrog plants that the kids started from seeds with their teacher back in October.
And we had several diseased trees from the backyard taken down on Friday. I tried to take pictures, but the tree guy said (and I quote) - Ma'am, whatr'ya doin? Get back inside that house. That ain't not a good idea.
So I went back inside.
It's two days later and if I close my eyes, I can still hear the incessant buzz of the chainsaw.
Good times, good times.
But I do have a picture of the newly potted etrog plants. (I know, I know, it's the wrong holiday, but it's a plant that I have kept alive for several months now and that has never happened before; I say all this very quietly lest the plant hear me and be sad. From what I understand, you're supposed to talk to your plants.)
Pulling up bricks is the perfect activity for 7 and 8 year old boys. They feel all manly because they're, you know, doing construction type things, plus, they get to wear work gloves and come back inside through the garage only. It's been keeping them busy for a number of Sundays and they work for free. Or for ice cream. Either way, it works for me because I'm not paying anyone to pull up my path. My hope is to even make a few dollars by putting the hundreds of perfectly good bricks on Craigslist when the boys are done.
And we did the clean the guest room but that was mostly because we had actual guests sleeping there this past Shabbat and it kind of needed a cleaning. I feel like this past Friday was a good a time as any to put away all the Purim stuff littered across the room, plus an excellent time to throw out all the leftover mishloach manot crap that I'd been hiding in there so the kids wouldn't eat it. Why I did not throw it all out right after Purim, I do not know.
But I do know that I really like this Pesach frog puppet my kindergartener came home with from art this week. It makes me laugh and the original idea came from Crafts by Amanda and can be found here.
So now that we saw the cute stuff, let's get serious for a second. But just for a second because too much stress is no good.
Pesach is in a week from tomorrow.
I know. And that wasn't even the profound part.
So here goes -
Don't stress. That's it.
I know it's very easy to say, but really, don't. Pesach cleaning does not equal spring cleaning and is certainly not the time to start sorting clothes or washing the windows. It's time to look for crumbs, for chametz, and that's it.
The way I see it is this - the more clean and the longer and harder you have to work, the angrier you will be. Or at least I will be. You will find yourself tired, cranky and irritable with the little people (and the male person) in your life. But that's not good. In fact, it's bad. Pesach is a new season, a time to start fresh and to release any anger or irritability you feel, the chametz of your soul, if you will.
I know it sounds cheesy, but this is the truth. A happy and calm mommy has a happy and calm home with a happy and calm family.
If Pesach cleaning makes you less than and forces you into being a different mommy than you want to be, change that. If you need to get some cleaning help, go for it. It's not that expensive to hire some help for one full day - and even if it's not in the budget - and I certainly know what that's like, I know that I would certainly much rather pick up some less expensive meat (or no meat at all and just go for chicken) for the chag and use that money to hire some help. If there's one thing I've learned from being a stay at home mommy, it's how to juggle the books. Move some money around, get creative, get help and be the mommy you want to be.
Wishing you lots of cleaning luck, some good helpers and the ability to easily release the mental chametz from your life.