It’s true we got an extra month this year (Jewish leap year) but Pesach is still creeping up on us. Maybe this will start your wheels turning. . .
We have no immediate relatives in Israel, and while we live in a supportive and warm community I don’t want to assume community assistance or meals at a time when perhaps no one is cooking or people are busy hosting their own extended families. My husband will probably be able to take off a few days from work but not a full week. Our three elementary-age children will help a bit —“ no major chores on their own but they keep their rooms neat, regularly help with sponga, and can do some age-appropriate tasks when explained clearly. I will hire some regular cleaning help and am also thinking about what jobs either seminary students or yeshiva boys can do well. Also I’ll try to schedule cleaning and turning over as much in advance as feasible; shopping and cooking will be another challenge.
Last, if the baby is a boy my in-laws said they’d like to come in for the bris. I don’t know whether that means even if ticket prices are out of sight, or if that means even if they’d have to cancel Seder plans with other married children in the US. While we can probably find them a nearby place to stay (it’s a little tight in our apartment), hosting them for a week during Pesach or pre-Pesach will also take some planning.
Here are my concerns:
- How to best organize and plan things when there’s a big unknown waiting to appear at any time. What things are easily done more in advance, easily skipped, etc.
- Also on the one hand there’s — hopefully — that big wave of energy you get after the baby (in contrast to the third trimester slow-down). But on the other having a baby does put the mother out of commission – for how long? to what extent? This is important to me because I generally do all the household preparations for Pesach, even some of the heavy shlepping!
- Last, what kind of help is useful to ask for from people who aren’t part of your regular routine — seminary students, neighbors, visiting in-laws?
Before I turn it over to readers I have a few thoughts.
First, don’t shlep anything heavy, before or after birth. You don’t need is to be out of commission with a bad back or worse.
Second, assume you won’t be available to do more than advise from your bed after the birth. Unfortunately, a c-section or other complication is always a possibility. Even if things go smoothly, the period after birth is for lying around and gazing into your baby’s eyes. Pesach won’t mean anything to him.
Here’s my checklist for essential Pesach preparation: Pesach Crisis Cleaning.
If you want a laugh, check out Mishpacha Magazine’s cleaning schedule.