Pesach cleaning for the desperate

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After a decade of marriage, it’s probably time to come to terms with the fact that cleaning will never be my hobby. There are many aspects of homemaking which I enjoy – cooking, definitely. Baking, mmm. Taking crisp, freshly washed, sun-dried clothes off the line – absolutely. But cleaning? Frankly, I can think of a thousand pleasanter ways to spend my time.

Of course, since we all appreciate clean floors, bathrooms and windows, I do clean, but the weeks between Purim and Pesach have never been my favorite time of the year. Add to this the fact that I’m due to have a baby in a couple of weeks, and you’ll get a picture that doesn’t exactly fit in with a marathon of vigorous cleaning. In fact, if I can but manage to drag myself off the sofa and do some dishes, I’m likely to congratulate myself at this stage.

Right now, it’s so much about letting go and lowering my (and everyone else’s!) expectations. We are facing a few stressful issues, but I’m really determined to reach the moment of going to meet my baby in as peaceful, stress-free state as possible. Last time around, I wasn’t able to do this. I was consumed by thinking about what I still need to do, and felt nearly cheated by the baby arriving a couple of days before due date, when I had counted on an extra week (my first two pregnancies lasted around 41 weeks).  Obviously, it was completely irrational, but I felt as though someone hit me on the head with a hammer and sent me headlong to a place where I wasn’t supposed to be yet.

So, this time, I don’t care what happens around me. I don’t care if my waters break at the precise moment when I’m trying to scrub the stove. I don’t care if my house isn’t really clean. Pesach is about getting rid of any trace of leavened bread. We’ll make sure to throw it all out. Dust on top of bookshelves isn’t leavened bread. Messy closets aren’t leavened bread. Grime on windows isn’t leavened bread.

Sure, it’s really great to take the whole kitchen-scourging thing a step further, and make it into full-blown spring cleaning. But you know what? I can’t do it this year. G-d has given me this pregnancy, and He has also scheduled it for this time of the year. I am sure He didn’t want me to forego the rest and relaxation so necessary in these last weeks of pregnancy, nor to exhaust myself by trying to do more than I am physically able to, nor to risk hurting my back by bending, lifting, or climbing ladders.

So I’m going to putter around, doing the easy stuff like sorting out our kosher for Pesach food items. My husband and older kids will pitch in with what they can. And I’m going to have my baby when she comes. And the dust will accumulate a little further, and wait for the time when I’ve recovered my health and strength. And life will go on.

Also read this lady’s down-to-earth and practical article – a breath of fresh air to all who have been harassed by the upcoming holiday and all the cleaning it entails.

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8 thoughts on “Pesach cleaning for the desperate

  1. I don’t hate cleaning…but I must admit many other things take priority. I hope you and the baby will be healthy and you can find ways to rest up before it comes!! Health is a much bigger priority!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I manage to get a lot done by trying to avoid whatever it is I’m *supposed* to be doing. The floor needs to be mopped? I’ll do the windows first. That floor is still a mess? How about I get the dishes done. And so it goes. The whole house eventually gets clean by default!

    And I agree about the leavening. G-d probably really doesn’t care; most of those laws are made by humans, and the Good Lord is a lot more understanding than a lot of people.

    Best of health to you and the new baby!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a fan of the ‘dirt isn’t chametz’ method of Pesach cleaning and always have been. I just don’t have the time or energy and it’s really not what it’s about. I am so glad to hear that you are doing just what you need to make it right for you and your family. That is just what is supposed to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree – there’s no need to be a slob, but dust and windows can be taken care of throughout the year! Absolutely no need to cram it all in before Pesach!

      Like

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