Friday, March 19, 2010

Putting Things in Perspective

I spoke with my friend earlier today and the topic of conversation put all my busy-ness pre-Pesach into a different perspective than the one I had been using prior to the call. The new perspective? Things could be worse, things could be a lot busier, and I'm going to be thankful for what is on my plate.

Said friend's daughter is overdue with baby number 6. If that baby is born today, that's a sholom zochor that will need to be made in my friend's house tonight--a sholom zochor she has nothing in the house with which to prepare for, her house being mostly pesachdik already. If the baby is born on Shabbos, that's going to be a sholom zochor next friday night with a bris on Shabbos. A seudah that is going to require challah. And a kimpiturin, a newborn, the father and 5 little ones to be accomodated in the house, along with the out of town machatonim, in bedrooms that have already been prepared for the other guests who are coming for yom tov. Should the baby hold out another couple of days you are talking a Pesach bris and trying to find room in the house for this family (which was not scheduled to be at my friend's house for Pesach) when all the beds are full.

Not sure what to wish my friend--a girl or another week before the baby is born. Either way I wish there to be a healthy mom and baby--and a grandmother whose sanity stays intact as well.


miriamp said...

B'sh'ah to all involved!

Similar perspective: I'm officially due Shabbos Hagadol. I could go into labor anytime between now and the week after Pesach. I have young children, (the oldest is 12, youngest is almost 3) and no one is planning to suddenly put us up after the baby is born, oh, no, I'm making Pesach at home.

My in-laws are coming for first days, my parents for last days. We don't really have room for both sets of parents at once, (my "guest room" is actually my boys' bedroom, and my "guest overflow space" is the basement playroom, which I don't have the energy to clean this year and was planning to shut and lock) but if we're making a bris either right before or on Pesach, then we may have to find that space.

Oh, and my husband and I are doing all the work and all the cooking. Both our mothers have food issues that mean no pre-packaged Pesach food or letting other people send us anything. (Baruch Hashem my husband and probably the "big" kids will help!) My in-laws and parents help with childcare, but my MIL doesn't cook and my mother doesn't cook things my kids will actually eat.

And my house is NOT ready yet, but it could be a lot worse.

Aviva said...

It should be b'shaah tova u'mitzlachas Miriam P. I don't imagine it's easy for you right now but maybe in later years it will be one of those family stories that will get repeated to give someone else chizuk who might go through the same thing.

And yes I'm relieved that it isn't me and mine going through this right now. You're right that these stories put things into perspective. That my fridge conked out and the new one is not arriving until after shabbos doesn't seem quite as bad hearing what could have been.

Garnel Ironheart said...

B'shaah tovah to all. Here's the perspective - 13/12 years from now when you're wondering where to put up everybody for the bar/bas mitzvah, you'll think back on this "crisis" and laugh about how much simpler things were then.

Anonymous said...

Babies are blessings, obviously, but assuming all goes well, it's better to take things gracefully. Better an inconvenient hospital stay for a healthy mother & baby than a hospital stay for emergency medical problems that may be far more serious. I think that a birth due at yom tov time is a good opportunity to step back and decide which holiday preparations are needs, and which are wants.

Anonymous said...

Again, assuming all are healthy, here are some of the worst case scenarios:

1) Packaged Pesachdik cookies at a sholom zachar, either this Shabbos or on Shabbos haGadol

2) Egg matza instead of challa on Shabbos Hagadol. Honestly, with 5 little kids, it's hard to think of serving challah if your house has been cleaned and/or kashered, however careful you are about crumbs.

Of course, a lovely spread at a shalom zachar and challa on Shabbos hagadol may be desirable, but those are WANTS, not NEEDS.

JS said...

This is why I think the shalom zachor is such a terrible custom. It puts tremendous stress of the family and new mother at the worst and most inconvenient time. I've seen the most horrible stuff happen in the name of the sacrosanct shalom zachor:

1) Husband leaving wife in hospital so he could be there for the shalom zachor.

2) Husband getting trashed and being a burden on wife and new mother.

3) Rowdy, drunk shalom zachor guests who refuse to leave and are singing so loud that the mother can't sleep nor can the baby.

4) Women getting forced into a side room so the men can properly celebrate the new baby.

I could go on. What should be a nice little mazal tov turns into this giant stress-fest where everyone is scrambling right before Shabbos so we can feed and give drinks to a bunch of people (mostly strangers or not close friends) who just ate and drank at their own meals. Not to mention all the guests who rush from their own Shabbos meals leaving their families and leaving their wives to clean up after them so they can go booze it up for a mitzvah.

dvorak613 said...

I'm due right in the middle of Pesach. Traveling to my in-laws is not an option because they live to far, and my mom can't take care of everything with me laying on the couch like a lump. Solution? We're all going to a local hotel this year, even though we've never done it before (nor do we plan on making a habit out of it).

Also, I agree with tesyaa about the wants vs needs and how JS puts the shalom zachor squarely in the wants column. Aside from the question of what, exactly, we need it for (other than another excuse to eat junk), it gets really stressful when you're dealing with an almost-Shabbos birth. I don't think I'd mind as much if I had a boy on a Monday. But what if I have a boy on Thursday night, or Friday morning? Now I have to go plan a party, ask my parents and in-laws to cancel their Shabbos plans etc and shlep to our neighborhood? I don't know that I would actually go through with this, but I am seriously considering not having a shalom zachor at all should I be blessed with a boy in the latter half of the week...

TB said...

Can commiserate with anyone due over Pesach. My middle son had his bris acharon shel Pesach. I was in the hospital over the first days and my hubby was not with me because someone had to be with the older two kids and my mil couldn't cope in a strange house where she didn't know what was fleishings what was milchigs and where everything was. Agree that a shalom zachor should be an option for those who want it but not a requirement. A few days after giving birth I was so not into planning two occasions while trying to adjust to a new baby's schedule and paying some attention to the other kids. And having a bunch of people coming into the house to say mazel tov when all I wanted to do was take a nap.

Course every one of my kids presented a little problem with when they were born--I guess I can't deliver if it isn't some kind of special observance day. Our oldest's bris was on Tzom Gedaliah. My daughter was born on Simchas Torah. And our youngest son was born on Purim.

Anonymous said...

Oy vey, after reading your first paragraph with "perspective", "worse", and "thankful" in it, I was prepared to read some very bad news about an illness (lo aleinu), a death, or something like that.

And it was wonderful to read about a new baby, a 6'th child, and who knows what number grandchild. Mazal Tov and Beshaah Tovah to the family and to you, their friend.

Shabbat Shalom all.


Anonymous said...

As you say it could be a lot worse. I would have given everything I own to deliver on Pesach. At least I would have been near a hospital. Our oldest was born aboard a Pan Am flight over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a month early. We were relocating back to the States and had no choice but to get on a plane. You should have seen the arguments in trying to figure out when he was really born for purposes of which day the bris would be. And don't even ask the problems in getting a place put down on his birth certificate.

It should be a shaah tovah whenever the baby is born.

Anonymous said...

From the title, I too expected a story about someone trying to juggle a sick child and a parent getting chemo and just having lost their job and then their car breaks down, or perhaps another heartbreaking story from Haiti.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how many people don't have children or grandchildren or a house full of spare bedrooms and would view this type of fretting/complaining as unbelievably misplaced?
Also, what type of houseguests is this lady having who won't be understanding about the circumstances and be more than happy to make their own beds, wash some sheets, etc. So what if the guest rooms aren't ready. It's not the holiday inn. Come to think of it, maybe they should stay at the holiday inn under these circumstances.

Anonymous said...

may the blessing be with you.........................................

Tamar said...

Anonymous, someone's not having children doesn't mean that someone in the situation mentioned in the posting isn't having a 'problem' of her own and it isn't one that is misplaced. Everyone has their own problems and we don't put them into some kind of list and say only the ones on the top of the list are really problems and only those people can feel pushed or wondering how they are going to do everything that needs done.

I'm guessing that the prof meant in the posting that as busy as she is her friend is even busier and it put things into perspective for her.