Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zipped Lips and Shalom Bayis

It's been a frazzling day for many reasons and my resistance to shtuss and nonsense was quite low. And then someone sent me a link to a Rabbi speaking about Pesach. To be more specific, speaking about women and Pesach. In so many kindly words he exhorted woman to stop being the slaves we were in Egypt and free ourselves of our stullifying mentality about preparing for Pesach. If we weren't so hell bent on self destruction we could enjoy and fully appreciate the freedom of the yom tov.

Well, he joins a long parade of others whose favorite pre-Pesach words of "wisdom" are seemingly all aimed at females and what we are doing wrong. Many a rabbi who pontificates that it only takes from 4-10 hours to make a house fully kosher for Pesach, and when we do more than that we take away from the simcha of the yom tov because we overtax ourselves for no reason. So many of these rabbis explaining all the details of kashrut and Pesach preparation as if they were speaking to children, and children who aren't very bright at that.

Well, I told you my tolerance level was low, and it's now at zero. So here is my answer to all those, rabbis and just plain men, who are going on and on: S-H-U-T U-P! Forget politeness right now--what I want is silence from the other sex about Pesach making.

Let's look at some details and facts and settle this nonsense right now. First, I've known a whole lot of rebbetzins in my lifetime and I can say this without exception: none of them make their houses Pesachdik in 4-10 hours. While their husbands are out whiling away the hours giving us mussar, they are weeks into the job of making Pesach. This is so much "do as I say, not as my own wife does."

Second, making Pesach the way so many of us do, with plenty of cleaning that stretches out for more than 10 hours is not slavery. Slavery is involuntary: it's what someone else does to you. If I and others choose to clean, shop and prepare the way we do it's our CHOICE. We may be working hard but we are nobody's slaves. To tell me I'm a slave is to demean my efforts to have a beautiful yom tov. You know why so many men complain about our work? Because they just might be asked to pitch in and help. They just might have to put their mouth on hold and lend their backs to some house labor. Far easier to tell us we're doing things wrong than to dirty their hands and make it easier on us. (And yes, my very dear hubby excepted.)

Third, I have yet, in all my years of living, heard a man praise his wife by boasting "She did only the minimum for Pesach. Isn't she wonderful?!" When the house sparkles and the table is laden with tempting dishes that might get a wife a compliment. I have a right to be proud of how my house looks when yom tov comes in, and a right to get it into that condition any way I want to. And when my mom comes in and tells me that the house looks so yom-tov-dik, and my family all enthusiastically bound up the stairs yelling "Something smells incredible!" you bet I'm happy and pleased and proud. I'm not doing all this work because I'm a slave or a martyr; I'm doing it so that we all can have a beautiful and enjoyable yom tov.

Fourth, do you really think we are so stupid that we don't know the difference between what is halachically mandated and what we do to prepare for yom tov? Wives of many years experience in making Pesach can probably quote you chapter and verse all the halachas about what is required and probably do so as well, if not better, than most men. The house and kitchen are their domain and they take yom tov halacha seriously. They cover what is needed halachically and then go on to put the "tov" in yom tov.

Men who have been married as long as my husband has been have finally learned that all the chepping at us to relax and not be so frenetic is of no use whatsoever. First they stop the complaining and then they pitch in. And then they pitch in without even being asked. I came home from work the other night to discover my hubby had washed the wallpaper, for me, without being asked to do so, so I wouldn't have to stand on a step stool on tiptoe to reach the top. THAT is how caring husbands earn brownie points with their wives. Yes, my husband appreciates all I do to make Pesach, and he tells me so often. And yes, my husband makes it a point to tell everyone at the table that they owe the enjoyment they are having to my efforts.

So men of all stripes, you want shalom bayis, you want to "help" your wives? Stop pontificating and start complimenting. Instead of complaining, use your mouths to tell your wives how much you appreciate all their efforts at making yom tov special. Tell your wives that you know it isn't easy and make them feel like the special people they are. And yes, lend a hand for the work without the constant out loud wondering as to why a sane person would be doing X, Y or Z.

And yes, gentlemen, should you find yourself in my vicinity, I wouln't start out with a diatribe on Pesach making. You really, really would not enjoy my comeback. And now I that I am feeling less cranky I'm off to plan some menus.

39 comments:

BE said...

I can so see your mom delivering this tirade and watching the men back down. The apple and the tree are still connected. Doesn't hurt that you'd both be right.

Anonymous said...

Strongly worded but I won't argue with the thoughts expressed. There are some men who don't act in this way but far more who do. How can they possbily think they are helping the women who are responsible for seeing that yom tov will be ready?

Miami Al said...

Yes and no... there are plenty of men that remember their mother going overboard and expect their wife to do the same... despite their memories being from when they were older children and their wife is working and tending to small children.

There are plenty of people that are terrified of this holiday... I know families that have never done Pesach at home, it's always at a hotel, they are in perpetual fear.

You want a home that sparkles and is ready to look like a set from a movie, that's wonderful. Personally, I'd rather not have my wife disappear for the month from Purim -> Pesach to become a cleaning machine. We "do the minimum" but we do it well, takes about 10 hours... I'd guess that the cleaning/Kashering is a pretty perfect team effort.

If you have lots of company and want to do spring cleaning in honor of Yom Tov, that is terrific. However, given the choice between my wife being exhausted and non-functional at the Seder and not going overboard, I'd choose to not go overboard with the cleaning.

Lion of Zion said...

AL:

"non-functional at the Seder"

i thought that's we make a second seder?

mother in israel said...

You make some excellent points, specifically about the rebbetzins and the fact that the men complain because they don't want to help.

But your line about how a man never boasted about his wife not cleaning makes me cringe. First of all, not everyone is capable of making Pesach the way you describe because of health, lack of help, small children or long working hours. I'm particularly sensitive because my husband has been working 11-hour days for the last two months and we have no Sundays. Now I have teens but, needless to say, that wasn't always the case.

Sure we all want a sparkling house for Pesach, who doesn't? But what is a few weeks of extra exertion for you can mean the difference between a family that is just getting by and one that becomes dysfunctional. It can mean a fall into depression, or child neglect or even abuse, and marital discord. This to be the time of year when borders are often crossed.
Reminding everyone how wonderful it is to have a sparkling house puts unnecessary pressure on vulnerable women.

rachel q said...

I agree and disagree with you on this one:

The rav chose the wrong words to convey his message. But the message is right.

"Third, I have yet, in all my years of living, heard a man praise his wife by boasting "She did only the minimum for Pesach. Isn't she wonderful?!"
CLearly you haven't met my husband

"Fourth, do you really think we are so stupid that we don't know the difference between what is halachically mandated and what we do to prepare for yom tov?"

You are assuming too much in this one.

Nobody "forced" any particular woman to do extra by pointing a gun in her face. instead social pressure does a much better job of creating slavery than guns.
When everyone talks about all what they clean, most normal people will womder why am I not doing more. It takes A LOT of confidence to say "I will not clean the closets in my room"

When Rabbanim come out with lists and lists of crazy chumros like switching all the telephone because they may have chametz and buying only toilet cleaser that is OUP, they are creating the social pressure that drives women to what this particular rav calls slavery.

Solution: Rabbanim need a public declaration to stop all the craziness. Women need to listen.

Last year Rav Aviner said to not bothe cleaning any of the childrens toys. Hide them and buy a new one for each kid. We need more statements like this.

(sorry about the disorganized rant)

Leahle said...

"given the choice between my wife being exhausted and non-functional at the Seder and not going overboard"---Non-functional? You mean she doesn't prepare all the items needed for the seder and make sure the table is prepared so that when the men come home from shul they can sit down to the seder? You mean they don't cook, serve and clean off after the meal? You mean they don't watch the kids and help them out during the seder? You mean she doesn't put the kids to bed who need putting to sleep? You mean she is so dis-functional that the house wakes up the next morning to a dining room still with the remnants of the seder on the table? You mean she can't wash away the dishes in preparation for the next meal? What dis-functional?

Yes I'm tired at the first seder. I'm tired to some degree for most of pesach. The kids are off from school, we have company and I never seem to get out of the kitchen. So? I also enjoy the yom tov.

The Prof didn't say we all have to do things the way she does. But what we choose to do should be honored by others as a decision we make. I don't buy into the community pressure idea. I do what I want to do. So do most of my friends. We don't sit and compare every step of the way. And I'd like lots less men to be second guessing what I do and telling me to do it differently.

Masha said...

Women clean before pesach--get over it guys! Some do less, some do more, some do it differently from others. There is no cleaning rule except when the rabbis start out with the chumras like Rachel said.

Mother in Israel, I'm not saying it doesn't happen ever but if pesach preparation can send a woman into depression and child abuse and she crosses the borders in her marriage then this was something just waiting to happen. If not pesach then something else would cause the meltdown. And welcome to my world. My husband has been working those hours for years, not months. Not easy with little ones in the house but you do what you have to do.

Anonymous said...

Having a beautiful Pesach doesn't mean a sparkling house or every possible homemade dish. It means everyone getting along, relaxing and enjoying the holiday together.

Toby said...

It means everyone getting along, relaxing and enjoying the holiday together

And for some people Anonymous having that sparkling house and the home cooked meals is part of the enjoyment of the holiday.

Re the cleaning, first on my mental list is what is needed k'halacha. Then goes on areas that will be used and used heavily over yom tov. The hidden areas that don't have a halachic element or that no one will be using are done either in the winter well before yom tov or afterwards when I have more time available. But they do get done.

Getting men to stop mixing in to how we clean? Not unless you have a miracle in your pocket.

Anonymous said...

We'll have to agree to disagree Rachel. I find R' Aviner's statement "Last year Rav Aviner said to not bothe cleaning any of the childrens toys. Hide them and buy a new one for each kid. We need more statements like this" just another man mixing in and not awfully helpful.

First, find a place to hide all the toys and where the kids won't accidentally find them--and find the time and energy to pack them up and put them away--I could wash them all in the time this takes. Then the one toy for each kid should be enough idea. Figuring the old toys are out of use for about 10 days, that's 5 toys to keep 5 kids busy and happy, kids of different ages and interests--like that's going to happen. And then let's talk about the money. Even cheap toys cost today. For the same money that 5 relatively normal priced toys cost I could hire cleaning help for 5-6 hours if not more and not only have the old toys washed if they're washable but get other help for myself.

No disrespect meant to all those rabbis but first let them have gone through at least one full time of making pesach all by themselves, doing everything they say we women do, before they offer any advice. I don't need cleaning advice from someone who has never done that cleaning. Sort of like following the advice of someone who has never actually fixed a car on precisely how to fix my broken one. You need someone with hands on experience for any advice to be of any worth.

tesyaa said...

Washing the wallpaper? Good for you. Personally, I am the Pesach minimalist when it comes to cleaning, and our food is simple but well prepared and always tastes delicious. Instead of washing wallpaper, it's a no-brainer that I'd rather focus on my job (parnasa), my special-needs children, my regular-needs children in the time leading up to the holiday. It's strange, but for me these needs don't go away for a month or two so that I can do the maximalist Pesach. Also-I am just as busy as usual keeping chametzdik food shopping and meals going for the next week. The temerity of my family! They expect to eat meals every single day!

I definitely see some snippy comments on this thread (not excepting my own). Talking about Pesach and what each of us considers important seems to bring out the worst in all of us.

Rae said...

No one's regular jobs and needs disappear Tesyaa just because Pesach is coming. A whole lot of us women who are carrying at least two full time jobs and probably more--outside work, kids needs, husband's needs, other family needs, food prep and yes even cleaning.

I don't think it's about the wallpaper. I wash all the windows in the house this time of year, and lots of other don't. Doesn't bother me. Let everyone do what they want to do. But you're right about the snippiness. I still can't understand why it should be there. I'm sure not telling any other woman how to clean for Pesach and I don't expect them to comment on what I do or don't do.

But put the men into the equation? Really don't understand how they come to mix in at all.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record toilet cleansers don't have to have an OUP. They're in the grey pages not the white pages. The OU pretty much says all cleansers are okay to use without a P.

Aviva said...

How you clean for pesach has a lot of factors to it. Tesyaa is right that family responsibilities don't disappear just because pesach is coming. There are only so many hours in a day and family comes first. It can even be that some women are more cleaning crazy then other ones are. But it also depends on what you have to clean.

Are you in a small apartment? A bigger apartment? A small house? A large house? Do you have a basement that the family uses? The larger the space the more things in it that might need cleaning. And certainly the larger the space the more time you are going to spend in cleaning it. Pesach cleaning changed for me when we moved from a small apartment to a bigger house. I do more now because I have more things to clean now. And I don't do all the spring cleaning now.

A Male said...

I don't like being lumped in with all other men and being told we should shut up. Reading the comments and also hearing how women talk outside they are pretty critical of each other. Why can they snipe? But a husband or Rav who is trying to make things easier should be told to butt out? Your husband washed wallpaper for you?! Maybe he just should have sat you down and explained the halacha you claim to know better to you. You're not eating on your walls for Pesach.

JS said...

I'm curious how many women here have husbands who help them or how many people here came from families where the men helped out around the house.

My father was always very involved in cleaning, grocery shopping, and the like. And now, I too am very involved in these activities. My wife and I share all the household duties.

That being said, my wife comes from a house where cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, etc are "woman's work" and "man's work" is limited to earning money and going to shul.

I'm curious how common each approach is.

Dena said...

My husband happens to like and appreciate a clean house (you'd need to meet my mil)so I never get any complaints from him if I go on a cleaning binge before Pesach. But I explained to him many years ago that he is going to get that clean house only if he also helps. He does a few of the cleaning chores which is fine. But basically he takes over the kids and meals in that time before pesach. A clean house is a shared responsibility, not just a woman's job. Everyone uses that house so it's everyone's job to keep it up.

About those toys. If they are washable then fill a bathtub with hot water and detergent, dump in all the toys and let them soak a little while you go do something else, like eat lunch or read to the kids. Empty the water and use the shower attachment to rinse them off. Then even the little kids can use towels to dry them. If they aren't washable like board games then there isn't a problem anyway.

raquel q said...

Leahle: your description of disfuntional fits me just fine. Some women get tired, some very tired, some have a breakdown. I belong to the last type. And there are plenty of others who belong there too.
Anon 8:57: I guess I'm lucky, we keep all toys in boxes, before pesach we put them in the shed in the garden and sell the shed. Easier than using the bath
JS: my husband helps at home. He has his regular chores and can do mine whenever I need him to do it. My father in law also helps, I guess that's where it came from. Plenty of men help. I know more men that do help than those who don't

Anonymous said...

If we're talking toys then we are talking about younger husbands and wives. Things may be different there regardless of what the husbands saw at home.

JS, I do know of some husbands that are 50/50 involved in keeping up the house or close to it but they aren't usually husbands from the boomer generation. Those men didn't see any fathers doing women's work, although some of those husband's got involved in the grocery shopping. My own husband never saw his father involved in the house but once we had kids I renegotiated that idea. He doesn't help out as much as it sounds you do but he will help out when I ask for the help. I came to the idea on my own because I never saw my dad help out in the house either.

Kayla said...

My husband doesn't complain I'm killing myself and I don't kill myself but the house still gets completely cleaned. I don't have cleaniing help the rest of the year but I do for Pesach. Doesn't break the budget either because I don't get myself new clothes for yom tov--would rather have the help and the clean house--and we don't buy the fancy wines--so the difference goes to paying for the help--and it's also my birthday present from my husband.

At least for me having the house completely and thoroughly cleaned now means it's easier to keep things up later. I don't have any huge jobs waiting for me that would ruin every month.

Anonymous said...

JS: My husband came from a very traditional home yet, he now does far more of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and laundry than I do. I work full time and, with commutes, etc. have longer hours than he does. My brothers-in law also do lots of the cooking, cleaning and housework. And no, we are not gen exers, we are all in our 50's. A team approach to cooking, cleaning, shopping is just much more enjoyable for everyone and its even a good way to spend time together. These are also very confident men who don't feel any less masculine by doing "women's work." I also see lots of retired boomers where the men who are no longer working taking on lots of household chores.

ProfK said...

Having vented in the posting last night I was avoiding the blog this morning. Okay, so there are some differences of opinion about cleaning and who should do it and how much should be done and who should comment on it. So be it.

Everyone has their own circumstances unique to them. Some cannot physically or mentally get into the cleaning. Some don't care about all types of cleaning in the same way others do. Some have younger children, some older, some none living in the house. Some have bigger houses and some smaller. Some consider the cleanliness aspect as just another part of how they make yom tov and some consider it extraneous to yom tov. Some husbands never saw their dads cleaning or helping at home and some did. Some saw their moms go cleaning crazy and some didn't. Some are more sensitive to what "they" say should be done and some are less sensitive.

Do the cleaning however you want to do it and forget about what anybody else says. You want to do more? Go for it. You want to do less? Go for it.

But I'll stand by my assertion that women DO know the difference between what needs to be done to satisfy the halacha and what doesn't need to be done. There are few, if any, women who do the extra cleaning because they mistakenly believe that it has to be done that way by halacha. They do that cleaning because that personally satisfies them and because they see it as contributing to the atmosphere of yom tov and because they choose to do it now. And for men to be making generalized sweeping statements and applying them to all women prior to this yom tov is wrong, short sighted, unhelpful and just plain stupid.

And to the male reader's comment about washing the wallpaper, please tell me you were not being serious. Of course washing the wall paper is not a halachic requirement! I never said it was. It's a personal requirement I have for myself, and my husband, knowing I do this, gave me a welcome surprise.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, people would do the extra cleaning and fussing because it satisfies them and believes it adds to the holiday. However, there is no getting around the fact that some do it because of social pressures and that is what is expected of them even if it makes them miserable. For that group, a husband stating that he really would be quite happy with much less and he doesn't care what the neighbors think and is proud of his wife regardless would be a good thing. Of course, he should also say that if an attic to basement scrubbing is what she wants, then that is fine too and he will dig in and help.

tesyaa said...

One other thing about the cleaning: if my house is all ready to be cleaned and kashered several days before the holiday, there's no way it will still be sparkling clean by the night of Yom Tov, not with a bunch of kids. Yes, if I went crazy cleaning I would feel relief that there were no dust bunnies in the tops of the closets. But my house would still be messy/dirty for yom tov unless I spent erev yom tov scrubbing again.

tesyaa said...

What I meant was, if my house is "cleaned and all ready to be kashered several days before the holiday..."

Trudy said...

I think that a part of one of the comments really illustrates what ProfK is angry about.

It was stated above that Rav Aviner says that women don't have to clean the toys. They should put them away and buy a few new ones. Okay, someone please explain to me the relationship between toys and Pesach, toys and chometz. Why should those toys be put away to begin with? Anyone going to be using those toys to cook or eat with? Just how does a toy become chometz?!

Mine are grown now but when my kids were little they didn't eat their meals out of their toys and they didn't have them at the table either. They played with toys on the floor or on a clean table or on their beds. So maybe they had a snack and then played and had sticky fingers? If sticky finger prints on a toy makes it chometz then I guess we all need to either spotlessly clean all door handles, light switches, phones, computers, and anything else that a sticky finger might touch--or we have to buy replacements for Pesach.

Do you keep a toy box in the kitchen and are worried about crumbs? Dump the toys out, give a swipe to the bottom of the box and shake each toy out on the floor for a second before putting it back in the box. End of chometz problem, if there really is one to begin with.

Honestly this has to be something a man thought up because I don't know of any women who would equate toys with chometz. Did most of us clean those toys at some point? Maybe some of them, maybe not. But not because of any kashrut concerns.

Leahle said...

I know what you're saying Tesyaa. The type of cleaning you're talking about though is the regular cleaning that we all have to do all of the time or the house will get buried in dirt. Washing my floor today won't help for Pesach. I'll be washing it again erev yom tov. But the other type of cleaning like the closets you mention or cleaning light fixtures or things like that won't go bad before Pesach. And they also add to the clean picture you get for yom tov.

Didn't really catch it before but thanks Trudy for mentioning the toys. They aren't cometzdik kaylim so why would a rav tell you to put them out of reach for pesach?

Anonymous said...

It's my hubby who is the clean freak, not me. And he does do a lot of that cleaning. He knows that's the only way some of the things he wants will get done. Suits me just fine and he's not complaining.

Miami Al said...

Regarding washing the Wallpaper... very happy to not have wallpaper on my walls, period. :)

We're unusual on this list, we have cleaning help every week of the year, and we'll probably get a few extra hours Pesach time.

We use up our chometz from Purim -> Pesach. Saturday night, we'll empty/clean the fridge/freezer, Kasher the cooktop, self clean an oven (the other one gets done Sunday), and Kasher the counter tops.

Last year we had the carpets and cloth furniture cleaned, I don't think that that is in the budget this year. We'll vacuum in the couch, mostly because it's gross and I'm embarrassed that it only gets done annually.

Some years I kashered the grills, but it's a pain in the neck and not expecting to grill this year, so not bothering with it.

Maybe a little decluttering while you're in a cleaning mode. But life doesn't stop for a month because Pesach is coming, and the holiday is less fun for all if my wife is miserable for weeks and at the first Seder.

The sexism inherit in this whole discussion is also a little frustrating. As you can see, plenty of the men consider themselves equal partners in their households.

Renee said...

You think the sexism is frustrating to you Miami Al you should try seeing it from the woman's point of view. kEvery rabbi out there who talks about cleaning for pesach refers directlyh to women. As you say, there are men out there who help with the cleaning too. But the rabbis either don't know that or don't believe it or don't care. All their talk is aimed at the women.

Shani said...

i just have one question- do you have the same standard of cleaning before every yom tov? if so, then why connect yom tov cleaning with pesach specifically? I never heard anyone stress out about sukkos cleaning, so it must be that it is not necessary for yom tov and can be done before purim or after pesach. Why put this extra cleaning right before a busy yom tov?

Miami Al said...

Shani,

In fairness, for Sukkot, the heavy entertaining is outside the house, that does make a difference.

We do two annual "clean fests," before Pesach and before Rosh Hashana. Obviously in the fall, we're not Kashering along the way, but we clean out the freezer/fridge because we need the room for storing cooked foods for Yom Tov, while we are in there, we clean up a bit.

The spring cleaning that accompanies Pesach cleaning isn't strictly required, but is probably a good idea. While you are in a cleaning mindset, start cleaning.

@Renee: yeah, it's gross, but everyone nodding along and agreeing with it reinforces it.

tesyaa said...

Shani - I think people who stress about cleaning light fixtures and wall coverings want to make sure that they get to these things once a year, and because of traditional spring cleaning they like to get it done before Pesach. I have suggested in previous comments that this might be better done in a month that doesn't have other pre-yom-tov stress, such as July or November. But I don't think most people who are into it would consider changing. So it's a tradition, and it makes one feel like a balabusta, and they would probably go into yom tov feeling miserable if they didn't do it.

To each his or her own.

tesyaa said...

Al - you might be better off saving your major fall cleaning until after Sukkos. All the traipsing in and out results in a lot of dirt being dragged inside - at least where I live. Things might be different in Florida.

Anonymous said...

Hey if we're complaing about cleaning and yom tov and halacha can I put in my two cents worth? The issur of doing laundry on chol hamoed and the nine days.

We have b'h 6 kids and we get company too. There is no way no how that we have enough clothes/towels to get through yomtov/chol hamoed/shabbos/chol hamoed and then yom tov like it falls this year. I asked a question of the rav of the shul where we used to live and reluctantly he told me that I could get around this by having someone else do the laundry for me. First he suggested the cleaning lady do it, only we don't have a cleaning lady and can't afford one. Then he said we could take it to one of those places that does the laundry for you. That's only $1 a pound and also a fortune for all the things that need to be washed. His next suggestion was to buy more clothing. Again, not going to happen on our budget. His last suggestion was to just wear the same clothing for most/all of yom tov. After all how dirty could it really get. When I raiwsed the cleanliness issue he basically said, "less clean, more frum."

We moved almost 2 years ago and I went to our new rav with the same problem. Amazingly he listened to what I had to say, looked at my family size and our finances and said that I can do laundry during chol hamoed as long as it isn't for stuff that won't be used on Shabbos or the last days. Nice to have met a men who gets that the clean issue isn't just craziness on a woman's part.

Susan said...

Part of the trouble in discussing cleaning is that there isn't one definition that everybody uses for what constitutes clean and cleaning. I guess I'm like the prof in defining cleaning as all the parts of a room, at least my yom tov cleaning, and yom tov also changes the definition. Sukkos like said above is an outdoor not an indoor holiday.

I would also suspect that from what she has written in the last months/weeks the prof began her cleaning quite a while ago. I remember something about curtains back in the winter. I guess I;'m remembering it because I like the idea and did mine then too.

Miami Al said...

Tesyaa, there is no "dirt" in Florida, it's all sand... the only real dirt is the topsoil that you put down when landscaping. As a result, there isn't really "mud" the way you are used to.

The house itself gets cleaned regularly, it's just the clutter that builds up and the crap you dump in the freezer... This also makes sure that nothing in the freezer is more than 6 months old (or at least looked at in 6 months).

Anon 4:18, the addition of children pretty much eliminated the no laundry on Chol Hamoed for us. I have a neat freak child that seems like to change 6-8 times a day during Shabbat and Yom Tov, because he's home and can. If we try to stop him, he starts to have an anxiety attack.

That said, the idea of putting on dirty clothing during Yom Tov (especially in Florida where it is hot and we sweat in the fall/spring), sounds repugnant enough a behavior that it might push me out of observance... giving up my Saturday morning shower when I became Frum was the hardest thing in the world to do.

Shani said...

True, I guess if you're cleaning anyway you might as well do it all the way, but not if it's a stress. I do minimal cleaning for Yom Tov and I am pretty relaxed. For me, turning pesach cleaning into spring cleaning would just be too stressful before the chag.
I also don't see how entertaining outside (on sukkos) as opposed to inside has anything to do with cleaning- if you're having company (or not) you should have the same standard of cleaning for yom tov, no matter what time of year.