Saturday, December 17, 2011

not just a 'housewife'

ok so my husband recently came home midday and saw me in the midst of my regular hectic and full daily routine, only to exclaim 'man it so doesn't do you justice when i tell people you're a stay at home mom'... so we decided that a more fitting title is really CEO of a Jewish home ... sounds good, right? ha i like it, way more validating... 

but seriously, it really is way more accurate because to be a Jewish woman, and especially a Jewish wife and mother, is to have what feels like a million and one responsibilities, and to do them all lovingly, with care, and with joy...  this can be a challenge but is also crazy rewarding...

ok a few examples of what's under my area of operation:

- raise 3 kids under 5! ha... i once heard a mother of 6 explain to one of her older daughters how she does it... because anyway having one kid takes up 100% of your time (moms reading this i know you hear me!), so why not have 6 cuz it's still 100% of your time and no more!
anyway, i digress... ok so what's it like with the kids?
well, first of all there's the 2-3 hour time slot in the morning before school when we have to get everyone fed, dressed, and lunch-ready, all the while figuring out how to build the little ones' self-esteem, positive character traits, healthy relationship with each other, respect for authority, and understanding that their parents and The Creator of the World (G-d) love them unconditionally... no prob, right?

- ok then the 'big' kiddies (the 2 1/2 year old and 4 1/2 year old) go off to school for about 5 hours and learn all kinds of stuff that we will go over later...  meanwhile Imma (that's me, 'mommy' in hebrew) gets to work on everything else...

ah yes the other responsibilities:
- master personal chef for 5, catering to the needs of one picky eater, one baby mush eater, one grown man, one nursing mama (a.k.a. needs to eat!), and one good eater (phew)....
- logistical director and operating manager of family home... overseeing of laaaaaaundry, dishes, cleaning crew (when they show up!), organization, groceries, toy supply, etc...
- being in a good mood all the time! yes there is a mitzvah in the Torah to be 'b'simcha tamid' (joyous always)! that alone takes enough effort for a lifetime...
- then there's the profound spiritual growth and personal introspection expected each and every day
- add to this a deep and meaningful relationship with the Almighty (G-d once again) which takes a looooot of work actually! as we all know, a relationship is only as good as its weakest partner, so since G-d is all powerful and all loving, clearly the lack lies on this end... so as much as we are willing to invest ourselves in talking to G-d, reaching out to Him, relying on Him, etc., that's as close as we will feel and as strong as the relationship will be...
- ok, that brings us to acts of lovingkindness (chessed, in hebrew), like making meals for a family that just had a baby, like babysitting my friends' kids if they need a break, like helping the elderly neighbour with her groceries,... the opportunities are endless and can fill as much time as we'll allow...
- but where does chessed start? close to home... so besides the kids, there's the husband to think of! so yes, now we get to the role of loving wife... we'll get back to this later...
- then there are also the community activities like running evening affairs for 400 guests (last week), hosting a weekly cooking class for seminary girls chez moi, organizing social gatherings and other events for the women in my community...
- ah yes, not to forget, then there's taking care of me! this includes pilates twice a week, down time, reading, walking, time with friends, and reflecting on the big picture, etc~
- and of course there's shabbat... looooooooooove shabbat... so it also usually includes cooking delicacies and hosting about 10 guests for a 3-course meal every week, sometimes twice!


ok and these are just the basic, non-stop activities that are always there, never mind the extra stuff that always comes up! so you see there is more to do and more to fulfill me than i ever imagined was even possible! anyway that's the overview... what that actually means to come later...

off to bed now, love jules

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