To me, instead of it being my day of rest, which it really should be, it was a day that I had to figure out how to entertain these little people who were not yet capable of entertaining themselves, while hosting guests, and while my very little kids would nap in the afternoon, I always had a 4 or 5 year old I needed to be there for.
I would count down the minutes until Shabbos ended and be thankful that I had an entire week until the next one arrived.
It is a little embarrassing to be saying this, but the only reason I am saying it is because I know there are moms out there who feel the same way I used to feel. And this blog post is for all of those moms to know that this feeling will not last forever.
In fact, Shabbos has become my absolute favorite day of the week now. And this is why:
I get to sleep in until 8am. I know, its 8am. But to me, that's sleeping in. My husband wakes up with the crew at 6am (yes, I have a bunch of early birds in this house) and they all have a full on Cholent party. I'm serious. They sit around the table and all eat a huge bowl of Cholent. At 6am. They look forward to it all week.
I don't have to cook. In an earlier post, I wrote how breakfast is a big deal in my house. No cereal and milk in this neck of the woods. Oh no, we have waffles, pancakes, french toast, muffins, eggs. Breakfast is a full on banquet here, which I am only too happy to make every morning, with the help of my little chefs. But on Shabbos, I come into the kitchen with a hot cup of coffee waiting for me. Kids are all fed and happy and I actually get to sit on the couch and drink my coffee in peace.
Did I just mention sitting on the couch? During the week, the only time I get to sit on the couch is when I am reading to my kids, which I absolutely love to do. But on Shabbos, when I sit on the couch, its to read a book or a magazine, quietly, to myself. It's the only time that I read actual books. During the week, there is always SOMETHING to get done and laying on the couch, feet reclined, and reading a book is not exactly on the agenda.
You CAN'T work. Yes, for all those who complain that you can't do X,Y, and Z on Shabbos, I say 'I know, how GREAT is that???' We CAN'T do laundry, we CAN'T wash dishes unless we need them, we CAN'T vacuum, we CAN'T go online, we CAN'T talk on the phone, we CAN'T drive- I mean, how AWESOME is that? A day to simply relax.
We eat as a family. During the week, my kids eat much earlier then my husband and I so we don't get to really sit down as a family and have a full on meal together like all the psychologists say families should. Everyone seems to be turning out pretty normal so I am not too worried. But on Shabbos, we eat as a family, and its wonderful. Granted, there is fighting and yelling because we are a normal family with a bunch of kids, but there is also lots of singing and laughter to go along with that and we all really appreciate and love it.
I get to hang out with friends. As in, sitting on the couch with a cup of tea and have actual conversations while the kids play outside. During the week, I just don't have nor make the time to socialize. I do 'Girls Night Out' once a month, but going out at night is really tiring for me so having friends come over on Shabbos, be it for lunch or afternoon tea is just so enjoyable. I know that I have nothing else that needs to be done so I can really enjoy my time to catch up and chat.
No cell phones. Need I say more?
We play games and take family walks. I know a lot of families have 'Game Night'- well, we have 'Game Shabbos Afternoon after Mommy and Daddy have finished Napping.' How do I get a nap you ask? We have a Shabbos party that the kids run. We have healthy nosh, including coconut milk ice cream, and the kids are now old enough to run it by themselves. One dishes out the ice cream, the other the snacks and they love it. All this time, I nap. Then we play games. Rummy, Chess, Shesh Besh/Backgammon (my 6 year old shocks every Israeli who plays her), Linkety, Battle Ship, Sorry and a few more. Some weeks, its just one game, others, its a few more. But its really fun!
So for all you moms who have a hard time on Shabbos with the little ones, those little ones will grow up to be pretty awesome kids that you can really have fun with. Hang in there, it gets pretty amazing~~~
Wishing you all a wonderful week,