Don’t think you can bring enjoyment to the Pesach cleaning preparation? Let’s turn that perspective around.
If you read this title and thought to yourself, “What a paradox if there ever was one,” there’s hope for you. Even if the thought of scrubbing your house down doesn’t make your heart bubble up with excitement, here are the Rabbanit’s 3 tips that will transform the Pesach cleaning experience for you.
- Make a choice.
As much as we don’t like to admit it, we humans keep putting ourselves into boxes all the time. “I’m not the type who likes to clean,” “I’m not the type who likes to organize,” “That image of the woman with the rag in one hand and detergent in the other is not me.” Well, here’s the good news and the bad news: We are what we want to be.
Deep down, every woman takes pleasure in making her home sparkle. Every woman loves the smell of a freshly scrubbed down room. In fact, the Gemara tells us that our name in itself, nekeivah, contains the word nekiah, clean. We love bringing out the beauty in everything. Yes, things get in the way. Life is hectic. There’s stuff to do. But as women, it’s our choice to box ourselves in and say, “It’s not me,” or to find our feminine essence that says, “Yes! Taking care of this house is my priority!”
- Make it fun.
You know how you talk to your child before you take her for shots and suddenly your kid is looking forward to getting the pinch? We mothers could get really creative when we want to cheer up our kids. Even if you see Pesach cleaning with the fright that your kid sees the syringe, you can be that head counselor for yourself.
No one knows what needs to be done to make your experience fun like you do. Is it music? A new detergent? A countdown? A prize at the end? We especially love getting something new. Our essence, after all, is one of renewal. Every month, we’re like a newborn baby, starting the cycle all over again. Even a new pair of shoes is enough for us to feel that newness. Does new cleaning help sound exciting to you? Go for it!
One of my favorite parts of the Haggadah is dayeinu, which talks about the many wonders Hashem performed for our nation. We sing, “If You would have taken us out of Mitzrayim, but You wouldn’t split the sea for us… Dayeinu, it would be enough.” Seriously? How would leaving Egypt and staying stuck between the sea and a crowd of fuming Egyptians benefit us? Still, it would be enough because the miracle of leaving Mitzrayim was a kindness in its own right, one that deserves its recognition.
When you plan what your home will look like on leil haseder, you have one vision in your head. You see the blinding walls, the perfectly organized closets, the soup bubbling on the stove. But what happens if one of these things don’t happen? What happens if you don’t get to clean the top shelf in Moishy’s room? What happens if you don’t get to reorganize the attic? Don’t give up on wanting to do, but be kind enough to tell yourself, “Dayeinu! This is enough.” The kinder you are to yourself, the more positive feedback you give yourself on what you did do right, the more happiness you will experience in the process. You are more than enough!