Kids can be divided into two categories over the next couple of weeks… Those that excitedly get chocolate Easter eggs and those that gets cardboard-like Matzah. Those that get lucky or those that get rorted. It always frustrated me as a child that Easter and Passover overlapped in the calendar year. My grandfather would take all the grandchildren to the Easter Show… We could go on whatever rides we wanted as many times as we wanted, we were allowed to buy whichever show bag we wanted and it would always be a day that we looked forward to for weeks and even months ahead. BUT we couldn’t ever eat our goodies, it was always Passover!
I desperately wanted to be an Easter practicing, bunny loving child.
No matter how much I may have wanted to skip Passover and celebrate Easter – I am Jewish and so it was never a option for me. And whilst as a child this was hard to swallow (pun intended), I am now seeing Passover completely differently. I am going to put the dietary laws aside and just concentrate on what it actually means. Those that don’t know the Passover story, I’ll help you get the basic gist. The Jews were once slaves in Egypt, Moses asked the Pharaoh to “let my people go”. Pharaoh decided not to, and enter god and the 10 plagues into the story. From this, Pharaoh lets the Jews go. The Jews quickly baked their bread, not even pausing for the dough to rise and this is why Jews eat Matzah all Passover long (Matzah means unleavened bread). The twist in the story is that Pharaoh then changes his mind whilst they were on the journey and wants the Jews back as slaves. Another noted appearance by Moses who splits the sea for all the Jews to go through and goodbye Egyptians. They were free.
If I didn’t do a good enough job and you and your children wanted to learn more about Passover then do yourself a favour and rent Prince of Egypt or sit back and enjoy this Rugrats version of Pesach.. http://wejew.com/media/1699/Rugrats_Passover_Movie/
So for 8 days of every year Jews reflect on freedom and have a festival named Passover. Because of this “holiday” happening this week I have been thinking about freedom and how I really don’t feel very free at all.
Sometimes I feel really trapped.. As you may remember, I have written a blog “today I got stuck in the shower” https://www.belliesandbeyond.com.au/1/post/2013/07/today-i-got-stuck-in-the-shower.html about just wanting a little time to myself.. This blog is a little different though. This feeling of freedom.. Just doesn’t happen for me. I am constantly worrying, thinking, stressing, making sure everything is perfect, rosy and absolutely magical for my girls. I didn’t feel like this until I was a mother for sure but particularly when I had my second and I became a mother of two.
Feelings of guilt: I am never ever free from feeling guilty. Right now, what is revving my mother guilt up is that I have just enrolled my 15 month old into daycare and am feeling riddled with guiltiness, it really is all encompassing at the moment. When people have asked me when she is starting, for some reason I always feel the need to justify it. “Work is really piling so I need to put her into daycare”, “she’s become really clingy so this will be really good for her to socialise”, and even as I say it I wonder why I feel this way, because I shouldn’t. I wish I could just say, “I need a break”. I would love to say “I’ve had a difficult time and I just need a breather”. Or “yes I do need more time to get my work done but I also just really crave a coffee by myself or a walk along the beach”.
Feelings of Inadequacy: I often go to bed at night and reflect on what I did that day that I wasn’t proud of. Did I shout at Mikah? Was I impatient? Did I swear under my breath again? Did I use the TV as a babysitter? Did I spend too long on my phone when I should have been present with the girls?
I keep trying to remind myself that I simply can’t do it all and the self-imposed (or rather the social-media-imposed) expectation that mothers can, just makes the mother-guilt all that much worse. So in order to feel “free” this Passover and after, I have compiled a list of how I am going to try and change all these feelings of mummy-inadequacy.
– Give myself a break: Simply put, just stop being so tough on myself.
– Be present: Stop stressing about what they don’t have, or what experience they are missing out on. Just look at those sweet faces and enjoy that very minute with them.
– Celebrate the small stuff: Rather than going to bed and reflecting on what I didn’t do that day, I am going to think about the little wins of the day. The cuddle they spontaneously gave each other, Rafaella taking her first steps, the wonderful independent playing they both did..
– Stop comparing: Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook all set impossible goals. Separate what I want and can do for my family from the pictures that I see.
So that is how I am going to try and relinquish my feelings of mother guilt this year and abandon my feelings of inadequacy in order to feel some freedom. Now lets see if I can get away with not feeling so guilty about cheating on Passover and sneaking in a little Easter egg.
Sweet guilt free dreams .. Bec x