Baruch Hashem, I was able to enjoy Pesach with the Katz Family. It felt like being away in the most luxurious fun camp for the whole Yom Tov.
Today, I called a number of friends to find out how they enjoyed Yom Tov. Within one to two sentences I could tell which ones went away to either hotels or their married children and which ones stayed home and hosted their married children.
The ones who were away said it had been amazing. The ones who hosted their married children and grandchildren said it was nice, but they were so overworked and overtired that it will take them at least a week to recuperate. Those friends with large families and many young grandchildren said the same thing: “No matter how much extra help I hired, the work was endless.”
Readers, this should not be. It should never happen that a couple feels grateful that Yom Tov has ended because the load was too much.
Yet, although we love our children and grandchildren, we all know that being together for so much time can become strenuous for all concerned. The hostess spends endless hours preparing, the married kids often see this as a vacation and the grandchildren, who have no routine and are out of their homes, seem to behave poorly.
It’s important to remember that children need routine, whether they are in a hotel or Bubby and Zeidy’s house. And it’s incumbent on their parents to set a schedule and attempt to keep it.
I spoke with one woman today who did go to her children for Yom Tov, but cooked everything at home and took it with her. That should not happen either. I suggested that next year, she create a menu and give each child who is going to be with them for Yom Tov a dish to make or a chore to be responsible for. In addition, hiring help to help serve and clean up can also make things easier.
It is important to have conversations before Yom Tov about these responsibilities so that resentment does not set in and arguments do not ensue. Pesach should be a wonderful time for families to share, a time of bonding and memory-creating.
I would appreciate hearing from readers who either hosted their parents or children – or grandparents for Yom Tov and what issues came up. I hope to continue addressing this topic so that Shavuos will be joyous for all.