Am I Nesting Postpartum?

Am I Nesting Postpartum?

Years ago my husband and I attended a Shabbat meal at the house of a man who was allergic to sulfites, so the only red wine he could drink was dryer than the Sahara.

But this man is a very religious person, so every Shabbat he would grimace as he forced down a cup of this sulfite-free wine he detested because the mitzvah of enjoying Shabbat requires eating meat and drinking wine.

Funny, right?

Well, the way that man drank that Saharan wine is the way I’ve always cooked and cleaned and taken care of the physical needs of my house.

Since I got married 15 years ago, I have done the bare minimum necessary to keep this family and house afloat (or at least to prevent it from getting stuck in the mud at the bottom of the ocean.) But I’ve never enjoyed it. And to make the cooking and cleaning etc. more palatable I sweeten them up like an aspirin ground up inside a teaspoon of honey with things I DO enjoy, like listening to a Torah class or a favorite CD or having a deep conversation with my learning partner.

I’m not sure what’s come over me, but over the past few weeks I have become more interested in my house and the ways I can make caring for this house and my family more fun. It sort of feels like nesting, which I’ve always awaited but have never actually experienced in my ninth month. And now I seem to be experiencing it a few months late– 3 months postpartum.

The first nesting thing I’ve been doing is stenciling. I’ve always thought that stencils looked so gorgeous at other people’s houses, but I’ve always thought that arts and crafts just weren’t my thing. But a few days ago I had a sudden and inexplicable urge to stop by the crafts store down the block and buy a stencil and some paints. And when my kids came home from school, my 12-year-old daughter, Hallel, and I did it together.

This is the stencil we put above the front door. Isn't it gorgeous!! FYI and totally unrelated, in the center of this photo are two segulot I received-- a blessed coin from the Belzer Rebbetzin TLIT"A and a segula from Rachel's Tomb I received when we donated to the Vaad Harabbanim

And it was sooo fun! Now we are putting stencils all over the house. In the living room, in the bathroom, in Yoel’s room. I love what this adds to my house and we are planning to put them all over.

The second nesting thing I’ve been doing is trying out a new recipe every week. I’ve been making the same handful of recipes for YEARS. Which was quick and easy but very boring. And I’m discovering that it’s actually fun to try out new recipes. This week I found a forgotten cabbage in the fridge, so I googled “cabbage recipes” and printed up one for Cabbage Carrot Casserole. Sounds gross, right? But I am not exaggerating– my 14-year-old and my 7-year-old were fighting over the last piece last night! In fact, my 7-year-old, Moriah, said that she wants me to serve Cabbage and Carrot Casserole on her birthday instead of our traditional Wacky Mac.

Cabbage-carrot casserole

It sounds silly, but last week I made soup with turnips in it. And the week before that I made tuna casserole with peas. And I just tore out a yummy sugarless pear muffin recipe I found in Family First, and am thinking I’ll make it this afternoon with the kids. I’m discovering that cooking all these new things and using all these different ingredients I never thought of can be quite fun. Even exciting.

All of this postpartum nesting frivolity in the Weisberg home reminded me of an email I received a few months ago. This JewishMOM wrote:

My sister recently purchased a cute little pacifier holder for her son –you know the kind that costs a bit more but was just too cute to pass up…

Later, she met a friend who asked her where she got the pacifier holder. Now, my sister knows that friend and KNEW what was going through her head. She was now viewing my sister as one of “those”– the frivolous type of woman who immaturely spends extra money on silly things. I mean, the baby doesn’t know the difference, right?

This got my sister thinking, and she called me to share her conclusions. She said “I am a mother, that is my main job in life. And I want to love every minute of it!! Why do we sometimes think that serving Hashem has to be “heavy”??? It can be so much fun!!!!

Let’s enjoy every moment to its fullest. Let’s shep nachas from everything about our mothering – even the pacifier holder…. I am not pushing for senseless spending, you realize – just the idea that as mothers, it’s so important and so great for us to feel good – to walk through life with a dance, to have fun… that is what Hashem really wants of us. And in the long run, that is really the best way to ensure that we are the best and happiest moms we can be.

Related posts:

Winton's Children
A Year Ago today I Was Racing to the Hospital
My Good Enough Pesach

12 comments

  1. I just loved this post.
    Thank you!

  2. oops that was me – not my husband 🙂

  3. How true, I actually went out and bought the book Appreciating people since the personality type you described in that post really did resonate with me. It’s good to see there is some hope out there for us NF’s in terms of housekeeping:)

    Loving this site!

    All the Best

  4. This is probably how I base my whole existence since I am an artist by nature…i take the beautifulness of yidishkeit and make it even more pretty…otherwise i dont know how else i would express myself and my service to HaShem would be so dull.

  5. Enjoy it! There are so many fun, tasty things you can make!

  6. thank you for the hizouk for women like me who are not artist but crave for it!!there is hope!
    actually all that is new is exciting and bring freshness in our daily basic life, being a detail, a new recipe or a new article to read on this wonderful blog….
    but it reminds me of “soup and couscous please”, hoping your kids still love it because you need this daily routine!
    by the way..can you give us the cabbage and carrot recipe????? thank yooooo

  7. Great post and FYI, family first has amazing recipes, they ALWAYS turn out! Most of their stuff gets posted on http://www.kosherscoop.com
    Shavua tov!

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