Here’s Why I Don’t Take My Kids Shopping (3-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Here’s Why I Don’t Take My Kids Shopping (3-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Elevating the daily grind of motherhood.

I don’t usually take my 3 youngest kids shopping anywhere further than the corner store, because they want this and that and also this, and “Eema, you never bought us an afikomen present last Passover!”
And I end up getting all worn out and snappy and headachey. And no-no-no ish!

Not the kind of mom I want to be.

But today, I had to take the 3 of them to an appointment downtown. Which meant I took them along to a bunch of stores where I needed to buy a bunch of things.

And after I had been worn thin after about an hour of shopping with them and no-no-no-ing, we entered a small store cause I needed to buy something for my son for his school trip tomorrow.

The store’s owner was sitting behind the counter, where he had lit 5 oil candles, and was chanting the prayer after meals, Birkat HaMazon. A minute passed, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes. One man, who seemed to know the salesman, began yelling at him, “Itsik, stop praying already! Take care of your customers!”

But nobody and nothing were going to rush Itsik. He had been sitting in his store since 8 that morning, and now was his time to connect with something higher.

And I was reminded of my neighbor, an elderly widow, who learns Torah for hours a day.

Every time I enter her apartment, she motions to the open book she is learning from, and says “Look, I’m sitting here in The Garden of Eden!”

I imagine this widow’s life isn’t so easy. Her husband of over 40 years passed away 2 years ago after an extended and devastating illness. She’s also had her own serious health issues. All her children are married and busy with their own lives. She must get lonely on her own.

But I see that this widow doesn’t feel sorry for herself. She feels blessed that she gets to spend her days in Gan Eden, learning Torah, doing acts of kindness for others, visiting her offspring around the Holy Land of Israel.

I see how her connection with holiness, like Itsik the store owner, enables her to rise above her daily troubles, worries, disappointments.

So today, after we left Itsik’s store (we gave up after about 8 minutes) after seeing him pull himself up and out of the daily grind, I felt myself walking slower beside my kids. Snapping less and smiling more. Being there.

Learning Torah for hours a day or spending half an hour on Birkat HaMazon isn’t really for me.

But it is possible that I, like Itsik and my neighbor, could start connecting a bit more with the potential pockets of Gan Eden in my life.

Feeling the Divine Presence gracing my home and days, and wherever else I let Her in.

Have a great week!


  1. The last few lines you wrote brought to mind Rabbi Nivin’s reminder to do any amount of introspection/teshuva you can on a daily basis during Elul – even one minute! During the busier, less mindful times in my life I found that even a minute of re-focus really has an effect.

  2. Rishe Deitsch

    Simple yet profound. Love these words: “…connecting a bit more with the potential pockets of Gan Eden in my life”

  3. I need to remember to daven more often to find these “little pockets” of inspiration in people and events and articles that we bump into to help refocus my outlook when with my children. Hashem knows exactly what we need to see or hear, we just have to remember to ask Him to help us notice it! Thanks for reminding me of this…

  4. Rachel Horan

    so true! thanks for the reminder!

  5. Only in Israel would you have that problem of shopkeeper bentching… mi keamcha yisroel.

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email