The words Passover and cleaning raise a strong response from most women. To prepare for Passover, there is a call that Jewish families should clean their house to get rid of chametz (bread and its by-products).
I have had informal conversations with women and here is what women really feel about cleaning for Passover:
“I have such a busy life that the idea of a major cleaning project is, frankly, frightening.”
“Despite the fact that I know that Passover cleaning is about getting rid of chametz (bread and its by-products), I always fall into the trap of doing a full spring cleaning because I am a perfectionist.”
“The only reason I clean is so that I can do the the Bedikas chametz ritual with my children. As a child, I loved this moment before Passover and I want my children to have this memory too.”
“I do it because I stress out about what my neighbors think if they see my messy house on Passover?”
“My mother did it and since I hate cleaning, I just skip out on the whole Passover cleaning project.”
“My partner and I budget money so we can outsource and hire someone to clean before our Passover seder.”
“I do it and resent every minute because I already have too much to do. Women already have too much to do!”
“I cook for Passover and my husband cleans!”
“I’m glad that once a year I have an excuse to give the house a thorough cleaning. I shudder to think what my house would look like without a good Spring cleaning.”
“Intellectually, I know that Passover cleaning is great for the soul, but just the thought of getting started makes me want to hide under the covers.”
“I do the bare minimum. I concentrate on the kitchen but tape up most of the cabinets instead of cleaning them.”
“One year I accidentally forgot a package of bread (!) on top of my fridge and only discovered it after the holiday. Since then, I’ve had nightmares of this recurring and clean like a demon to make sure it doesn’t.”
It is up to you what you do to prepare for Passover.
Here are some ideas to help:
- Your worth as a mother/wife/woman is not about the cleanliness of your home.
- Focus on what will make you feel most at ease during Passover and clean accordingly – If you need a clean environment to be your best self, it may be worth the effort do a major Passover cleaning. If you’re creative and relaxed when there’s clutter everywhere, that’s OK too.
- It may be impossible to completely shake off all thoughts of what others will think about the state of your home. Find a balance that works for you and work for that.
Your turn: What are your thoughts on Passover cleaning? Do you look forward to it or dread it? What do wish you could change about the pre-Passover season?