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Dear Jido,

I remember when my husband and I used to look forward to the High Holidays as a month of meals with friends and quiet contemplation. Last year however, the whole month of Tishrei was just one extraordinarily long exhausting experience. With two young kids and no family nearby, I spent all my time running after my children when I wanted to be in services. I'm already dreading the thought of the upcoming Holidays. Will I ever enjoy the Holidays again as a parent? Any suggestions for making things better for the time between now and when my kids are grown up?

Signed,

Exhausted by the Holidays

Dear Exhausted,

I can see that the Holidays could be a bit disappointing. Truth is, it’s hard for me to relate since I and my children will all be in synagogue all day just like your husband. Maybe it’s best if I let my wife answer this time. So here’s Sito:

Hi, honey. Wow, I can’t believe the holidays are almost here. I better make sure to get a shank bone this year. Oh, no, that’s for Pesah. I hope the store doesn’t run out of silik.

Oh yeah, about your question. I know what you mean. I remember when my kids were young and we spent the whole day reading Dr. Seuss and The Little Train That Could instead of praying musaf and tashlich. Even now, when my grandchildren come over, it’s so exhausting. But, I’m a Sito and you’re a young mother, so you should be okay.
As Jido keeps telling me, women are called – akeret habayit – we are the foundations of the home. Our job is to hold down the fort, even if it does get to be like the
Wild West sometimes.

See if you can schedule the kids’naps to be at the same time so you can sneak in a prayer or two. Perhaps invite a friend over who can share the time with you. Discuss with your husband about varying your schedule from yom tov to yom tov so you can be either at the in-laws or the outlawsfor one holiday.

Either way, take heart. It gets easier as they get older. The blessing is to have your children around your table as growing vines. Enjoy them. Enjoy their antics. And be sure to leave time to go shopping for the lubyeh. I just hope the store doesn’t run out of silik!

Love, Sito