Sunday, June 29, 2008

When housekeeping is on the back burner

Hi there, dear friends. I hope you are having a wonderful day/weekend. Our weekend is - too soon - over, and a new week begins. I hope it will be a good, joyful and productive one, and wish the same to you.

Last week, I didn't get a lot done around here. I spent one day visiting my mother and grandmother and doing errands; for another couple of days, my husband has been feeling ill and stayed home, and I was busy taking care of him; and the next day I didn't feel well myself. Which meant, at the time, that I was happy to have at least clean socks and dishes. If it weren't for my dear sweet husband, who cooked for us, we'd have to eat sandwiches throughout the entire Shabbat.

Right now, our little home contains more mess and clutter than I would think reasonable, and I look forward to tackling it. It's around midday - our beds are made, laundry is waiting to be hanged, trash can is emptied, post is picked up and a few phone calls were done. I just had a quick lunch, and look forward to rest between fluffy pillows, before I resume my work. I must note that I didn't plan to take a nap so early, but I just talked with my husband, who reminded me that I'm still not entirely back to normal, and insisted that I must lie down for a while. Which I will do as soon as I'm done writing a note to you here.

The wonderful thing about homemaking is that you can be terribly behind any schedule and plan, but if you have no lack of motivation, there will inevitably be an oppotunity to catch up - and after you have cheerfully done that, you can savor a cup of tea in your sweet, clean, tidy home, while watching the laundry hanging out in the fresh air outside and waiting for a batch of homemade cookies to come out of the oven.

I'm off to spend some time in bed with a good book, and perhaps I will close my eyes for a couple of minutes. I want to do quite a bit more before my husband comes home, and also to spend time with him while I still have some energy left in me. That's one of the reasons why I love the opportunity to have a midday rest.

PS: In the comments to my previous post, I was asked whether it is true that Jews normally don't announce pregnancy until three months have passed. Yes, we do have such a tradition. Some don't tell about the pregnancy at all, and most avoid talking about it publicly. It is known that most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, and if such a sad and tragic event happens, the grieving woman might not want everyone to know. Keeping it private will allow her to share just with whomever she feels comfortable.

May none of us know the pain of such a loss.


H and S said...

It is true that many Western women also don't announce a pregnancy until 3 months is passed, mainly due to the risk of miscarriage. Interestingly, though, grief surrounding miscarriage is sometimes called 'disenfranchised grief' because it can seem like grief over nothing - especially when almost nobody else knew about the baby. The mother is grieving over a little person who died, who she loved dearly, but everyone around her has no idea that that person ever even existed. Indeed, talking about one's grief is very therapeutic.

Also, the first trimester is often a time of nausea and fatigue - those are hard to cover up, and one will get a lot more understanding and support if one is straightforward about it.

I'm not suggesting it's wrong to withhold the news of a pregnancy until second trimester - but personally I'm an advocate of sharing the good news as soon as you want to. Pregnant women need all the support they can get.

Sarah K said...

I think not announcing until twelve weeks is pretty common in many countries - I've had a lot of friends who haven't told people because of the risks you mentioned. The closest family will know (husband/mother/father) but it is not announced until the second trimester has started. I know a few people laid low with terrible morning sickness who have been forced to tell their boss but have worried about people knowing because it was too early...

Thursday's Child said...

I hope you're feeling like your old self soon. You are very blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

BTW, with my pregnancies I announced as soon as I found out. I'm not one to keep my mouth shut easily if I'm excited. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I announced it the day I found out but I can see why others do not. If you are keeping such sweet news private, I am praying for a good outcome and a blessed uncomplicated nine months.

Lady M said...

Get all the way better - take your husband's advice and rest - you will get better faster - truly (and yet I know the call of wanting to get the housework done...).

As far as pregnancy announcements, we did not tell family immediately with any of our pregnancies (mostly because I wanted to tell my mom & dad first in person - and they lived 900 miles away - took time and money to make that happen). However, a few close girlfriends knew with all of them. I am thankful, because after our first 2 children/pregnancies, we lost 3 in the first trimester. I was totally devastated and I was so blessed to have my girlfriends rally around me and know why I was such a basket case. I know I will see those children someday. In the meantime, I am 6 mos. pregnant and I was the one in denial about it for the first couple of weeks, lol! My husband was highly amused with my rational behind it. However, we did eventually tell the family after the first appt. Had to explain why we needed a sitter for the appt., lol!

Becky said...

Mrs. Anna,
I hope you are feeling better and that you are able to clean out some of the clutter in your home soon. DH and I are getting ready to move into our first home in a week or so and I am in complete awe of how much clutter we have. Where did it all come from? I long to have my new home be simple and full of love. Any recommendations on purging the clutter?

Persuaded said...

you know my first pregnancy i announced immediately, and my second also. but that second pregnancy ended in miscarriage, and i so wished i had waited before making the pregnancy public. part of it was because the miscarriage caused some other folks quite a bit of pain... my parents in particular. if they hadn't known of the pregnancy they wouldn't have had to deal with the sadness when it ended prematurely. another reason for my regret was having to deal with other's reactions and statements... mostly they meant well, but some of the things said were so awkward and really just made me feel worse. the next pregnancy i waited to announce. i was going to wait til 3 months, but i started to show before that and folks asked me;)

all that to say that the longer i live the more sense i see in these "old fashioned" traditions...

Anonymous said...

Anna dear, I have been wondering for a little while whether or not happy news might be forthcoming from you, but if you are expecting I understand the need to keep it private until you are sure everything is well. Personally, having experienced a first trimester loss, I must say that I'm glad I told people because the grieving was easier...but that is just me.

If you are expecting, mazel tov! And if you are not expecting, in my opinion, mazel tov! Either way, the Lord's will is being done, and that is something to be celebrated.

I even see it as a blessing that my wonderful husband and I have not been received the gift of living children, though we have been trying for two years. The Lord knows what He is doing, and that He cares enough to intervene in our lives to bend them to His desires...well, that's the most beautiful blessing of all.

earthly jane said...

I'm just doing some blog hopping and I stumbled across your's and I must say that so far, I absolutely love it!
I'm adding you to my blog roll!

Laura Brown said...

The wonderful thing about homemaking is that you can be terribly behind any schedule and plan, but if you have no lack of motivation, there will inevitably be an oppotunity to catch up - and after you have cheerfully done that, you can savor a cup of tea in your sweet, clean, tidy home, while watching the laundry hanging out in the fresh air outside and waiting for a batch of homemade cookies to come out of the oven.

This is so beautifully put, and true. Meanwhile, I will probably spend my morning in staff meetings about targets and work rotas! *sigh*

I remember Cheryl Mendelson, in her housekeeping manual Home Comforts, debunking the idea that housekeeping consists of repetitive and unfulfilling tasks. She said that actually, of all the jobs she had done, the one that involved the most repetitive and unfulfilling work was being a lawyer!

C said...

I completely disagree with keeping it a secret. To each his own however. In my opinion...the more people who know about the pregnancy, the more who can PRAY for that pregnancy. And if God forbid something were to happen...then the more people there are to PRAY for that loss. I do not feel that God intended us to suffer in silence.

Just my two cents. :)

Gina Marie said...

Thank you for answering my question! I hope you're able to get caught up and feel better!

Melian said...

We're not Jewish, but we typically wait to announce the pregnancy publicly until after the first trimester. We do tell some of our closest family and friends, as we know they will hold us up in prayer. These are the people who we would want to stand with us in our grief if something went wrong. Then again, I am so violently ill (hyperemesis gravidarum) that we can't keep the secret for as long as we'd like. (Both times, my boss figured it out in the first 8 weeks.) With our first pregnancy, we had just lost my sweet mother-in-law. We couldn't bear the thought of putting the family through more grief if we suffered a miscarriage. We waited until everything was moving along nicely, and made the announcement at my husband's graduation. It was very special.

Anonymous said...

Having miscarried three times, I'm into telling and having all the fun you can while you can. It's very difficult losing them, and I think people might just think you are nuts if you are seemingly depressed over nothing. I think it helps to have the good times.

At the same time I understand waiting. Part of why I stopped working was to reduce the size of the "audience" I have during my next pregnancy. Once you get to being high-risk with several appointments a week, there's no hiding it from anyone involved with your schedule.

Anyway, I've been wondering about you too. I'll hope for the best - whether it's a baby or making the most of the pre-baby time.

Have a lovely day.

cmoursler said...

I can see why people wait. I miscarried in my third month. I had told most of my neighbors, friends and family by that time. I had such a hard time walking in aisles at walmart and seeing small children and babies, that telling people was almost impossible. My worst moment came when a neighbor I hadn't seen in a month came up to me next to the melons and asked me how the pregnancy was going. I would wait before I did it (told) again, maybe I wouldn't tell anyone, even myself, until I was sure. Many women don't know until three or four months, I think next time, I would like to be one of those women.