Thursday, March 28, 2013


Passover Envy - Keeping Up With The Goldberg's 

Over Passover I had an idea swimming around in my head for a blog post.
And then my friend posted this on a popular facebook group.
It was like she had been reading my thoughts exactly.
Of course it caused an uproar.......

"I spent 40 minutes talking a friend of the ledge. She's having major performance anxiety over Pesach. Her husband is working again (thank G-d) and she's home with three kids under the age of five. Facebook has gotten to her; the fancy tablescapes, intricate Kosher for Passover recipes, pressure to push herself and their budget in order to feel like it's enough. 

I love seeing what others do for Shabbos and Holidays. For all of you who are easily overwhelmed please know that many of us have weeks where we just piece together meals. It's also quite easy to make things glamorious when you have an unlimited budget. Chill."

It think it's time that we all start an honest conversation about what is real.

So here's my confession.....

I often post inspirational table settings and craft ideas for children and adults.
It may seem that I have it all together and my life is super grand
I literally almost did not make it to this Passover.
If it had not been for my mother swooping in at the very last second,
we would never have been ready in time.

"What do you mean?"
"How could this be?"
" Don't you have it all together Abbey??" 
I hear your thoughts in my head......

I always say that in my family we all stick to what we are good at. I don't know how to clean, I'm not really good at it, so I tend to stay out of my husbands way when it comes to Passover cleaning. Well this year was no exception, but I really really couldn't have helped him even if I wanted to.

Baruch Hashem (Thank God) I have a job, which lends itself to be seasonal, and Passover's my busiest time of the year. I worked myself to the bone, I think I averaged 3 hours of sleep 2 weeks in a row, taking a break for Shabbos. The week that all the items were to ship, my assistant got sick and I was left alone to do everything on my own. Painting, cleaning, and shipping. When Thursday came and all the pieces were out of my house I gave an audible sigh of relief and slept for the first time in weeks and when I woke up I realized that I had to make Passover in my rental home.

Now if you have been following my home debacle saga, you will know that everything I have is in storage. How could I possibly afford to buy new things, how could I possibly make Passover?? You see what I make painting and working is not extra side money, but my actual parnassah (income). There is never any money left over for fancy vacations or pretty things. I have 5 children and Yeshiva tuition's to pay, if anyone has extra money laying around it's not me.

So the way I saw it I had two problems that I needed to figure out.
(1) Cleaning - We needed to get the house clean for Passover in T minus 2 days
(2) Prepare - I needed all the stuff to cook with including pots, pans, and FOOD!
Remember people this was already the Friday BEFORE Passover.
I already hear my husband yelling at me for telling you all this. OYSH! 

So here's what I did to solve problem #1
I called my mother.
Fine. You can all laugh at me. Totally fine, I'm ok with that!!
She came for shabbos and spent Saturday night and Sunday helping my husband getting the house cleaned and ready.

Problem #2 was slightly trickier and will make you all extremely nervous, but I will tell you anyway.
Because my mother is single now and will be spending Passover with all her grandchildren, she graciously offered her Passover dishes, pots, and pans to me. The problem was that our schedule was so tight, that it would be impossible to pick up the stuff until after we burned the Chometz on Monday. My mother's home is in Long Island and I live in Passaic, NJ - A slight situation here. How was I going to cook??

So what did we do?
Well by some miracle we had one box of Passover meat pots and pans in my attic in the old home and while my husband and mother went to retrieve the rest of her Passover items in Long Island I was able to cook what I could with those pots. A friend lent me a knife and a peeler, and I used a plastic plate as a cutting board.

By the time my mother and husband were back it was 4 o'clock about two and a half hours till candle lighting. Most of the food was up and we began to sort through the boxes, washing dishes and getting the table set for the seder. Right before candle lighting I snapped this picture of my table. Notice how there is no silverware, Haggadah's, or napkins anywhere to be seen.

So why am I telling you this story?
Am I proud of the fact that I wasn't ready in time?
No. I'm actually embarrassed.

Am I happy that my mother had to come rescue me?
Well yes, and grateful too!

So what's the point???

I don't have it all together and I'm sure there are many other people out there who don't either!

It's ok to not have a perfect table setting.
It's ok to not have a fancy home.
It's ok to cook on the holiday and not have it prepared in advance.
It's ok to be late.
It's ok to run out to the store 3 hours before the holiday for new pants for your son because you realized all the ones he has are ruined with holes and stains.

I think that in life and especially via social media outlets we've got to be careful
Of what we say and what we post.
It's important to be sensitive to others.

We are not meant to see everyone's lives like an open book.
Vacations, new homes, new cars, children, spouses, and tablesettings.
All of a sudden these things are all brought into your face for your viewing pleasure
And yet you never asked to see them.
Who wants to feel that they aren't good enough??

"The grass isn't greener on the other side." 
You may think that the other person has it all together, but we all have our own Pekel's (lot)

What I am trying to do here is start a conversation about how you all feel.

Was my friend wrong in writing this post?
What do you think?
Please leave a comment below and let me know!



  1. I love this... Good for you for posting and kol hakavod for getting it all together in time!! I now feel adequate once again :)

  2. My son and daughter in law had twin babies in the nicu the week before Pesach. They did not know whether or not they would be home in timefor Pesach. I was coming in on Friday from out of town to make Pesach in their apartment. They had never made Pesach before and did not have even one Pesach item. By the amazing grace of Hashem, babies came home Thurs. Night before. We cleaned the kitchen on motzei shabbat, baruch Hashem for small kitchens! Did a massive Pesach shopping on sunday, Baruch Hashem for Christmas Tree Shops of all places where we were able to outfit an entire Pesach kitchen for under $200 and then on to Shoprite. Working around settling in the 2 beautiful new neshamot along with airport run to get hubby and other son we ended up sitting down to a beautiful seder. We were calm, happy and relaxed with simple and yummy food.

  3. I LOVE YOU FOR THIS POST. YOU ROCK! Keep it real!