Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friday night

So I have a sort-of-dilemma.

Every Friday night - Saturday night is our Sabbath, Shabbat, Shabbos whatever you want to call it. Its a day of rest and and we basically refrain from all electronic stuff and work and we hang out with family, eat, read, pray and SLEEP! So for those not familiar with what Shabbos entails, imagine a small Thanksgiving meal every Friday night and Saturday afternoon. There's lots to prepare beforehand, including cooking 5-course meals, cleaning the home, bathing everyone, preparing for guests which often come, etc. Its fun and very enjoyable, but yes, hard work!

So here's the dilemma. Lately, or I should say, almost always, come Friday eve, everything is finally ready and I light my candles and just collapse. The whole week of working and taking care of kids coupled with the extra prep work on Friday finally catches up and knowing that i'm finally at my deadline puts me into a very tired-lazy-just-wanna-sit-on-my-couch-with-my-feet-up mood. But I usually dont have much time to relax cuz I still have to take care of kids and set the table up so when my husband comes home from synagogue, all is ready. And basically, the whole meal, I'm somewhat 'blah'. I'll eat and chat and laugh but I'm so not in the mood of serving a big meal. Taking care of the kids and putting them in bed, constantly getting up and down to serve and clear off and standing on my feet to serve things such as soup and chicken feel like major labor to get through. Plus, i'm usually relaxing and surfing at this time of night so it's physically hard all around. But the dilemma is not just how to make this easier. Here it goes:

My wonderful husband has seen that Friday nights are hard for me and it bothers him. He wants me to be energetic and rested and happy and I totally get why. So he's basically taken over all cooking and cleaning the past number of weeks, which is amazing. I barely have to do anything in that department. Great. So whats the issue? The issue is...come Friday night and I'm still tired... even if I didnt do any of the cooking or cleaning. Its not like i have my feet up all Friday, even without cooking/cleaning, I'm still donig my share of getting things ready, bathing the kids - including washing hair, always fun and in general going up and down the stairs more often than usual. Truth is, I think that many people are tired Friday night even if they dont have kids or work full time. But I'm sure my CMT adds to the fatigue. So it frustrates my husband that even with him taking so much of my shoulders, I'm still not alive and energetic. And I dont know what to do about it.

Just as an aside - DH is not into me making CMT excuses. IN general this is actually a very good thing because I don't WANT to be someone who lazes around and does nothing because of a neurolgical disorder. I want to accomplish whatever I can and push myself to the limit. But what is my limit? When I try to explain that I get fatigued easier than many others, he claims I am 'pulling the CMT card'. Might be true. Prob not completely true. I probably could get energized if I was giong to - say - an American Idol show. But even then I tire easily.

Maybe I should relax more on Friday - like sleep instead of surfing when I come home from work. Maybe its a simple soloution like using a better chair at the meal which I can get up and down from easier. Maybe I should drink a coffee right before lighting candles. Or maybe I should just tell him that I might not be energetic no matter what I or he does and he should try to accept that about me.

Thoughts? Advice?


  1. ok, this is not yashar la'inyan, AND I rarely comment, AND you don't know me from Chava, so it feels a little obnoxious, but...
    while I cannot help with the big question, I can pose a small question:
    Why does Shabbes have to be so full of food?
    It isn't particularly heathy (not UNhealthy, just, not necessary for health).
    I find that when there is a lot, I eat too many leftovers as well, because it is just there, and I know the rest of my family may not eat leftovers (obviously, if you can make two more meals of leftovers out of each shabbes meal, and save time the rest of the week, you should stick out your tongue at me!)
    I have been to Thanksgiving meals made by balebustas, that made me sad, they were just too over the top. No one needs two desserts, let alone four, and no one needs different courses if it makes you tired to serve. One round of serving all the dishes is fine (for me! not saying for you necessarily).
    Frankly, when shabbes is so late, I believe in EITHER a hearty soup with everything in it (enough chicken to eat, lots of veggies, lots of spices)
    with no main
    or a chicken in one pot (including rice, or potatoes and onions and sauce), with no soup.
    Obviously this will not exactly appeal to you, but I guess I just wanted to give you a look at the rest of us, so maybe you can say: "Hey, a soup, a piece of fleish, and a starch and a veggie is soooo much more than leezy does, I am so done this week")))

  2. Thank you for your comment. Who are you and how did you find my blog?

    We dont overdo it for shabbos and we very much enjoy all of the food. Challah, fish, soup, chicken, a veggie dish and a starchy dish. I don't believe that making less is the answer. As I mentioned, I don't even cook. Thats not what tires me out. And its not realistic to bring it all out at once.

    But thank you for your comment.

  3. What if you took back the cooking, but your husband did the serving and cleaning up of the meal for Friday night? We do that, and it is amazing. I sit like a princess for one meal a week. (At this point, my husband directs the various kids in the bringing in of most of the food, and the clearing, but he's the director, not me!) It's easier to be a lively presence at the table when you can just sit.

  4. i can throw the idea at him - he thinks cooking and cleaning go together which in a way they do. I told him i'd do cooking and cleaning if he took care of kids and the meal - but I'd be hiring a cleaning lady to help :). Hes not crazy about the idea. My kids are unfortunately too young to help (my sisters kids too and its amazing :) )

  5. that's great that your hubby is helping with cooking and cleaning! if he finishes early, send him my way :) Also, I was going to suggest it is NOT necessary for a 5-course meal!!! Keep it simple, even WITH him cooking. That way you can take a nice nap. YES, NAP. Don't have coffee at 8 pm, because you DO want to get to sleep early-ish, right?? Just try to take an afternoon nap, if possible. Also, I would suggest having a few weeks without guests so you can just chill, have simple food (cuz I know when I have guests I always work harder) and even eat on the couch if you want :)

  6. I definitely should try to nap. Hard to do when i havent been online all day. We all enjoy guests a lot and they often invite themselves to us. With these long summer afternoons and our block being somewhat quiet, its actually really nice to know there is company right here :). I would take the coffee at 5ish, for sure not at 8 but prob still not the best idea.

    BTW, proud mommy, i mentioned the idea of him cleaning and serving and me cooking and he thought it might work. hes really understanding of me being a little tired but for my sake too he doesnt want me to shluf through one of the nicest meals of the week...

  7. We started having my husband take care of the food Friday nights when I was pregnant and had both killer fatigue and bad nausea. It let me at least sit at the table! Now, it's just nice :-)