How Can I Change My Attitude About Shabbos?

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    I am having a hard time finding enjoyment out of shabbos these past few weeks. I will tell you whats going on. I start thinking, working, shopping, peeling and planning for shabbos since WEDNESDAY and sometimes MONDAY! Then after I do all the work, physical, emotionally draining ( I have no GOYTER!) I have to serve, clean and re-prepare for the next seuda. Meanwhile, i feel nauseas (for good reasons)! and have no energy. Next, on shabbos my children destroy all my good efforts to make it look so good, for ex. there will be 100 toys all over our tiny pitsy apartment along with things you wonder how and from where did they appeared from. Goes without saying, the atmosphere is no longer “pleasant” as we are all sitting upon one another’s heads in our small cozy home. No matter how much effort I had previously exerted it always ends up looking messy and cluttered. I cannot possibly get down and scrub walls and floors and woodwork, furniture, etc all week. So after I clean up from this wonderful event which takes me until sometime on Sunday, I have 2 days until I have to begin the cycle all over again. I never seem to get any projects started or finished around week after week because shabbos takes up almost my whole week. Making soups, ordering things, washing bedding, shopping, toiveling, skinning chicken, making cake, salads. I feel weak just talking about it.

    Where is oneg shabbos?

    Please don’t laugh. I want to experience shabbos again!!!!


    Some good reading materisl: Rabbi Leff’s articles and books on Shabbos, Shabbos Secrets by Rabbi Meisels. Others I can’t think of.

    And check out and her link to the chatzos group.


    frumlady- Are you taking a Multiple Vitamin, eating healthy and getting enough sleep, it could be something simple like that. Garden of Emunah is a good read, when feeling overwhelmed by lifes tests. Good luck.


    the only advice I can send along is try to simplify for the next couple weeks. prepare the main dish and soup. buy challos, chummos, dessert. you do not need a ten course meal. use plastic plates and cutlery. nothing horrible will happen to you and your kids will be happy seeing a calmer mommy. keep a couple nice shabbos toys out. all the rest put away where the kids cannot grab them. keep plenty of fruit around the house so the kids can nosh on healthy stuff. kids books are gr8 cause you can sit and relax and read to your kids.


    I also have a tiny apt and a family of children baruch Hashem.

    However, I don’t start Shabbos preps until thursday afternoon.

    Preparing all my shabbos food takes about 1-2 hours.

    Cleaning takes me another 2-3 hours.

    It shouldn’t take you more than that. If it does, then maybe you have to cut down on some cleaning and do things during the week.

    You should also freeze any Shabbos food that’s possible to freeze (soups, compote, Challas).

    Regarding the mess- every blessed home gets messed up 10 minutes after it’s cleaned! You cannot help that!

    And yes, whoever I speak to, including myself, says it takes until MONDAY to get the house back in order. So what? Drop the pressure. Do a little bit at a time.



    It sounds like there are two different issues here – cleaning and food. I don’t know how many kids you have or how old they are, where you live or what the shopping is like, or what your financial situation is, so these may not all work for you, but hopefully you can get some ideas.

    About the cleaning and toys … Maybe you can lock up some of the messier toys? Invest in some bins to corral the clutter? Buy the kids special Shabbos toys to encourage them not to use the messy ones? Teach the kids to clean up after themselves? Maybe others in the family can help with some of the housekeeping throughout the week?

    About the food … Can you buy some of the food, like maybe cakes and salads? Can you cook and freeze? For example, I’ll make a big pot of soup once a month then freeze it in smaller containers. The weeks I defrost, I cook some vegetables in salted water then add them to the soup. Do you have access to cheap paper goods? Can anyone in your family help with the cooking or serving?

    You aren’t doing anyone any favors by being a shmatta! If all else fails, lower your standards. Tell yourself that you will not get upset about the toys or whatever because there’s nothing you can do about it right now so stressing will not help. When you and your family are at a different stage, you can change things.

    Hatzlacha rabba in finding your oneg Shabbos!


    Thanks guys. Good shabbos.



    In my home (im unmarried) my mother cooks for Shabbos on Thursday and Friday, she does some shopping during the week and my mother works but she doesnt have to deal with little kids.

    Heres some ideas:

    Sit down with pen and paper and plan your Shabbos like so

    1. How many people are you cooking for?

    2. How much food do you really realistically need. (No you dont need to make 3 different main dishes!!!!) Keep things basic + a few extras that you want to add but dont go overboard

    3. Figure out when to do the shopping and how to get it done in as brief amount of time as possible.

    4. Figure out when the best time would be to do your cooking so you get the most done without the kids on your head or underfoot.

    5. See if you can cook in bulk and put away in the freezer so that you make one big soup that can last a month…

    Now as for the mess, do you have any older kids to help clean up?

    Does your husband help out? He can do some of the shopping as well as helping out with the cleaning up around the house and picking up toys.

    Im sure others can contribute to what I started here…


    Simplify, Your husband and children want a relaxed wife and mother more then they want 3 kugels and 4 kinds of cake.Prepare the absolute basics, and as others have said try to prepare ahead and freeze if possible. I try to make soup only once a month the same for cakes and kugels. Try side dishes that are less time consuming, rice or farfel instead of kugel.

    I know it is easier said then done but really try and regard the mess as a bracha a clean orderly house on shabbos is probably a house without children. Depending on the age of your kids try thinking of games to play together with them rather then toys they play with. Hide and seek and charades require no small pieces and hopefully leave no mess, your kids will love that you are playing too.Special toys that only come out for shabbos can also be help.

    As for menuchas shabbos if at all possible send the kids out for an hour or two so you can get that much deserved shabbos nap in,trade off with a neighbor,ask a bais yakkov girl or as last resort beg your husband..

    Hatzlacha Rabah



    shabbos is about relaxing, and spending time with your family. when you see them devour your challa, slurp the soup down, and eat the cake as if it was the first time they had cake. all that should put a smile on your face, and some satisfaction for your hard work.

    now the question is, does everything have to be home made and so delicious? the challas are a special mitzvah given to woman, but maybe bake every second or third week.

    fish and chicken can be bought. if money is tight buy the fish, it’s not much more than making it at home.

    cakes, how many do you make? 2, 3, or 1? that’s all that’s needed.

    you didn’t mention how many kids, or their ages. can they help set and clean the table?

    toys, make a program no shabbos nosh until the toys are put away. if that doesn’t work, maybe ignore the mess until Friday morning so you’re only putting them away once. it’s kavod shabbos to have a mess, if the kids are playing and enjoying themselves, most important they’re enjoying shabbos.

    certain areas have high school girls come as a chesed, call a local school see if they such a program, and utilize it.

    can you go away once in a while? parents, in-laws, sister, brother, friend? that would take a huge strain off you.

    bottom line shabbos like many things is a mindset, if you do what you can without killing yourself, you’re mind should tell you not to feel guilty, that you only had one kugel and not two.

    whatever you do, don’t clean the toys on shabbos, that’s your day of rest too.

    bsha tova on the next one!



    You don’t have to change your ATTITUDE, it sounds like you have to change the LOGISTICS.

    From another thread it sounds like you are Lubavitch. They are VERY stringent about making food from scratch. This sounds like what your issue is. Call Rabbi Friedman in St. Paul and ask what can he recommend to make things easier while remaining faithful to Lubavitch customs.


    BTW maybe drink only DECAF it makes people more relaxed!! Obviously NOT Starbucks 🙂


    It all boils down to SIMPLIFY.

    Whatever you do to make shabbos EASIER for yourself so YOU also get to enjoy a little Shabbos …IS KOVOD SHABBOS.

    BUT!!by the way,everyone, not every single problem in the world is solve-able.

    what do I mean?

    when your solution involves the cooperation of those in your immediate environment…and beyond your control…only hashem can solve it.


    WIY, you don’t leave a mess with the toys for your mother to clean up?


    I start making shabbos on Thurs and I finish on Thurs. i don’t leave ANYTHING for Friday. I make one huge mess with the cooking so theres one huge cleanup of washing dishes and the floor (no dishwasher yet). My neighbor said she would never be able to serve potato kugel on shabbos that was made on Thursday, well I can, and it’s more than fine. Friday my husband has a more flexible schedule so we usually go out in the afternoon with the kids. Even on the short Fridays. For a walk, for pizza, shopping for a shabbos treat etc.



    I clean up my toys. I learned the hard way. My mother used to warn me she would throw out anything I didn’t put away (and not replace it). I at first made the mistake of thinking she was kidiing…;-)

    Pashuteh Yid

    FrumLadyGit, I am reminded of the gemara where the daughter of one of the tannaim (Rabban Gamliel?) asked for a bracha. He told her, may the word woe always be upon your lips. She started crying. He told her, in a happy house, the wife is always saying, woe, my child just bumped himself; woe, my meal must come out of the oven or it will burn; woe, I must get the house ready for my husband, etc.

    You are very lucky that everything you do is lshem shamayim. There are unfortunately some houses where they have been involved in scandals or embarrassing things. That is a true tragedy. In your case, you are so lucky that everything is bkovod and you bring nachas to the klal and to your family. I am sure you will find a way to ease some of the work, but be thankful for what you have.


    I remember this stage when my kids were little. What helped was when someone told me to change my attitude from being a teenager, when Shabbos was relaxing, to thinking of myself as the Rav of a big Shul, where I am “on-duty” all of Shabbos.

    If I stopped expecting to be able to sleep, read, and relax over Shabbos, and I expected this to be my time to actively work, then I was much happier.

    Many of the other practical suggestions in this thread will help you as well – Hatzlacha!


    I am not Lubavitch as was suggested above by artchill. I dont know what I wrote in another thread that led him to that…? However its true we make everything from scratch and I think its more Hungarian to do this actually.

    Anyways, I really worked for shabbos at my pace this week, without asking for my husbands assistance and I enjoyed every min of it. I dont know what happened or what changed, but Baruch Hashem it was better.

    Funny thing, at the end of shabbos my big girl exclaimed ” Mommy look…do you believe it…there is not one toy to be put away….we never even took out their toys this shabbos!! Yay,,, there are only dishes to wash!!” It was relieving.


    FRUMGIT- I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this Shabbos!

    I guess just talking about it and feeling that others are with you, makes us feel better automatically!

    You said no toys were out. What in the world did your kids do all Shabbos without toys????

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