Yom Kippur, Mama
Rosh Hashana was kind of anti-climactic for me on the holy front. As it has been, almost every year since I entered the motherhood. Somehow I still manage to get myself all psyched up for an inspired, introspective, prayer-filled holiday - and I wind up feeling ridiculously accomplished to simply be in Shul for Shofar with both kids, even if it is only for an hour. And honestly, we should feel accomplished for that! And while I forget this every year, I remember it every year too: as mothers, our holy service is just that - to be mothers.
Over the course of the Babyccino Tishrei series we've had many "tip sharing" circle times, and I've heard a whole bunch of awesome family holiday tips and super cute traditions. I wanted to share two of my favorite Yom Kippur tips here - they can seriously help up the success factor of your fast day.
1. Toy Swap
I've done this one many times before, and it's always as fun as I think it should be. Simply swap toys with friends! Forget buying a whole bunch of new toys and activities for this one day with your kids (admit it, it's never enough anyways), just pick a friend who has kids with similar ages and interests to your kids (make sure it's someone whom you trust to be careful and responsible with your things) and do a massive toy swap. Board games, manipulatives, puzzles, play food, dressup, blocks, lego sets etc. Just swap it all! Of course, don't show your kids the toys all at once. Break out a new toy or activity one at a time, as need be, throughout the longest day of your year. Simplest entertainment ever.
2. Hot Meal
Many moms and dads have attested to the ironic satisfaction of this tip: serve your kids a hot dinner. It's one of the easiest ways to make it tantrum-free throughout bedtime - have some form of warm comfort food to serve up on demand. Use your crockpot to make your kids favorite nutritious meal the day before, and don't think about food again (well, not their food). Make a cholent, meatballs, chicken soup, overnight potato kugel, or minestrone, and know your kids will eat happily and healthfully, and hopefully fall into a quicker sleep. This also helps if you are leaving your kids with a babysitter at that hour - simplest dinner instructions.
I love being able to hang out with so many different parents each week - I think I learn more from them than their kids learn from the class! I feel like I have access to a never-ending fountain of real-life tried-and-true parenting tips, trials, and advice. Thank you all!! Wishing you a peaceful, easy, and meaningful day of actual atonement.
P.S. The broken-home consequence of shuttling kids back and forth is absolutely one of the most painful things for a parent. But, thankfully, it helps ensure self-preservation and makes survival that much easier. I am very much looking forward to a child-free Yom Kippur spent in solitude, servitude, and supplication. God knows I need it.