Sukkot is distinguished from other holidays as “our joyful time” but it is also “our family time.” Here’s food for thought, most pertinent to these family filled, if hectic, days, from my mother-in-law, parental guidance counselor Ziva Meir:
“Many parents ask: where do I draw the line between the time devoted to myself and the time devoted to my children? Yet, in essence, the time we devote to our children is time simultaneously devoted to ourselves, and a most meaningful time at that. However, if we regard family time as servitude and sacrifice — then we’re missing out on something. Those who feel enslaved to their children are doing something wrong. The most worthwhile work anyone can do is within the family unit. It’s the ideal workshop for personal growth and character development. If we are truly connected to ourselves, honest with ourselves, we will find time for parents, siblings, children and spouses, without a sense of guilt and the feeling that we are forever losing or missing out. True, at holiday time things can get complicated, but making no distinction between personal time and family time should be our guiding principle. There once was a girl who said to a great rabbi that she wanted to sacrifice her life to Torah. Instead of an enthusiastic response, the rabbi said: Don’t do us any favors. So, too, we should not feel like we are Martyrs suffering for our children for, after all, Judaism opposes human sacrifice.
Have a happy and joyful holiday, a holiday of real joy and true happiness”.