The Matzav Shmoooze: No, I Am Not Available



As one who works the entire year, I savor the weeks that I get to spend in my bungalow colony during the summer. These weeks seem to fly by. I always wish I could prolong this period somehow.

I am not one to drive around the mountains looking to fill my day with exciting activities. I don’t need to go to Woodbourne or shopping. I am content staying on my bungalow porch, enjoying the nice weather and the serene environment of the Catskills.

Some of my fellow bungalow mothers seem to view me differently. Since I am staying in my bungalow “anyway” each day, I am bombarded with spontaneous babysitting requests.

“I have to run to my daughter in Camp Vesh. Can I just leave my baby Ruchy with you for a little while? Don’t worry. She’s toilet trained.”

“Hi, Sari. I have to run to Woodridge to pick something up from my sister. Would you mind watching my Chaim’l? Thanks a billion.”

“Wow! What Hashgachah! You’re staying home today! You looked so relaxed. That’s fantastic. You wouldn’t have a problem if I left you Shevy and Avi, would you? I know you wouldn’t. You’re a doll.”

Actually, I do have a problem. I am not a babysitting service. You can 1) hire a babysitter, 2) take your kids with you on your excursions, or 3) not go gallivanting around the mountains.


S. K.

{ Newscenter}


  1. “Wow! What Hashgachah! You’re staying home today! You looked so relaxed. That’s fantastic. You wouldn’t have a problem if I left you Shevy and Avi, would you? I know you wouldn’t. You’re a doll.”
    LOVE that passive – aggressive technique.
    Just ask these chutzpahnics if the are paying with Amex or M/C Visa for the service.

  2. You’re a spoiled rotten person. many people can’t afford to go to the bungalow colony at all “ti relax”. And if your neighbor asks for a chesed, either do it, or don’t do it, but don’t kvetch about it.

  3. i have a big secret to tell the owner of this article – say no – make up a nice excuse every time – they will get the hint

  4. well believe it or not life is not a dream every day brings along its own challenges and tribulations no you dont have to be a babysitter but yes it is chesed and mitzvohs will follow you even if u do try to run away from them

  5. Yasher Koach for speaking up!
    Now as soon as we work on people’s middos in the bungalow, let’s take it to the next step – Walmart!

  6. This woman is allowed her vacation time! She should enjoy it for how ever long she can! There’s nothing selfish AT ALL about saying ‘no’ when you need your time, not just the summer, any time of the year!

  7. apparently ur one of those kinds of people that love to take advantage of other people because YOUR THE SPOILED ROTTEN PERSON!! you need everything your way and if noone is able to help u bec they have their own life, then u bash them?! The ladt writing the article has a VERY legit excuse!!

  8. #2 “spoiled rotten person”?! cause she goes to a “bungalow”?? you are a nisht faginner; we are in the 3 weeks; think twice before you knock someone so disgustingly.

  9. Dear S.K. I too go to a bungalow colony and to be honest although I would not mind doing some running around I usually do not have a car and therefore am one of those mothers who are usually around. I don’t know which bungalow colony you attend but in my colony people will rarely ask a friend to babysit a baby or toddler unless it is an emergency. People will ask for someone to be responsible for their day camp age children while they are off grounds which is really no big deal and rarely requires any effort. I find in a bungalow colony, we need to be available for each other because sometimes it is me who needs the chesed and sometimes it is you. I am often glad to be in the position to do the favor because I hate to be matriach people but sometimes have no choice like when a child needs to see a dr. and I have no car. If you really find it intrusive just say that now is not a good time. If they are asking you to really babysit babies and toddlers you really should have no problem telling them that you are either busy or relaxing (you are entitled) and maybe they can pay one of the big girls to babysit. They might be startled at first but will get with the program quickly and get used to it. Hatzlocha and enjoy your summer.

  10. To Shira Leah: (Whether you were serious or not in your post, I still wan’t to say what I am about to say. This is for everyone to read.)

    I don’t think you understood at all what this woman is doing and saying. Her goal was not to and she wasn’t in any way “kvetching” about the situation. And I can’t believe you are referring to her as a spoiled rotten person. There are many people just like her spending their summer in a bungalow coloniy in the same ordeal. It seems as if people have absolutely zero understanding and recognition of other people’s boundaries and personal space. It’s not about doing chesed or not doing chesed. People shouldn’t even be constantly asking others in the first place for favors like, “just watch her kid (I don’t care if your busy or not or if you even have any desire to) while she runs to drive her other. Oh, and he is toilet trained so don’t worry about that”, just because her vacation means chilling on the porch and not running around like all of these other woman! It isn’t fair to even look at it like “oh you lost out on a big mitzvah” and “where’s your sense of Chessed”because people have zero obligation to overburden themselves when they just want to relax, and to be people pleasers just because you need a favor done! “Oh you looked so relaxed anyways. Your such a doll!” I mean are you insane? People should have to put up with that garbage of constant barrages of favors to make other’s happy?! And for the woman who needs to find a babysitter for her two year old so she can go on a shopping spree in the mall without her kid, “yeah sure thing boss. No Problamo! I’ll deal with your messy infant for a few hours for free, while you go have some fun in the mall”!!! “Yeah, just give me all of your little kids while you go spend the day however you want because I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to spend MY DAY and MY TIME watching your kids! I mean who wouldn’t want to give up on such an opportunity, such a huge Mitzvah. I’m just sitting around anyways. Just think about the amount of schar I’m getting! Oh yeah, and I really am such a doll.” I mean you gotta be crazy. NOBODY has a Chiyuv to be people pleasers at their own personal expense. People really have to open their eyes and see other people’s boundaries because you shouldn’t even be asking people for favors like these in the first place. Hire a babysitter, lady.

  11. Whether I have nothing to do or not isn’t your business. I am not a baby sitter. Bravo my sons a doctor and stopped going because they are so busy all week long running around (husbands I am talking about) that they come to him on shabbos with there medical problems
    He usually tells them see your doctor. He too is entitled to a vacation

  12. #5
    Never happen.
    The stores up here only exisit to serve me and my cousins.
    The whole year these Manuvals wait for us to show up, and then spend the winter talking about us.

  13. Good thing you weren’t around when Sara Emaynu was inviting guests! Which Seminary did you go to?

  14. You say you work all year. No you don’t dear, I do and that’s why I’m home and you’re in the mountains. Quit complaining.

  15. Learn how to say NO!, it’ll help you in the summer, and it’ll help you all year round too. For the rest of your life.

  16. When was the last time you did your own laundry? When was the last time you folded laundry? Do you do any cooking? Who takes out the garbage when it gets full? What time do you get up in the morning? Do you make your own bed? If you actually ever do go shopping, who takes the bags out of your car when you get home? Are you still married?

  17. I don’t think this article is appropriate for bnei yisrael, it’s just offering everone an opportunity to bash each other or say loshon hara. Instead of venting here, you can vent to your family or friends and truth be told you are free to decide what to do with your summer; yes u get the opportunity to do chesed, but definetely if u feel u need this break then u r always free to say no politely.
    Everyone else judging the situation is not entitled to do so because it is one sided and it’s “chaval” to bash anyone for no reason. This is “sinat chinam” and we r indeed in the 3 weeks morning period. Let’s build the temple this year instead of destroying it again.

  18. It doesn’t matter how much this woman works. She is on her vacation and has the right to spend it as she wishes. I have no doubt that if a neighbor had a serious medical emergency, she would gladly take the others kids off her hands. But on a regular basis so other women can shop and shpratzere – that’s not a chesed and its a terribly selfish thing to ask. I agree she can learn to say no or offer a name of a high school girl they can pay. But to call her selfish??? The women dumping their children on her are selfish, deeming their relaxation more important that hers.

  19. #13 I wonder if “Sara Emaynu” would spend her time bashing people…I think not!…& Seminary???!!! what are you getting at; Get a life!

  20. is the only fiorm of chessed watching other people’s children. what about the chesed of not disturbing someone who is resting? Who are all these people to determine what chesed another person is to do? every person has a right to decide for her/himself what chasadim is appropriate for that individual. you know, my windows need washing, my child ‘needs’ to go to visit her friend in the next town, when you finish your loads of klaundry, it would be such a chesed if you threw in the basket of clothing I am leaving here, oh, i’m sure you wouldn’t mind folding my laundry if I don’t get back tio the dryer on time. Hmm, so many opportunities to do chesed. that’s exactly why I go on vacation

  21. ” I am content staying on my bungalow porch, enjoying the nice weather” nice weather ..????? What part of the mountains are u in???

  22. There are Seminary’s that one must be a straight A (%100)student to get in. They teach them all of Shulchan Orech but no mussar. since its for “Metzuyanim” only, it gets to their head and they think everything “kumtzu mere”. There is nothing wrong with saying no in a derech eretzdika way but the tone of your letter shouts out, bad middos.