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Tips for Preventing MIL Meltdown about Aliyah
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 5:45 pm
We need to inform my MIL of our Aliyah plans for next summer. DH is an only child, and my widowed MIL is very attached to DH and her five grandchildren, even though she lives 1,000 miles away. She is not observant and doesn't understand the value of Israel. We see our future and the future of our children in Israel, and DH now has a job opportunity (well-paying) in Israel as well. When we tried planning Aliyah five years ago, without a job lined up, MIL freaked and we dropped it at the time. Any advice on softening the blow this time around?
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amother




Wine
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 5:51 pm
I would genuinely validate her feelings and acknowledge that it does feel like a blow to her while still doing what is right for us as a family. I would empathize with her. She is in a painful situation. I would broach the topic to her of her choosing to move with you. If nothing else she will understand that it is not personal and feel loved and wanted.I would ask her to make a plan with you as to how she can visit or you can visit though particularly painful and tough in this Covid time. I would also work behind the scenes to line up support for her in terms of phone calls, visits, and the like, with other relatives and her close friends. She will need TLC. As well as practical help. If she is concerned about Israel in particular you can all help her learn it is not as depicted in the mainstream media and help her get fondly familiar with the true E"Y and even share your reasons for moving. Like involve her and make her a part of it and even ask her what you can do to make it easier, like visits prior to the move and such, setting up Skype and ways she would like you to keep in touch making it clear that you are willing to work to keep up the relationships with her.
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Fave




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 5:56 pm
Please understand your MIL ... it’s hard when your only child moves across the world.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 5:57 pm
I think amother wine is on to something with her last line. She is probably very scared about who will care for her when she cant care for her self. She doesnt have a husband or other children. If she has any siblings they are the same age as she is. Other family members are obligated to their own parents. Its very scary. Have you talked to her about these issues specifically? I would really put yourself in her shoes and try to see her perspective on this.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 5:59 pm
I say this as my fathers only child who lives in our city. He has not been married to my mother in 20 years. When he needs anything medical its on me. I am in my 30s and he is in his 60s as he gets older it will be more and more my responsibility which is why even though DH and I have talked about moving cities on different occasion I wont do it.
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amother




Forestgreen
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 6:04 pm
First of all, I wouldn't call it a meltdown. That's disrespectful. She is not two years old. It is very reasonable for her to be crushed if her only son and all his family move across the world.

How old is she? Is she active and independent? Maybe you could suggest to her that she might look into aliyah one day herself. I realize she has no connection to Israel, but people often move to where their kids live.

For now, how is her financial situation? How is yours? Will you be visiting once or twice a year, or will she now never get to see her family?

If she is healthy and can travel and has the means to travel, perhaps offer to make sure she has a proper space in your future home, where she can come visit for a month every year or whatever.
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amother




Wine
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 6:51 pm
How do your parents feel about it Op?
Perhaps do for her what you may be doing for them.
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amother




Navy
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 8:18 pm
I’m all for aliya but am sad for your mil. I’m sure you’ve thought of this but just checking.. are you sure that this is the right decision?
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 8:44 pm
amother [ Navy ] wrote:
I’m all for aliya but am sad for your mil. I’m sure you’ve thought of this but just checking.. are you sure that this is the right decision?


That is really rude. OP is an adult and allowed to make choices for her family. It isn't anybody else's place to second guess OP's decision.
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amother




Seafoam
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 8:59 pm
Reality wrote:
That is really rude. OP is an adult and allowed to make choices for her family. It isn't anybody else's place to second guess OP's decision.


I didnt think it was rude. I think its a way of opening another angle to the conversation.

and I agree. moving away from an aging parent when you are the only child is probably a shaila for a Rov.
we dont live in a vacuum. our choices affect our families.
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:00 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
We need to inform my MIL of our Aliyah plans for next summer. DH is an only child, and my widowed MIL is very attached to DH and her five grandchildren, even though she lives 1,000 miles away. She is not observant and doesn't understand the value of Israel. We see our future and the future of our children in Israel, and DH now has a job opportunity (well-paying) in Israel as well. When we tried planning Aliyah five years ago, without a job lined up, MIL freaked and we dropped it at the time. Any advice on softening the blow this time around?

I’m guessing that you don’t see her very often if you are 1000 miles away. Are you a flight away now as well? Will you be able to visit as often as until now? Or have her visit you?
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:09 pm
amother [ Seafoam ] wrote:
I didnt think it was rude. I think its a way of opening another angle to the conversation.

and I agree. moving away from an aging parent when you are the only child is probably a shaila for a Rov.
we dont live in a vacuum. our choices affect our families.


OP doesn't have to tell us every detail of her life. Maybe she asked a shaila already. Maybe she is from a path of Judaism that doesn't feel this is something to ask a Rav. It really doesn't matter. It's not nice to guilt trip someone because they or their spouse is an only child. Only children are also allowed to make decisions sometimes.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:14 pm
And now that I'm re-reading the OP, she already lives 1,000 miles away from her MIL. What is the difference if you live two or three thousand miles away? You already live a plane ride away.
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:33 pm
Reality wrote:
And now that I'm re-reading the OP, she already lives 1,000 miles away from her MIL. What is the difference if you live two or three thousand miles away? You already live a plane ride away.


There can be a major difference. North to South, you can still be in the same time zone--the Northeast to Florida say. Psychologically, there is a difference if you say goodnight to someone where it is also night, or you have to think and calculate the time difference before you pick up the phone. Also, as we see in our COVID world, you can drive/hire a driver with hotel stops within the same country. Internationally, people have been stuck in Israel/US for months when they were really hoping to be back in the other country, if they were not willing or able to take a 12 hour flight under these conditions.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:40 pm
BetsyTacy wrote:
There can be a major difference. North to South, you can still be in the same time zone--the Northeast to Florida say. Psychologically, there is a difference if you say goodnight to someone where it is also night, or you have to think and calculate the time difference before you pick up the phone. Also, as we see in our COVID world, you can drive/hire a driver with hotel stops within the same country. Internationally, people have been stuck in Israel/US for months when they were really hoping to be back in the other country, if they were not willing or able to take a 12 hour flight under these conditions.


True.

But realistically how close a relationship does a grandmother have with grandchildren that live 1,000 miles away? And if they do have a close relationship then they still can have one 3,000 miles away.

I think OP's MIL is against them moving to Israel. She said she's not religious. She probably thinks it's too dangerous.

This doesn't sound to me like a MIL that doesn't want her only child to move far away from her. He's already far away!! She doesn't want Israel. And that isn't her MIL's decision to make. She will get used to the idea. Just give her time. After all, she got used to your husband being religious. Didn't she?
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:42 pm
Reality wrote:
And now that I'm re-reading the OP, she already lives 1,000 miles away from her MIL. What is the difference if you live two or three thousand miles away? You already live a plane ride away.


There's a huge difference between a 2 hour flight and a 12 hour flight. In cost, in going for a short amount of time, in terms of the time difference etc.. and it makes it impossible to drive in an emergency.

I am the child that moved away. It's been more than 2 decades. At that time it didn't seem like such a big deal. Everyone was younger. My parents flew frequently to see us and we flew frequently to see them.

However as they have aged it's become much more difficult. It's harder for them to travel in their 80s. And it's very, very hard for me to be far away at a time in their lives when they need more help.

Covid has been excruciating. My father spent a couple of months in the hospital and not being able to be there for my mother, while she was all alone, was awful. We haven't been able to travel. We are PG making a big simcha soon and who knows if they'll be able to be here.

It is not nothing.

And if I had known then, what I know now, I still would have made the same choice. But I would have done it much more reluctantly.

Your actions, while not wrong, have a huge impact on your mil, and empathy should be the lens through which you see her and decisions are made. But also realize, in years to come, it will also be hard on DH.
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:46 pm
I can't speak for this mil because I am a Zionist (and clearly frum).

I do think the time zone thing is a big deal. It means that for much of the year, she can only speak to her son early early Friday morning and then not until Sunday morning. She may have gotten used to the no contact for 25 hours due to the family being shomer Shabbos, but now it has really turned into 48 hours due to the time difference.

I
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:47 pm
Thank you simcha2, you said it better than I could
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:56 pm
BetsyTacy wrote:
Thank you simcha2, you said it better than I could


The time difference is hard. When my kids get home from school, it's too late to speak with my parents. Erev shabbos is impossible. Sunday is the only chance, and if something is going on the chance is missed. It's much easier with my in laws, whom live 1000 miles away, but in the same timezone.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 9:57 pm
BetsyTacy and Simcha2, are you an only child? Are you married to one? If not you have no idea what it is like. Every decision you make it's always "what about your parents/in-laws"?

No. OP is an adult. Her husband is an adult. They have made a decision. They need help coming up with a plan. They don't need help second guessing their choices. I'm sure OP has plenty of that kind of "help" in real life.
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