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Tips for Preventing MIL Meltdown about Aliyah
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simcha2




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 6:59 pm
Reality wrote:
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.


I am one of two, and my sibling and parents are estranged. I am essentially an only child with regard to their care.

And I didn't second guess, as I said, I'd make the same choice again. But Op should know that not only will it be hard on the mil, it will also be hard in dh. Being far away isn't easy, especially as parents age.

Mil doesn't get to determine their choices, but she does deserve empathy and respect.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 7:06 pm
simcha2 wrote:
I am one of two, and my sibling and parents are estranged. I am essentially an only child with regard to their care.


I'm sorry that your sibling is estranged! I hope that this year brings shalom to your family!

This topic is a very touchy subject for me. Every decision of my life has always been colored with what will mom/mil think? And I'm tired of it. When do I get to be the Mom and in charge of my family? So I really feel for OP!
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amother




Pink
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 7:23 pm
My husband has one brother who is special needs so in essence he is the only responsible adult son of aging parents . We moved to Israel for 9 years and recently came back when they told us their plans to move to a nursing home in Israel to be near us (we weren’t sure if things would work out for us to stay or not and didn’t want to be stuck).
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amother




Seafoam
 

Post  Wed, Sep 23 2020, 8:24 pm
Reality wrote:
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.


wow. just wow.
one day it will be you that is aging and afraid to be alone. you want your kids to have your attitude too? There is nothing wrong with thinking about others in addition to your own self. why are you so resistant to that?
Ok so your an only child and you have to think about your parents more than a child of many siblings. whats wrong with being nice?
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 2:13 am
Op, can you convince her to make aliyah eith you guys?
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 2:36 am
You can't prevent her from feeling sad, because it's a sad situation. I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong. You can't put your life and your kids' lives on hold indefinitely to avoid upsetting one person, even a parent. But do recognize that her feelings are natural (to some extent, anyway), and more importantly, out of your control.

And recognizing that might actually help - it can be easier to hear "yes, this is hard, it's not an easy decision for us, but we think this is what's best" than "don't worry, it won't be so bad."

OK, disclaimer over.

You can't control her feelings, but in terms of trying to make it a little easier - first question is, what's she worried about? Both what she says she's worried about, and what she might really be worried about, even subconsciously.

Eg: not being part of your lives, nobody to take care of her if something happens, you and your family struggling financially, being estranged from her grandkids for various reasons (distance, language, culture...).

If there's any way to make it go more smoothly, it would be by addressing these concerns/possible concerns when you talk to her. Like, if you can tell her that you've worked the cost of airplane tickets into the budget and will be able to swing a family visit every (X) time, if you can point out that moving to Israel is not an irreversible process (not to build up false hope, but just to address any concerns about "what if you're all starving in the streets" or "what if I'm critically ill and need my son," etc) - things like that might help.

And of course, follow through when you do move - call her frequently, have your kids be in touch by phone or skype or email, etc, whatever works for your particularly relationship.

tl;dr - address her concerns, but don't minimize.
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chicco




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 2:55 am
ora_43 wrote:
You can't prevent her from feeling sad, because it's a sad situation. I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong. You can't put your life and your kids' lives on hold indefinitely to avoid upsetting one person, even a parent. But do recognize that her feelings are natural (to some extent, anyway), and more importantly, out of your control.

And recognizing that might actually help - it can be easier to hear "yes, this is hard, it's not an easy decision for us, but we think this is what's best" than "don't worry, it won't be so bad."

OK, disclaimer over.

You can't control her feelings, but in terms of trying to make it a little easier - first question is, what's she worried about? Both what she says she's worried about, and what she might really be worried about, even subconsciously.

Eg: not being part of your lives, nobody to take care of her if something happens, you and your family struggling financially, being estranged from her grandkids for various reasons (distance, language, culture...).

If there's any way to make it go more smoothly, it would be by addressing these concerns/possible concerns when you talk to her. Like, if you can tell her that you've worked the cost of airplane tickets into the budget and will be able to swing a family visit every (X) time, if you can point out that moving to Israel is not an irreversible process (not to build up false hope, but just to address any concerns about "what if you're all starving in the streets" or "what if I'm critically ill and need my son," etc) - things like that might help.

And of course, follow through when you do move - call her frequently, have your kids be in touch by phone or skype or email, etc, whatever works for your particularly relationship.

tl;dr - address her concerns, but don't minimize.


I came to basically post this. You are entitled to live your life and make the decisions that work best for you and your family. You mil is entitled to feel sad. Your job is to broach the topic with as much sensitivity and understanding that you can muster. You also need to not take it personally if she responds poorly. That is her problem, not yours. You cannot control her feelings or her reaction, just as she cannot control your life.

It is tough, but you need to remember why you are doing this, and again, be as sensitive to her feelings as possible. Hatzlacha!
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banana123




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 3:58 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
Op, can you convince her to make aliyah eith you guys?

This was my thought as well.
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amother




Ecru
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 5:44 am
Is there anybody that is helping to take care of her now? of course it's your decision but I can't imagine being an only child and leaving your parent. If you did leave I would think you would have to have everything very clear in place as to what would happen if she does need care down the line. I don't think you have to be zionistic to move to Israel.there are a lot of parents that are moving here now.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 5:53 am
chicco wrote:
I came to basically post this. You are entitled to live your life and make the decisions that work best for you and your family. You mil is entitled to feel sad. Your job is to broach the topic with as much sensitivity and understanding that you can muster. You also need to not take it personally if she responds poorly. That is her problem, not yours. You cannot control her feelings or her reaction, just as she cannot control your life.

It is tough, but you need to remember why you are doing this, and again, be as sensitive to her feelings as possible. Hatzlacha!


Thank you!

But I got flamed for pointing out that only children can live a separate non enmeshed life.

Of course it is sad. Of course it is hard. But it is uncalled for to guilt trip only children.

OP didn't ask should she move. She said she is moving. Respect that and give her ideas. But no! Only children have all their decisions second guessed by the peanut gallery!
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 5:55 am
Reality wrote:
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.


I didn't read the whole thread, but I am an only child of aging parents and very much in the s
"Sandwich generation". I very strongly disagree with this sentiment. How old is the OP and how old is her MIL? The difference in independence between a 60 or 70 something, and a person in their mid-late 80s is huge. It's difficult to imagine until you are faced with it. My family recently moved closer to my parents in order to help out more. OP, it's so tough when all the burden falls on you, but try to convince her to move too, or plan a future move unless she has other close relatives nearby.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 6:15 am
OP here. My MIL is 70 and healthy, and financially able to take care of herself. She also has had a boyfriend for the past few years. My MIL's own parents lived in ALF for years without much attention from MIL. DH actually moved closer to his grandparents and helped at times more than my MIL. DH was there for the last days of his grandparents, not my MIL. When DH's father passed away (my MIL's ex-husband), she wanted nothing to do with the funeral and the entire burden, including financially, fell on DH from 1,000 miles away. I think DH has had his fair share of only-child duties.

Trying to convince my MIL about making Aliyah herself is an idea. Does Israel subsidize nursing homes? MIL would need an English speaking one.

Any other advice or resources for softening the blow? A big part of our job will be educating MIL.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 6:15 am
amother [ Gray ] wrote:
I didn't read the whole thread, but I am an only child of aging parents and very much in the s
"Sandwich generation". I very strongly disagree with this sentiment. How old is the OP and how old is her MIL? The difference in independence between a 60 or 70 something, and a person in their mid-late 80s is huge. It's difficult to imagine until you are faced with it. My family recently moved closer to my parents in order to help out more. OP, it's so tough when all the burden falls on you, but try to convince her to move too, or plan a future move unless she has other close relatives nearby.


I do think the best idea is to encourage OP's MIL to move as well.

But from my experience, only children are expected to live their life with what about your mom/mil WAY before they are elderly and need your help. And sometimes people feel burned out already from living their life with that weight on their back. I have lived with "how can you move away with your parents/inlaws only grandchildren" since they were in their 50's! From day one!!!

Maybe it's not like this everywhere. But in certain circles an only child is so uncommon. It is constantly pointed out. You are constantly commented on by every stranger that finds out this nugget of info.

It is very difficult.
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Reality




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 6:18 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
OP here. My MIL is 70 and healthy, and financially able to take care of herself. She also has had a boyfriend for the past few years. My MIL's own parents lived in ALF for years without much attention from MIL. DH actually moved closer to his grandparents and helped at times more than my MIL. DH was there for the last days of his grandparents, not my MIL. When DH's father passed away (my MIL's ex-husband), she wanted nothing to do with the funeral and the entire burden, including financially, fell on DH from 1,000 miles away. I think DH has had his fair share of only-child duties.

Trying to convince my MIL about making Aliyah herself is an idea. Does Israel subsidize nursing homes? MIL would need an English speaking one.

Any other advice or resources for softening the blow? A big part of our job will be educating MIL.


I think you should stress the amazing job opportunity for your husband. That is something she will understand. And tell her you would love for her to move to. It's a warm climate perfect for retirees.

And then the ball is in her court!

Hatzlacha raba! The move should only be with mazal and bracha!
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amother




Smokey
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 11:37 am
Is your husband's job a sure thing or just a possibility? I wouldn't set off this firestorm with MIL unless it is 100% certain that it's happening.

It sounds like there was already a false start a few years ago where you backed down and stayed. Unless you are for sure moving, I would keep the plans quiet. Really, what's the point of upsetting her if this is only a possibility and not a certainty?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 11:56 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
Op, can you convince her to make aliyah eith you guys?


Any good arguments to convince her? Better independent living or retirement options? What are the best cosmopolitan English-speaking areas that are very aesthetic?
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 11:57 am
So much of Israel is really beautiful!

But how about Herzliya?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 11:59 am
amother [ Smokey ] wrote:
Is your husband's job a sure thing or just a possibility? I wouldn't set off this firestorm with MIL unless it is 100% certain that it's happening.

It sounds like there was already a false start a few years ago where you backed down and stayed. Unless you are for sure moving, I would keep the plans quiet. Really, what's the point of upsetting her if this is only a possibility and not a certainty?


We don't want to spring it on her out of the blue. We are hoping to start a discussion on the possibility of a general future in Israel, with the eventual breaking of the news once the job comes through. B"H, DH has a couple of backup options of US work in Israel even if the job doesn't come through.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 12:40 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Any good arguments to convince her? Better independent living or retirement options? What are the best cosmopolitan English-speaking areas that are very aesthetic?
Any good arguments to convince her? Yes, that no matter how far apart and no matter where in Israel you and her would live, it would most probably be less than 1000 miles away from each other. She could technically be closer to you guys, a drive away, instead of a plane trip away.
There are a few good english speaking assisted living facilities. I dont know about nursing homes.
Cosmopolitan english speaking areas, try herzeliya, casarea. Im sure there are others.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Sep 24 2020, 12:51 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
OP here. My MIL is 70 and healthy, and financially able to take care of herself. She also has had a boyfriend for the past few years. My MIL's own parents lived in ALF for years without much attention from MIL. DH actually moved closer to his grandparents and helped at times more than my MIL. DH was there for the last days of his grandparents, not my MIL. When DH's father passed away (my MIL's ex-husband), she wanted nothing to do with the funeral and the entire burden, including financially, fell on DH from 1,000 miles away. I think DH has had his fair share of only-child duties.

Trying to convince my MIL about making Aliyah herself is an idea. Does Israel subsidize nursing homes? MIL would need an English speaking one.

Any other advice or resources for softening the blow? A big part of our job will be educating MIL.


An active 70 year old is hardly ready for a nursing home.

You need to acknowledge her sadness, and discuss ways to deal with things.

Eg, ensure that she is able to use Skype or another VoiP provider. Assure her that the kids will be calling her regularly.

Discuss visits. She's always welcome, you intend to visit with the kids annually (or however often you actually intend to visit).

Discuss safety. She may be concerned, you can allay the fears.

If she's concerned about reaching you in case of emergency, discuss protocol with your rabbi. My guess is that if you hook up an answering machine, and can hear there's an emergency with an older relative, you'd be able to pick up even on Shabbat. So long as she doesn't abuse it.

(BTW, it makes perfect sense that she wasn't involved in her ex-husband's funeral.)

Hatzlacha.
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