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How insane to live outside a frum community for several yrs?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 12:42 am
Thanks for the additional responses! Additional questions and comments:

- As for somewhere to spend Shabbat, the "best" Chabad anywhere close to my parents is perhaps a 40 minute drive. Rabbi seems super warm, and would probably be happy to host a frum family for Shabbat (though we wouldn't want to be a burden, and I imagine a family with a baby is a major burden to host). Might be fun and a good experience to go there once in a while, but I can't imagine it being convenient with a baby or toddler to make it anywhere close to a weekly thing thing. It's one thing if you're a single or a no-kids couple, but packing and shlepping over there on Friday afternoon with a kid just seems stressful and time consuming. Might also be fun for 2-day yom tovs, but on the other hand we like to cook and host, and 49 hours is a long time to be in someone else's place.

- As for grandparents with the best of intentions who ultimately aren't physically/mentally able to provide the child care they hoped to provide, I should say that my mom is "tested" in that she's already taking full-time care of a sibling's kid who is about 1. Not too worried about a bait-and-switch type of situation.

- Regarding the comment that preschool is about the environment and how kids under 3 will absorb the difference between a secular and frum early education... Aren't plenty of frum parents not sending their kids to preschool until much older than 2, anyway? And aren't plenty sending their kids to non-frum day cares? I agree that environment matters, and it seems to me that they need a loving environment where their brain can develop. At 2-3, if kids are getting love and brain stimulation and in an environment to teaching good midot, does it matter whether they're at home or in day care or secular preschool or frum preschool? (On this note, it's interesting that secular Jews often send their kids to Jewish preschools, but then to public schools once they hit K.)
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 1:02 am
Your mom watches your 1 year old niece/nephew every single day and is willing to take on your infant as well? With no days off?
She is going to burn out. And doesn't she need time to take care of appointments and possibly enjoy her retirement?
I just wouldn't put that on my mom.
Once or twice a week to save you money on a babysitter is one thing but for a grandma to be the permanent childcare for 2 children is a lot , even if she's a young grandma.
I can't imagine that her friends are doing this.
How do you know it wont be too much for her?


Last edited by essie14 on Thu, Nov 19 2020, 2:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Green
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 2:10 am
You're ok with your mom watching 2 kids, but not with a younger woman doing it? Of course their grandmother loves them more, but sometimes she's going to need a break.

One year olds still nap twice a day. Three year olds are up and running all day. To have a 3 year old and a 4 year old, plus possibly a newborn to care for? That's a huge responsibility. (Yes, mothers do it all the time, but they're frazzled and sleep deprived, and a generation younger than your mom.) It's not a question of bait-and-switch so much as a changing reality.

While I know a number of Jews who are religious despite not having gone to Jewish preschools, I don't think that adults do as well for extended periods of time without any Jewish infrastructure. Sometimes families have to move for short, defined times, but they make sure to keep tightly connected to Jewish life, not just virtually, but in real life. (Though the internet is truly amazing. We're lucky to have it.) The people I know who move away from the community for a long time are generally on their way out of observance. If you're a 40 minute drive from Chabad, you really have nothing.

It's great to have quality child care provided by a family member. Moving near your parents will save you money, but the spiritual costs will be high. What's a long summer shabbos going to look like? You and your husband daven at home. (Or not.) You sit down to a meal, just the two of you. Every week. It's going to get old fast. The little things go first. Why get dressed for shabbos if it's just the two of you at home? Do you seriously need a fancy meal every week just for two? Mac and cheese is fine. It feels silly to talk formally about the parsha, so you don't bother. So far, you're still keeping shabbos, but the atmosphere of the day is lost. And it deteriorates from there.

I totally understand wanting the best possible care for your child. But I don't think you realize what it's going to cost. What you need to do is brainstorm with your husband about how one of you can stay home when the kids are little.
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amother




Pink
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 6:04 am
Sending to a non frum babysitter or pre school?? Of course not!
The frum community in every neighborhood has their own resources for child care. I have a few kids and they only went to frum child care options. I’ve lived and worked in two different states and never met someone who would send their child to a non frum child care provider.
Maybe that’s what makes you nervous when you think of sending your child... why would a non Jewish pre school even be an option? If you live in a frum community there surely must be frum women who take care of babies for working mothers.
The only time I’ve heard of a non Jewish babysitter for a frum child is when the family hires a maid to live and work in the house. Most people don’t have that but it could be possible at times.
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shirachadasha




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 6:59 am
In the situation where you world be living in a neighborhood with no frum families, do you envision befriending the neighbors? Will you be having play dates with those families? What lines will you draw for socializing for yourselves and your child? Would you allow your child to visit other homes but you have to purchase the food? Would you allow other kids to come to your home on Saturday and enforce your observance on them? Would you feel pressured to participate in community holiday activities on the premise that they're "really social and not religious"?
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amother




Linen
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 7:18 am
shirachadasha wrote:
In the situation where you world be living in a neighborhood with no frum families, do you envision befriending the neighbors? Will you be having play dates with those families? What lines will you draw for socializing for yourselves and your child? Would you allow your child to visit other homes but you have to purchase the food? Would you allow other kids to come to your home on Saturday and enforce your observance on them? Would you feel pressured to participate in community holiday activities on the premise that they're "really social and not religious"?
This is why we moved. Finally our kids could feel part of a group. Instead of " where's your tree?"
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amother




Pink
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 7:30 am
How can you consider moving to a place that has no minyanim? Isn’t that a prerequisite for a frum man?
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amother




Denim
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 7:49 am
I feel bad saying this, but another child being cared for by your MIL is going to increase kashrus issues. I hear that she's respectful, but it's not simple. If she follows every letter, you will be dealing with a child crying about why they can't eat x on a daily basis. Unless you will be providing food for both kids. I say this because you mentioned sending second kid there. That puts the first one still there at age 3 or 4, unless you're planning to send to secular preschool, which has its own issues.

You're also assuming that your in laws don't experience any health crises- I don't know how old they are. Does MIL know that your moving there is directly tied to her providing child care? That feels like a lot of pressure. I have a friend who did childcare for her nieces and nephews, and her brother in law actually had her sign a contract, because it was the reason they moved to town.

What it may come down to is what would get you to move out once you moved in. If MIL needs to stop after a year, do you move? If either you or dh is feeling off religiously, or not feeling off and the other one is having issues, do you move? How likely are you to get stuck there, because kid number one is ok in preschool and how much worse is first grade since kid number three is on the way and your job and commute are comfortable and the kids would see you less if you moved... etc.

ETA- Yes, is there a minyan? And also, a mikvah.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 9:06 am
People have given you a lot to think about. My own ramblings:

(1) Its difficult to tell your own parents how to parent. They sometimes take it as an indictment of their own parenting, if they did things differently. Particularly if your sibling, whose child they also watch, has a different parenting style. Nothing to do with frumkeit, just parenting. "We'd prefer it if you didn't give Malky snickerdoodles every day; its a treat for once a week." "But she loves them, and you had them all the time. Besides, we give them to Jimmy!"

(2) Watching a baby and watching a pre-schooler are wholly different things. My husband has an older friend who was the Manny for his grandkids for several years. He's active, he's relatively young, they all transitioned to preschool when they were 3 or 4, because they needed the social interaction, and needed someone who could run after them more. Is it worth it for you to move twice in so few years, particularly as you'll need to change jobs with each move.

(3) My kids have always played with non-frum kids. I don't think that not being in a frum pre-school is a permanent disadvantage. But there's a difference between "not everyone is like me" and "no one is like me." Your kid is not going to like being the only one who can't buy ice cream on Shabbat, or go out for pizza with his friend's family Friday night (or Tuesday night, for that matter). And yes, they'll notice this before they're 5. If there were other families like you, it might be easier. But with no one at all ... very hard.

(4) Bluntly, its going to be isolating for you as well. Again, I have a lot of non-frum friends. But not ONLY non-frum friends. Most people socialize on weekends, and you'll be left out. Maybe you don't need a lot of people, but everyone needs someone.
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amother




Lawngreen
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 9:44 am
As an ffb daughter of bts who were committed to learning and growing, and a huge part of their bt community,
No. Don't do it.
Your growth or decline depends on your environment.
If you are falling in your yiddishkeit (post upthread about shabbos in pjs with mac n cheese was excellent), your child will go down with you.

And I agree about Grandma.
My mom has lots of energy. Maybe she could watch one grandchild, but not one or two long ten, and she wound DEFINITELY resent the expectation.

So many posts have given such great food for thought for you to chew on Smile
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funkyfrummom




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 6:17 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
OP here. Thanks to everyone for the many thoughtful and great replies. Very interesting to read all the different perspectives. Some various thoughts, questions, and answers to questions people had:

- Someone said to ask our rav about the halacha for having my non-frum parents help out? Please explain; I have no idea what this is even referring to, so I don't even know how to ask it to the rav. Other than shabbos issues, what I can't imagine what halachic issues there could possibly be. My parents would be respectful about giving the kid kosher food.


Hi OP,
I was one of the posters who brought up that there would seem to be possible halachic issues. I am definitely not a rav (B"H)! But what I would ask a rav, if I were in your spot, would be "are there halachic issues involved by having my non-observant parents care for my child full-time?"

I know you said your parents would be careful to give only kosher food. For me, this seemed like such a problematic area. If your parents are not shommer Shabbos, is this not an issue anytime they cook/bake? Will you be preparing all food in advance? Only giving your child packaged food? Are you doing all the shopping? Do your parents know which hechshers are reliable? I am assuming you may already have dishes/pots/a dedicated burner at their place... if not, aren't those issues, too? These things about kashrus will not be at all on their radar.

Your child is a baby, but when they are 4 or 5... will he (if a he) always have a kippa/tzitzis on? (Or will parents think it's not a big deal, because no one's looking.) What about tv/music? Perhaps tv/music is more about hashkafa than halacha. I'm not sure.

I remember a Rav told me once that if I had non-Jewish domestic help, no matter how well I had trained them... no matter how clearly identified things were in my kitchen... that if they were not under my DIRECT supervision when working then I needed to ASSUME that things were treife. I was gutted by that statement, btw. Maybe what they said seems extreme... or maybe it seems like a disrespectful thing to say (since the domestic help in the scenario is not-Jewish), but it's fuel for thought. I think their point was that we can't assume that anyone, even a close family member, is going to adopt our same level of commitment re Yiddishkeit. It's just not going to happen and it is perhaps unrealistic to think that they would.

I realize my example is a different scenario. I don't mean to imply they are the same. Just something to consider, and that is why I would speak to a rav about it.
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, Nov 19 2020, 8:24 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks for the additional responses! Additional questions and comments:

- As for somewhere to spend Shabbat, the "best" Chabad anywhere close to my parents is perhaps a 40 minute drive. Rabbi seems super warm, and would probably be happy to host a frum family for Shabbat (though we wouldn't want to be a burden, and I imagine a family with a baby is a major burden to host). Might be fun and a good experience to go there once in a while, but I can't imagine it being convenient with a baby or toddler to make it anywhere close to a weekly thing thing. It's one thing if you're a single or a no-kids couple, but packing and shlepping over there on Friday afternoon with a kid just seems stressful and time consuming. Might also be fun for 2-day yom tovs, but on the other hand we like to cook and host, and 49 hours is a long time to be in someone else's place.

- As for grandparents with the best of intentions who ultimately aren't physically/mentally able to provide the child care they hoped to provide, I should say that my mom is "tested" in that she's already taking full-time care of a sibling's kid who is about 1. Not too worried about a bait-and-switch type of situation.

- Regarding the comment that preschool is about the environment and how kids under 3 will absorb the difference between a secular and frum early education... Aren't plenty of frum parents not sending their kids to preschool until much older than 2, anyway? And aren't plenty sending their kids to non-frum day cares? I agree that environment matters, and it seems to me that they need a loving environment where their brain can develop. At 2-3, if kids are getting love and brain stimulation and in an environment to teaching good midot, does it matter whether they're at home or in day care or secular preschool or frum preschool? (On this note, it's interesting that secular Jews often send their kids to Jewish preschools, but then to public schools once they hit K.)


OP you will obviously make your own decision. But a majority of women from all walks of frum life here, all ages and stages, with their accumulated life experiences, are strongly warning you. You can make your own mistakes and decisions obviously. But don't discount the chorus cry. There's a reason for it.

(also, I wouldn't even have a non Jewish nanny in my own home - and I was raised by them - let alone send my baby to a non Jewish or non frum babysitter. No way.)
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Soul on fire




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Nov 23 2020, 12:51 pm
We've been living outside of a community for about 6 years now...we never intended to be gone this long and it's awful. 0 stars...would not recommend. It's difficult, lonely, boring, etc.
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