My Mother in Law's complaints

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  • #605147

    mrs. Katz
    Member

    I have just spent a very trying yom tov with my mother in law. I was wondering if kibud eim obligates me to listen to her ideas even in things that do not affect her, i.e. paper plates on yom tov.

    She also has numerous ideas about things, i was wondering if anyone could fill me in if they are really true. Is is really minhag Aveilim for children to kick their shoes off? Does it make sense to say that these minhagim change according to what people normally do? [Does anyone have a practical way to encourage children not to remove their shoes?]

    She thinks shabbos shoes are a waste of money, and told my teeenage son that even yoisef Moikir shasbbos didn’t have separate shoes for shabbos! Am i supposed to bend to her opinion even on such things? I personally think it is important to teach children kovod shabbos, and especailly boys, who wear black pants and white shirts all week, should have shoes that look shabbosdik.

    She claims that disposable tableware is bal tashchis. Is she right? I think that if it is cheaper than the price hired help would take to wash real than it is a good investament.

    #901322

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Mother in laws should learn to mind their own business. It’s not their place to override the parents decisions or to critique everything. They then play the victim when the recipient of their sage advice finally has enough

    #901323

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Wow. Just in time for my re-joining.

    You definitely have very valid arguments. (I do think the minhag avelim thing is true)

    The main part of the game, AND YOUR S’CHAR is how you deal with her. “l’fum tzaara agra” – reward (here in this world and the next) is according to and multiplied by the difficulty. I may not be of any help or consolation tho you – but alot of poeple have that same issue. Rabbi Miller zta”l says that these encounters and trials are what makes us grow. We don’t beg HaShem to give us such nisyonos, but in retrospect we can elevate ourselves to actually thank HaShem for it – ???? ?? ?????? another meaning is to thank HaShem for affliction – because ???? ?? ?????? it was for out own benefit.

    Most people have a way to get through to them. Diplomacy, with tenderness, calm. Maybe humor. It IS demanding. But rewarding.

    Hatzlacha.

    #901324

    funnybone
    Participant

    Ask your hubby to discuss these issues with your Rav. Even if she disagrees with you, you can tell her that this is what your Rav said to do. Works for me!

    #901325

    Chortkov
    Participant

    Mrs Katz: Give her a tissue and tell her ‘May this be the only thing you stick your nose into.”

    #901326

    apushatayid
    Participant

    What has she told your husband about these things? What is HIS take?

    #901327

    He has a Torah obligation as part of the Aseres Hadibros of Kibud Eim, to follow her instructions.

    #901328

    gotbeer
    Member

    My Mother-in-law told me sarcastically, that she doesn’t think my kids are my kids because I discipline them in “Bobby’s house” where it should be a relaxed setting…..but when they do trouble she sends me to do the dirty work and get them to stop.

    A) If I am able to have control, then there it won’t be necessary to get them to stop making trouble.

    B) I think Bobby should mind her own business. They are my kids and I discipline when I see fit.

    #901329

    miritchka
    Member

    yekke2: lol! good one!

    mrs Katz: I’ve found that when dealing with my MIL, its best to just show respect and do what you feel will work for you at home. Good luck!

    #901330

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The mitzva of kibbud av does not obligate anyone to follow their parents instructions. It dictates how they may respond when they disagree.

    Dont believe me, ask your Rav.

    #901331

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Litvishe,

    It’s the not an absolute obligation. She can’t tell you to do an aveira or change your minhag. She also can’t tell you to do something that would destroy your Shalom bayis

    #901332

    The little I know
    Participant

    Just a thought – use humor. Tell mother-in-law jokes. Maybe she’ll get the hint.

    #901333

    avhaben
    Participant

    It’s a befeirush Halacha that a husband must fulfil his parents request before he fulfils he wife’s request. (For the wife, the Halacha is she must fulfil her husband’s request before fulfilling her parent’s request.)

    #901334

    oomis
    Participant

    You are responsible for Kibud Av whether it is your parents or your in-laws. That being said, there are respectful ways to “hear” and respond to what your MIL is criticizing. It doesn’t have to be a battle. Do you see her all the time, does she live near you? If not, you smile, say thank you, and then do what you want in the end. You should however, acknowledge the possibility that what she says might actually be good advice. Just because she is your MIL does not automatically mean she is WRONG. APY made the point correctly. You have no obligation to HEED the advice, but you do have an obligation to repond with derech eretz at all times.

    The shoe thing is real. When my kids were little, I told them to put on their shoes again – I’m not dead, yet. When they actually saw me sitting shiva for my parents, they first understood why it meant so much to me that they should not do the actions that are seen in a shiva house.

    Gotbeer – too many young couples do NOT discipline their kids when in their parents’ homes for a visit. So if “Bobby” is not happy to see you parenting your children, perhaps she should visit YOU rather than you visit her. In your own home, she cannot tell you how to discipline your children, unless you are being abusive, of course.

    #901335

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Avhaben,

    That’s a good recipe for a divorce.

    #901336

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Request does not mean, “there is no reason to buy shabbos shoes”. That is an opinion. Kibbud Av does not require you to subscribe to or follow the opinion of your parents. Now, if your parent forbade you to buy them shabbos shoes, that is something else entirely and I would suggest going to your Rav for advice how to tell them to keep their noses out of your business.

    “She thinks shabbos shoes are a waste of money, and told my teeenage son that even yoisef Moikir shasbbos didn’t have separate shoes for shabbos!”

    He didn’t have a meddling shvigger either, just saying.

    “Am i supposed to bend to her opinion even on such things?”

    Well, are your in-laws supporting you? If they are, right or wrong they feel they can dictate how you spend their money. If they are not, then politely say, this is how I choose to spend my money. Does she wear her weekday shoes to shul on shabbos? Why should your son.

    “She claims that disposable tableware is bal tashchis. Is she right?”

    Is she offering to wash the silverware and dishes after each meal?

    “I think that if it is cheaper than the price hired help would take to wash real than it is a good investament.”

    Tell her so.

    #901337

    The best eitza is to reply respectfully, i just wanted to mention that i ran a tag on Shabbos shoes recently, and it seemed that most poskim assume that kovoid shabbos applies only to clothes not shoes, so you might be better off being mekayem a mitzvas asseih de’oiraysa of kibbud eim, and scrapping the shoes. [unless it is paticularly important for your husband or your sons, or something.]

    You can find my post by looking under Shabbos.

    #901338

    mrs. Katz
    Member

    thanks for all the support everyone.

    I was just wondering if anyone actually knows any source for this minhag aveilim business. Also perhaps today is different because it has become more normal?

    Also, if i decide to encourage my children to wear their shoes around the house, does anyone have any practical ideas how to do it?

    BTW, why is it so clear to everyone that kibud eim includes things that no relevance to her? My husband’s Rov told him thatkibud Eim only includes things that add to her respect or comfort.

    Also, are there any halachic sources for using real plates?

    #901339

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Your husbands Rav (ergo your Rav) is correct. Halachos of kibbud av do not require that you follow all her suggestions. It only regulates how you respond to her, or not.

    Regarding shabbos shoes, seriously, ask her why it matters what shoes your son wears? Is she paying for them? Perhaps it is her way of saying, we have to cut back on support? Does your mother in law wear her weekday shoes to a chasuna or lihavdil on shabbos or yom tov, why should your son?

    #901340

    avhaben
    Participant

    Kibud Av V’Eim generally require following parents requests. For example if a parent asks to bring her something, you must do so.

    #901341

    mrs. Katz
    Member

    It’s not just a question of shoes, she generally feels that i davote to much time attention and money to appearances rather than substance.

    #901342

    oomis
    Participant

    The halachos of kibud Av/Eim refer to bringing food to them, dressing them, and so forth. The halachos of MORAH Eim/Av (note the reverse order, because people naturally are in awe of their fathers, and so have to be reminded to give it equally to their mothers, but the reverse is true of kovod, where kids are generally more solicitous of their mothers and therefore are directed to show those same actions towards their fathers) are to not talk when parents are talking, to not sit in their seat, and not contradict them.

    Derech Eretz should ALWAYS be shown to one’s parents (and others, but especially to the people who gave you life and raised you – or your spouse). I did not agree with my in-laws on many issues – they were not frum – but I always ALWAYS expressed myself and treated them with kovod and morah. They raised an exceptional son, and for that I have always been most grateful. When my MIL would offer unsolicited advice, i.e., how to take care of my newborns, I would listen carefully, assess her input, then do what I felt (or my pediatrician directed) was the best thing in a given situation. Sometimes her advice (like my mother’s) was excellent. Sometimes (like my mother’s) it was outdated, and I discarded it without negative comment.

    My kids are the same today when I have advice for them. B”H most of the time, they have come to learn that my advice is on the mark, and they regret when they choose not to take it, which inclines them to follow it more frequently. I usually only offer advice when I am asked, but once in a while something happens and I blurt out a “you shoulda” because it is really obvious. When they listen to what I say, they see that I was right all along. Not everything a MIL or FIL or ANY parent says to you is wrong. Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. BUT always be respectful. if you cannot be, then say excuse me and leave the room QUIETLY.

    #901343

    golfer
    Participant

    Hi oomis!

    Yes, when we become the mother, or MIL, of the younger married folk then we say, as you did, “When they listen to what i say, they see that I was right all along.” When it’s our own mother or MIL offering the advice, we naturally take offense.

    As an MIL myself, I have learned to keep my mouth closed, except in cases where I observe behaviour that is harmful to the little ones. And even then, I usually keep quiet, as my comments are not appreciated. To put it mildly. What I find interesting is that the young people have no problem being opinionated and judgmental of the wicked MIL, and expressing unsolicited commentary and advice. It seems as we get ready for Mashiach everything really is turning upside down. The experience and love that MIL feels for her offspring give her no right at all to speak. The young DIL, on the other hand, needs have no such reservations.

    #901344

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Kibud Av V’Eim generally require following parents requests.”

    Sure, when they request you get them a glass of tea, for example. Not when they suggest that your son should not wear shabbos shoes. Note: She has not written that her MIL has stated she must not purchase shabbos shoes, rather she comments how they are a waste of money.

    You want her off your back? Next time you buy your son shoes for Yeshiva, buy him a pair of black skechers and have him wear them over to her house one shabbos.

    #901345

    avhaben
    Participant

    Where do you get your halachas from, apushatayid, excluding certain actions you don’t like from Kibud Eim?

    #901346

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Since you obviously know where you get your “halachos” from, please cite the siman in SA that states that one is required to implement all SUGGESTIONS and subscribe to every OPINION of their parent.

    #901347

    WIY
    Member

    apushatayid

    What exactly are the Halachic guidelines of when you do and dont have to listen?

    #901348

    WIY
    Member

    mrs. Katz

    She only has a say in how you spend your money if the money is hers and the money comes from your inlaws in that they are supporting you. If you and your husband get no money from them its not their business how you spend your money. However always keep the peace and speak nicely and respectfully but don’t allow yourself to be abused or talked down to and you have every right and you should stand up for yourself and defend yourself when someone is attacking you on a personal level just do it tactfully.

    #901349

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Avhaben. WADR it appears you are creating halachos that do not exist. The OP wrote about her MIL’s opinions, not specific requests to do or not do things. There is no halacha that says you must side with every opinion expressed by a parent.

    #901350

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Regarding shoes. How old are the kids?

    #901351

    avhaben
    Participant

    The mother instructed about the shoes; she didn’t merely offer a refusable “suggestion”.

    And if not, imagine a case where the mother insists about the shoes.

    The Halacha m’doraisa befairush in the Torah (Aseres Hadibros) is in effect.

    #901353

    mrs. Katz
    Member

    For everyone’s information,

    My parents in law do not support me.

    However, we both have teenage boys, and she has realy brought up a pack of boys, so hse loves giving opinions. I have children all the way down to six months ka”h

    #901354

    goldersgreener
    Participant

    Mrs Katz, the only way to encourage children is … to encourage. Compliment them when they keep their shoes on, and avoid crititiscm. My suggestion to you is that five mminutes after they come home thank them for keeping their shoes on, and you might find them still on their feet much later.

    Regarding you mother inlaw, the only way to win a machloikes is … to give in.

    Just by the way, i don’t mean anything personal, but she probably tells your children that shabbos shoes are a waste of money because she realises that a polite suggestion to you will be ignored.

    #901355

    mommamia22
    Participant

    We have a similar disagreement about paper plates in our house.

    I explained that I do not want to wash a huge amount of dishes, and, so, my mil suggested she’d wash the dishes in lieu of paper plates. It ended the conflict right there.

    #901356

    mrs. Katz, you are not alone- everytime I spend time with my MIL, it is a “trying” time, and I live around the corner (I know, bad choice on my part but…)

    yes, I agree it is a test to see how we will react but since MILs are not in the same stage of life as we are, they forget how it is to be told how to raise OUR children

    my MIL also tells me not to discipline in her house and then if they do something, I am responsible

    overall, it is too stressful for me to deal with so our rav said we must keep a distance and only go over certain times

    so avhaben, you are wrong; the husband does not have to listen to his mother’s demands over his wife’s why? b/c you are not thinking about the DIL’s feelings- we try to get along and be respectful but those MILs do not respect our rights to make those decisions, our rav did take my feelings and stress into account but you are a man and are not thinking about womens’ feelings etc. especially when most of the time the DILs are doing the “child raising/cleaning after children… “in the MILs house while the husbands

    may us DILs have strength to be calm and respectful when dealing with the MIL nisayon

    #901357

    Whiteberry
    Member

    The way I read the OP, the MIL is making negative comments, not dictating what she should do.

    Which of the aseres hadibros obligates a person to subscribe to every suggestion of their parent? Please tell me where in shulchan aruch it is written. Please cite any legitimate source, that explains the halacha is as you state. Just one.

    #901358

    avhaben
    Participant

    Whiteberry: My point is if the mother gives her instructions with the intention for it to be a binding request, it must be followed.

    scienceprogram: My above comments were simply reminding what the Torah tells us the Halacha is.

    #901359

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Avhaben, even then, you are not 100% correct (meaning, your statement does not apply 100% of the time). Go through siman reish mem and resh mem alef and the nosei keilim.

    For starters, if her husband tells her to go buy shabbos shoes she must listen to her husband (I believe reish mem sif yud ches, somewhere near there).

    At any rate, there was no such explicit command or demand here.

    #901360

    avhaben
    Participant

    Whiteberry: I explicitly wrote above that a wife must listen to and fulfil her husband’s requests prior to her parents. (The husband, otoh, must put his parents requests before his wife, as I wrote earlier.)

    #901361

    Whiteberry
    Member

    We pasken that the mitzvah of kibbud av is “mishe av”, I was told, but did not see this inside (will bli neder look into over shabbos) that not only does that means financially, but if it causes emotional or other hardship it may possibly (emphasis on possibly) fall into an area where is not mishel av. I agree shoes one would be hard pressed to find a hardship unless they tell you to walk barefoot over broken glass.

    #901362

    Whiteberry
    Member

    Regarding your kids and taking off their shoes.

    1. Minhag aveilim is a funny term for not wearing shoes. Is it minhag aveilim to wear slippers? To serve eggs to your family? Perhaps she was coming from the ayin hara angle and she isn’t as “nuts” as originnaly thought.

    2. I’m not into ayin hara stuff, but what if your kids wore a “roite bendele” to counteract said ayin hara. Maybe they neuteralize each other.

    3. Perhaps it’s the shoes that are all over the floor that really bothers her and if they were lined up neatly somewhere she wouldn’t think about it.

    4.Perhaps your kids take off their shoes for comfort. How about a compromise when bubby is around, wear slippers or crocs.

    5. If the kids are small, just double knot their shoes, they won’t be able to take them off. The older ones, just be open and tell them, listen it really annoys bubby when you take off your shoes, do me a favor and keep them on when she is around.

    #901364

    Kicking off shoes is ketinok haboreach mebais hasefer. they dont like it, and they are trying to express themselves.

    Shabbos shoes are important. The Mishna Berura holds that you should even have shabbos undershirts.

    Real silverware is a wast of time, soap, water, and perhaps also electricity.

    #901365

    As for my quote of the Mishna Berura, You can look it up in Chelek Shlishi, Siman Reish-samach-beis, MB hei.

    #901366

    mrs. Katz
    Member

    A poshute yid, I like your idea, but i am not sure it will help, my siblings in e”y buy their children cheap black sneakers for teh winter and evencheaper black sandals for the summer and they wear them for Shabbos and weekday, anyway my MIL has never said a word to them [at least as far as i know]

    Purim mashgaich, i do not your mishna berura, and i feel that children, especailly boys who weasr basically the same things all the time, should have nicer shoes for shabbos, but there was a post that if ound on here which seems to say that most poskim do not hold shoes fall under the category of clothes for kibud shabbos.

    #901367

    Menachem Melamed
    Participant

    I believe that the practice of some people not to go around without shoes is based on a Yerushalmi. You absolutely must have the guidance of a competent rav to know when the halachos of Kibud Av v”Aim apply and when not. Some people have bee offering you incorrect information. You also need advice on how to handle issues in a manner that will preserve shalom bayis.

    #901368

    MeemaYehudis
    Member

    We were also not allowed to sit around without shoes when I was growing up because it was considered a sign of aveilus. If we wanted to take off our shoes, we had to put on slippers.

    I think Shabbos shoes are important, as long as one can afford them.

    I think a Shabbos or YomTov table should look good, so I don’t think using cheap disposable dishes or flatware is OK, but there are very nice things in the market that make the table Shabbos’dig or YomTov’dig, yet can be thrown out after the s’udah.

    #901369

    Whiteberry
    Member

    “it was considered a sign of aveilus. If we wanted to take off our shoes, we had to put on slippers”

    Why. Aveilim wear slippers too.

    #901370

    goldersgreener
    Participant

    Purim Mashgiach, i do not know where you get your halachos from, but I think the haskomo of the poskim is that shabbos shoes are included in clothes le’gabbai kovod shabbos, so although it may be a nice way to be mechabed shabbos, it is not necesarry. The legendary Harav segal of manchester had every beged different for shabbos except shoes.

    I personally thonk that if you want to teach children kovod shabbos, you are much better off teaching to polish their shoes esp[ecially for shabbos than to buy them another pair.

    Mrs. Katz, i actually overheard your mother in law telling your Isreali siblings that shoes and sandals are a waste of money, and that Yoisef Moikir shabbos used to walk around barefoot.

    #901371

    goldersgreener
    Participant

    BTW, i suggest that your MIL look for shidduchim in gateshead in the fuutre, she will gain doubly, first of her children will live farther away, and second of all the kehilla doesn’t allow wasting money on shabbos shoes, – or even on souvenirs by chasunahs.

    All jokes aside, i realsie that there is more a t stake here than shabbos shoes or paper plates, and wish you jmuch hatzlacha in dealing with you mil.

    #901372

    Mrs. Katz, I feel that the question is far more than what kibud Ov Ve’aim includes, or paper plates and shabbos shoes.

    You mentioned that you had a trying time over yom tov, so I assume that more than these three trivial issues were “at stake”, especially since you mention that she told your children about the shoes rather than yourself.

    It sounds to me that your mother in law has a rather meddling personality, if she involved herself in how you spend your money, and she obviously does not understand limits if she crititized you to your children.

    If you only see her from yom tov to yom tov, than the best idea is probably to give in, it simply is not worth the fight with these sort of people. [you could potentially buy your children shabbos shoes, and just let them wear their weekday shoes when they meet your mother in law].

    If however you meet her regularly, it is probably not such a good idea to give in, because you are empowering her. Today it is shoes and plates, tomorrow she will suggest that you should not send your sons or daughters to learn in eretz Yisroel, and the next day she will tell you not to take an eidim/mechutan who wears a bekeshe/frak, etc…

    It is important for you to realise that she needs help, and if you have her on your head regularly, it may be worthwhile talking to a rov who knows both of you and seeing if there is anything that you can do. It can be very very dangerous to have a controlling personality around.

    You have missed out a very important part of the question, which is how your husband fits in with all of this.

    If your husband wants to listen to his mother, then it is your job as his wife to obey HIS wishes in these particular areas, i.e. to stop using paper plates, but it is important for you to make sure he realises that it is not a good idea to give a meddling person too much control. again, you might be better off speaking to soemone who knows both of you to discuss things with him.

    Hatzlocho Rabbo.

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