Help Me, Bubby!

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Bubby Irma's Kitchen

Yiddish Your Bubbe Never Taught You

Poetry by Jewish Grandaughters

Bubbe & Gram

Bubbe's Kitchen

My Bubbe's Arms

Bubbie & Zeide's Favorite Language

Bennett and His Bubbe's Beau

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Dear Bubby,

My husband and I disagree on something and I want to know what you think.

My mother-in-law has a long history of many problems. She recently came to visit us and her mental and physical state just keeps getting worse. She is very stressed over a boyfriend that is cheating on her, she doesn't eat, drinks and smokes too much, is in financial ruin, and is obviously very depressed (she is in her early-mid 40's).

My husband is very non-confrontational and has never addressed these problems with her (though she has mentioned them to me). He feels that there is nothing he can do, so there is no point in meddling.

I mostly agree with this, but I feel that as a loving son, he should at least ask her how she is doing, acknowledge that he sees her deteriorating, tell her that he is worried about her, and encourage her to seek professional help.

I have done these things, but I feel like it will mean more coming from him.

He is very worried about his mother and has considered writing her a letter, but I know he will do nothing if I don't encourage him.

Am I doing the right thing? Can a difference be made, or am I just meddling and should mind my own business?

Concerned & Frustrated

Dear Concerned & Frustrated,

You are on the right track about your mother-in-law and I am surprised that your husband is so negligent. I feel sure that his mother was a good and thoughtful care taker over him as a child and now he should be returning that care to her and show that he is a good son.

He can suggest that she should join some organization where she will meet all kinds of people -- some will be her type and she can build new friendships. She is at a very good age -- how about a job in a big firm - she will meet many people.

Suggest she should get new clothes and change her make-up and get out among people. She will find that everyone has some type of worries and they all talk about them.

Your husband might visit her alone so that the conversation will be one on one - they may laugh or "cry" but there is nothing like talking things over. Then go for coffee.

Her age of 40+ is just a beginning if she lets it happen.

links to this post

Links to this post:



It's common for women to assume the caregiver roles in families. Men come to expect that. I think more women need to take a step back and let the men share some of the responsibility.

By Anonymous Kendra, at 10:39 AM  

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Bubby is our 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 94 year old grandmother.
A few years ago we introduced her to the internet and we've been getting daily e-mails from her ever since. When she was 87, we began this website. We now believe she is the oldest blogger on the Internet.

Whether Bubby is reminding us that boyfriends do not substitute for warm jackets in the winter, or that it's better to receive a compliment than a brick, she always has something to say to her granddaughters.

Now with this new website, Bubby can finally share her wisdom with the rest of the world. And she's excited about it! (Which confuses us, because she used to say we were all she needed.)

Hopefully this will be as much fun for new readers as it will surely be for her. And if not, well, as Bubby says, it will all come out in the wash.

So, are you looking for advice on food, work, a broken heart, or the perfect bat mitzvah present?

But no dirty words allowed or you'll only get one matzah ball.

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