Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

[breadcrumbs]

41 Questions Never to Ask a DIL

milhoodladies2

 

Awhile back I composed a PDF of 10 things MIL’s are doing that drive their DIL’s crazy. People who subscribed to my MIL site downloaded that list for tips on how to relate to their daughters-in-law.

That list covered things MIL’s do, as in behaviors, comments,  and so forth. Recently, I’ve noted that there are people who interact through asking questions. They may consider questions as  harmless, or as a sign that they are being interested and supportive.

Or – they may want to camouflage their criticism or judgment by framing it into a question. After all, they’re just asking, right?

Well, that’s downright sneaky and wrong.

You see, when relating to a DIL questions are  rude and intrusive. And when it comes to mothers-in-law vis-a-vis DIL’s you do NOT want to be intrusive or even inquisitive. In fact, questions that MIL’s ask have no right answer.

And the DIL knows it. Whatever answer she gives is already wrong. She’s being put on the spot, and it is not okay.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to many people – mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law – who have told me their experiences. Also, I have observed interactions between MIL’s and DIL’s, and I’ve compiled a list in my head. And now, I’ve put them down on paper – well on computer. Here they are for your mother-in-law-ly reading pleasure.

So – if any of the following questions happen to pop into your head, banish them from your mind. If that is not possible, then banish them from leaving your lips!

1. What are you cooking for dinner?

2. Why do you travel so much?

3. Why don’t you serve ____ for dinner because it’s healthy?

4. Why does (name of DIL’s toddler) still suck his thumb?

5. Why is  (name of DIL’s infant) cry all the time? Could it be colic?

6. How much weight did you gain in pregnancy? (Trust me – it HAS been asked).

7. Are you having any more children? (Yep – it’s been asked)

8. Do you like that gift that I gave you?

9. Can I buy you some new clothes? (implies you don’t like her taste).

10.  Did you ever read _____ parenting book?

11. Where are you going? (when they ask you to babysit).

12. Why do you never (or rarely) call?

13. Why do you never come visit?

14. Can I (we) come over in 5 minutes to visit?

15. Why do you raise your voice at your children?

16. Why are you punishing _____ (name of child)?

17. How come your family hasn’t helped you out?

18. Where did you get that outfit you are wearing?

19. How much do you earn at your job?

20. Why do you work when you have little children at home?

21. Why don’t you go out and get a job?

22. What are you planning for the dinner party you’re having?

23. Did you send out thank you cards yet for the wedding gifts?

24. How come you can’t be satisfied with less like we were back in the days?

25. Why did you give the child that name?

26. What school will you send your children to?

27. Why is_____ (name of child) so shy around me?

28. Why does _____ (name of child)  always have his nose in a book?

29. Why doesn’t _____ (name of child) get more fresh air?

30. Why don’t your kids play more sports?

31. Why don’t your kids read more books?

32. How come your kids aren’t athletic (or any other positive adjective)  like ____ (name of cousin)?

33. What in the world do you do all day?

34. How come your windows are so dirty?

35. What? You use paper dishes? Such a waste of money?

36. Why don’t the children wear those hand-me-downs that I gave you?

37. Why don’t you use that gorgeous china that I bought for you?

38. Where did you get that hideous couch?

39. How much did you pay for _____?
40. How much do you pay your cleaning lady?

41. Why isn’t ____ (name of toddler) toilet trained yet?

…..You get the idea!

Any questions YOU would like to add to this list? Please share them below!


Are they your grandchildren?

Ever since my book came out, I have been flooded (already!) with many comments, feedback accolades, and blessings. And then come the questions, which I am happy and excited to answer. However, there is one question that has baffled me from the beginning (all of 3 days ago!).

“Are these kids on the cover your grandchildren?”

Huh?

First off, the answer is no. The kids are  complete strangers. Adorable, charming and lively. But strangers to me. In fact, I give credit for the cover design – or “jacket design” as it is called — to the graphic artist assigned by the publisher. And as far as I know, no one asked me for my family photo album to use for the cover.

True, it must have been hard to find children as endearing as my own children grandchildren are – but they tried – and I think they succeeded.

The fact is that the children on the cover could be anyone’s children or grandchildren. They could be yours, mine, or that of the neighbors down the block. They are  every bit as adorable as every single mother and  grandmother out there feels about her own children and grandkids.

These children are a sample of wonderful kids who are celebrating the birth of a new Grandmother.

These kids seem to be happy, well-adjusted  kids. And that, as parents and grandparents is what we wish for the next generation.

So, my question to my readers of my book is “Are these kids YOUR children or grandchildren?”  Because if so, then the graphic artist has achieved her purpose.

Have nachas!

 

 


I’m Not Telling!

A few weeks ago, I took my grandson to visit someone, and the person asked him the typical questions that one asks a 4 year old: Who is your teacher? What is your favorite color? How old are you? etc.

Nothing unusual about the conversation; in fact it was a very charming conversation, one that both child and adult (and those watching) enjoyed.

Until my grandson decided to cut the interview short. His response to one particular question (a question which I don’t remember specifically), was “I’m not telling.”

That was it. Case closed. Dialogue ended. He didn’t want to “tell.” Was it a secret? Maybe, maybe not. But as far as he was concerned, the conversation was over. He wasn’t telling. Okay?

I have  a hard time saying the above words; I tend to be very open and honest. Someone could ask me a question that I find  inappropriate, but before I give myself a chance to process the question as “rude,” “NTB” (not their business), or just plain worthy of not answering, I blurt out something that satisfies them.

And later I regret it. Usually the question is not necessarily a personal one . In fact, it could be a very innocent question, but still one that produces that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, signalling to me to keep quiet, and to change the subject.

And often, I don’t heed that signal.

Recently, I had a more satisfying experience with this issue; an acquaintance asked me a question regarding one of my  children. The truth was I didn’t even know the answer. All of my children are adults and make their own decisions about certain matters.  I tried telling the person that I don’t know the answer. But the person would not relent. I tried changing the subject. Didn’t work.

And then it hit me to say the following:

“Hey, good question – why don’t you ask him?” (referring to my son).

That worked. My questioner backed off. (Whew). She wasn’t interested in calling my son up and getting her answer. She just wanted to discuss it with me. And I was not interested in going there.

I guess I’m getting better at following the lessons of my grandson – I am learning to convey in one way or another that although I may be an open person to some extent, there is a limit (I hope!)

Whether I use what I heard termed as “non-talk” (basically information that doesn’t really answer the question, but is nevertheless polite), or whether I use simply the phrase, “Hey, I’m not comfortable talking about that,” discretion is always a good thing.

Just because I am part of what is called the “sandwich generation” – does not mean I have to be privy to every detail of the people around me. Thankfully, I am (usually!) aware of that.

I guess there is nothing more to say on this post. Shhhhhhh.


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