to have found this rude?(190 Posts)
So -got home from work at hald 7 yesterday and started to get dinner ready for us and the PIL. MIL came into the kitchen to tell me that they didn't need any food as they had just had a sandwich.
I had bought stuff that had to be prepared then - ie it was not freezable. Them not eating their portions means it will go to waste.
I got quite cross with her and eventually she did apologise 'for the misunderstanding' which I find irritating. There was no minsunderstanding, they are staying at my house and chose to not follow the convention of eating what your host prepares when they prepare it.
The resolution they suggested is that we now need to discuss who's eating what and when every morning. Not ideal as I food shop on the internet so plan menus in advance, but apparently this is the solution.
Annoying ...but maybe she thought she was doing you a favour?
Were you able to salvage any of it?
Your MIL fed your DC so you wouldn't have to cook after a long day at work? Wow, what a bitch.
When you came home from work, did you not speak to them before you started cooking?
If you have guests it seems obvious to me to agree meal times at the start of the day.
Or do you have no flexibility in your meal planning?
A sandwich isn't real food IMO.
You should have asked who wanted dinner before preparing the food.
I'd be very hungry by half 7 and you were only just about to prepare the meal then.
But, I'd probably have had a snack
and not mentioned it.
My MIL does this. I just let her get on with it now, she can make herself and FIL a sandwich at the ridiculous time of 4.30, on the understanding that I make a proper meal for us when I get home.
Half seven is too late to eat a big meal IMO
Where does it say MIL fed DC turps?
What was the meal? Couldn't it keep for a few days in fridge?
And of course you had explained your plans to the PIL so they knew what to do when the kids were clamouring for food at 6.30 pm?
Getting 'quite cross' with guests so they have to apologise for eating when they're hungry though....
well perhaps they were hungrey and wanted to eat. and a sandwich seemed the easiest option.
why are they with you?
i have same problem with my dc. with food that cannot be frozen. grr, it goes to waste.
i know, serve it up to them tomorrow, for breakfast? or in the evening?
erm. nowhere have I said she is a bitch. They have very kindly come down to lok after the children for 2 days while I work. She asked in the morning what to give the kids for tea (kids eat at half 5) and we agreed a sandwich would be fine (did not want her to have to cook for them).
we always eat at about half 8. they always eat at that time with us. there was no indication from them in the morning that yesterday was any different.
I did not make their portions up but as it is not food I can freeze, it will now go to waste as it will be out of date by the time they leave.
I was surprised they had already eaten (cold chicken from their coolbag that had been sitting in the hallway for over 24 hours..... nice) and then shocked by the fact that they didn't consider it rude
Anyonefor Turps - you have made 2 posts mentioning children but none are mentioned in the OP. Not everyone on Mumsnet has children.
Oh fer goodness sakes - the OP doesn't even say she has any children, let alone that the MIL did her any favours re their evening meal. If she does, perhaps her DP sorted them out, don't go jumping to conclusions eh?
YANBU from my point of view OP, I would assume any house guests would eat their evening meal with us, and if they weren't going to it's polite to let you know in advance, not when you start cooking! Grrrr.
And no, you shouldn't have to discuss every bite of food all day - you carry on assuming they'll join you for supper, it's really their responsilbitly to tell you when they have other plans.
Perhaps you should tell them in the morning what time supper will be, so they have an afternoon snack to tide them over rather than a sandwich that spoils your meal!
don't take offence Gladders, they were probably just hungry. 8pm is very late for dinner. Don't fall out with them they are helping you out with the kids, go with the flow
I think it was a bit thoughtless, but not rude, IMO.
What was the food? Why could you not make it into something else?
what was it that you were cooking that was unfreezable? Could they not have had it for lunch he next day?
Irritating perhaps but not really rude.... What were you making that couldn't be kept until today/ frozen?
Just sounds like a misunderstanding and if your ILs are kind enough to look after your children then it is nice of them to want to eat a sandwich with them as well.
Really intrigued as to what you bought that can't be used another day or frozen - surely everything keeps except for fresh oysters? .
A bit of wasted food versus 2 days free childcare...
the food was fresh rice noodles, fresh chinese vegetables, prawns, coriander and homemade veggie stock. doesn't sound much written like that but it was quite expensive to buy and it's a scrummy Nigella recipe. You can't really make it in advance (ie they would have had to cook it for their lunch today and they don't really like cooking). I dunno - guess we could have a modified version for tea on Saturday with the stuff that's still edible.
OK - so IABU? I have just always eaten whatever a host wants to serve me whenever they want to eat it.
Some people don't like to eat late, maybe they are like that. Or maybe they took a look at what you were cooking didn't fancy it and thought it would be politer to eat earlier.
Can't you bring it in for lunch at the office the next day.
YABU, they are putting themselves out for you, and i would never expect someone to wait that late for tea!
Lines are blurred though, you aren't exactly a host if they are looking after your children.I don't think they are being unreasonable, probably thought it would be nicer for you not to have to cook for guests after a long day at work.
Does sound like a nice recipe and I have just realised that tomorrow is Saturday so you won't be working.
Any reason why you can't serve it tonight ?
I really don't like having to eat at a set time every night, I usually prefer to go with the flow and just eat when I'm hungry. In future I'd just ask them before you start making dinner who's eating. You were obv.unlucky last night, but 9 out of 10 times you could probably freeze left overs anyway.
Well, I would always eat what I am given as a guest so in that sense no, YANBU. Perhaps they didn't realise it had to be made there and then/ wouldn't keep.
if you don't add the noodles to the sauce and prawns you could freeze the portions you don't need I would have thought?
Tbh I hate staying at peoples houses and being starving and feeling like I cant eat.
I do see why you are annoyed. But try not to be
What tie do people eat supper if they think 7.30 is too late. I'd only start to cook once the archers is one at that time .
if you were cooking something then surely you could freeze a portion after the cooking process to have for todays lunch unless it was rice.
No, not a big deal.
Some people just don't like to eat late. I don't like to eat my dinner before 9pm but my mum has to eat by 6
But they know what time the OP and her husband eat and it normally works so surely if it was suddenly going to be a problem they should have mentioned much earlier or in the morning that they wanted to eat earlier?
OP I think YANBU at all - if you are a guest in someone else's home then you eat at their mealtimes or you tell them that you plan to do otherwise. So unless your PIL had reason to think you weren't going to prepare a meal, they were BU and should have just had a small snack if they were that hungry. It was especially rude to not mention it until after you had started cooking imo. I'd have been pissed off too.
And all the posters who think 8pm is too late to eat an evening meal are quite clearly bonkers!
I'd forgotten how words get twisted on here.
I remain surprised at their behaviour. We always eat at half 8 and they join us. It was not a shock to anyone that we did that last night.
Re: childcare - I have paid for childcare all summer but cancelled this week's 2 days when dh suggested that his parents might like to come down. I do not believe that being with their grandchildren for 2 days entitles them to be thoughtless/rude/whatever. I honestly do not think I would have done that in their position.
Id have cooked it all and frozen the leftovers
or fed it to them for breakfast!
I can see why they ate if they were too hungry to wait and I know from my parents that some older folk like to eat earlier. They probably thought they were doing you a favour and not 'putting you to any trouble'
But if someone was helping me by looking after my children so I could work I think Id have given them free rein on the fridge tbh.
It was noodle soup though - not really freezable or transportable.
We can't eat it tonight as they are still here and there is not enough for 4 people now. Plus i don't really want to eat the same meal 2 nights in a row.
I don't think YABU to think it's a bit 'off'.
Just a thought, but do they like seafood? I'm afraid I don't 'do' seafood, esp prawns so if I was in this situation I'm not sure if I'd try to head you off at the pass before it was served to me.
Can they not have it for lunch today?
This is a non issue. You can freeze/store that.
Too late to eat, really?
If you have a job, commute, then kids to bathe / put to bed then eating later is normal surely?
My DCs do eat at 5.30 at their GPs though.
they claim they had no idea what was on the menu. they like prawns. maybe they just wanted to use up the rest of the chicken they had bought.
I dunno - just thought I would canvas opinion on here. I genuinely would not do this in anyone's house even if I was looking after their children.
But anyway- am remaining as calm as I can. Retail therapy for an hour after work and then I'm taking some M&S food for tea. That way I can easily freeze it iof they don't want any.
YABU for being quite cross with her, she was likely hungry earlier and would you really prefer your family to go hungry just to fit in with your meal plan?
I wonder why she suggested the resolution of discussing meals in the morning if this is only a two day visit.
Why couldn't they have it for lunch?
Any extra food we cook is served up again the next day either for a work packed lunch,chinese noodle soup sounds great tbh!
My parents also have what I consider odd eating habits,my mum eats like a sparrow and a sandwich at 3.30 will be enough for her all day-but for me after a commute dinner at 8.30-9pm is quite normal and we are usually starving by then.
So has the routine changed yesterday - yesterday was the first day that they were in sole charge of the children? If so, then I do think it is most likely a genuine misunderstanding on both sides
or they don't like prawns.
I wouldn't be cross with them if they'd come to mind my nipper.
They could have theirs the next day.
Half seven is late for some people to eat and they might have been really hungry.
I would just let this one go.
Are you sure they didn't just not want to cause you any bother?
I eat much earlier than you and I would have a sandwich or offer to cook th meal and warm yours up for you.
gladders, you normally eat at 8.30pm - what time would they normally eat when in their own home?
This is about what your body is used to. We normally eat around 5.30 / 5.45 - there's no way in the world I could wait until after 8 to eat without feeling yuck. It seems to make even more sense to eat early, if they are preparing tea for the children.
Seems a lot of fuss and bother about a bit of food tbh.
If the dish had been free able would you have been so pissed off?
SO IABU to eat at half 8? How can I eat earlier? I normally spend the hour from 7 til 8 putting the kids to bed.
The plan is to discuss food every morning every time they visit now apparently. I just think that sounds tedious.
You know, maybe this is a roundabout compliment to you op. Perhaps they don't feel like guests in your home, they feel comfortable enough to do their own thing and reckon (ok, mistakenly as it turns out) that you are a go with the flow person about these things.
Or maybe they looked in the fridge and thought, 'heck, not enough prawns in there for four of us, we'll eat early and leave it all for dh and dil'
That should say freezable!!
they will probably be hungry by the time you eat .
i spect they probably wanted to use up their chicken.
They've just said that though as you hit grumpy. Did they know you were cooking the prawn thingy at 8?
I don't think it's rude if they said they did t want any before you started cooking. They probably thought it was better than letting you cook it all and wasting some.
If they are only down for 2 nights how tedious can it be?
YABU - maybe they wanted to eat with your dcs as in have a family tea? or maybe they thought when you said about sandwiches you meant them as well? Hardly the end of the world, they're helping you out!
I would still have been cheesed off the food had been freezable. They know we eat at half 8 and it has never been a problem for them before.
They do eat earlier when they are at home, but have always fitted in with us before.
Am genuionely surprised that very few people agree with me in thinking it is rude to do this in someone else's house. WIBU to not eat with them at half 6 in their house because I'm not actually hungry yet?
Where do you live?I'm feeling really unwell today and the thought of cooking isn't great-I'll have the food if no one bloody wants it
I would never be cross with guests who were hungry and helped themselves to a sandwich. If I am hosting, I want my guests to be as comfortable as possible.
no- they want to plan the food every morning every time they visit in the future. for ever.
Well you obviously feel how you feel, but I'm struggling to see it as rude. In fact you could easily, if you chose to, see it as them wishing to save you the work of preparing food for them. It's the sort of thing my parents would do, and they are lovely and thoughtful.
I have noticed though, on MN that some people invest a lot emotionally in food - for example, getting really upset if someone doesn't like a food that they have prepared. I'm not like that myself. I wonder if you are OP?
Well it is a bit rude if you are a proper guest but they are family and they are looking after the kids so they probably felt at home enough to eat when hungry and leave more for you and dh.
Do you get on with them well normally?
I wouldn't be mortally wounded if you said you werent hungry as you normally eat later.
They are not dinner party guests see, they are family staying and I would want them to feel at home.
I am fine with them helping themselves to snacks. Of course, they are my PIL.
they did not eat with the kids - they fed the kids at half 5 and then fed themselves at 7. they were surprised I had not assumed they would do this - when they have never done it before.
Depends how cross you were with them.
Surely it's better to make absolutely sure you all know what's happening than get in another tizz?
Also, perhaps they were just hungry and decided to eat with the children to keep them company.
Would you feel the same if it was your mother and not the MIL?
My mil eats breakfast at 10.30, no lunch, afternoon cake and then a late dinner. When she comes she expects to follow that routine.
As she is my guest I accommodate it (so we will get cakes) but we also eat lunch. Dinner is moved later so it is a compromise.
With the in laws I always try and take a step back. They don't do things the way my family do things and I do have to remind myself that I can't punish hem for that!
I would imagine that they wanted to save you a job as you had been at work all day. I'm sure they didn't imagine how cross you would be.
OP..are you angry that not everyone agrees with your upset at you PILs? Surely, you understand that we all have different ideas about what constitutes good hosting manners..
If it's out of character for them and you get on well, it's pointless to waste energy assuming rudeness where none was intended.
I wouldn't say I invest emotionally in food no!
I just plan menus that I think my guests will like and enjoy preparing food for them.
No guest has ever turned round to me at half 7 and told me they have already eaten.
They did not save me any work - I cook for dh and me every night anyway. and they know that.
I really cant see this as rude.
If they turned up for a pre planned evening dinner announcing they got a sandwich on the way then yes that would be rude, but they were there all day.
I would hate it if my PIL or parents felt they had to act as "guests" in my home, especially when caring for my children. They should be able to make themselves at home. Yes, there should have been better communication about eating what and when, but YABU to be so annoyed you started a thread.
And it works both ways. As a host (if it was that formal), I'd be falling over myself to make sure my guests were not hungry. If they were used to eating earlier, I'd try to accommodate that.
It also sound like you were really pissed off with her and they suggested agreeing meals in advance because she doesn't want to face that again!!
Not sure how best to put this OP but you sound a wee bit inflexible.
The GPs did something you didn't like about food so to avoid any future problems they have suggested that you discuss what is planned for dinner in the morning. It sounds imminently sensible to me. Whereas your solution is that they eat exactly what you want them to when you want them to.
Fine if they are true guests in the sense that they spend the day sight seeing or whatever but when they are looking after your DCs perhaps they got hungry when making their tea or and I think more likely, didn't like the look of what you planned to cook, or alternatively couldn't be bothered praising you for your lovely cooking when they were tired after spending the day looking after your DCs. Or maybe they were tired looking after the DCs and wanted an early night, but not indigestion from eating late.
When my parents come, they always bring lunch with them for us all, bugs me to hell ( and DH worse so) as DM doesn't eat much fat so they customise recipes ( I have told her not to say that she is using my recipe for chicken as she has made it practically inedible by substituting low fat yoghurt for cream) and also have ridiculously small portions because they don't eat so much.
But they always suggest bringing it and I think Mum feels because I work she is helping out by me not having to prepare a meal so I don't say anything because I think it would upset her.
But your mil may have thought you would go to extra effort to make something special when ordinarily you and dh would have something simple
OK - IABU.
Agreeing meals in advance is not something I have to do with any of my other visitors, but hey ho. I resent the idea that my hosting is substandard - they are always welcome to anything from the fridge.
If my mother were in a position to look after my children (she isn't as she is ill) then she would not do this.
You may find it tedious, but many practical things in life are tedious, and if this avoids what you (and you alone) considers rude behaviour (and they consider a misunderstanding), then you just have to go along with it.
What they are suggesting is not unusual at all - I do that with my parents, and with my pil whenever I stay with them.
How have they suggested that your hosting is substandard?
I think you're being very very unreasonable, sorry. They came over to babysit. They made food for your children. No doubt they thought they'd spare you the hassle of cooking for them after a day at work. And then you come home and get cross? Your poor PIL.
We have a lot of people visit from overseas who spend their time seeing the sights. I always ask if they will be having dinner with us and what time they will be home so I can cook for then. It maybe they want to eat out.
I don't want them feel like they are in a day release prison!
I get it- am a complete cow for inviting PIL down to spend time with my kids. they are always saking to come down.
I am a cow for plannign nice food and then being miffed when I am told they don't want it.
I am a cow for eating at half 8 as that is ridiculously late.
I rather think that you've brought the tedium of discussing food each morning they visit for ever and ever on yourself!
I really don't think it's on to get "quite cross" with them for having a sandwich at 7 rate than waiting to eat at 8. Saying that, I could have managed both - the noodle thing sounds delish.
Now you're just being stroppy.
How bizarre. Why do you not just cook it for dinner tonight ? Rice noodles freeze, you can freeze the prawns and just use the chinese veg as a side dish. I agree with the poster above that you sound incredibly inflexible.
You'd have a fit if you lived in my house, I never know at the beginning of the day how many people I'm cooking for or whether I'm cooking at all.
It wouldn't have bothered me TBH and, surely, the food can be refrigerated for a day or so. I dont think it was rude. Maybe they were feeling extra hungry from looking after your DC's and I am sure you wouldn't have wanted them to be hungry.
TBH gladders, you are the one starting to sound a bit rude. Or at the very least, rather abrupt and overbearing.
You are their host. And frankly, you are being a less than gracious host. Hosts try to make their guests feel comfortable. You know that your guests usually eat far earlier than 8.30, so it would be reasonable to think that they would be very hungry waiting until that time to eat. A gracious host would therefore put their guests at ease by insisting that they do not wait for your return but instead go ahead and eat earlier; that you, the host, have either shopped at M&S or prepared something that they can just pop in the oven when they want to eat, and you will see them when you get home.
"they are staying at my house and chose to not follow the convention of eating what your host prepares when they prepare it."
I think you'll find that if such a convention exists, then it is the convention that the host looks after the guests.
I'm sorry about your mum. I think there's often so much less scope for misunderstanding with our own parents than with PIL, because our parents know us better .OTOH, when parents piss us off it's more likely to be deliberate!
You're not a cow for inviting PIL. You're not a cow for eating when you're hungry. You're not a cow at all. But you are unreasonable to get cross with people who are trying to be helpful and are doing you a massive favour.
The plan is to discuss food every morning every time they visit now apparently. I just think that sounds tedious
"We are having shepherd's pie for dinner tonight. Are you going to eat with us ?"
Really, really tedious
calm down. You sound very upset and it can't just be about this. No one thinks you are a cow, they just think you are over-reacting.
And re the eating time - I don't generally eat until after 8pm. Sometimes I have something with the dcs at 6ish. But most of the time I'll eat later on, once kids are in bed.
That's pretty normal for round here, and in my family (I.e. when I was little that's the way it worked - a sort of high tea for the kids and supper for adults.
I don't see it as particularly bad manners to not be hungry..... but it is bad manners to go off the deep end because a guest doesn't want to eat. It's your house, you're in a position of power, and making your PIL feel like crap because they had disobeyed your rules or whatever - in this really very minor way - is very odd tbh. Are you under a lot of stress of something?
I think the OP sounds stressed after work and with an ill mum. Just don't take it out on us (or your PIL)
So I can't have your noodle soup then?
What a fucking waste
Why could you not just shrug, postpone the prawn noodles until the next day, and just throw something else on for you and your dh to eat, if you were not going to cook their potions anyway? You might as well eaten something else then, and cooked the noodles another day?
i think it might react as op and be annoyed. but op, you have learnt now. just ask them when you do your meal plan, not hard.or on the day. or perhaps they would like to take turns cooking?
perhaps they were just hungry. it is not a big deal.
We all do things differently. How you host is perfectly fine - but you have to accept that not every guest will know how you expect them to behave.
The first few times my mil stayed I was ready to kick her out as she just sat through lunch doing her crossword. I never said anything to her because she was a guest but my dh got to hear about how rude I thought she was!
It took me a couple of visits to learn to shrug my shoulders and let her get on with it. It makes life a lot less stressful.
What does your dh make of the whole thing? He probably is able to see it from both sides and sees the bigger picture (unlike us on here)
Gladders you asked if we found them rude, we said no. Your overreacting a bit.
Just get your marks meal tonight and have a relaxing one.
I think you sound a bit rude for making this such a huge deal and expecting them to just wait for you regardless of how they feel or if they're hungry or don't like what you're planning.
If you're going to react so strongly then the only thing they can do to avoid conflict is to discuss food every morning. I think it's your fault if you find that tedious.
I rather my guests grabbed a sandwich than starve. I would not find them rude if they did. More rude to make a point and an issue about it!
You weren't sounding unreasonable for thinking your inlaws would eat with you later but they were hungry and ate earlier. But now you sound like my 12 year old when we don't agree with her way of thinking.
8pm would be too late for me to eat and I would have to eat earlier. What time would your inlaws normally eat at home?
you have the opposite problem to me. I won't cook for relatives if I am working and they are staying with me.
You could make up 4 portions of the stirfry and easily freeze the rest. So for that reason YABU <in the manner of the Dragons Den>
btw I think it is a good idea to discuss who will be eating what that night. I do this with my guests so that there is no misunderstanding about who is being expected to do what.
I don't think YABU at all - quite surprised nobody else thinks it was rude of your in-laws to eat when they knew you were planning to cook for them; I'd have been really pissed off. And am amazed by how early everyone seems to eat!
Goodness sake OP! Mellow a little. Maybe they just got hungry! Take a deep breath and try and enjoy your evening!
Hungry after a day looking after your kids? Eat a sandwich... Seems pretty reasonable to me.
what time do they normally eat? my parents eat their last meal of the day before 4pm, so 7:30 wouldn't work for them. maybe your inlaws were hungry! or, they think someone should eat with the children.
why are you so determined that family members should keep to a convention that you clearly know about but they don't? did you discuss this in advance? or just expect them to know they should wait, hungry, until you got in at seven thirty and started to prepare a meal?
Have to be fair and admit it would annoy me if my dad did this as he always behaves as if once he's eaten a sandwich nothing else can pass his lips for three hours! At least!
I can't see it's worth this level of irritability though?
I think it would have been rude if you had already cooked. But you hadn't starting cooking yet
Teapots - older people sometimes have digestive problems. I myself can always force more food down
Bloody hell the OP seems to have hit the "we eat at 6pm and any later is a crime against food" posse. I think her PIL were unreasonable to change the meal plan without telling her, we never eat before 8pm as my DH doesn't get home until then and also how the hell are you meant to get in from work, sort out the kids with bath and bedtime, cook and then go back in time and have a meal at 7pm when the ILs are hungry. She has already said that they ALWAYS eat this late and it has NEVER been an issue before.
bahahahaha. OP you sound like a total control freak, and I love the flounce when you didn't get what you wanted to hear. snorts
ps When I host people I plan the menu with them. what we ALL would like at times that suit ALL of us, not plan whatever I think suits and throw a huge hissy fit if it doesn;t go how I wanted it to. Jeez its one dinner you could have eaten half of and let them have the other half the next night. Get over it. Pathetic.
* puzzled* Eating a sandwich when hungry is a crime? Would you have preferred her PILS go hungry and just wait silently until she has prepared her Nigella feast? If she was intent upon getting her meal, she certainly could have sallied forth.
In our home, we do everything we can to help guests, regardless of relation, feel as comfortable as possible. I would have been happy they were satisfied with a sandwich, and gotten on with the evening.
Did the dc also got chicken sandwich from chicken left warm in the hallway for 24 hours?
Good luck tonight......
8 is way too late for most older people to eat and although the Nigella recipe sounded lovely for me, it's not something I would dish up for the in laws - did they know what was coming???!
Don't try too hard - it's lovely that they have come to help, but they are probably too knackered to keep up with your routine - just let it flow along, a bit of wasted food is not the end of the world -
Imo they were not rude.
You are the one being weird and hostile and inflexible
Ooops a bit harsh, but I do think they were not rude, and I think like many DILs on MN you have issues with your ILs...
I didn't flounce as such -I finished work and went to M and S to get them a variety of food to choose from tonight.
Am not being weird and hostile. They know we eat late. We always have and always will. It has never been a problem before - not even when they have looked after our children.
They are welcome to help themselves to whatever food they would like.
So -I was very taken aback to find they announced they had already eaten supper last night. Personally I would never do that - I always fit in with my hosts. And as we don't see them very often, catching up over dinner is quite a nice way to end the day.
horses for courses -have taken it on the chin and will now plan each day with them to avoid this in future.
(BTW - only PIL ate the day old chicken - kids had ham! - no vomitting as yet......)
I don't find it rude either. You should have asked before starting to cook
I eat anytime between 5.00pm & 7.30pn st the latest. Eating at 8.30pm would make me feel sick
Sorry if thread has moved on....
But after two pages of reading I am still thinking YABVU... and a little thoughtless and rude yourself!
So your PIL have come to stay to offer two days childcare...
They have fed the children for you...
They looked after themselves for dinner, not realising you wanted to 'treat' them to a special dinner..
You did not discuss your dinner plans with them. But you're now rather cross and put out. Wow. That's not really a polite way to treat a guest, let alone one who's doing you a favour!
Really, just eat your meal tonight, put the rest in the fridge, I'm sure the extra will keep for tomorrow lunch or dinner.
And take your poor PIL out for
pret sandwich dinner to say sorry/thank you for their help another day.
I admit I've only sped read the thread
But does anyone else think it's strange when people use the words 'hosts' and 'guests' etc when talking about family?
Perhaps it's just me
yabu, they ate earlier because they were hungry, yabvvvu to throw a tantrum forcing your poor mil to apologise for eating when hungry (what normal people do), they probably thought they were doing you a favour by not needing you to cook for them. It's unfair to be angry that they didn't starve themselves to fit in with your mealtimes. Just let your guests be, they're humans with actual needs (a lot of people can feel very sick if they don't eat when hungry), they're not robots that can be preprogrammed to fit in with your schedule, let them feed themselves.
I'd hate to stay with someone who expected to tell me when I could eat, what I would be eating and threw a tantrum over me not being hungry at their dinner time. That's very controlling and they must feel so uncomfortable now. I'd run for the hills and never return but your poor pil can't do that if they want to see their grandkids, pity them.
Perhaps it is the manner in which I was raised. If you did not reside in our home on a continuous manner, you were considered a guest. My parents taught me it was the host's responsibility to see to the comfort of guests.
* unless you were Uncle George..arrived for Christmas visit, stayed for eleven years*
Gladders just m&s all the way next time. Easy life.
"Am not being weird and hostile. They know we eat late. We always have and always will. It has never been a problem before - not even when they have looked after our children.
They are welcome to help themselves to whatever food they would like.
So -I was very taken aback to find they announced they had already eaten supper last night. Personally I would never do that - I always fit in with my hosts. And as we don't see them very often, catching up over dinner is quite a nice way to end the day."
gladders, do you honestly not see the inconsistency between "They are welcome to help themselves to whatever food they would like" and "I was very taken aback to find they announced they had already eaten supper"?
And as for " It has never been a problem before " - have you considered that it may have been problem that has simply not been voiced before? Because "They know we eat late. We always have and always will."
WWS (what Worra said) and I think it's no big deal as they weren't invited for dinner.
Ages ago my now DH and MIL did this when they were invited to dinner and it still wasn't a huge deal.
For what it's worth, OP, YANBU, I would find it rude too if guests, who knew the normal eating routine, had fed themselves earlier and not even bothered to tell me.
Of course I assume that guests in my house need dinner preparing for them. Do the rest of you really just assume your guests will cater for themselves?
And if I were a guest in someone else's house and was peckish before dinner, I would have a small snack to tide me over, not help myself to an early dinner and snub what the host had taken the time to plan and prepare.
If the PILs don't like to eat so late, surely it would only be common courtesy to discuss this the day before or in the morning, before the OP had planned an evening meal?
I can undertand you're pissed off, but... I do think you're now making rather a large mountain out of an insignificant molehill.
Perhaps they generally thought they were saving you the effort of cooking for company. Yes, you had to cook for you DH anyway, but still. If you look at it from this angle, i.e. that they were trying to be helpful, maybe it might diffuse your blood pressure levels a tiny bit.
Honestly - people, especially family member you have an otherwise good relationship with, don't generally go out of the way to be manipulative, annoying and honory. I'm sure MIL didn't sit in her chair all afternoon plotting ways to Piss You Right Off.
At best, they were trying to be helpful and save you some effort. At worst, they were thoughtless.
But my God. I bet they don't ever make this mistake again.
I would be chewing my arm off by 8.30pm. In our house we eat early so that everyone can eat together (and I have a toddler that will eat broccoli so we must be doing something right). However, when we stay with my DM and DF or they stay with us, we compromise and eat before they would eat and after we would eat. We talk about who's cooking and what everyone wants. rather than tedious, I have always thought that THIS was how good 'guests' and good 'hosts' behaved. Horses for courses.
At DFIL I have to bloody cook and they eat when I say because if I'm going to be a servant I'll clock off early.
YABU - people get hungry, they eat when they need to. It's a bit annoying but not worth worrying about.
My DH does this all the time in fact!!! He is never hungry/eats at weird times (eg late lunch because he worked through normal lunch hour so doesn't feel like dinner). I used to get really upset about it until I realised I was being stupid to get angry that people ate when they needed to...!
I used to have to go hungry at home when I was a kid because if my mother's insistence that you only ate at set mealtimes, it was really bloody annoying.
Chill out and be grateful you didn't have to pay for 2 days of child care.
Also I think having to confirm their meal plans in the day is a bit controlling too... What if they take the kids out for afternoon tea?! Or are just not hungry in the evening? Will they then Incur your wrath for their normal bodily functions deviating from your plans pre-set at 8am?!?!
When you have guests you just need to chill out and go with the flow.
I don't understand why you couldn't freeze it. I can see it might be irritating but when you have guests you have to be flexible if you want to be a good host.
This is an aspect of british culture i dont think i'll ever get! I think there is too much etiquette around meal times, way too much. So what if the "guests" ate before you got back ? Why on earth is this such a big deal, it would never have crossed my mind to think i am forbidden from eating anything except what my
Daughter in law host prepares.
I also find the constant reference to Pil as "guests" slightly unerving, they are family, they should be made to feel at home, which includes eating when they are hungry, for good ness sake, apply some flexibility and stuff all this stuffy "meal times" no crosswords at the table etc, its not good for digestion.
I can see why you're cross if you had bought food etc. but, really, you need to out this in perspective. It's much better that people eat when they feel like it surely than are starving?
I can see this grim their point if view as my PILs are like this. We went to visit them last weekend. Had breakfast at 9 and no lunch was then offered. Dinner only happened when DH basically said he would go out and get some food. We didn't eat til 8:30am. I'm 28 weeks pregnant and was nearly fainting. PILs are lovely and I do like going to see them but good can be very adhoc. I don't mind eating late and we do at home. But not if we've missed meals etc.
What I'm trying to say is that it's not very nice staying with people who can be controlling (even if the dont mean to be) about food.
I love cooking for guests but I'd much rather people helped themselves and ate when they were hungry than sat there feeling like I did at PILs last week.
Also, why didn't they put their ham/chicken in your fridge?
Sorry for typos - on phone!
Mil can't do right with you, can she? You got "quite cross" with her (and the fact that she apologised "eventually" makes me think this dragged on for a while) which I think was rude of you, seeing as she's a guesting your house looking after your kids. If she'd used up your precious prawns and noodle and left you with a sandwich you might have a point but all this fuss over a bit of food which could easily freeze or be used for lunch next day is just ridiculous.
You now think talking about and planning food every morning is "tedious"......perhaps if you'd hadn't been so uptight about this you wouldn't have to. They're clearly trying to now appease you, and you're still not happy.
People it would be nice to read the whole thread without piling in. OP has come back and said she will plan each day with them to avoid this situation in the future.
It's therefore not terribly helpful to pile in and continue to berate her.
Although shinyblackgrape your story is awful - I couldn't survive without lunch I am prone to hypoglaecemia (sp?) so need to eat ever 3-4 hours or I will faint. Not to feed a pregnant woman is quite inexcusable
I think it's a lovely thing to cook for people staying with you. And it is nicer if people give your warning they don't need to eat before you spent money on a meal for them.
But YABU because this is not worth getting annoyed about. I often get hungry early in the evening and if I was at PIL house, I might well eat a sandwich. I'd think they were family and wouldn't mind. I wouldn't mind if they did the same at mine either. I'd just buy a couple of extra things and adapt the recipe for the next evening (after checking they would want dinner).
I'd be really, really upset if I thought my MIL (or future daughter in law) would be so inflexible about me eating a sandwich because I was hungry. Sorry OP.
And fair enough, if you'll check with them in the morning to see if they want to eat with you, that sounds like a good solution for all.
I don' think mil was rude. It seems a shame to get steamed up over this. You'll probs feel better if u let it go.
aaaaarrrrggghh I hate being an adult! Its just silly, and agree with worra, its family. All these weird social conventions that will greatly offend if not adhered to. They didn't eat a sandwich to offend you, they ate because they were hungry.
You sound like my MIL.
She chucked me out of her house when DH was in hospital and I didn't want to be alone because I had the audacity to cook a different meal for myself and DS
I do see where OP is coming from as it's happened to me before. It's just annoying to think you're cooking for people, including family, and go to the trouble of thinking of a meal and buying and preparing it and then for them to say they've already eaten, whatever the reason.
I have little to add except to say I have frozen similar dishes on many occasions (and not died from eating the defrosted/reheated version!) and actually, if you portion it up into tupperwares when it's cooked and leave it overnight in the fridge it sets for want of a better word and is eminently suitable for transporting to work the following day provided you have the facilities to reheat it.
World's longest sentence right there folks
OP, may I be so bold as to enquire what this is really about? Am sensing there may be some sort of undercurrent. Surely no one really gets this pissed off about a sandwich?
I think we re all sensing an undercurrent.
Okay, to sum up:
DC eat dinner at around 5.30.
You and dh eat dinner around 8.30.
IL's have come to stay with you to offer free childcare and enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.
IL's know the food arrangement and usually eat late with you and dh.
On this occasion, IL's were particularly hungry and helped themselves to a sandwich, using their own meat filling.
IL's informed you of this, probably to stop you wasting your own food by preparing more for them [disclaimer: the second part of this sentence is guesswork]
You deem the food wasted anyway as it not freezable.
You believe IL's are rude because although you are happy for them to help themselves to food if they should they get hungry, on this occasion they should have remained hungry so as not to waste your food.
Is this accurate?
If so, can I just ask are there other issues generally with IL's, as although I might be a bit disappointed that the food hasn't been eaten, its not really something I could get myself terribly worked up about
and I'm an antsy cow who can get worked up about the smallest of things
half seven is way too late to be having a meal, especially if you are a child.
Can I have your mother in law?
oh you meant you and your ILs.
Still too late and yabu
I am genuinely at all the people who think eating at 7.30 constitutes a late meal.
Shutupanddrive "Where does it say MIL fed DC turps?"
Now that would be cause for complaint
Zara1984 - it doesn't save the op any money as she's already paid childcare for the whole summer. She is being nice to the gps by letting them look after dcs, not them helping her.
gladders - it may be that the gps can't manage a big evening meal every day. I know I'm finding as I get older that it's nicer to have something small.
thank you to the people who managed to read all of the facts.
I am genuinely surrised by the MN verdict. I realise I did over-react but felt that I was on safe ground in thinking that their behavious was rude. Clearly I was wrong. MIL has come up with the solution which will work for her going forward and I will abide by that.
I am also genuinely surprised by the number of people who consider eating half 8 as too late. As a couple, DH and I have always eaten at that time. We both commute and there is no way to eat earlier. We do not do it to cheese anyone off.
Gladders what we consider rude/impolite is generally decided very early on in our upbringing. You say that your mother wouldn't dream of doing what your pils did - and she is your frame of reference for what you consider good behaviour.
This is the same for all of us, and this is why so many people (myself included) find it so hard to get on with our in laws.
It does seem that most of us don't consider what your in laws did to be rude, and as you say you will just have to try and accept that.
But please don't harbour a grudge against your in laws because of this silly incident because you are clearly still not happy about it.
"thank you to the people who managed to read all of the facts."
Teensy bit passive aggressive there gladders?
"I am also genuinely surprised by the number of people who consider eating half 8 as too late. As a couple, DH and I have always eaten at that time. We both commute and there is no way to eat earlier. We do not do it to cheese anyone off."
Nobody thinks you do it to cheese anyone off. It's kind of inevitable given your commute - I've lived that way myself, in the past. But, assuming your PIL usually eat about 7pm; how would you feel about not eating until 10pm if you were staying with family who routinely ate at that time? Do you think you'd be starving by then? Or maybe your stomach would have given up by then and you'd have no appetite? Would your body be crying out to eat at your usual mealtime, maybe making you feel unwell or faint? Would you feel tired through a lack of blood sugar? I am asking because I have detected not one shred of empathy, no inkling of looking at this matter from your PIL's point of view from any of your posts. Several posters have pointed up your inflexibility. It might be worth pondering on why that might be, gladders.
sigh - I did say that I understood I had overreacted and that I get it now that this is not generally perceived as being rude.
I'm not being passive aggressive to anyone - on here or in RL. My comment reflected I am getting comments even at this point that shows people have not read beyond my first post.
PIL have always eaten with us before and I had no reason to believe that half 8 was unacceptable to them. It may be later than they usually eat but as I said, there are plenty of snacks to help themselves to and this has always worked fine before.
When we are at their house sometimes they skip lunch and then have an enormous meal at about half 2. I am ready to chew my arm off by that point but I go with it - it's what works for them on that particular day.
agree it is a silly incident. it has not been blown out of proportion in RL - it has blown over. I just wanted a sense check on here.
I need to mull over what I want to do - I may send MIL a card of apology. I may just leave it a little while before seeing them again.
If it has not been blown out of proportion in real life, then why would you need to send a card as an apology?
YANBU to feel a bit irritated that they'd decided to feed themselves when that has never happened before and you've dashed in to cook for everyone.
But honestly YABU to think this irritation is worthy of more than a couple of minutes' mental grumping. Please don't waste your energy on this. It happened, it irritated, it's over.
Why don't you send them a nice card thanking them for their visit and saying that you hope to see them soon with a PS sorry for overreacting about dinner on Thursday.
theoriginalandbestrookie has an excellent suggestion. I bet they will understand and appriciate the 'gentle' apology. I bet you will feel happier too.
(Half of my family is Spanish and they all eat at nine or ten, along with most Spaniards and Greeks and Italians....etc etc. It's just what you are used to.)
Why leave it a little while before seeing them again? All that will do is drag it out even further, unless that is what you want to do, of course. Are you hoping that by doing that Mil will see the error of her ways........
Why not just accept you overreacted, as you say you have, and continue life as normal? Personally, I think original had the best idea, but I somehow don't think you do.
wow. am glad some people know the minutae of my life so well that they can continue to criticise me even when I have admitted that I have been wrong. They live the other end of the country from us and we don't see them that regularly - I'm just wondering if the next visit should be dh and kids without me (as it sometimes is).
the situation bubbled up and fizzled out here. All I wanted to do on here was to get an independent opinion and I got it.
I do think the idea of sending a card is a good one - hence the reason I suggested it. Am going to mull the wording over.
Gladders, maybe they just don't like your cooking.
I would have eaten it for breakfast the next morning, or integrated it into the next evening's meals (no need for everyone to have exactly the same). I can understand being mildly irked, but the rest sounds like poor house-husbandry.
I'm amazed at the people saying 7.30 - 8.30 is too late for dinner. I'm often not even home from work until after 7pm. If I'm cooking from scratch, dinner wouldn't be ready until 8. Can't see the problem with that.
Gladders I think sending a card is a good idea. I do strongly feel you were the one in the wrong to get arsey with MIL, even though I appreciate you were frazzled and annoyed with the whole sitch.
As for whether 7.3pm is late or early for dinner - talk about a non issue. Different families, different schedules!! Is it really a talking point?
i feel sorry for poor inlaws who cant do right for doing wrong
Why couldn't the soup go in the fridge for the next day, it would've been fine!
Think the wording should be:
"Sorry for being totally unreasonable and irritable and unflexible with you when you last stayed.
I am sorry.
I am truly looking forward to having you to stay again soon, and I know that food is just food, but family is family.
HellOnHeels well people who don't work or who finish sooner, tend to eat with the DC at 5 or 6...and older people go t bed earlier...so they eat earlier.
Half 8 is rather late IMO. We always eat at 5.30 and both DC are in bed by 8. I don't like it when I am visiting certain members of family as 9 times out of 10, they cook for about 9.30pm and by this time, my DC are tired, cranky, and never eat more than a few mouthfuls before passing out in their dinner. I also can't eat much that late and waiting till then makes me feel so sick, I dry heave. So yes, I have been known to feed myself and them at the same time we usually eat at home when staying there.
I do always inform them I shall be doing so though before hand.
I do think YABU. I understand your frustration, but no need to be so cross.
You eat supper an hour after tea time!!
What do you do with the rest of your evening if you eat so early?!
Can you seriously not think of anything to do in the evenings apart from eat?
Presumably we do the same thing after dinner as others do before... There's the same amount of time, regardless of when dinner is.
Your reaction seems a bit extreme and uptight? They were probably just hungry. If you are giving these kind of vibes they may feel uncomfortable and feel they can't just eat when they want to! I think you need to chill out a little.
Having read more yabu to get 'cross' ans I agree with others that your stance on this is odd. Your poor IL must feel like they are walking on eggshells around you. What is so hard about saying 'I'm cooking now, do you want anything' and if they do, fine, if not, fine again. Why did she have to apologise to you for eating? Can you not see how that sounds? Yabvu to be cross and taken aback at such a trivial thing. They may have always eaten with you at 8.30 but they have probably been too bloody scared to say so if you are so 'forceful' about it! You really need to see that you were not right about this and relax a little.
Did anyone find out what the actual food was that could not be kept in the fridge?
Was it oysters?
I'm really keen to know?
If I stay with my parents and made myself a sandwich and then told my mother I didn't want to eat the evening meal she would be incredibly upset and angry, (which is why I would never consider doing) so I totally see where you are coming from OP.
The evening meal in my family is a special occasion when there are visitors, time to talk about the day and enjoy each others company. I would be hurt if I had guests who opted out whatever the reason, and angry if I'd planned something nice.
Send a note to say thank you for looking after the children, but really I don't think you need to grovel unless you really kicked up a stink that in retrospect you feel bad about. To you their behavior was very rude. To them it might have seemed a very sensible and even thoughtful thing to do. Who knows. If your dh takes the children to visit them next time he could probably talk to them about the incident and you might get more insight.
sleep it was prawn and noodle soup which in this house would've gone in the fridge.
valium, I was slightly exaggerating, but I'm just so used to the preparation and eating of dinner being the focal point of the evening, with maybe just time to catch the headlines afterwards and then bed!
Particularly if you have people staying, totally agree with nooka that opting out of the evening meal would seem very odd (and, yes, rude) if you're still in the house. But to be honest I can't imagine anyone I know having a sandwich and then being too full for dinner! Having it to tide themselves over, fine, but instead seems very weird...
I think you're being OTT. This is one of those battles that aren't worth fighting.
You could have had it the next day even if just enough for 2 people, the others could have had something else. It's not that big a deal.
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