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to ask if I can eat with the children at the next family meal ?

(106 Posts)
Babieseverywhere Fri 27-Dec-13 08:26:30

For the last two decades family meals at the inlaws was either a sit down meal or a buffet where everyone adults and children would eat the same food at the same time.

A year ago it has changed to kids eat their food first and adults eat their food second. Their house, their rules etc and of course I would never question why they have changed their minds.

However this is making things very difficult for me. As 4 out of the families 8 kids are mine and the youngest just 16 months old. The easiest time for me to eat is while the children eat and what I now find is that, I sit with the children watching them eat and supervising as needed with the other mothers. Then I am the last to grab an adult plate to up with yoummy foodl having asked my oldest 8yo to watch youngest, so I can eat.

Usually the youngest two, toddler and litle child won't settle eith my oldest so I end up juggling parenting them on my lap, at my feet whilst trying to eat around them.

At the last meal, I was asked to move from dining room as my fil had finished eating and wanted to watch sports on the tv, fair enough I moved to kitchen. Where I was asked to move again, as mil was clearing up from the meal I was trying to eat . Finally I moved to standing up to a breakfast high table where I one handedly ate, whilst trying to butter a roll with a toddler on my hip and the other children running around.

I am finding it very difficult to enjoy family meals anymore. sad

Don't even ask about DH, every time he tries to help mil will pass him another beer and tell him to chat to df or db. She doesn't see why I need any help with our children.

I was thinking that at the next meal at theirs, I could ask if I can eat with the children. There is always food left over, they cater well. I can then supervise the children while they, win. But concerned if I ask it might be seen as ruddess and I don't want to cause a rift.

AIBU to ask to eat children's food with the children ?

ps. They have always had family children at meals in the past, even tiny ones. Really wish they would go back to the old system.

OodKingWenceslas Fri 27-Dec-13 08:28:59

I would have words with dh in advance, he needs to take his turn at helping.
But I'd also eat with the children as it sounds better than you're currently doing.

friday16 Fri 27-Dec-13 08:29:19

Don't even ask about DH, every time he tries to help mil will pass him another beer and tell him to chat to df or db. She doesn't see why I need any help with our children

They all sound delightful. Why do you go?

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 27-Dec-13 08:30:49

Emigrate with your children and change your identity.


BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 08:31:32

You have 8 children?

hercules1 Fri 27-Dec-13 08:32:47

Don't go. Let dh and kids go.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 27-Dec-13 08:33:11

LTB then you can eat when you like and never have to see MIL again.

I'm only half joking by the way, before you start making excuses for him.

Cheesy123 Fri 27-Dec-13 08:34:48

She has 4 children but there are 8 in the family.

Delurkedforthis Fri 27-Dec-13 08:35:08

No Bohemian OP has 4: there are 8 in the family, four of them are Everywhere's

attheendoftheday Fri 27-Dec-13 08:36:50

Your dh should be pulling his weight whatever his mum says! Also your inlaws sound very rude. Do you have to go?

ChineseFireball Fri 27-Dec-13 08:37:01

I thought 4 of the total 8 children present were the OP's...? I don't think YWBU to eat with the children at all if that works for you. DH needs to put down the beer and say "Thanks Mum but I'm looking after my children just now so my DW can share the fun" or somesuch. Where is (are) the parent(s) of the other 4 children btw or did I miss that?

CaptainSweatPants Fri 27-Dec-13 08:37:17

I wouldn't ask
I'd just do what you like
Sounds like they won't care either way

Babieseverywhere Fri 27-Dec-13 08:38:58

Only 4 are our children but I was trying to show there are other family children, not just ours.

Mil thinks this new system is brilliant and keeps telling me how much easier it is for everyone. I smiled though gritted teeth, until she tried to make me do the same type of meal at MY house. I said bluntly that I found it very difficult if I didn't eat whilst my kids did and as it was my house I was doing the easy thing for me. I.e. we all ate together.

I don't get the DH retreat to useless lump at his mothers either. He thinks I am being funny and shiuld just go with the flow. Easier for him with a beer under his belt and a full stomach.

They are nice people and I don't get that they can't see how harf they are making things for me.

Vivacia Fri 27-Dec-13 08:39:08

Don't even ask about DH, every time he tries to help mil will pass him another beer and tell him to chat to df or db. She doesn't see why I need any help with our children.

As with 95% of in-law problems, the solution lies with your partner.

ChazzerChaser Fri 27-Dec-13 08:39:26

If you need to rock the boat by asking to eat with the children, your husband could rock the boat first by putting the beer on the side and doing his fair share. If its his family, it's his responsibility to sort it out.

natwebb79 Fri 27-Dec-13 08:39:46

Erm sorry to be blunt but they sound like wankers. MIL cleared up around you and rushed you out when you were still eating because FIL wanted to watch sport?!?! Fuck that!

MidniteScribbler Fri 27-Dec-13 08:40:37

Don't make a big deal of it, just serve yourself a small plate which you can graze off while you're eating the children. Then if they're cooperative you can have another small plate with the adults, or just not bother. Let's face it, there will be only a certain number of years this will happen, then you might be glad of the split meal shifts when they are able to amuse themselves.

But you're DH needs to step up here. His mother can hand him as many beers as he likes, and she can tell him what he likes, but unless she's keeping his balls in a wooden box on the mantle then he can use his big boy voice and say that he's going to be helping his wife with their children.

friday16 Fri 27-Dec-13 08:43:39

until she tried to make me do the same type of meal at MY house

I still don't get why people put up with shit relatives doing shit things. If you like spending time with people and they are good hosts or good guests, great. If you don't and/or they aren't, why are you seeing them? If your in-laws treat you like shit, let your husband take the children, stay at home and watch your box set of Friends with a glass of wine in your hand.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Dec-13 08:44:11

Your husband is an arse.

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Fri 27-Dec-13 08:45:04

Your DH sounds like an idiot. He doesn't have to take the beer and chat as per his mother's instructions. He could ignore her and help you if he wanted to.

pricklyPea Fri 27-Dec-13 08:47:13

Vivacia has hit the nail on the head.

Your dh should be helping. He should supervise equally so you can eat and at least half enjoy this farce.

LingDiLong Fri 27-Dec-13 08:50:08

The problem isn't the system, it is your rude, selfish and unpleasant DH and in laws. We have the same system when we eat at my parents as there simply isn't room for everyone to eat together. However, we all look out for each other and ensure everyone gets to eat a good plateful of food in peace, even if it means adults taking it in turns whilst one looks after the smallest kids. Hell, even my 11 year old niece has voluntarily watched my littlest in the past so I can grab a bite to eat! You need to have serious words with your DH about this and if he won't pull his weight then stop going. Send him on his own with the kids.

Babieseverywhere Fri 27-Dec-13 08:53:44

TBH DH can't do much to help, even around his mother. The youngest toddler won't settle with anyone else if tired or full (I.e. after she has eaten), she just wants me not DH.

DH did help, he buttered my roll, got me a glass of water and he did at times pick up or parent the children. However the mil amd fil don't see much of him and were chatting and distracting him. So I had do the lions share of the parenting.

I know this issue will resolve itself in a couple of years, I just feel overlooked and ignored.

I like the suggest of not asking for permission, just take a plate and eati with the kids and picking the best bits out the adult buffet if the kids let me...problem solved smile

ChasedByBees Fri 27-Dec-13 08:55:26

It is so rude of them to ask you to move twice and leave you with no room to eat. I would explain the difficulties and warn your DH that next time he is passed a beer t hand it back and help. Better still - he stays at the table with the children. If they refuse to change the system, I wouldn't go back. Why should you when they are being so inhospitable?

NurseRoscoe Fri 27-Dec-13 08:56:42

What a ridiculous system! I like eating with my children (well apart from my 6 month old who I obviously need to spoonfeed so he eats either before or after everyone else depending when he sleeps)

YANBU to ask if you explain your reasons, I.E. that you are not enjoying meals with children climbing all over you and would enjoy it so much more if the children were occupied with their food so you can eat yours!

Could you compromise and say that adults eat as children have pudding?!

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