To say something - MIL advice(105 Posts)
I've name changed so this doesn't link to my other threads.
I have 2 DDs, 1 is 4yo and the other is 2 months, I'm currently on mat leave. When I was at work MIL watched our oldest every Monday.
MIL is on her own with no other family nearby so I invited her to spend a few occasions with my family over the Christmas period that they were hosting. DH was working all of these bar one.
At 2 of these MIL continously discussed how much junk food she fed my DD when she watched her and how she took her to McDonald's for chicken nuggets even though she knew she "was naughty" for doing so as I didn't like it. Also how she fed her sweets and sugar loaded crap constantly.
Now I am aware she does that especially now DD is old enough to tell me! MIL is well aware how i feel about too much sugar in DD's diet and I've been annoyed for years that she does this behind my back. DD does get treats and sugary things with us but not to the extent that MIL feeds her as well as the ridiculous volume of food throughout the day.
I've let it slide so far keep the peace whilst making it known DD should not be getting fed crap constantly.
It's now got to the stage that I'm really annoyed about it more so because of the things she was saying in front of my family undermining my parenting and going on about how she feeds her sweets and McDonald's. As well as continuously loading up DD's plate with more food after I'd specifically said no more on several occasions. I bit my tongue in front of everyone so as not to embarrass her or myself.
I don't know how to go about saying something without coming across like a bitch. DH agrees with me
to my face but he's never said anything to her and I know that if he did he would say it in an eye roll way and say you know what DW is like because he wouldn't want to offend his mum. I feel quite hurt that he watched it going on and never said anything.
AIBU to say something?
As an aside I'm looking into alternative childcare for the girls for when I go back to work specifically for this reason. I feel guilty because she has nothing else in her life and my DD and her adore each other.
I know my view will br unpopular on here, but honestly, it's one day a week. I don't see the harm in a few sweets, and a mcdonalds - once a month not once a week- is absolutely fine in my book.
When you say she feeds her too much throughout the day, how is she doing this? What kind of food and portions?
The ignoring your requests isn't on though, and your DH needs to grow a pair and tell his mother that this is unacceptable.
It would be a shame for you MIL to miss out on quality time with her grandchildren if it can be easily resolved.
She's been a bit daft making it clear that she has been going against your rules. Grandparents are supposed to be "a bit naughty" & treat their charges, but it sounds as if she's been taking the piss.
I'd speak to her about it & tell her you're considering other arrangements. You need DH to back you up & not roll his eyes.
I really wouldnt quibble about what she does on the one day a week she has her. GPs are meant to spoil their GKs and tbh the more she sees it riles you the more she will do it.
But her underminding you when you are there is not on.
To be honest, both you are your MIL come across as having food issues. So she gets a some sweets and junk food one day a week. So what? Weird that Granny always wants to do this though.
I feel sad for your DD, especially when you are saying no more when MIL tries to refill her plate.
Is she's not hungry, she won't eat it but kids should be at least encouraged to eat until full. Sometimes they will eat seconds, sometimes not.
I would sit her down with DH and explain (again) what you're not happy about and tell her that unless she can be a bit calmer with the treats and feeding that you'll have to look for alternative childcare. Give her the chance to get it down to a reasonable level and if she can't go through with it and put them somewhere else.
I wouldn't focus on the McDonalds so much as the fact she shouldn't be 'doing it behind your back' and undermining you - what is that teaching your DD.
This is why I've let it slide so far as it's one day a week, they both love spending time together and it's traditionally a grandparents role to spoil. Hell I was fed crap at mine when I was younger.
It's the blatant undermining that rankles and making me out to be over protective and unfair to my DD. "One more won't hurt" - no, it's the 7 before that!
I agree the undermining and keeping things a secret is much more of an issue for me than the food and I would say that to her.
I put both mine in childcare for this reason, i have no doubt mil would have stuffed them with junk. She just honestly doent understand nutrition, or modern child rearing, and does exactly what she did in the 60's
heinz jars at 1 week
If you live close anyway she'll still get to see her regularly?
My DD doesn't have an off switch with food. She is never full, she will just eat and eat. I reload her plate with veg etc whereas MIL will do it with chocolate cake after she had 3 courses prior to that (festive menus).
DD used to eat loads of fruit and veg now she just wants biscuits and sweets and screams to go in McDonald's whenever we walk past. Granted this could be her age now but I can't help thinking they're linked.
MIL is a feeder and is how she shows affection. I get that but there should be limits. My DD is so young and the portion sizes she feeds her are ridiculous. The ironic thing is MIL eats like a sparrow and is tiny! She then piles DD's plate from hers.
I think it has become a battle of wills with your mil to an extent. She knows how you feel about it and probably views you as being uptight about diet. I wouldn't take that personally. Both sides of my family are a bit like that and I see it as a generational thing. As it happens, think we are generally very uptight as a generation and can see where our parents are coming from.
If it were me, I would leave it provided there were no ill effects such as tooth decay or weight gain. I feel a confrontation would only encourage her
I wouldn't like it. It sounds like MIL equates food with love which is not a great lesson for your DD to be learning. If she was minding her less frequently then I'd let it go but once a week is probably too much. Never mind the fact that she's deliberately undermining you.
I doubt she'll change but it might be worth a try. Why was she talking to your family about it, is she not that bright? What was she trying to achieve?
I agree that once a week isn't that often.
Although she might be having what others would consider a week's worth of sugar/crap on that one day!
Talking about the crap she feeds her& refilling her plate whilst you are there & the parent odd imo.
But then, she would likely know that you wouldn't make a fuss.
Perhaps a shame that you didn't!
She was so desperate to feed her though that she took the risk!
I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. These instances weren't the first time she brought it up around others. She's mentioned it before when she thought I couldn't hear. I felt quite hurt that she thought it was okay to discuss it like that. Now she's openly almost bragging about it when I'm in the same room in front of those closest to me.
It's got to the stage where I hate her feeding DD anything and it gets my back up. It's definitely affecting our relationship now.
I wish I had said something now but I know I would be the one who comes across as the over the top one.
'MIL, we've decided that DD will be going to nursery when I'm back at work, as she will love the opportunity to play with lots of other children and it will help her ease into school. She'll still see you lots when we all get together at weekends.'
Sounds like MIL has big ishoos with food, food=love, being a feeder, but not eating much herself etc. Keep your DD away from that, as it can store up problems for later.
It sounds to me as though MIL is overdoing the spoiling somewhat. As if plying DD with food and sweets is her way of demonstrating love. I can understand why it annoys you when she won't listen and your DH doesn't take your opinion seriously.
I think that you could have a word, saying things like DD is a bit heavier than she should be, that the dentist is concerned about the amount of sugar she consumes, talk about the health angle of childhood obesity and dental problems. Maybe provide some leaflets for MIL to read so that she can see that these are real issues and not you 'getting at' her.
I think you should still go ahead with your plans for alternative childcare, because it isn't your responsibility to compensate for MIL having nothing else in her life. She can still see the DD's at other times.
Grandparents are supposed to be "a bit naughty" & treat their charges
Who says? I think its important to stick to the parents' rules!
My DD doesn't have an off switch with food. She is never full, she will just eat and eat
This worries me. Either your dd has a medical condition, which you haven't mentioned, or you are too interested in her food. I suspect that you have eating issues and you are being too controlling of your dd's eating. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with wanting your child to eat healthily - that has to be the right thing to do.
Your DH needs to man up and talk to his mum about not overfeeding the child and not giving her junk food. Perhaps, just in case, you could examine your own motives for watching dd's food intake so closely.
Grandparents are supposed to be "a bit naughty" & treat their charges Who says? I think its important to stick to the parents' rules!
Me too. i only 'treat' if I'm taking them out, or I might let them have a couple of chocolate fingers after lunch.
But even my treats are ok with their parents. I wouldn't feed them something if I'd been specifically told not to.
MIL is a feeder and is how she shows affection....
I can definitely identify with this. Our son can not have too much crap like fizzy drinks and sweets, it actually makes him ill. MIL thinks I'm being mean, will give him stuff behind my back then DS ends up ill
Only thing she'll listen to is "DS doctor said he's not to have too much sugar in his diet".
Would your MIL take notice of something like "when DD had a health/dental check doctor said how important it is to keep treat food to once a month treat"
OP, I think that your DH has to speak to his DM as they are his DCs as well as yours. You need to speak to him calmly and say that if he can't speak to her then you intend to. Perhaps this will spur him on. But I think very carefully about what outcome you intend to achieve before you do.
However, who would trust their DCs with total strangers instead of someone who absolutely loves them? Who is more likely to do them more harm? Your MIL or a nursery worker who is totally unrelated?
You need to weigh up the lesser of the two evils ( as you see them)
Your DD adores her GM after all.
Just of a matter of interest, in a recent TV programme that put McDonald's under the spotlight, it said that they sourced their meat and produce from the UK and were as healthily inclined as any other chain of fast food.
This post is a MIl/DIL relationship situation really. The post hasn't got the confidence to be congruent and assertive with her MIL and so therefore feels angry and helpless.
Also because it is a often difficult relationship, with BOTH sides having possible issues with jealousy, BOTH sides are sensitive to slights.
Other people such as friends, can get away with poor behaviour and maybe be forgiven.... But not when it comes to a MIL/DIL interaction.
The MIL is stupid and wrong parading her parenting differences in front of relatives and her DIL. Is she confident that others will approve of this ?
But on the other hand, your DH is still alive OP, and was brought up by his DM. What are his health and teeth like?
I would pick my battles carefully as you may well need your MIL in the future. Will she be looking after the two GC when you return to work?
The problem imo though is that OPs daughter can't/won't say no & GM is using that.
Most kids at 4 won't just eat what they are offered will they & perhaps Ops husband didn't?
Next time she starts talking like that, just say, "Now listen to me. This is affecting the way I feel towards you and pretty soon I'll be at the point where I won't let you take care of her. I want her to have a grandmother who will keep her safe and well, not one who's going to feed her absolute rubbish. If you can't do that, and it looks at the moment as though you can't, then you'll only be able to see her if I'm there, so that I can make sure she's fed properly." Leave the room then
aka letting her chew on it.
It's the bragging to your family about undermining you that's the problem.
My two are well grown, turned out wonderfully (if I say so myself) and my MiL did the same. The difference was that she didn't undermine me. If I was there and they asked her for more treats or if they wanted her to do something with them she always said 'ask your mother'.
There are two issues; junk food and undermining. As far as the junk food, your DDs will come to no harm from one day, as long as it doesn't make them ill and they stay within normal limits for weight. The undermining is another thing and needs to be nipped. I'd suggest you graciously grant 'permission' for the spoiling when she has them but at the same time let her know that when you are there, your word is law and she is not to countermand you.
"MiL, I don't have a problem with you 'spoiling' DD on Mondays when she's at your house and I'm not there, but I must ask that when I am around that you don't undermine me by <give a few examples here>. I think we can agree that's fair. If you don't feel you can work with me on this, I'll have to reconsider things. After all, I'm the mum and it's up to me to give my children guidelines. If you undermine me they'll come to believe that they don't have to listen to me".
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