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To be irritated that MIL gives men 2-3 times more food than women?

(154 Posts)
Ladyboluna Tue 10-May-16 09:03:42

Last week we went to MIL's for Sunday lunch. We had gammon and I made a big thing about saying its my favourite and how hungry I was. All the men (OH, BIL, FIL) got about 6-7 slices envy. While I and the women get 2 small slices (wouldn't cover a slice of bread). I even got a smaller portion of potatoes and veg. What really didn't help is that my FIL didn't even finish his! sad

When I went home I had to cook myself something to eat! I'm pregnant and they always make jokes about what my appetites been like recently wink (good-natured ones). My MIL and SIL hardly eat anything, so I wonder if its that, or an old-fashioned thing.

I know it isn't a big deal, and I have a great relationship with her, so it really isn't worth falling out about. But it happens every time I go round! Thoughts?

BlueJug Tue 10-May-16 09:05:25

Ask if you can have a bit more as it is so delicious?

PinkyOfPie Tue 10-May-16 09:05:28

This is why I always put food in bowls and on plates in the middle and people can help themselves. It would piss me off too

Oysterbabe Tue 10-May-16 09:05:44

That would piss me off. There are few things as disappointing as a tiny portion that doesn't fill you up.

situatedknowledge Tue 10-May-16 09:07:08

SIL does this, and makes a big deal about how the men need more food. DH and BIL both have desk jobs. SIL however has major, major issues around food and body image.

PixieMiss Tue 10-May-16 09:07:12

YANBU that would really piss me off, especially if I was pregnant.

I always cut the meat and put it on a large plate for people to choose themselves. Similar with the potatoes and vegetables - large dishes or a hot plate. Would your MIL be open to this style of serving?

ForeverLivingMyArse Tue 10-May-16 09:07:42

My mother does this, aided by my 39 year old sister! Last Christmas there were men portions for the men (my dad, and all the husband's - 4 sisters) and our lady sized ones. My dh almost fell of his chair laughing as I can put away more than him.

God knows where it comes from. My dad is like a human waste disposal system so that might have skewed my mum's view. Interestingly, my MIL, who has 3 sons, doesn't do this.

Ladyboluna Tue 10-May-16 09:26:25

I wonder if its because my MIL and SIL don't eat much or its the old-fashioned thing of men needing more food. When really everyone should know pregnant ladies need more than anyone! lol

To give an example when I go out to lunch with them my MIL and SIL will share a sandwich. hmm

I don't think she would serve food in big plates for everyone to help themselves. She likes to sort each person's plate and give them out. Each person will have a slight variation. My MIL and SIL are also very, very slim while I'm a size 16. So I wonder if that's what it is too.

MrsJayy Tue 10-May-16 10:31:27

A gnat has a bigger appetite than my mother tbf she has always had disordered eating not really her fault anyway she likes to feed the men a tonne of food i just say to her can i have a bit more it is frustrating though and not a healthy attitude to have

scarednoob Tue 10-May-16 10:32:24

MrsJayy Tue 10-May-16 10:34:48

Mum would have half a sandwhich more often than not she would just have a coffee so at least mil and sil eat something i guess

Stormtreader Tue 10-May-16 10:36:39

I would have asked your OH to share his huge portion between the two of you.

BarbarianMum Tue 10-May-16 10:36:53

What would happen if you asked for more? Why didn't you?

gotthemoononastick Tue 10-May-16 10:37:51

Oh dear poor OP.You should have pinched some of DH,s portion!

I am guilty of not being able to judge portion size , due to food' ishoos' as an ex-dancer, 'only eat what fits into your hand' .We were always cautioned to not stretch our ladylike girly stomachs,whilst boys and men stuffed themselves! Imagine how that will go down today!

Why did nobody have seconds? I would be sad if anyone left the table still hungry. Sending OP a virtual platter of Mumsnet Coke ham!!!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 10-May-16 10:38:32

Well they will be slim if they don't eat anything!

On dh's side of the family we have farming and manual workers historically where they did need to eat more and mil does do this a bit. However dh operates nothing more labour intensive than a laptop and iPhone so he doesn't need all that.

I hate it because there's never enough to eat generally at mil's and then people eat less because nobody wants to be seen to be greedy. So we all starve but the men get a bit more to start with.

I take snacks.

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Tue 10-May-16 10:40:13

You sat there and said nothing? Why? I would have asked for more or OH would have shared some of his massive portion with me. In a really obvious way that made it clear we both thought how ridiculous it was!

Arfarfanarf Tue 10-May-16 10:40:41

Before you go, tell your husband to make a HUGE show of putting some of his on your plate.

I hate it when people decide what food another adult is allowed to have. It's rude and it's judgemental and it's controlling. However, when you're a guest in someone's home it can be hard to say to someone oi, give me more food grin because it feels so rude. Although it's rude to give someone a crap portion. argh. splinters grin

So yes, I would take the cowards way out and make my husband say oh, you haven't got a lot, that wouldn't fill a mouse, here, have this...

BertrandRussell Tue 10-May-16 10:44:44

6/7 slices is pretty disgusting, though, isn't it? I loathe massive plates of food and tend not to serve them but there are always seconds - and thirds- freely available!!

AdrenalineFudge Tue 10-May-16 10:44:53

Considering the embarrassment I'd be inclined to get DH to say what Arf has said. It could be down to old values but equally some women have such problems with food and body image that all common sense is enormously skewed.

BestZebbie Tue 10-May-16 10:45:56

Maybe her appetite is genuinely less (especially if she is very slim, she won't need as much food to feel full) and she actually doesn't realise - but your FIL who lives with her has complained often enough about small portion size that she has made a mental exception for "men" rather than "everyone who isn't me"?
I am regularly in a situation where I eat a meal with a group of retired women and they always complain about the waste of food caused by giving them such huge portions and wonder if the portion sizes could be reduced - but I find it a pretty minimal-sized meal and often need an additional small snack to keep me going if that is my main meal for the day. I presume the difference is that they are all post-menopausal whereas I have a toddler to run around after.

Errata Tue 10-May-16 10:46:43

My mother is a bit like this. Admittedly she grew up in the 1940s in a very deprived household in a rural area where food was scarce and the male members of the family were farm labourers with a punishing physical job - but her mother fed 'the men' properly and then served herself and her daughters bread and the leftover vegetables (which were cabbage and potatoes, pretty much). The men got whatever meat was available. I can't feel that the lack of protein in her early diet is unrelated to the fact that she struggles badly now with osteoporosis in her 70s.

But yes, she thinks 'men need feeding', even if I point out that my father is now retired and fairly sedentary, and my brother and my DH have, like me, jobs that involve sitting at desks, not building drystone walls and scything hay.

There is of course also a very irritating type of woman who doesn't just have a small appetite (which would be perfectly normal, some people just have small appetites) but who sort of performs her small appetite and bangs on endlessly about eating like a sparrow and commenting on how much other women are eating in a fake-admiring way. 'Ooh, aren't you great, putting away all that lasagne all by yourself?'

Or there is the other irritating 'performing my small appetite' type, who shrieks 'Oh, enough! I couldn't eat another thing! I eat like a BIRD!' but who then makes up her portion to outsize by surreptitiously stealing other people's food.

AdrenalineFudge Tue 10-May-16 10:47:43

performance eaters! grin, I think I've heard it all now!

WorraLiberty Tue 10-May-16 10:50:45

She does sound as though she's old fashioned in her thinking, but it's not something I could get too worked up about as long as she fed me.

If you don't feel close/relaxed enough to ask her for a bigger portion, have a word with your DH and ask him to mention it.

I agree with Bertrand in that it's much better not to serve ridiculously huge amounts in the first place.

I would have put 3 or 4 slices on each plate and the rest of the meat in the middle of the table.

CheekyGit Tue 10-May-16 10:51:17

My DM was adorable and wonderful but she did this actually. Felt men needed more the difference was, you could easily ask for more or help yourself, I don't like any host "controlling" the food.

You should always feel comfortable to ask for more or help yourself esp if your pregnant, or your DH should have asked for you.

sue51 Tue 10-May-16 10:51:46

Just ask for more.

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