...to be furious with my mil about sweets?

(45 Posts)
redjumper Wed 13-Jul-16 19:58:11

I have a 3.5 yr old DS and a 1yo DD. Although I previously had a great relationship with my mil, it started going downhill when I fell pregnant with DS. I find her completely overbearing: she would come and stay with us, we coslept with DS, mil would just walk into our bedroom at 7am when she heard him stir despite the fact that I would be in bed naked feeding him. She always demands time alone with DS, insisting he goes to her for sleepovers. She buys him loads of toys, even though we specifically ask her not to as we don't want our kids swamped with things. She shows very little interest in DD but tells DS he is her reason for living (way too over the top for a 3yo!) Anyway, this is just background.

My problem now relates to her giving him sweet foods. We try and minimise how much sugar he eats and have asked her so many times not to give him cakes, sweets etc. It falls on deaf ears. At one point I called her and had a very sensitive conversation with her about how the dentist recommended no sweet foods and how it's hard to achieve that in this world and would she mind awfully helping me out with that. She did seem very on board with it. However soon after she started giving him little sweet treats again behind our back, which has now built up to giving him half a full size battenburg cake, a full pack of jelly babies, sweet yoghurts, a gingerbread man all in the space of one day at her house. He comes home completely wired and always ends up in trouble with us for being 'naughty' but it's not his fault he's on a sugar high! Now she has just started doing it in front of us. DH confronted her again about it and she got all sulky, talking about grandmas rights etc. I don't expect things to change now as we've had so many conversations about it. It feels like she is deliberately disrespecting our wishes and is deliberately pushing our boundaries in the same way a toddler would. I want to know my children are being given generally healthy foods when they're away from me (with the very occasional small treat) but it's just not happening. Also, she seems to have her own eating issues: she always denies she ever eats sweets and cakes but her cupboards are full of them and she has empty packets all over the place so she seems to be in denial about it. She is extremely obese and has loads of related health problems like diabetes etc. I fear that her food issues are impacting on my children Am I being unreasonable to consider stopping my DS staying over at her house alone?

OurBlanche Wed 13-Jul-16 20:00:14

Well, no, if only for the obvious favouritism. Both of your DCs will notice soon enough!

snorepatrol Wed 13-Jul-16 20:03:55

I actually thought you were going to be getting in a huff over half a pack of buttons but I'm shock shock shock
At that amount of sweet stuff in one day.

YANBU to stop unsupervised contact in this situation if she can't respect you as parents in front of your dc then she should be seeing them alone imo

And to treat your son and daughter differently is really out of order she's going to cause jealousy and bad feeling between then if she carries on like this.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 13-Jul-16 20:05:18

Not at all. It's not on to expressly go against your wishes, and there's no way that could be classed as "a little treat"

BackforGood Wed 13-Jul-16 20:05:40

If it matters that much to you, then don't let her look after him on her own. Of course that does mean losing a babysitter....

coconutpie Wed 13-Jul-16 20:09:51

I would cut out all unsupervised contact as she is blatantly disrespecting your choices which are the best for your DC's health - does she want your DC to become seriously overweight with that amount of junk food? She does not have his best interests at heart. You've given her many chances and she just does not listen. Time for her to deal with consequences. And there's no such thing as "grandma's rights". Having a relationship with your GC is not a right, it's a privilege.

BennyTheBall Wed 13-Jul-16 20:11:10

This would be a massive issue for me.

We never introduced sweets or juices to our children when they were little, but thankfully, both sets of grandparents were happy to follow our lead.

If she won't do as you ask, I would simply stop letting her have him to stay.

Pearlman Wed 13-Jul-16 20:14:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gladisgood Wed 13-Jul-16 20:15:56

That amount of sugar in one day for a child is ridiculous!

There is no way that I would leave my child with someone I could no longer trust. My Mil also pushed boundaries - until I snapped we said no more sole charge contact. She only sees DD now if DH or I are present.

"grandparent rights" ?? Pah! Parent rights trump those.

Heidi42 Wed 13-Jul-16 20:21:43

she sounds like she needs..... help I think she possibly thinks love is food .....food is love

WiMoChi Wed 13-Jul-16 20:25:10

MIL pandemic takes another victim 🙄

Don't allow her near your children unsupervised. Unless she can look you in the eye ( careful you don't turn to stone if this happens) when your DC are sat in dentist chair having their teeth extracted.

sorenipples Wed 13-Jul-16 20:26:01

Depending on how often this happens, this sounds like it could be not just a control issue with your MiL, but a health issue for your DC. For his sake you need to step up and intervene. Try and maintain a relationship with your MiL but ultimately DC comes first.

Before I get bashed, I am basing this on the huge amount of sugar she is describing a 3 year old eating in one day, not the occasional sweet treat.

redjumper Wed 13-Jul-16 20:28:19

Heidi you are spot on, we've thought that for a while. She is slowly killing herself with her own food issues. My DH has also tried to raise this but she has complete denial- going as far as not eating anything except tiny portions of salad when we're around. She has real psychological issues with food and I can't see her ever acknowledging a problem let alone seeking help. It's not my place to talk to her about that, she would see it as an attack, and in any case our relationship is not good. But DH has tried before to no avail. My priority here is that it doesn't harm my children.

Heidi42 Wed 13-Jul-16 20:53:42

She needs a weight loss programme and cognitive behaviour therapy . This is very sad for her, a lot of ppl use food for comfort and to cope with everyday life it's like a drug adiction , very sad but my advice OP is don't speak to her about it but in some way you need to look out for your ds without putting her back out . I am so sorry OP bc she obviously worships him and no one wants to be cruel to her despite her behaving very badly .

redjumper Wed 13-Jul-16 21:04:08

Exactly! I do want DS and mil to have a good relationship, it's good for DS and everyone. And one day I will probably be a mil myself so I often remind myself I need to be compassionate to her. And, though it's sad to say, she won't be around forever so we should cherish what we have. It would also be much easier for my poor DH if we could all get on well. He's really in a difficult position as he dotes on her. But I really feel she behaves unreasonably and I don't know of any other options other than restricting unsupervised contact. Either that or try and ignore it but it drives me insane and I do worry about the impact on DSs health

Heidi42 Wed 13-Jul-16 21:46:04

Yes I would worry for your ds health as well. I don't know what you can do except make it clear to him that the way his nan eats is not normal. Which he will know from your eating behaviour which thankfully will be his norm aw bless him and you flowers

HarryPottersMagicWand Wed 13-Jul-16 21:46:18

This sort of relationship isn't good for your DS though, or your DD who will notice she isn't grandma's favourite. Your MIL is doing her best to make your DS as unhealthy as she is. Given she won't see she has a problem with food means she won't stop. Plus she has already shown that she can't be trusted to respect your wishes. I'd say supervised contact only.

bumsexatthebingo Wed 13-Jul-16 21:48:05

Is she giving him these things while she's looking after him? If so why are you still having her mind him when you know thus is happening? If she is giving him these treats at your house why are you letting her?

FuriousFate Wed 13-Jul-16 21:49:29

I wouldn't let her see him. Sounds harsh but she's transferring her issues onto him and feeding him such an unhealthy diet is borderline abusive.

LastGirlOnTheLeft Wed 13-Jul-16 21:53:49

You're worried about the sweets your precious son gets when she treats your daughter like a second class citizen? Yet you seem not at all bothered about that??

VinoTime Wed 13-Jul-16 22:17:47

...which has now built up to giving him half a full size battenburg cake, a full pack of jelly babies, sweet yoghurts, a gingerbread man all in the space of one day at her house.

Is she trying to give your 3yo diabetes?! What the hell! shock

Sorry, OP. I think you definitely need to stop unsupervised contact time. MIL sounds like she has some serious issues with food and hell would freeze over before I ever allowed an adult to pass those onto my child.

I really, really snapped at my mum (who is wonderful and I love her with my whole heart) a few weeks back because my perfectly proportioned, slim 9yo DD seems to be developing quite quickly (boobs). She's waiting on a growth spurt atm because she's eating like a horse and she's got the tiniest little Buddha belly on her. This has always been the case for DD anytime she takes a stretch - she'll sprout and her little round tummy will disappear. My mum took my daughter's sudden boob and belly growth to mean she was maybe "getting a bit fat" and I needed to cut back her eating. I fucking flipped. My mum has food issues and has struggled with her weight all her adult life. I made it crystal clear that I would not allow her to project her own fears onto my innocent DD and give her a complex - that contact would stop before I ever allowed that to happen. She was very contrite and apologetic, but one comment like that to DD could potentially really harm her healthy relationship with food. And I'm just not having it. She's a bloody child, ffs.

Stand firm and make sure DH is on side with you, OP. A small treat is one thing - half the baking/confectionery aisles in Tesco is quite another.

redjumper Wed 13-Jul-16 22:48:56

I've been thinking about your comment because you have made a really good point. I said 'she shows very little interest in DD' which was just a sweeping statement really. I actually think her relationship with DD is quite normal, she shows a normal level of interest in her. It's quite similar to how their other grandparents treat them. The problem is she is quite obsessional about DS and is obsessional about giving him gifts, sweets and having alone time with him. So, although there's a difference in how she treats them it'd be even worse if she treated DD in the same obsessional way. I think that's why I wouldn't like this to become another thing we raise with her, in case she gets all weird with her too. Instead I just want her to treat DS in a more normal way.

redjumper Thu 14-Jul-16 06:31:09

My comment above was a reply to the comment:
You're worried about the sweets your precious son gets when she treats your daughter like a second class citizen? Yet you seem not at all bothered about that??

KoalaDownUnder Thu 14-Jul-16 06:59:16

Yeah, none of that is healthy - physically or psychologically.

I think your husband needs to have a serious come-to-Jesus talk with her. Enough of the diplomatic approach!

Whiteplate1 Thu 14-Jul-16 08:26:04

Is she trying to give your 3yo diabetes?! What the hell!

Will this misconception ever go away? That diabetes is because of excessive sugar intake hmm

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