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To find this is very insulting

(80 Posts)
sweetdreams30 Tue 26-Mar-19 17:38:53

I invited my mum to our house for Mother's Day as well as DHs mum.My mum said she'll come but doesn't want dinner even thought she will be here. This is a common pattern every time she comes out she never eats anything I cook. If she stays overnight she'll just have a bowl of cereal and if I make a fry/eggs she won't touch it or else she tells me to sit down and cooks it herself. The last time she was out I was after cooking a roast chicken and she didn't want that yet the next time I went to have lunch in hers she made a roast chicken. As far as I know I haven't poisoned anyone yet and we have people over for dinner a lot plus I've 3 kids. AIBU to find this insulting? If I was cooking steak I'd always ask how someone would like it cooked and if someone left something on the plate they didn't like it wouldn't bother me.

Neverender Tue 26-Mar-19 17:39:53

Have you asked her why?

Ragwort Tue 26-Mar-19 17:41:41

Sounds very odd. Does she eat food other people cook or is it just your cooking?

Can you say something like ‘I know you won’t want to join us for lunch so can you come round at x o’clock and join us for a coffee?’.

Does she just sit at the table and watch you all eat? confused.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Tue 26-Mar-19 17:43:15

I think you need to ask her straight what the problem is, but make it clear it’s either what you cook or nothing and if she refuses to eat that makes everyone feel awkaward so best she doesn’t come.

MolyHolyGuacamole Tue 26-Mar-19 17:44:15

Sounds like she has OCD, surrounding food that needs to be cooked. She probably only eats the food if she cooks it herself.

Singlenotsingle Tue 26-Mar-19 17:44:26

If she doesn't want it, all the more for those that do! grin

LaviniaTheLemur Tue 26-Mar-19 17:44:41

It isn’t necessarily insulting... it depends why. Maybe she doesn’t want to feel like a burden, expecting you to cook for her etc?

I’m not a very good cook and I actually wouldn’t find it insulting if someone said they’d rather a take out or something, but that’s because I’m genuinely not a very good cook.

sweetdreams30 Tue 26-Mar-19 17:47:31

@MolyHolyGuacamole I think you nailed it on the head there with her wanting to cook the food herself. Sometimes she has no choice but to have dinner at a relatives house and i always hear all about it in a negative way.

sweetdreams30 Tue 26-Mar-19 17:48:31

But then she eats in restaurants and takeaways...

BlueJava Tue 26-Mar-19 17:49:59

But stuff for dinner - invite her to cook it - sit back, relax smile

SalemShadow Tue 26-Mar-19 17:55:42

Not being rude to you but is it possible she thinks your house isn't clean? I know people like this.

justmyview Tue 26-Mar-19 17:59:15

It might be insulting, or perhaps she has some anxiety around food? It does sound odd. Have you asked her what the issue is?

sweetdreams30 Tue 26-Mar-19 18:01:29

I don't think so I'm at home most of them time and dc have a playroom. I Hoover and mop once a day. I've very little clutter.

sweetdreams30 Tue 26-Mar-19 18:06:25

I haven't asked her, she's not easy to talk to about anything as she takes everything like it's a personal attack towards her. I generally keep conversation light

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Tue 26-Mar-19 18:09:38

Then I don’t think we can really help you - I don’t mean that meanly but if you won’t or can’t ask her then her intentions remain unknowable, and you just put up with it or stop inviting her.

warriorprincessandwidowed Tue 26-Mar-19 18:20:25

Is she an Irish mammy?

shivbo2014 Tue 26-Mar-19 18:20:29

I have issues eating at peoples houses. I will only ever eat in my own house.

I am not 100% sure but I think it started when I was really young and my mums friend bought me to a really dirty house where I was offered milk that had curdled and old bread. I then got nits a few days later and was terrified and must have thought it was from there.

I will eat in restaurants though although I can be fussy. Maybe she has silmilar issues around food?

sweeneytoddsrazor Tue 26-Mar-19 18:28:24

My MiL will only eat food she has cooked or restaurant food.On the odd occasion she visits us (4 hr drive) they stay for an hour amd then stop in a Little -theif- Chef on the way home.

INoahGuy Tue 26-Mar-19 18:31:51

My DM is like this. It can be embarrassing when she goes to people’s houses as she won’t even have a cup of tea made by someone else. We just leave her to it.

Burlea Tue 26-Mar-19 18:34:00

I've been married nearly 40 years and MIL has never had a cup of tea at my house or even use the loo.
In fact when she came to babysit she brought her own cup, flask, sugar and milk plus a plate and a Tupperware box with a sandwich and cake inside.
I never let it bother me it wasn't worth it.

ImposterSyndrome101 Wed 27-Mar-19 04:10:00

My mam doesn't LIKE food other people have cooked for her, but she'll eat it because they've made the effort and she'll compliment or thank them for it. It's an anxiety thing with her. Shes a fantastic cook but worries she'll accidentally poison someone. Occasionally I or a sibling will cook something and leave it on the side and she'll taste it and like it and ask if she can have it but I think when someone cooks for her she is anxious about them watching for her response and feeling like they're watching her eat. If there are otherwise no issues I'd not take it personally, people are weird.

PregnantSea Wed 27-Mar-19 04:15:13

If you think she's doing it to be insulting then I'd just completely ignore it. Don't pander to it. Always assume that she will eat what everyone else is having but then when she says no thanks just say ok in a light and breezy way. If your DC ever say "why isn't grandma eating" just say, "I don't know darling, you'll have to ask her".

SteppinOutwithMyBaby Wed 27-Mar-19 04:23:41

I can remember a rather bizarre incident when I was a young child. The whole extended family on my mum's side were away for a few days. One of my aunts forgot to bring her own knife and fork with her, and refused to used any of the provided cutlery, even if it was boiled for 15 minutes. Instead, she ate with a can opener that she had for some reason brought from home.

As I got older, I became more aware of her doing other odd things.

MrsEricBana Wed 27-Mar-19 04:37:05

I have a friend like this. It's a control thing. She even takes her own special tea to coffee mornings. It's not you. I'd just invite her to the non-meal elements of events.

Bleary3000 Wed 27-Mar-19 04:48:06

My mum is like this, not QUITE as extreme, but i can sense a level of distaste over my food and she will try to avoid eating my cooking if possible, by offering to bring food or buy takeaways instead etc. Among friends, i have a reputation as an excellent cook! I cook every day from scratch! sorry everyone

I think it's because she can't see me as anything other than that grubby 6yr old grin

KC225 Wed 27-Mar-19 05:35:45

My mum was weird about food. Growing up we never ate out or take always because 'you never know if they washed their hands'.

Mum was an excellent cook but she never taught me. 'You either have it or you don't'. I got into cooking in my mid to late 20s - but was never encouraged by my mother. She would push my food around her plate and say something like 'I've tried it but I can't'. My DH also loves to cook and she will praise his food to the highest. Once I told her DH had cooked something and she said it was great. At the end of the meal he told her I had cooked it and she said she knew because it wasn't up to his usual standard but didn't want to hurt his feelings.

Eventually, I stopped inviting to her to lunch or dinner it became so strained. It was such a shame that she chose to raise the drawbridge on what have been a bonding thing between us. She was also one of those women who refused to share recipes, so the childhood dishes from her own country have gone now because now she is in her 80s with dementia.

OneStepSideways Wed 27-Mar-19 05:43:36

I have issues eating food cooked by others, unless they are fastidious about food hygiene. Lots of people are blasé about use by dates, safe storage, hand washing, have pets in the kitchen, don't use a meat thermometer or don't tie up their hair when cooking. I had food poisoning after eating undercooked chicken at a friend's house! It looked fine until I found a random bit that was slimy in the middle!

Just let your mum cook or eat out, restaurants undergo rigorous safety checks

fleshmarketclose Wed 27-Mar-19 05:56:53

I can't eat food made by other people either. I'd rather starve than eat, even a sandwich, that my family have made. I've always been the same tbh from being a teenager. Suspect it's down to losing dm (very traumatic) as a teen and me taking over the cooking. Thankfully my family accept it as one of my foibles and don't feel offended when I decline offers of food and are more than happy to eat here instead.

floribunda18 Wed 27-Mar-19 06:09:26

My DF is weird about food. Let her sort herself out, that's what my DF does if his self-imposed restricted diet can't be accommodated.

cantfindname Wed 27-Mar-19 06:15:18

I am sort of the same as your Mum though I manage to control it and be polite. My daughter is a wonderful cook (she should be.. I taught her smile ) but I find it very hard to eat her food. I have absolutely no idea why. I am also 'funny' about restaurants and takeaways. I always eat whatever I am given and praise it, I couldn't be so insulting as to refuse or to leave it; but I do understand her.

I have no reason and no excuses. It's just how it is. Food is a minefield in a myriad of ways for many people... invite her after the meal or ask her to bring her own food if she prefers. Deep down I bet she feels awful about it.

PigOnStilts Wed 27-Mar-19 06:16:23

My ex had a mother like this. To make things worse, she also brought her own cutlery and plates and little crappy bits of food like crisps and scotch eggs. I thought she had an eating disorder or control issues....years into the relationship I found out his sister had been hospitalised a few times for anorexia.

GuineaPiglet345 Wed 27-Mar-19 06:52:25

I’m a bit like this sometimes, if I’m already feeling anxious about something else, I’ve got a very sensitive stomach and I worry about gettting food poisoning. It’s especially bad if I don’t think the persons house is clean, if they’ve got pets or if they wash their dishes by hand.

Some people think their houses are really clean, but actually you don’t always notice the dirt when it builds up every day. I’ve got a friend who tells me she spends hours cleaning everyday, but there’s always a lot of dust in her kitchen and the cupboard doors are sticky.

picklemepopcorn Wed 27-Mar-19 06:54:08

I've had to stop reading this thread- I could get obsessive like this if I thought too much!

TapasForTwo Wed 27-Mar-19 07:03:51

Just don't invite her for a meal then. She can come after lunch instead. TBH she sounds very difficult if you feel that you can't even ask her why she won't eat at your house. I like the idea from a pp that you get one of your children to ask her why.

JessieMcJessie Wed 27-Mar-19 07:18:58

Has she been like this since you left home, or is it a recent thing? I’m thinking dementia possibly?

Livpool Wed 27-Mar-19 07:22:45

My own DM is like this - although she does eat food I cook but not my aunt's or brother's. I think it a cleanliness thing - so I suppose I should be happy she is willing to eat my food.

Just say it makes you feel bad, if it does

Anique105 Wed 27-Mar-19 07:23:05

Sounds like if she eats at yours and it tastes good, then she it's as if you have won. Sounds like a relative. Very competitive and something stupid as this means that she isn't the one oohed and aahd over. The reason she eats at restaurants perfectly fine is that there isnt any competition there.

windysowindy Wed 27-Mar-19 07:26:02

My mum does this
She has always been very proud of her cooking ( she is very good) and struggles to try mine, I think it is a power thing

Armadillostoes Wed 27-Mar-19 07:29:54

I fully understand why you would find these hurtful OP. If 5he cause is some form of anxiety your MIL should be kind and explain. Anxiety and other mental health issues are not a Carte Blanche to trample on other people's feelings. If course she has a right not to explain it she she wishes, but that would be a selfish choice when she is causing upset.

Springwalk Wed 27-Mar-19 07:37:34

I would stop inviting her for dinner, and save yourself the hassle. Ask her to pop in for drinks or coffee, put some crisps in a bowl. Job done.

I do think it is rude and insulting, but I would not take it personally. Simply adjust your behaviour accordingly.
See her for an hour, and then you and your family go to your most favourite restaurant and she can go home.

Don’t make it into a big deal op. It makes her visits very easy for you going forward.

Mememeplease Wed 27-Mar-19 07:39:42

I would take the attitude it's not you, it's her. You can't change her so you need to change your own attitude and let it wash over you and not bother you. It's anxiety or control of some sort.

JessieMcJessie Wed 27-Mar-19 07:41:42

It’s her Mum not her MIL who does this Armadillo.

longwayoff Wed 27-Mar-19 07:58:39

Leave her alone, stop offering. She's obviously got an issue of some kind that may well sound irrational if explained. Stop taking it personally.

diddl Wed 27-Mar-19 08:01:03

"she knew because it wasn't up to his usual standard but didn't want to hurt his feelings."

Well that doesn't even make sense because if she knew that he hadn't cooked it, how would it be hurting his feelings??

I agree for your mum to not be there for the meal, Op if she makes others feel awkward.

longwayoff Wed 27-Mar-19 08:04:33

I've a friend who would never eat at her relatives homes although she will cross her fingers and eat in restaurants. Nobody meets her standards and I never invite her to my house as I know it would make her uncomfortable. It's a bit OCD but no point in taking it personally.

kingfisherblue33 Wed 27-Mar-19 08:06:20

You need to ask her. She's making it all about her and being weird.
Does she have an ED?
Is she attention seeking?
What's she like the rest of the time?
Will she just sit there while everyone else eats??

CherryPavlova Wed 27-Mar-19 08:10:09

It’s just plain rude. Sounds like she needs to be in charge and can’t accept you as a competent adult as that leaves her without a role. Have you talked to her about how this makes you feel?

bringincrazyback Wed 27-Mar-19 08:13:54

My mam doesn't LIKE food other people have cooked for her, but she'll eat it because they've made the effort and she'll compliment or thank them for it. It's an anxiety thing with her. Shes a fantastic cook but worries she'll accidentally poison someone. Occasionally I or a sibling will cook something and leave it on the side and she'll taste it and like it and ask if she can have it but I think when someone cooks for her she is anxious about them watching for her response and feeling like they're watching her eat.

Actually I can relate to quite a bit of this myself. Food is an anxiety trigger for some people, including me.

Vulpine Wed 27-Mar-19 08:17:19

Blimey I'll eat pretty much anything put in front of me made by anyone.

ReanimatedSGB Wed 27-Mar-19 08:35:00

She's either got some sort of phobia about other people's kitchens (I can see that a person with this phobia would be OK about eating in a commercial food place because they are licenced and inspected and all that) or she's an attention-seeking, spiteful twat. You know her, OP, which explanation do you think is more likely?

Bluerussian Wed 27-Mar-19 08:37:07

Some people are just like that, they don't mean to be insulting but it wouldn't hurt to mention to her that you find it hurtful and to ask her why.

I had a cousin who would only eat what she cooked herself; her eldest moved away to the Scottish borders and when she went to visit she'd go to the shop every day and buy her own food! Odd.

Armadillostoes Wed 27-Mar-19 08:40:13

Thanks Jessie. That doesn't really change anything whatsoever though!

bumblingbovine49 Wed 27-Mar-19 08:51:59

Blimey you really do.learn something new every day on here. I can understand not wanting to eat.i someone's house if it is really filthy but refusing to eat anything anyone else had cooked ever is a new one on me.

You live and learn

JessieMcJessie Wed 27-Mar-19 08:52:41

You can usually be a bit more direct with your own Mum though, and you’d know a lot more about her background and historic behaviour to perhaps get to the root of the issue. Plus whether she’s always been like this.

FuriousCheekyFucker Wed 27-Mar-19 08:53:45

When I divorced and had the kids at my DD and DSM I cooked everything for me and the kids; my DSM is an awful cook and her idea of a nutritious meal would be turkey twizzlers and microchips, or an undercooked frozen pizza.

It just wasn't worth the hassle of "insulting" her by not eating what she had prepared, and the lengths I had to go to that meant we missed her meals, or had already eaten were ridiculous.

We both meant well, both wanted the best for the kids, I didn't have much money, but I wish I had had a big chat about it rather than try and hide it all for fear of offending someone.

It might have made it worse though, they were massively kind in helping me get back on my feet and having somewhere to put a roof over the kids heads and a kitchen to cook in, so on balance I would probably do it again.

goingtotown Wed 27-Mar-19 08:53:58

sweeny I thought that Little Chef had closed its doors.

Shinyletsbebadguys Wed 27-Mar-19 09:00:32

My dmum is like this ...shes not quite so overt but rarely will she eats something I've made when I was in contact...for her it's about control and food issues and honestly over the years I've got so fed up if her somewhat prissy attitude to other people and her belief she is constantly right I simply don't bother anymore

We aren't in enough contact in order for it to come up now but beforehand I literally just gave up and didn't offer her anything....she was welcome to make herself tea and coffee (because when I made it she would pull a face and in a strained way say thanks and then leave it ) and after a whole she asked why I doubt offer her food and I told her

She did a bit of poor me that she was so terribly distressed she upset me but frankly I shrugged and said I didn't really care but I wasn't going to bother anymore...for a while it suited both of us

If be inclined to stop bothering offering or making tea...let her sort her own stuff out

Armadillostoes Wed 27-Mar-19 09:22:24

Jessica-I meant that it has no relevance to my fundamental point, rather than the situation in general. Someone who has anxiety or other issues which make eating food offered by a family member could avoid a lot of upset by just explaining this, as opposed to causing hurt and upset by saying nothing and refusing the food.

FullOfJellyBeans Wed 27-Mar-19 09:24:20

I know someone who has anxiety about eating in other people's homes. It doesn't bother me because she was upfront and made it clear it was her issue and not a reflection on me.

JessieMcJessie Wed 27-Mar-19 09:55:15

Agreed armadillo. So many issues in threads like this seem to arise out of people not talking to each other!

shumway Wed 27-Mar-19 09:58:54

My mum won't eat at my sister's because of the state of her kitchen - cat's litter box in there and washing up left for days.

longwayoff Thu 28-Mar-19 11:40:05

Come to think of it, my daughter won't eat at my house, she's vegetarian, I'm not. I'm so used to it it hadn't even occurred to me that we could make it into a big deal between us.

TapasForTwo Thu 28-Mar-19 12:02:10

longwayoff my daughter is vegetarian, so I cook vegetarian food for her. It isn't difficult. Surely you don't eat meat at every meal?

Vulpine Thu 28-Mar-19 12:10:57

It is pretty rude to refuse to eat meals at other people's houses. Just be polite and eat a bit at least

longwayoff Thu 28-Mar-19 21:03:13

Hi tapas, I'd be perfectly happy to cook for her and rarely eat meat myself but, as may be the case with OPs mother, it wouldn't be sufficient. She doesn't cook or eat or touch meat products. She's a bit obsessive about it. My pots and plates etc., Simply wouldn't do unless she'd scrubbed them all herself as she knows they may have been touched by meat or fish. So, easier for all of she cooks for herself. It's not a big deal.

Langrish Thu 28-Mar-19 21:07:42

First thought was is she trying to lose weight? Or, not knowing how old she is, metabolism slows right down as you get older. My mum eats like a little bird but loves cooking for other people and is perfectly healthy.
Personally, unless you think she’s ill, I wouldn’t worry about it.

whyhello2 Thu 28-Mar-19 21:15:16

I'm very similar, don't let anyone including my husband make eggs or chicken for me. If he makes chickens dish I tend to leave the chicken.

TapasForTwo Thu 28-Mar-19 23:11:05

Why whyhello2?

longwayoff it sounds like your daughter is just being difficult. Most of our stuff goes through the dishwasher, and DD knows that I am meticulous with utensils if I am cooking both meat and veggie dishes. When she goes away there is a lot less washing up and more fridge space grin

whyhello2 Fri 29-Mar-19 06:54:49

Honestly don't know, I always remove bits from my eggs and cut waste a lot of the chicken I don't like the look of. I think it's because my husband etc doesn't do this 😏

JessieMcJessie Fri 29-Mar-19 08:46:13

What bits do you remove from the eggs WhyHello2? confused

whyhello2 Fri 29-Mar-19 08:57:51

White, brown bits? Not shocked you haven't noticed any in your eggs 🤔confused

whyhello2 Fri 29-Mar-19 08:58:11


JessieMcJessie Fri 29-Mar-19 09:06:14

In the uncooked white, or brown crispy bits from frying?

I might have seen a microscopic brown fleck in uncooked white before, never gave a second thought to removing it. You’d end up losing half the white as you tried. Eggs are natural products, they’re not supposed to be perfect.

whyhello2 Fri 29-Mar-19 10:13:35

I manage quite fine 👍🏻

ClaraTheClown Fri 29-Mar-19 11:05:49

I do think chicken and eggs do make quite a lot of people squeamish tbh. My dh HATES them and won’t go near them. My friend will eat them but is really strange about them. If I cook eggs for her she will often ask if she or I could cook them a bit longer etc. She went through a (slightly weird and hilarious) phase of believing that snacking on hard boiled eggs was THE key to being slim 🙄. So she forced herself to eat them but she really felt ill doing so and wouldn’t even talk about eggs while she was doing it. She is very funny and actually incredibly bright, but sometimes takes odd notions.

longwayoff Fri 29-Mar-19 11:42:12

Tapas my daughter is 47 years old and perfectly capable of making her own decisions. She is not being difficult because, as stated, it isn't an issue for either of us. As I have explained, it isn't a wholly rational thing. I'm sure you are meticulous but she wouldn't eat at your house either. Thank you for your interest.

Vulpine Fri 29-Mar-19 12:05:29

That would really annoy me

bringincrazyback Fri 29-Mar-19 16:48:48

Really loving some of the sympathetic and understanding views being aired towards possible mental health issues on this thread. Not. hmm

TapasForTwo Fri 29-Mar-19 22:45:34

bringincrazyback I think the problem is that some food issues are caused by mental health issues, but most aren't. It is getting to the point that some people are misusing or overusing mental health issues as an excuse for rude behaviour.

longwayoff Sat 30-Mar-19 08:50:48

Tapas surely you've got something better to do on a beautiful Saturday morning in Spring? If you think your last post wasn't 'rude' and insulting to many then I suggest a quick brush up on manners.

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