I am not a personal chef!

(374 Posts)
prettymushrooms Wed 23-Jun-21 15:22:40

Back story
I WFH i am the main cook and I do the shopping.
DH self employed works very very long hours - sometimes depending on how big the job won't get home until 10pm.

There is no set arrangement when DSS will come to us, as he's old enough now to make his own arrangements he will just ring up last minute "Im on my way home" and that's the only notice we get. Sometimes if I'm lucky I'll get 24 hours notice. We can't refuse him because his mum sometimes doesn't come home at night, (don't ask - whole other thread needed for that!) so DH isn't happy with him being in the house on his own overnight as he gets scared very easily.

Because of this casual arrangement I have no idea how many people i'm cooking for, DSS has a large appetite so not like I can just give him a bit of mine and a bit of DH's - he would need a big portion. It isn't always things that can be frozen either and I'm reluctant to keep making extra portions on the off chance DSS will want to eat.

He also has allergies (not life threatening, just makes him itchy) so when he does come here if i haven't cooked something he isn't allergic to I then have to cook a whole different meal for him

Sometimes hes already had food when he comes here and isn't hungry, other times hes had food and still wants more when he gets to us, other times he hasn't had anything and I won't know until the last minute - we have our evening meal around 8pm on the nights that DH gets home at a reasonable hour so if DSS eats at 5pm after school he will want another meal at 8pm or depending how big the meal was he might not want much just something small.

DSS cannot cook for himself and in any case our kitchen is really really tiny so 2 people in the kitchen cooking at the same time would not work so it's always left up to me to sort. If he is at his mums he just orders takeway.

Three nights ago he had told us the day before he was coming to us and would be having food with us - great - i can then plan.
So i cooked enough for all three of us, ensured it wasn't anything DSS was allergic to, then he rocked up as i was plating up and casually said oh yeah i'm not hungry I had KFC with my mates half an hour ago...

DH doesn't think its a big deal and just says its fine, ill just eat his portion but its really not the point IMO! I think it's really disrespectful towards me as I'm the one worrying about what to buy, what to cook, having something quick in the freezer that i can just throw in the oven if he turns up.
DH doesn't worry because he doesn't have to plan, cook, go shopping and thinks i'm massively over reacting about something so petty.

AIBU to insist either he eats with us or he eats at his mums and to let me know which one within plenty of time??
He's a very sensitive soul so bringing this up usually leads to floods of tears that its not his fault he was hungry so he already ate etc - of course i'm not saying he shouldn't eat if he's hungry but to at least let me know??

OP’s posts: |
KikiniBamalam Wed 23-Jun-21 15:26:17

Hmm, it’s a tough one but you do need to suck it up a bit. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill here. Go with the flow, don’t be the one who complains about cooking at the last minute, make him feel welcome, it must be hard enough for him as it is. Will this matter in a year? Five? Ten? No, it won’t, so be nice, be kind and just be accommodating.

Chloemol Wed 23-Jun-21 15:29:13

Personally I would ask him to give more notice, but I would also batch cook and freeze. Then if he appears that’s what he gets if yo7 haven5 has notice

Greenrubber Wed 23-Jun-21 15:31:51

Why don't you have a meal in the freezer as like a standby that you know he likes? So if he comes you always have something ready and you don't need to worry about anything

MagnoliaBeige Wed 23-Jun-21 15:33:06

How old is he? I think it’s quite disrespectful if he’s told you that he’s eating with you then eats elsewhere beforehand without letting you know.

I’d just freeze down extra portions of meals you’re cooking anyway and have a small stash of them ready to use when he turns up. Or offer him simple meals such as beans on toast, scrambled eggs etc that don’t require a lot of work.

FuckyouCovid21 Wed 23-Jun-21 15:33:07

How old is he?

BruceAndNosh Wed 23-Jun-21 15:33:22

Why can't DSS cook for himself? (apart from tiny kitchen)
How old is he?

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Notimeforaname Wed 23-Jun-21 15:33:49

So just have a few handy frozen pizzas/quick things in every week. He's a child. And as you say his mother is often out. I feel sad for him. I wouldn't make it a big deal. Some frozen easy meals with the shop every week. For the days he doesn't come for dinner that you make. And on the days you make a portion for him that he doesn't want,freeze it for a later date.

Taliskerskye Wed 23-Jun-21 15:33:59

How old is he. I mean the KFC thing sounds standard teenager

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 23-Jun-21 15:34:32

How old is he?

Either stop cooking for him, his dad will quickly learn how to manage, yes he works long hours but he’s also a parent and he’d have to cope if you weren’t around making his life easier, or buy ready meals or freezer stuff DSS can tolerate and he can have one of those instead of whatever you’re doing fresh for yourself.

Of course DH doesn’t think it’s a big deal. It’s not inconveniencing him at all and he won’t care until it does. I’d have put up with this for no more than a week before drawing a hard line and pointing out I’m no one’s bloody skivvy and they’re both taking the piss.

Floods of tears? Tough luck. Next time he’s chucks KFC on the table when you’ve made loads of effort how about you burst into floods of tears. Utterly ridiculous.

Tell DH tonight, calmly but firmly, that you’ve been thinking about how it’s all (not) working and from now on DH is responsible for feeding his child - ready meals, or he can batch cook, or he can keep a stash of packet noodles, his choice, but you’re done. It’s not a rejection of his son, it’s a rejection, not before time, of the total disregard for your time, energy and effort they’re both showing.

Again, he may be busy but he’s a parent first and providing suitable food for his child is his job.

prettymushrooms Wed 23-Jun-21 15:34:58

KikiniBamalam

Hmm, it’s a tough one but you do need to suck it up a bit. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill here. Go with the flow, don’t be the one who complains about cooking at the last minute, make him feel welcome, it must be hard enough for him as it is. Will this matter in a year? Five? Ten? No, it won’t, so be nice, be kind and just be accommodating.

I literally tip toe around him to make him feel welcome in every other aspect when he's here, i buy him his favourite snacks, his favourite drinks, anytime he needs something I'm always the one that orders it for him, i do bend over backwards for him and i just feel he could do one thing in return

I don't make a big fuss when he gets here i say nothing and have brought it up "gently" with him to ask if he could possibly give me more notice its not like i shout at him or get arsey.

OP’s posts: |
FuckyouCovid21 Wed 23-Jun-21 15:35:06

Taliskerskye

How old is he. I mean the KFC thing sounds standard teenager

I thought this but the floods of tears thing and not liking to be in a house on his own strikes me as someone younger

Notimeforaname Wed 23-Jun-21 15:35:08

Have just seen you make some things that cant be frozen. If your husband wants to eat it I see no problem. Its not going to waste.

30degreesandmeltinghere Wed 23-Jun-21 15:35:30

Stash of pizzas. Surely he can use an oven?

prettymushrooms Wed 23-Jun-21 15:36:52

sorry i thought i'd mentioned that, he's 15 so not a little kid! he can't cook because he doesn't know how I have tried involving him in cooking before but he's not interested he'd rather go watch TV

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Wed 23-Jun-21 15:37:17

KikiniBamalam

Hmm, it’s a tough one but you do need to suck it up a bit. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill here. Go with the flow, don’t be the one who complains about cooking at the last minute, make him feel welcome, it must be hard enough for him as it is. Will this matter in a year? Five? Ten? No, it won’t, so be nice, be kind and just be accommodating.

Don’t be ridiculous. It’s not her job to pander to the labour of planning or complicated dietary requests. He’s not her child.

His dad can “go with flow”.

And as for “be kind” hmm

Neither the DH or DSS are being kind to OP.

You don’t need a vagina to be kind, or to sort meals.

Wilkolampshade Wed 23-Jun-21 15:37:18

Op's have it!
While I totally DON'T think you should just 'suck it up' as someone suggests, surely just get a selection of pizza/oven chip type meals in the freezer? Not as nice as cooked from scratch but will do in short order.
Mine are 19 and 21 now so we rarely get nice organised meals. They know to be in plenty of time if they want to eat with us, otherwise toast and hummus or something from the freezer.

MaBroon21 Wed 23-Jun-21 15:37:19

I wouldn’t ask for more notice. I’d just eat the leftover meal the next day and keep things in the freezer for him to have on days when he just turns up.

Life is like this with youngsters. It’s par for the course. And if you don’t want to sort out his meals just tell him to put something in the oven himself. Say something like - oh there’s ready meals for you in the freezer, go and choose which one you’d like.

This really isn’t thr hill for you to die on.

Notimeforaname Wed 23-Jun-21 15:38:14

Then you don't feed him . Leave frozen pizza there tell him to ask you to show him how to put the oven on if/when he's hungry. Or direct him to his father if he's home.

prettymushrooms Wed 23-Jun-21 15:38:45

30degreesandmeltinghere

Stash of pizzas. Surely he can use an oven?

nope, he honestly does not know how to use an oven

OP’s posts: |
HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Wed 23-Jun-21 15:39:07

Agree with just about everyone else - just get a stash of stuff he does eat (either batch cook or a load of pizzas) and bung them in the oven. That way if he turns up at short notice, there's always something there he can have. I really can't see it being a problem.

dancinfeet Wed 23-Jun-21 15:39:19

Why not have a few standby quick meals / ready meals / frozen pizza to throw in if there isnt enough for him too and he didnt let you know he was eating with you? I would have the rule- if you let stepmum know that you are eating with us, then stick to it, no change of plans/fast food/wasting the cooked meal. No notification, then you get whatever falls out of the freezer. Dont make a big deal and refuse to cook for him altogether, just simple rules of courtesy go a long way.

longwayoff Wed 23-Jun-21 15:39:33

You don't have much experience with teens do you? This is only an issue if you choose to make it one. Freeze some food for him. If he doesn't like it let him get KFC OR whatever.

Aprilx Wed 23-Jun-21 15:40:03

I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Surely there is enough food in for one of you to rustle up one extra meal one evening? Or have a few meals ready in the freezer.

Notimeforaname Wed 23-Jun-21 15:40:29

nope, he honestly does not know how to use an oven
This is ridiculous. Not ur problem. You tell him next time...''pizzas/chips/whatever in freezer..this is how the oven goes on. Read the back of the box''

He can read can't he?

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