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Anyone else's MIL do this?

(16 Posts)
moffat Thu 03-Jan-13 10:12:07

MIL is obsessed with feeding dh - nice, lovely mostly healthy food. But, whenever we get together she flutters around him asking him if he wants this or that and then gets him stuff etc. He is a grown man so I think it's completely unnecessary, and secondly I think it's rude when there are other people present to be so concerned about one person. Makes me uncomfortable. She is btw a perfectly nice Mil in most respects so its not I huge deal. I just wondered if it was the norm.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 10:15:49

I'm not sure that it's 'the norm' as such, but I do think it's just an expression of her love. Not sure why it makes you uncomfortable.

blondiep14 Thu 03-Jan-13 10:16:17

My MIL is similar. She does fuss over everyone, but there is a definite heirarchy.
DS1 usually trumps DH, but only just. Then DS2 and FIL.
She means no harm and is pretty oblivious to the fact she does it, I think!

WhyIRayLiotta Thu 03-Jan-13 10:17:37

My MIL (to be) is a little obsessed with what DH eats - as she thinks he eats too much of everything! At mealtimes she tells him the calorie / fat count of what is on his plate and usually suggests he doesn't eat that or leaves most of this as its so high in calories. Drives me mad! Especially as she was here for Christmas. I now know the calorie count of all nice food / sweets and wine.

He and I could both do wih losing a few pounds so the intended subtext to me is that we are fat blush

moffat Thu 03-Jan-13 10:22:08

pictish, I just think it's bad manners, I feel that when you have people over, whoever they are, you should be equally welcoming and gracious to everyone.

blondiep we also have a hierarchy and sometimes dh is treated preferentially over his db as well.

tzella Thu 03-Jan-13 10:24:47

What does DH say about this? Does he love it and think his DM is funny and silly to feed him up or is he entitled to the attention and brush of your discomfort?

moffat Thu 03-Jan-13 10:40:42

tzella, dh is very loyal to his mother and is also one of those people who tends to see good in others so he regards it as a sign of love, which of ourselves it is, so it probably washes over him a bit.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 03-Jan-13 10:41:22

For some people, love = food. I think it is very common for mums to fuss round their children even when fully grown. In MIL's case she reverts to nurturing mother mode when your DH hoves into view. It doesn't necessarily mean she thinks you are neglecting him. Is FIL still alive? Perhaps she is conditioned to looking after the alpha male when in her own home.

Recall friend describing how through circumstances when first married, she and new DH had to live with his parents for a short time. Every morning without fail her MIL would tap on their bedroom door, come in regardless, bringing him and only him a cup of tea. The choicest cake, the biggest serving at mealtime, went to him. That was 20+ years' ago but I bet it still goes on.

CornyClam Thu 03-Jan-13 10:45:04

my mum does this
she seems to think that all men labour in the fields all day and need a hearty meal served by a loving wife
She used to mind the ds's for me when the they were younger while I was at work.
I would come in from work and she'd say, 'Now what about dh's tea?'

tzella Thu 03-Jan-13 10:49:40

My mum doesn't particularly fuss over my DB so it's not the norm but judging by the responses it does seem very common. I suppose we can dismiss it as an 'old-fashioned' attitude and, if not at the expense of anyone else, then quite harmless.

Is it really at anyone else's expense or does it just strike you as a weird way to behave?

BlueberryHill Thu 03-Jan-13 10:52:24

My MIL does this also, I can also see my SIL (DH is her brother) doing it for her DH. It is quite funny to watch, she puts food on his plate when it is in serving dishes on the table to make sure he gets enough. DH is actually slightly jealous of this, never mind, he'll live.

TheSkiingGardener Thu 03-Jan-13 10:53:44

DH is an only child and he and DS are MIL's reasons for being. She actually gets visibly distressed if there is a chance DH can't get exactly what he wants immediately, be that a cup of tea or a cruise holiday. It doesn't do DH any good to be honest but I don't envy her being like that!

forgetmenots Thu 03-Jan-13 11:08:06

My mum does this with my brother. She would be horrified if she thought he was offending SIL but she does still 'mother' him in a way she doesn't with me (we have a great relationship so this doesn't bother me).

moffat Thu 03-Jan-13 11:16:44

Thank you for all your responses, I understand that it's not ill-intentioned, but I guess because my own dm would never do this with db that I just find it rude.

We were always taught to be careful to include everyone, be that in offering food, or in a conversation or gift-giving. Perhaps in my family we take it too far the other way.

cwtchontoast Thu 03-Jan-13 11:27:40

MIL does this and it really annoys me. I bite my tounge and think 'her house, her rules' but I draw the line at her trying to give dh little parcels of leftovers to take home. I happen to be a rather good cook and dh is fed remarkably well at home.

mentlejen Thu 03-Jan-13 13:22:40

Mine does something like this too. I've understood it as quite a quaint and sweet expression of her love for DH and I've noticed her do it more when she's stressed or flustered. I've never thought it rude, really.

She has quite a complicated relationship with food, though and at the same time as loading his plate up & giving him seconds he's trying to refuse, she'll also comment that he's heavier than he's ever been and should slim down.

I enjoyed this most when DC2 was born, I was bfeeding and always hungry. DH would take the plate given to him by his mum, swap it with mine and smiling, would say something like 'Mentle needs that portion much more than I do'. This seemed to make her realise something as she does it less these days.

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