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To think that lunch is not enough?

75 replies

everybodysang · 28/03/2011 20:02

Actually I am pretty sure I am NBU but thought I'd share this.

Am staying at my parent's tonight (and last night) as it was my grandfather's funeral today. I'm about 300 miles from home, and I have my 12 week old baby with me.

My mum has massive food issues, and has done for years. Dad used to really enjoy his food but has developed diabetes, and since retiring has been much more under the influence of my mum regarding what they eat. They both now have very small appetites - my mum always ate tiny amounts but now my dad does too. They also eat lunch at 12 and dinner at 5 - when I'm at home I normally have lunch about 2 and dinner at 8. No problem, though, of course I just fit in with their schedule when I'm here. My mum's small portions and lack of things to eat at theirs is a bit of a joke among my brother and our partners, but I always just make sure I have a few snacks packed in my suitcase in case I get hungry while I'm here.

This time, however, everything had to be booked very last minute and I just didn't have time, or even really think about packing snacks. No matter, it's only a couple of nights, right? So the funeral was today at 12, then arrived at a nearby hotel for lunch at 1. After the meal, my dad said to my mum, "have we got anything in for dinner tonight?"; to which my mum replied, "Son't be ridiculous, we won't want anything to eat at 5 after this enormous lunch." (It was a nice lunch, but by no means enormous, btw). My heart sank but I thought, never mind, I'll take the baby for a walk to the shop later and I can get something to eat. Except the shop is closed for refurbishment. No other shop for miles; no car and no public transport after 5 so no way to get out; breastfeeding the baby which makes me ravenous on a normal day.

AIBU to want to cry a little bit cos I'm so hungry and there's no food at all in the house?

OP posts:
thinNigella · 29/03/2011 11:12

my mum is similar. Obssessed with eating / not eating herself and forces food on everyone else ... except is gross (Dry pasta with stir-fried bacon anyone?!) - Always trying to lose weight but always eats puddings and choc etc.

I bought a protein shake and have it in my bag. Keeps you going for ages without eating and I also try really hard to make the point that, there's far more in life to worry about than eating or not eating (we don't live in Japan, for example) and that really if you chill out and stop obsessing you don't need to control everything and everyone.

Drives me bloody mad.

plopplopquack · 29/03/2011 12:53

As lubberlich has suggested ("Mum I am absolutely fucking starving - I need some grub for tonight even if you don't.")

What would your mum do then if you said that? Sulk, get angry?

beaker25 · 29/03/2011 13:39

My mum is totally like this too, drives me mad. If I go and stay with her and she is cooking a (perfectly normal sized )dinner in the evening, she?ll try and insist that I don?t eat during the day or I won?t be hungry enough for dinner. She will also insist that, if you have a proper dinner one night, you should have very little or nothing for lunch next day as you?ll still be full from dinner.

She once expressed disbelief that my cousins had a Chinese one night and then lunch the next day. Strangely she?s really quite overweight, I?m pretty sure that she?s ruined her metabolism by years of skipping meals.

So I sympathise OP. I hope you?ve had some decent food now.

CheeseMeisterGeneral · 29/03/2011 14:09

I totally sympathise. My IL's could not be more different from my family with regard to food and guest feeding.

When we go for a planned weekend visit MIL makes a big thing about 'buying in' your kind of food Hmm, this usually consists of a small tub of coleslaw, bag of salad leaves and an M&S pack of ham. And this is in deepest winter.

Food is strictly rationed. Treat type food is bought near xmas and hidden in a box under her bed. MIL brings out items from said box rarely over xmas and then moans in February that she is not going to buy all this food next xmas because no one ever eats it Smile.

She is paranoid about poisoning anyone and refuses now to cook meat other than bacon and pork chops. Sending FIL to tesco for a rottiserie chicken for roast lunch rather than cook one herself.

l really struggled when BFing my two, the later for 18 months. We used to arrive via the supermarket with extra food. One xmas DH and I arrived on xmas eve to find she had not much in. We offered to top up the groceries as our contribution. She insisted on coming to the supermarket with us and looked on in shock horror as we threw baileys, pate, chocolates, fruit, salmon, and all sorts of festive fayre into the trolley.

My Mum does however confess to liking her larder/fridge/freezer to be well stocked and being slightly Sad when it starts to disappear. She thinks it comes from having very little as a child and having the comfort of a large stock of food.

OP even though the situation is delicate, l would find a way of getting some more food in, especially as you are BFing. My MIL was slightly miffed when arrived with a hamper of food to supplement her rations. But we explained we wanted to help out and contribute.

jaffacake79 · 29/03/2011 15:34

Regardless of any issues in your relationship you should still be able to eat when you need too!
Hope you've eaten well now though op!

NestaFiesta · 29/03/2011 16:15

As an afterthought OP, if your Mum is expecting your Dad not to eat between lunchtime and breakfast the next day she could do him some real harm being diabetic. That's about 20 hours without food.

Control freaks can only only control the people who don't stop them!

plopplopquack · 29/03/2011 16:35

Control freaks can only only control the people who don't stop them!

So true. You don't have to let things be this way when you see your mum OP.

MrsH75 · 29/03/2011 16:48

Can you not just make a sandwich or will they really have no food in at all? Can you not ask them to get something in for you or say that their portions are small and you have a larger appetite? It is your mum, right?

Don't pussy-foot around their strange behaviour and accommodate it. THEY are being unreasonable.

MintyMoo · 29/03/2011 16:59

My Dad can be like this sometimes, he calls me fat when I want 3 meals, rather than two in a day (I'm a size 10, occasionally an 8 and my Dr says I'm not fat). The irony is he's the fattest person in our house, he's just getting funny with old age. It angers me when he does it to my Mum (since I've slimmed from a 14 to a 10 he doesn't pick on me as much) as she's trying to lose weight but everything she eats gets a 'shove it down you why don't you?' when he's in one of his 'moods' (we think he's autistic, it would explain some of his stranger behaviour, it would also explain why I'm autistic as well).

My Mum's parents eat at strict times like yours OP - lunch at 12, tea at 5. When I was 4 they refused to feed me as Mum and I didn't manage to get to theirs until 5 minutes past 5 so they refused to let us eat with them as we were late (bus back was delayed). And they wonder why we only see them every 3-5 years or so (they live 8 hour drive away).

OP I really hope you got some food. If it was me I'd have ordered the smelliest take away I could think of Grin

dwpanxt · 29/03/2011 17:17

Where are you?

If you are in a city suburb there is a big chance that a kind MNer is close to you. Surely it isnt beyond the bounds of possibility for your 'old friend ' to pop round with a small gift (something tasty hopefully)??

everybodysang · 29/03/2011 20:06

I am back at home now. Currently feeding the baby while DP cooks me a big steak. He was so horrified by it all that he went out to buy some nice chocolatey pudding!
I totally realise her behaviour is dreadful. She's always been a control freak, had very severe OCD for most of my childhood. It's a lot better than it was then but I do see traces creeping in more and more. She's struggled with mental health problems for so long, and it makes me sad that after a period of genuine progress, she does these things. This is far from the only selfish thing she's done.
Under any other circumstances, this would have been something that I would have spoken to her about. But she would more than likely fly off the handle completely and my poor dad would be left coping with her, as well as trying to deal with the death of his father.
Moral of the story is: always have emergency snacks to hand.

OP posts:
everybodysang · 29/03/2011 20:09

Am very tickled by the idea of food rescue by local MNetter, though. Will bear this in mind if I'm ever starving in suburbs of Scotlands's largest city again...

OP posts:
Dozer · 29/03/2011 20:21

Glad you are going to have some nice food OP, and that your dh is taking care of you. Enjoy!

Jacksmania · 29/03/2011 20:26

Was wondering how you were today :) - enjoy the steak!

Honestly, I can't get my head round the idea of no food in the house, though. Really? Empty fridge, empty freezer, empty pantry???? Do they shop every day?
I don't understand. If I'd looked in your parents' kitchen, there would have been no food? How can anyone live like that???
Do they not ever have anyone over for tea or such?

(but not in an "I don't believe you" way - just wanted to clarify that! - it's just mind-blowing)

Jacksmania · 29/03/2011 20:37

What if they were ever snowed in or something???

anonacfr · 29/03/2011 21:01

Hurrah! I hope you enjoyed your steak.

Flowerpotmummy · 29/03/2011 21:05

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StealthPolarBear · 29/03/2011 21:12

Yes, I agree, I can't imagine it - even when we have "no food in the house", I'm fairly sure we could survive for probably another month - would prob have some strange combinations and not too many vegetables but still.
Actually I get Envy when I think about bare kitchens - would love the chance to start again!

everybodysang · 30/03/2011 00:30

Jacksmania -seriously, I promise you, no food. They shop weekly, the day cannot be changed (due to mum's control issues) and the day they shop was the day my grandad died last week, so no food was bought for the week. They certainly never, ever have anyone over to eat. And they did have some serious trouble at one point this winter when the snow got really bad.
I dread to think how this will develop as they get older.
My steak was fab.

OP posts:
missslc · 30/03/2011 00:42

My parents eat very small portions and would comment if I took too many potatoes( my dad went through a stage where he banned my mother eating them as she was about a stone overweight). But they always have food in and make lovely food if I visit. Your mum sounds crackers to be honest. I can't abide people with food issues forcing their craziness on you- shame she is not a feeder like many who deprive themselves!hope you get a bite to eat.

Jacksmania · 30/03/2011 01:55

Good grief. :( I just want to say again that I didn't mean to come across as not believing you, it's just so... well, unfathomable to me. I like a well-stocked pantry and tend to force food and wine on people.
It's worrisome to think what might happen as they age.

Ok, now tell me you had your steak and a huge dish of ice cream! :o

CheerfulYank · 30/03/2011 02:13

I'm the same way as stealth. Right now I'm going to run to the store because we have "no food", but there are a few tins of beans, bread, butter, jam, leftover spaghetti, milk and food at all is such a strange concept!

So glad you're back home and had a steak...I was seriously concerned about you today, thinking maybe you'd fainted into a ditch or something!

Next time definitely pack snacks! :)

Jacksmania · 30/03/2011 03:36

... or post for help and half of MN will come running with takeaways :)

iscream · 30/03/2011 05:52

Yanbu, but your mum is. Your dad needs to eat several small meals(4-5) a day, at least that is what my dh's doctor told us, dh has diabetes type II.
And it is rather rude to say "Don't be ridiculous" to someone. Does she brow beat your dad?

plopplopquack · 30/03/2011 11:27

I can see that she obviously has problems, but forcing everyone else to live her way!

Maybe you should give her some info about the damage she may be doing to your dad. You dr might be able to help you with that. Or possibly you could talk to your dad or maybe even tell his dr what is going on.

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