Author Topic: Stop making us food!  (Read 6901 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

kitchcat

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 317
    • Flickr
Stop making us food!
« on: January 01, 2013, 11:26:54 PM »
My MIL is one of those people who is completely obsessed with feeding people, but lately it's been getting to be borderline oppressive. When we visit she automatically cooks a huge meal for DH and I (I'm talking about enough food for at least four adults) even if we say we aren't hungry. Then when we naturally don't eat all the food, she gets angry. On a side note, she NEVER eats with us, so she just sits there and watches us eat, which i don't like either.

So once we are stuffed, she continues to force more food on us every 30 minutes. We always say no, but she will ask again every few minutes until DH gives in or MIL makes more food anyway. Recently, I've been more blunt with her in an attempt to put an end to her excessive hospitality ("No, MIL. I do not want anything to eat. At. All. Do not bring me any more food, I will not eat it.") but it seems she has a new tactic. Today, less than an hour after she made dinner for DH and I (which we couldn't finish), she started cooking again, but I thought maybe she was making something for herself since she did not eat with us. Then she hands DH a huge bowl with a whole other meal! She never asked if he was hungry. Now she just cooks food and drops it in our lap. DH took a bite to be polite but then MIL gave him a guilt trip about wasting food. :/

DH won't confront MIL about her pushiness bc he doesn't want to hurt her feelings, so I'm on my own here. I'm getting real tired of this. Any ideas how to make her quit? She doesn't seem to be deterredby wasting food.
Quote from: magician5
Quote from: Kinseyanne
In the bag was two cans of kitten formula

So now ... just add water and you get kittens? What will they think of next??

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 11:36:41 PM »
My MIL is one of those people who is completely obsessed with feeding people, but lately it's been getting to be borderline oppressive. When we visit she automatically cooks a huge meal for DH and I (I'm talking about enough food for at least four adults) even if we say we aren't hungry. Then when we naturally don't eat all the food, she gets angry. On a side note, she NEVER eats with us, so she just sits there and watches us eat, which i don't like either.

So once we are stuffed, she continues to force more food on us every 30 minutes. We always say no, but she will ask again every few minutes until DH gives in or MIL makes more food anyway. Recently, I've been more blunt with her in an attempt to put an end to her excessive hospitality ("No, MIL. I do not want anything to eat. At. All. Do not bring me any more food, I will not eat it.") but it seems she has a new tactic. Today, less than an hour after she made dinner for DH and I (which we couldn't finish), she started cooking again, but I thought maybe she was making something for herself since she did not eat with us. Then she hands DH a huge bowl with a whole other meal! She never asked if he was hungry. Now she just cooks food and drops it in our lap. DH took a bite to be polite but then MIL gave him a guilt trip about wasting food. :/

DH won't confront MIL about her pushiness bc he doesn't want to hurt her feelings, so I'm on my own here. I'm getting real tired of this. Any ideas how to make her quit? She doesn't seem to be deterredby wasting food.

That right there is your problem.

He is your husband. You are his wife.

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5978
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 11:46:40 PM »
Is this a change in behavior for her?

Do you help her store the leftovers so that she can enjoy them later?

My mother in law did that sometimes, and I would just thank her profusely, tell her we couldn't eat, and then help her put all she had cooked into single serving containers, take a couple and help her store in the freezer or fridge a bunch for her and the other son. It was a lot of work, but kept her and me busy so we could chat and cover the inevitable awkward pauses. (She had at least a hundred margarine containers.)

The thing that REALLY irritated me was when she would comment that we should lose weight and then insist on feeding us cookies - EEK! It was easy to refuse because I hated those cakelike cookies. You can quote me on that.

Softly Spoken

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 576
  • "I am a hawk on a cliff..."
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 12:44:43 AM »
I have never been in a position where I was showered with unwanted food - usually I get offered something once and that is that. I've been to people's houses where I wasn't offered so much as drink from the hose and I find that far ruder than an over abundance of food. I think it is ruder to offer than not to offer, but to literally push food on someone kind of baffles me. If it's a casual visit I would be uncomfortable with a host going to the trouble.

I don't know enough about your MIL/DH and family traditions, food relationships, etc. to give good feedback, except to warn you that maybe you don't have to turn this into a big fight. You seem to feel she's doing this as a PA move of some sort?  ??? Why does she not eat herself when she cooks? That you politely refuse and she pouts is perturbing, but...

is the food bad? Would you turn it down if you were hungry? Is it just the timing/amount?

Since it is notoriously difficult to get someone else to change their behavior, don't try and figure out how to get MIL to stop making food: decide how to deal with her persistence on cooking. Maybe only visit her at dinner? If she' s a good cook ask her to show you a recipe; if she's a bad cook you could offer her your favorite.

If she's old fashioned you could bond with her over that matriarchal "job" of feeding the boys - since that job has passed to you with your marriage to DH...maybe she's jealous he's "left the nest" and is psychologically shoving "worms" down his throat when he comes home? >:D

Okay that last one was a total spitball and I'm blaming it on the pain meds and lack of sleep.  ::) :P But back to your trouble...

If the problem is just too much food at the wrong time, I think you should have DH tell his mom either of the following depending on whether you (a) don't want the food the food or (b) want the food but not so much/right then:
A: "Mom, we appreciate your wanting to be a good hostess but we really came to see you, not to eat - how about coming out of the kitchen and talking to us?"
B: "Oh gee Mom we appreciate the effort but you shouldn't go to so much trouble every time we come here. I know you want us to enjoy your food and no stuff ourselves sick. Can you put this up so we can enjoy it together later? We came to see you of course, not to eat!"

You might change when you visit her so it isn't during "meal times," or tell her "Oh, we don't want to interrupt your cooking so we'll visit another time" Basically, try and communicate to her that you want to see her when you visit, not just eat her food. Maybe bring a game or something to distract her and keep her out of the kitchen? Just try and brainstorm ways to either detour her from cooking or keep from receiving so much of what she cooks.

Other brainstorms: Is your mom feeling neglected or needing to be useful? Maybe she could find a hobby centered around her cooking - competitions or doing it for charity, etc? ;)
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

bansidhe

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2053
    • The Menagerie
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 01:30:40 AM »
My MIL is one of those people who is completely obsessed with feeding people, but lately it's been getting to be borderline oppressive. When we visit she automatically cooks a huge meal for DH and I (I'm talking about enough food for at least four adults) even if we say we aren't hungry. Then when we naturally don't eat all the food, she gets angry. On a side note, she NEVER eats with us, so she just sits there and watches us eat, which i don't like either.

Is there any way to visit with her at some place other than her house? Can she come to your place or perhaps you could meet for a meal at a restaurant? The latter option would still give her a chance to watch you eat (which I would find creepy also, but oh well) but at least she couldn't cook anything herself.

Barring that idea, it's time for your husband to have an honest talk with her.
Esan ozenki!

Arizona

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17373
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 02:23:32 AM »
Is this something new? i understand that she always was this way (making sure people were fed), but if she is now cooking a full meal one hour after cooking another full meal - i am wondering if something else is going on. does she not remember that she *just* fed you? does she not see that you *just* ate? are there other areas where she is losing memory or focus?

if it's just a facet of her personality then I would stop eating at her house. (your DH should be on board with you but if he won't then you need to do this on your own). just do not eat. don't argue, dont' fight, just don't eat. smile, say thank you, i'm full/fine/not hungry and don't eat. if she argues about the waste etc, smile, shrug, and bean dip (or some non-food-related-bean-dip ;) ). this is a problem that she has and she has to solve (or ignore) so don't make it into *your* problem because it isn't.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

kudeebee

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2155
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 02:53:05 AM »
When she offers the food, say "no thanks, i am not hungry."   Do not eat the food if you are not hungry, even if she sets it in front of you.  She cannot make you eat it and I wouldn't eat if I wasn't hungry--which it sounds like you aren't.  Keep repeating your phrase.  If she gets made, she gets mad.  Say nothing when she gets upset other than to repeat your statement.

As long as you eat what she serves, she will keep making food.  If you don't eat it at all, maybe, just maybe she will stop.  If not, don't worry about her wasting the food as it doesn't seem to bother her.

wonderfullyanonymous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2560
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 08:15:30 AM »
Is this a change in behavior for her?

Do you help her store the leftovers so that she can enjoy them later?

My mother in law did that sometimes, and I would just thank her profusely, tell her we couldn't eat, and then help her put all she had cooked into single serving containers, take a couple and help her store in the freezer or fridge a bunch for her and the other son. It was a lot of work, but kept her and me busy so we could chat and cover the inevitable awkward pauses. (She had at least a hundred margarine containers.)


This is brilliant!!

If she doesn't have storage containers, ziplock and glad both have inexpensive storage dishes, one could bring with.  If you are a coupon clipper, they offer a dollar off 2 quite often. Bring the dishes with, store some at her house, bring some home with you, and use them for quickie meals.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 08:20:41 AM »
If this is obsessive behavior that is affecting you, I'd just tell DH beforehand that you will eat a small amount of food. The moment she starts browbeating you to eat more - leave. Take two vehicles and say, "Thanks its been fun gotta go!"

Do it every single time you visit.

If that doesn't work after a while...honestly I'd just stop visiting her at her house. Let DH go by himself. Let it be his problem only.

I'm not very good at handling obsessive people and I'm not interested in training the people that don't live in my house.

Go shopping with her or invite her to your home to get together with her on other occasions.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5804
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 08:33:20 AM »
Are you comfortable enough in her kitchen that you could say "Oh goodness, thank you but I'm still full from dinner. I'll just put this into some Tupperware and save it for later." and then do that? Maybe if she's got a bunch of containers of uneaten leftovers in the fridge after your visits she'll ease off?

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6609
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 08:57:18 AM »
We have this problem with MIL.  When we come to visit, we'll phone her from the station and make it clear that we don't need lunch.  Before we even get our coats off, it begins.

'Your juice and salad are on the table and the soup will be right out.  We have bagels and rolls and then there are the spareribs and the dumplings and the fruit salad and the ice cream and the cookies...'

We've tried the ploy of helping her pack up stuff to store for later.  It doesn't work.  She'll just trot it all out when we're heading home and try to give it to us.  Yeah, MIL.  Try eating cold spaghetti on a moving bus. 

She never figures out that as we get older, we don't have the appetites of adolescents.

A visit of a few days can be exhausting because every half hour or so, the conversation is punctuated by a menu and the response is always, 'No Thanks Ma, I'm not hungry'. 

We've never found a way of getting her to stop.  Anyone who can should get the Nobel Peace Prize. 





jibby

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2522
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 09:44:58 AM »
You've tried protesting and your husband won't back you up.  I vote for the tupperware option suggested by PPs.  I know we've had threads here before about people forcing food on others, but I don't know that there's ever been a hostess as pushy as your MIL.

We had a thread recently about someone who wouldn't stop sending cheesecakes to the OP, but I didn't comment in it and I don't know if it was resolved.  Anyone else recognize or remember that thread?


Giggity

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8622
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 09:45:40 AM »
His mother, his issue. He's handling it the way he wants to.
Words mean things.

faithlessone

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2698
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 09:46:41 AM »
I really think you need to confront your MIL yourself, if your DH won't. This sounds like a symptom of some deeper concern.

What sort of food is your MIL preparing? Could she be worried you aren't eating healthily enough? Does she have concerns about your cooking ability?

On the other hand, does your MIL live alone now? This could be a consequence of loneliness. My grandmother is constantly cooking when her family comes, because she likes the familiarity - behaving like she did when there were 4 strapping sons to feed.

mstigerlily

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 09:54:34 AM »
I think your MIL is confused, believing that food equals love and that your and DH's consumption of her food is a reflection of your love for her. He needs to sit down with her and explain that that isn't true. Then maybe you all can spend time with her away from food.


IMy mother in law did that sometimes, and I would just thank her profusely, tell her we couldn't eat, and then help her put all she had cooked into single serving containers, take a couple and help her store in the freezer or fridge a bunch for her and the other son. It was a lot of work, but kept her and me busy so we could chat and cover the inevitable awkward pauses. (She had at least a hundred margarine containers.)

^POD this idea.