Author Topic: Stop making us food!  (Read 7223 times)

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MrTango

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 09:55:39 AM »
Make her explain herself:

"MIL, I have told you that I am not hungry.  You saw me eat a full mean just an hour ago.  Why are you making me more food now?"

Thipu1

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 10:04:57 AM »
I started the cheesecake thread and we were the senders.

Yes, the issue has been resolved.  That wasn't a case of food pushing.  The cakes were something that were inhaled by all concerned and, until the phone call, we had no idea that the gift was no longer appropriate for a particular household.

A substitute gift was sent and, at the request of the recipient, that family will receive a nice, big box of nuts. 

Eden

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 10:11:11 AM »
I would have a conversation with DH and say that he may choose not to confront his mother but that you will not eat food you do not wish to eat. I'd let him know your game plan ahead of time, whatever that may be. That way he knows going in what you're planning. "MIL, I appreciate your generosity, but I told you I wasn't hungry." Repeat repeat repeat.

jibby

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 10:12:17 AM »
I started the cheesecake thread and we were the senders.

Yes, the issue has been resolved.  That wasn't a case of food pushing.  The cakes were something that were inhaled by all concerned and, until the phone call, we had no idea that the gift was no longer appropriate for a particular household.

A substitute gift was sent and, at the request of the recipient, that family will receive a nice, big box of nuts.

Weird, I swear I remember one where the OP was the recipient.  Oh well.  Thanks, Thipu, glad it was resolved.  Doesn't sound like that resolution would work for our OP here since she's already tried explaining to her MIL.

Kiwichick

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 10:13:35 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?

Do you mean this one?
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=123703

jibby

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 10:27:26 AM »
...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?

Do you mean this one?
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=123703

Yes, thanks!  Softly Spoken was the OP.  I only remembered a theme of "too much cake", because that is not possible for me.

SPuck

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 11:00:31 AM »
You can't change other people's behavior only your own reaction. I'd say let her cook the food and eat as much as you want. When she tries to give you more decline and respond to her guilt trips with barriers of steal.

Here are some one liners.

"No thank you, I'm not hungry any longer."
"Here let me help you pack away the food so you can eat it later."

When she gets angry or starts laying on the guilt trip.

"MIL I am no hungry, and I don't appreciate you trying to force food on me any longer."
"MIL, next time you cook talk with us about how much we want to eat."
"MIL, I am not hungry and this topic is no longer open for discussion."

If the fit is epic.

"We cant have this conversation when your like this. I will be leaving."

Just refuse to tak her baggage.

bopper

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 11:02:45 AM »
Your MIL has a script for when you visit.  It consists of " Step 1. I feed them.  Step 2. Go to Step 1."
You need a new script.  Maybe suggest that you all go to visit a local garden or museum or go to a movie or something outside the house.

kitchcat

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 12:19:02 PM »
OP here again!

Thanks for the tupperware suggestion. Usually when we simply don't eat the food, she seems to think we can't see it and badgers us to eat it. Maybe if she *sees* it all going back into the fridge in a more final manner, she'll take the hint.

I did it last night after she made a huge dish of stir-fry right after we had a large pasta dinner. I immediately said, "Thanks, but we're not hungry. I'll just put it in the fridge so you can eat it for lunch tomorrow." She didn't say anything but, about 10 minutes later she started showing me her home remedy for "these awful burns I got from the oil while cooking your stir-fry."  ::) MIL has sensitive skin in which she'll get temporary *harmless and painless* red blotches on her skin from exposure to things, heat being one of them. She probably got it just from standing near the stove. Basically, it would seem she was trying to make a sneaky guilt trip. I just told her I'm sure her remedy would work wonderfully.  ;)
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NyaChan

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 12:25:50 PM »
My grandma does this to everyone.  I am convinced that she desperately makes food and tries to force us to eat it to make herself feel and seem nurturing to people to whom she has in general been anything but.  Our response is to continuously "I hope you aren't cooking that for me, because I am not eating"  Then when she tries to serve us, push it away and say "I am not eating"  When she pushes that again "I already told you, I'm not eating."  I've noticed that my Uncle, who actually lives in the same house with her (it is his house) never accepts food when she "offers" it.  If he is hungry, then he gets up and finds his own food.  If at that point she jumps up and starts telling him that she has made some food, THEN he will help himself to what he actually wants to eat. 

Glad you found a solution!

artk2002

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 12:43:08 PM »
DH won't confront MIL about her pushiness bc he doesn't want to hurt her feelings...

I agree with PP that this is a big problem.  "DH, whose feelings do you want to preserve more? Your mother's or mine? Because one of us is going to be hurt in this situation and you can't play Switzerland here."

Although I haven't read the book, I've heard good things about the idea of "Love Languages." I suspect that seeing you eat food that she's prepared is how your MIL feels loved. This is why she reacts badly when you don't eat -- you're rejecting her love (and by association, herself.)

I'm glad the Tupperware solution is working for you. For your marital future, I still recommend having that conversation with your DH.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Eden

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 04:05:29 PM »
Nice job, OP! I hope that approach continues to work for you. Sounds like it's off to a good start.

TootsNYC

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 06:13:15 PM »
I got my MIL to stop harping on whether I would have more food by saying, "MIL, do you realize this is what you're doing?"
   And then I went on to say, "I know that you are trying to make me feel welcomed, and loved. You want me to feel at home. Please believe that you have succeeded. I *do* feel welcome and loved. I do feel comfortable here.
    "But I need you to believe me when I say no. Please believe that I will take more food if I'm hungry. But I'm not.
    "And in fact, when you bring it up all the time, then you actually  work *against* yourself. I don't feel loved and welcome anymore; I feel badgered and defensive. It makes me not want to come to your house for dinner.
    "Please just let me be when it comes to food. If I want more, I'll take it--you have made me feel very welcome and comfortable."

And then when she forgot (bcs of course she did), I said, "Remember our conversation, MIL? I feel welcome--you don't need to badger me about what to eat."

And eventually she would forget and then remember before she'd even finished her sentence.

I always acted as though my goal was to reassure her that she was loving and welcoming. Always.

W/ your DH's mom, I might worry that dementia was playing some sort of role. And I'd also worry that perhaps she is uncomfortable and bored and doesn't know how to have a "bonding" experience w/ you that doesn't involve food. It's the only thing she knows.
    Maybe you can find some other things for her to be involved with you on--looking through pictures, or something.

White Lotus

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2013, 10:54:35 AM »
In some cultures, food and or drink is offered, as in served, at thirty minute intervals.  This confounded me at first, because I really did not want it, or sometimes even like it, until I realized the natives just thanked the host or hostess and let it sit unless they actually wanted it.  It left with the next "course."  I wondered at first if MIL might come from such a culture, but nagging you to eat it, well, you need other tactics and you have found them, so hooray!

Lynn2000

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Re: Stop making us food!
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2013, 11:07:45 AM »
Lots of good advice here, glad some of it has been useful, OP! I've not experienced this exact same thing; but a couple times I've been to someone's house and they were a bit pushier about offering me food or drink than I was expecting. I think they really felt like they must have been doing something wrong as a host, because I wasn't eating/drinking something right then, so they kept saying, "Do you want A? Do you want B? How about C?" Each time I would say, "No thanks, I'm fine," and at about the third time I would kind of give them a little look before replying, like, "Have I started speaking a foreign language here?" That usually gets it across.

The other thing is my grandma is a "feeder," but only of men.  ::) I remember once my parents and I were having lunch at her house, and she looks over at my dad (who is her son-in-law!) and says, "What else can I get you to eat?" My dad was like, "I've got a sandwich in one hand, fruit in the other, and a plate full of food in front of me. I'm fine." Meanwhile, my mom and I are hopping up to get stuff for ourselves and Grandma. As she's gotten older and less physically able this has diminished somewhat, though.
~Lynn2000