It has been fairly well established (I think) that I have had some serious boundary issues with my mother. Around Easter, I had a major lightbulb moment where I realized that by slowly and gently insisting on my boundaries, it has become much less of an issue.
My mother is still touchy, but it has become easier for me to be around her, as the guilt trips and manipulations are no longer much of an issue.
That said, I am about to face a situation and I need help figuring out how to be polite about it.
I am going to have lunch with her today. She wants to just make sandwiches at her house.
Here's the problem: Her house is gross. Her food is gross. There is usually mold on the cheese, the butter is contaminated with peanut butter (Mr K has an allergy), the milk is almost always expired, etc.
I grew up like this. We would simply cut the mold off the cheese and milk is good for a week or three past the expiry, right? (wrong, but I can't really tell her that now without it being a big "thing").
This is one of many, many, many reasons why I am not comfortable with her watching LK. But it extends beyond that. I am uncomfortable with LK eating food from my mother's house. Maybe I can handle the moldy cheese, but I don't want LK to eat it (mold spores go much deeper than the visible surface mold). And although we've established through controlled experiments that it's unlikely that LK is allergic to nuts, we're still limiting her exposure. And I have no idea how old those cold cuts are. And toddlers don't handle food poisoning well. And... you get the picture.
So what's the best way to deal with this?
I have found that one of the best ways to deal with my mom is to control the get togethers (ie, I call her up and say "I've got the car today, let's have lunch) - she's happy that she gets time with us and I am able to make my excuses and duck out quickly when it becomes too much.
But I know if I say "I don't want your food" or give her reasons why, it will still cause offense and she will get upset and it will become an argument.