This topic contains 34 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by CET 2 months, 3 weeks ago.
- June 12, 2019 at 1:11 pm #845206
Thank you for the amazing thoughts, advice, feedback. I just wanted to see the reactions of objective third-party listeners here. Yes my MIL does stay for around 2 months at a time and she visits every year. So its not ‘just for a few days’- I can’t put her up in a hotel and it is a change in the way I run my household. Providing the nanny with lunch every day is definitely not an option – I don’t have time to cook since I leave early in the mornings and the nanny can’t really leave the house with the baby to buy her lunch everyday. We agreed to her bringing her own lunch. And yeah I should have pointed out that my MIL is perfectly capable of asking the nanny what she is eating for lunch or hover around the kitchen to see what she is eating. (she is in the living room most of the day anyways) . So I can either buy a mini frig OR I would probably end up telling the nanny what food to bring/not to bring -since ‘no cross-contamination’ is very hard to ensure and the definition varies from person to person, everyone does need to use the main frig, microwave etc for common items. (eg if she’s eating a sandwich and my daughter wants a juice box from the frig right away- I cant really ask her to wash her hands and THEN touch the main frig.) If I get a mini frig then I suspect that that would be my MIL’s next demand.
It kinda looks like most people here would go with the 2nd option
I also agree that the nanny’s lunch is not worth stirring drama over, and my husband has said he’ll talk to the nanny but I feel kind of pressurized to do things I don’t believe in, since my MIL has a habit of forcing her beliefs on other people. It’s started with 2 food items and it might spill over to other things as well. Hence the post.June 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm #845209
Are you insecure about your husband’s capacity to empathize with your feelings? To me it sounds like you are locked in a control position.
You’re putting up hypothetical arguments as to why troubleshooting with your nanny will ultimately be unsuccessful and uncomfortable in general hosting your mil for two monthsJune 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm #845210
You are uncomfortably with your how much your husband accommodates his mother’s preferences? Have you experienced emotional manipulation from mil in the past? Does husband prioritize his mom at your expense?June 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm #845213
It doesn’t sound so much like she’s “pushing her beliefs” on you besides asking that you respect hers. Maybe you can look at it that way, as you’re doing a kindness and respecting the mother of your husband and her beliefs while she’s staying in your home.
I’d not set this up as a snowball effect like you have in your mind. Take each situation as they come. This demand of your nanny is reasonable, so you accommodate it. Maybe the next one won’t be, you and you and husband will talk that one over and come to a decision.June 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm #845217
Is it just the food issues? Or are there other beliefs she is pressuring you and/or your husband to adhere to? What did you and your husband discuss when it comes to beliefs and how you’d handle his family/mom? Or did you even discuss it?
My non-practicing Catholic sister married a practicing Jewish man. He has a lot of food “don’t’s” and when he visits, my family always works around his dietary restrictions, such as he can’t eat meat with dairy in a sitting (and most of my parents meals combine both in some type of casserole or meat and dairy laden side dish, absolutely no pork in the meal, and certain fish/shellfish are prohibited). Yes, they are his beliefs, but since we love my sister, we respect her husband’s religion and make it comfortable for him to visit.
When it comes to their own household/raising a family – they discussed in depth what would happen. For instance, during Passover, they keep kosher in their house. They’ve brought food items to my house before to keep during Passover because they weren’t kosher.
Anyway, if this is just the food, I’d probably deal with it. If it’s more than that, that’s a longer discussion between you and your husband.
Finally, how much pork/beef does your nanny realistically eat a week for lunch? Would you be asking her to overhaul her diet, or switch it up maybe one day a week for a couple of months?June 12, 2019 at 4:29 pm #845220
What types of food does your nanny usually bring for lunch? If she brings sandwiches you could provide things like turkey and cheese for her to make into sandwiches in your home. If it is leftovers it starts to become much more complicated for her because she would need to cook meals at home that have no beef or pork. If she likes soup you could provide cans of soup that she could heat. If she likes salad you could have a salad in the refrigerator that she could eat. If she wants protein on it you could provide something like chicken, fish, boiled eggs, nuts and/or cheese to add to the salad. You could also purchase chicken salad and have it available to either put in a sandwich or to put on a salad. You could also purchase precooked entrees at your grocery store that she could have for lunch.
I’d talk to the nanny. See what she is willing to eat and then see what you can do to provide it so it isn’t inconvenient for her.June 13, 2019 at 10:39 am #845269
We have relatives that keep kosher and visit us all the time. I do not keep kosher. I provide a newly purchased pack of paper plates if they feel uncomfortable using mine since I don’t have separate plates for milk and meat. I also will buy a bunch of those large disposable Tupperware tubs if they want to use them to keep their food separate in my fridge. Thinking about it, none of them use these but I have them if they want them. Can you do this for her?
I don’t cook pork or unkosher meat while they are there but I do have unkosher meat and chicken in my freezer. If she is staying a short time, the nanny is probably willing to forego pork for a week or two.
I provide kosher food for them and I use only kosher meat at my house while they visit but if we go to a restaurant, we order whatever and the leftovers are in the fridge with their food. This is how I’d view your nanny’s food. Have the nanny put it in a tub or put your MIL’s food in a tub. Whichever is smaller.
Basically I try to integrate them into my nonkosher home as much as possible. However, realistically my home will never meet their normal kosher rules and they have chosen to visit and accept this. My accommodations are because I want them to feel welcome. I would tell your MIL this – you’ll do what you can but since your home is already unkosher or whatever the term is in her religion, there’s only so much you can do. You’re making the best accommodations for her that you can do. Also your husband needs to get on board with you.June 13, 2019 at 11:21 am #845272
“My husband is of course siding with his mother”
I suspect while you’re focused on what the nanny is eating it is really a much bigger problem. You resent that your husband caters to his mother’s wishes over your own.
I’m sure some of your MIL’s requests are reasonable, some are unreasonable, and some can be accommodated with slight modification. But you are so mad that she comes into your house and changes everything and your husband is on her side that you can’t just assess the requests on their face they have too much emotion attached.
She’s going to continue coming to visit like this for years, so you and your husband need to be on the same team. Both of you need to compromise– you need to accept some of your MIL’s more reasonable requests and he has to agree to push back on some of the less reasonable ones. I think if you felt you and your husband were united on this subject, most of her requests wouldn’t seem that unreasonable to you.
For the food question in particular, its workable if you WANT to work it. If you are cooking for dinner, make enough leftovers for everyone to eat lunch. What do you eat for lunch? What does MIL eat for lunch? What does your kid eat for lunch? It seems like such a small thing to make an extra lunch for the nanny, unless she has severe dietary restrictions of her own.June 13, 2019 at 4:02 pm #845294
My suspicion is the lw brought up being from India because her husband and mom are also from India. She said neither her nor her husband eat chicken or beef either.
That’s why I don’t think asking a nanny not to store and eat meat at lunch is really that big of a deal unless she’s on a specific diet.
I guess that letter writer is very happy with nanny and is consequentially reluctant to appease her mother in law (she thinks the request is pushy towards others).
The visit seems settled but the lw sounds resentful about it. I’ve known other elderly vegetarians who were a little OCD about cross contamination and physicals averse towards meat.
If her husband didn’t feel his mother’s request was valid, it would be fine to shut the request down. But that doesn’t sound like the case.
Maybe the Lw feels uncomfortable by a perceived sense of entitlement or has maybe she has felt pressure to make adjustments she hasn’t wanted to make.
It sounds to me as though it could be a communication issue with her spouse. Maybe two months is simply feels like a burden and/or an intrusive amount of time.June 19, 2019 at 9:33 am #845732
Your house. Your rules. You and your wife need to be united on things like this. Of course the nanny can bring what she likes to eat for lunch. Her food is not touching your MIL’s food. Your MIL can have her own rules at her house, but she cannot force other people to believe what she believes.June 19, 2019 at 9:34 am #845733
I meant to say “you and your husband need to be united…”