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Football, family, my son, and me - Page 2

post #21 of 122
Sorry, but I wouldn't go. Maybe once a month tops. But, that's just me.
post #22 of 122
I understand your MIL and food issues. I dated a guy with a very Italian grandma that would cook and host meals/parties at her house all the time. I'm vegan and none of her food was. I always had to bring my own food along to eat at the table. She never really understood why I wouldn't eat what she made, but at least I could join in with my own. Would she really be that upset if you brought your own food for your son? You could still eat what she made (if you want), but at least you would feel better about your son.
post #23 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnMomma View Post
OP here

Yes, DS is the only child there. My MIL's other grandkids are all over 17 so it's kind of him plus a bunch of adults yelling at a TV, which he also doesn't understand and sometimes gets upset thinking everyone is mad.

The problem with NOT going is that as I said we are a very close family and any abscence is well, kind of frowned upon. If you are familiar with big italian families, then you'd understand. When MIL calls a party- you go.

And DH's family is VERY mainstream and really struggles I think to understand why we eat the way we eat. (which DH is fully supportive and appreciates99% of the time...it's just I guess his Mom, so he wants to eat and make her happy)

Anyway, thanks for all the opinions. Just feel a little stuck doing something I really don't want to expose DS to.
This makes it that much worse to me. There aren't even other kids to play with. And if the adults are that into football, do they even pay any attention to the DS while he's there? I'm really surprised at all the people who think OP should just go and suck it up every week. What's the point of going and hiding in another room with DS? That's not spending time with family and making memories--that's wasting a day or half a day to appease some people. It would be different if DS was older and enjoyed himself.

My advice is the same though--it's important to make an appearance at some of these events, but I really think every week is too much. Maybe every other week, maybe once a month, whatver works. If your MIL can't understand that then she's being inflexible.
post #24 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobmom View Post
My advice is the same though--it's important to make an appearance at some of these events, but I really think every week is too much. Maybe every other week, maybe once a month, whatver works. If your MIL can't understand that then she's being inflexible.
I agree. Go sometimes, but not every week. One day a week for half the year is just.too.much.

Is part of the issue your DH is still working out who he is supposed to be keeping happy -- you or his mom?

It's a VERY common maritial issue. You should win that one!

At the same time, being flexible is important. I think raising your son without junk food and football is pretty much a lost cause because of the person you made a baby with. You can minimize it now while he is very young, but the reality is that in a few years (or a decade) he'll most likely be in there screaming with his dad (sorry of the bad news).

(I don't know why it is that so many of us fall in love with a person, have a child with them, and then do everything in our power to keep the child from becoming like their other parent. )

There is a middle ground.
post #25 of 122
There's only so much in your child's environment and community that you can control. I learned that as soon as DD started preschool. It would drive you totally nuts to always be micromanaging, and it would drive everyone around you nuts as well. I'm not minimizing what you're saying about the food and the game (although I TOTALLY agree that once is week is WAY too much...once a month or once every two months maybe...) Food is so much a part of culture, though, and your child is a part of the Italian culture by birth and genes. EATING the food is as much a part of the culture in many ethnic communities. You married into it, and at some point you're going to have to be flexible and compromise on the lesser issues (ie. choose your battles) if you respect anything about your hubby and the community you married into.

It's food, not poison. It's a football game, not a bullfight/MMA.
post #26 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

At the same time, being flexible is important. I think raising your son without junk food and football is pretty much a lost cause because of the person you made a baby with. You can minimize it now while he is very young, but the reality is that in a few years (or a decade) he'll most likely be in there screaming with his dad (sorry of the bad news).

(I don't know why it is that so many of us fall in love with a person, have a child with them, and then do everything in our power to keep the child from becoming like their other parent. )

There is a middle ground.
lol I agree....my ds used to be a lot more sensitive to yelling, roughousing, etc and I was somewhat afraid to let him be around an environment like the yelling hollering loud "guy" football atmosphere but it turned out that he adapted faster than me (which is to say I will NEVER feel the need to jump up and yell full volume at a TV screen )

I sort of understand about the violence aspect of football, but that might sort of be a lost cause anyway because even though I'm VERY selective about what ds is exposed to on tv and there are no violent toys in the house, he still seems to gravitate towards games and activities that involve tackling, wrestling, hair pulling and other things that make me cringe.

I finally decided that if ds is happy, the people around him are happy (as in he's doing what they're doing and no one seems to mind) and I'm the only person it is truly bothering, to just let it go. I left him with SO for a whole day (at ds' request) and discovered that he had watched a full hour of dora and diego and eaten a lollipop AND icecream for "dessert" after his lunch of pb&j. egads.....but nothing dire happened as a result and life did carry on.

I don't have to be in control of (or even agree with) every single moment of his life for him to turn out OK. It's actually kind of freeing.

I'm not trying to make light of something that obviously bothers you, and it would totally annoy me to have to sit through 3 hours of yelling every Sunday night but if that's your family's "thing" it might be worth it to at least put up with it every now and then, and try to find a compromise on the food as well. Maybe you could deal with the crackers and just bring your own cheese or some other acceptable topping. Surely SOMETHING there is ok for him to eat???
post #27 of 122
If you don't go at least some of the time, I can see this causing problems between you and DH. From what you posted, while he may say he agrees with you on the tv and food, in practice he actually doesn't. This is something the two of you need to discuss and comprimise on. His family of origin is obviously very important to him and you guys need to find way to balance that with the importance of your (yours and dh's) family.

How much of the 4 quarts does you child actually watch? I can't imagine any 2.5 year old sitting still for 2.5 - 3 hours.
post #28 of 122
I wouldn't go. I detest football and everything it stands for. Other sports, fine. Football, no way. Not to mention - three hours watching it - I'd want to scratch my eyes out with boredom.

Just be honest. "MIL, I don't like football. Love you, love the family, can't stand watching football. Ds and I have other plans."

On the other hand, you chose to marry into a big football culture family. I agree with pp that you can totally keep your son away from it while he's small, but after that, if he has any interest, it's going to be easily fostered.

Maybe he'll be into ballet.
post #29 of 122
I love football and DH, DD and I watch all three games every Sunday, but even I wouldn't do that. If I were you I'd maybe go once a month and definitely bring my own food. If MIL gets offended maybe try putting it on the doctor. "Oh his ped said no X until 5" or "Our ped said no x b/c of allergy risk".
post #30 of 122
Well, I fall into a lot of the same catagories as you (Italian myself, sports-loving DH/ILs whereas my family is so not into sports in the same way). I absolutely bring DD's snacks with me. I just have them in her snack traps, easier for her to tote around, and no one questions what's inside. I've loosened up about MIL feeding her some nonorganic things (ie for dirty dozen foods, and hormone-full dairy products) if it's VERY infrequent, but if something was weekly, I'd be bringing food over to share, and directing DD to eat that stuff. And once a week is a LOT. DH specifically got a second DVR for the living room TV b/c he knows I don't like DD seeing the commercials (altho when they come on elsewhere, DD turns her head and says, "Commercials! Don't watch!" ) especially VERY scary, bloody, violent stuff during football. So annoying! Anyway, I'd rather DD ate REAL Italian food with my family (organic local handmade stuff... sorry Costco does not count as traditional Italian culture ) than yes the Costco stuff MIL makes a huge deal out of serving up at her place, but when it's once every two months, it's fine with me. Now. When DD was 1.5, I stuck to the snack traps
post #31 of 122
I think the fact that your DS is the lone grandCHILD at the event and is upset by all the yelling (and sports fans are a whole other level of LOUD...I worked in a sports bar. Ugh!) is reason enough to skip it or at least expect some understanding from your MIL. It sounds like a miserable 3 hours for a frustrated mama and a bored toddler. I also don't think it's out of line to bring food for you DS. Yeah, MIL might get offended...but somebody IS going to be offended in this situation...either you'll be offended by her food or she will be offended by yours. You might as well come out on top in this situation.

Violence of the sport and annoying commercials aside...I have seen how football fans act while watching a game. It is NO PLACE for a small child. It used to scare the dickens out of me as an adult! I think you could either cut back on the visits...or bring plenty of stuff to do and take your DS in another part of the house.
post #32 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
What's the cost of not going? You've outlined clearly why you don't like it, and the negatives associated with going.

Can you do the same for the negatives involved in staying away? Off the top of my head they would be:
-Missing a family experience that's important to the extended family
-Not partaking in a family experience that dad really enjoys

how does that weigh against the food and tv issues that you have?

If it were me and I hated football, I'd have dh go without me some/most of the time (but take the kids!). I'd use this time for some well deserved time to catch up with old friends or read a worthless novel or take a bubble bath. I'd go about one a month (every other week if you really like his family).

As for the food - clearly the stuff that your MIL buys you object to. Fair enough. But either you have to let it go or bring your own. My kids are remarkably picky about the junk food they eat, and they're pretty able to leave it when they're not hungry. If I give them a good meal before we go, they won't eat much while we're out. So, junk food isn't a big trigger for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessBB View Post
Let. It. Go.

Seriously, do not die on this hill. To mitigate, maybe make plans on some of the Sundays - playdates with WOHP who are unavailable during the week, maybe? Also, why can't you take ds in the other room and play with him? And does he nap? Would he not be asleep for part of the time during afternoon games? If nothing else, there are two weeks left in this season so just deal and then you'll have until August to brainstorm some other solutions. Oh, and be careful about being so certain about what you do and do not want your ds to like. He is his own person and he just might be the type who will relentlessly go after the most forbidden things!

.
Just emphasizing these down-to-earth, practical posts. If I were you, I'd follow these posters advice.
post #33 of 122
Thread Starter 
OP here again

Well, I'm going to go, but I'm going to ask DH if we can go just for the game and skip the meal. MIL wants everyone there at 1 to eat, I guess the game starts at 3. Just too long of a day and I have some things I want to do.

I'll feed DS before we go so that he's not hungry and I'll bring snacks.

I didn't know the season was ending so soon Just shows how in touch with football I am. I can put up with this for another week or two.

Just as a side note, DS will not be ignored by anyone, but there's just so much a toddler can do in one room for 5 hours. MIL's house is not large so there's really nowhere else TO go w/ DS. But I was thinking of picking up a few new toys and letting him have them when we get there.

I'm just concerned becasue DS LOVES his aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. which of course makes me thrilled, but as such he also imitates them with such determiniation. Screaming at a TV screen is not one of the things I'd like him to pick up. And DS has a memory like a steel trap and he forgets nothing.

I just think football brings out the worst in fans. Yelling, screaming, getting so upset when someone doesn't score. I don't see people acting this way during the world series or golf or whatever else. (Certainly no one does that at horse shows! lol)

But it's family so we'll go. I just wish MIL would have SOMETHING that DS could eat. SO many of you have mentioned costco carries organic items, well then she could pick up a few without havign to make a trip to Whole Foods. Crackers, cheese, something...
post #34 of 122
BarnMama, sounds like you've found a solution that will work for you.

I wanted to tell you that you are not alone in your thoughts. My dh is not American and did not grow up knowing professional sports, especially basketball, baseball, and football. He's a university professor, so his world is academic and not sports. I was/am athletic but have NEVER liked to watch sports. However, at dd's school she is getting a TON of pressure from the teachers to support the local team and I even started a thread about it in Learning at School. So, in a way, I'm facing the same pressure you are, but it's not inside the home, it's at school.

There will be, for every issue, someone who says, "Is that the hill you want to die on". Well, you can't compromise all of your ideals... otherwise you just turn into another mainstream sheeple. I do think that if you don't want to expose your child to the violence, the commercials, the yelling, the anger and everything else that goes with football, you should make a stand about it next year. Yes, die on that hill... and die on every hill you have to in order to raise your child the way YOU want to... not how others want you to.

I also agree about the food. There are many studies that are showing that these highly processed foods are very addictive and that kids' taste buds quickly adapt to wanting only the chemical taste. Once a week for 5 months, IMO, is TOO MUCH exposure to eating crappy, nutritionally void food. I mean, we are a NATURAL Family Living group of people, which means that NATURAL means something to us. It's not something I would compromise on even once. Dd is 8 in a couple of weeks and she's never had McDonald's, soda pop, oreos, etc. We do grill out hamburgers, make fresh lemonade, and make homemade cookies often, though. You don't have to conform to some sort of mainstream culture to enjoy life. That's just ridiculous. And your MIL should respect your feelings about this. It should not offend her.

I think that once you start letting your ideals go, then it becomes a slippery slope and you can let it all slip away because of outside pressures. I'm glad you found a compromise, but don't let the in-laws pressure you into something just for "family time". If they respect you, they'll still have family time WITHOUT spectator sports involved. And if your dh respects you and your son, he'll gladly go by himself if he wants to participate. JMO. Good luck to you!
post #35 of 122
Just throwing out another opinion here...I grew up with my father watching football and it's some of my fondest memories. Actually, when I was very small my nap time often corresponded with game time, so I would fall asleep in my room with the sound of football on in the background. To this day the sound of football and announcers makes me feel safe and, if it's not my team playing, sleepy

I encourage my son to watch with me now, he's older, 10, but I really emphasize the importance of playing by the rules. We talk about how everytime a player commits a penalty he hurts his whole team. That it's always better to follow the rules. We talk about sportsmanship. We talk about how the players that do the most are the ones that work the hardest and pay attention, that use their brains. That even very talented players aren't going to help their team if they don't concentrate on what they are doing, or if they break the rules. I actually prefer football to any other sport mostly because of the team aspect. A baseball player can be good at everything, defense and offense, but in football everyone has a particular role to fill and everyone needs to play their part.

As for the food, I can't imagine an italian family being offended if you brought a dish to share. Maybe some kind of pasta salad you made yourself, or dip and crackers, or whatever. Bring it to share and you are being a good guest, not rude, and your child can eat that mostly. But I agree that the amount of time is WAY too long. I'd say send your husband for the game if he wants, and you just go for the meal with your child, then say he needs a nap or whatever and leave.
post #36 of 122
If you want your DS to have certian things just ask her to keep some on hand. My mom keeps Annies organic mac&cheese and organic crackers for my kids ... I now its not the most fab of foods but its a quick altenative if there isnt anything else they want. I can say mom my cooks mostly from scratch so its odd they dont eat "dinner"

Touchdown was Jacks 2nd word. Hope you can get it worked out but it sounds like your DH is from a football family ( yup we are a different breed LOL)
post #37 of 122
We live in the deep south and college football is a HUGE part of our lives down here. Seriously we have friends that have planned weddings, etc around college football season.

We spend a good part of every Saturday during football hanging out with friends and watching several games. We rotate houses each week and there are usually 3-4 families. The kids run around and play - just this past year ds started getting into watching our team play (ROLL TIDE!) and would watch some of the games. But most of the time is spent playing with other kids. We even took ds to his first game this year and all of us had a GREAT TIME!!

As far as food goes - I honestly don't think some junk every so often is going to hurt anything. And at least at our get togethers there are some healthier options like cut up veggies and hummus, etc. But if ds eats a few potato chips on Saturday during football - I don't care. He eats very well most of the time and a little junk is not going to change that.

I guess I am trying to show the other side of things - football can be a fun tradition with family and friends. I used to care less about football but now really look forward to the season because it's such a fun time for us.
post #38 of 122
I'd be really sad if my husband didn't make an effort to participate in a tradition that was very important to me and my extended family, even if it wasn't something that he loved to do.

If the game bothers you so much, why not go for the meal and then let DH stay for the game while you bring DS home? That's the part of the day that would involve the most socializing, no? In many families food=love. I think taking off when the games starts can be explained away ("MIL, I love and the family, but I really don't like football. I'm going to take DS home so DH can relax and enjoy with you!") but skipping a family meal might come off as rude and controlling. The advantages of letting your DS eat at his grandmother's house once a week for a few months and enjoy his aunts and uncles far outweigh the damage that some HFCS and hydrogenated fats will do. The way his family eats and celebrates will likely never change. I think you need to find a way to be OK with that.
post #39 of 122
I really hate the yelling at the tv. As a child I couldn't always understand what was being said or what was going on especially if I was in another room or in bed. I didn't know if was 'in trouble' or what. As an adult I get very confused when I hear it still. It sets off all sorts of internal alarms I don't want to think about. The stress and adrenaline... If I can get that negatively aroused and confused what must happen to a toddler? The food is also an issue I experience in our parents' and some friends' homes but one I have yet to figure out and my children range in age from 2 to 13.

Our family compromise might look something like dh going every other weekend with the rest of us going for about half of those and in two cars so that some of us could leave early if we (I) so chose. I would also make appealling plans for the rest of the day so it was a non-issue.

The family relationships are important but so is living in a way you are comfortable and happy.
post #40 of 122
Can someone explain to me what it is that football "stands for"?
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