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My mother fed my vegetarian toddler hamburger : ( - Page 2

post #21 of 32
I would be very upset also. You have every right to be. YOU are the mother and what you say goes, and it makes it even worse that she does it behind your back. Like a previous poster commented, a lot of ppl do not understand vegetarianism and the reasons behind it. What she did was disrespectful of your lifestyle choices, and I would def explain that to her. If she is 'toxic' as you said, I'm sure she would do other things in spite. I know that own mother and MIL have issues with what I will or will not allow my daughter to eat. For some reason, anytime we attend a family dinner they want to shove sugar and sweets down her throat (I had to deal w this yesterday) and when I say no they act like I'm a terrible mother or something. Both families believe that lots of sugar/processed crap is just part of being a child and I'm depriving my child of that. I stay respectful though, even if my head feels like it's going to explode lol Anyway, I would simply let her know that you will no longer be leaving him with her until she can respect your rules. Maybe educate her vegetarianism. Tell her about all of the heavy metals, antibiotics, and synthetic hormones that infest all of America's meat. Let her watch some of those horrific PETA slaughterhouse videos (Meet Your Meat, I think?). Maybe a little explanation and 'proof' that it's not such a radical thing will help her to understand more.
post #22 of 32
Originally Posted by GreenGranolaMama View Post

I'm completely and totally grossed out by her behavior- Should I tell her that unless she follows our dietary guidelines, he is no longer to visit with her?
Yes. I would explain that you trusted her to care for him with respect to your wishes, and she violated that trust. End of story. As a fellow veg, I'm sooooo sorry.
post #23 of 32
For some reason, it's the "so there" at the end of her statement that really ticked me off. It's like saying I'm right, you're wrong, and I'm going to show you just how wrong you are.

I am also a vegetarian, as is my son. If my mother did this she would not be left alone with my son. She has to respect your choices as a parent, she can't pick and choose which rules you set that she has to follow. What does that teach your son?
post #24 of 32
The fact that she waited until you were in the bathroom and then gave him something she knew you would not want him to have is the kicker to me. She knew you'd say no, she knew you'd intervene, so she waited until she had a very small amount of time. I have a toxic parent and from that standpoint, I'd cut off contact for a while so she knows what the stakes are.
post #25 of 32
Yep -- this little episode was a reminder of why you cut off communication with her while you were in college.

In addition to what everyone else has said, think about this: your mother PLANNED this. She waited until you were out of sight and then leapt into action. Then she symbolically stuck her tongue out at you with the "so there!" remark. This was a powerplay on her part plain and simple.

So there you have it: an explanation of how she views you and the relationship she has with you. You have no reason to think that she will not do the same type of things with your toddler if given the chance. I doubt very seriously that any type of talking/explaining/reasoning will have any effect with her because it's not about reason, it's about how she views her relationship with you.

If given a chance, she will act this way again. Don't be surprised -- you know it will happen. So don't give her the chance.
post #26 of 32
My nearly toxic mil tried to get up to the same tricks. So we tried to have a sit-down grownups only family talk about our expectations for how she takes care of our son. She flat out said she didn't want to hear about it, she knows what she's doing and we should stop being "helicopter parents" (not that that has anything to do with avoiding sugar!)

Ok. So - she's being clear that she doesn't want to be educated by us about care for our son. Fine. It really is. She's a grownup and she has a right to say she doesn't want to hear anything more.

And... I'm a mother, and I also have a right to make sure my son's environment is as close as possible to ideal. At school he's gonna learn plenty of undesirable stuff, I get that. With family? Nope. My expectations are higher.

So without further discussion with her, dh and I got on the same page that our son is not to be left alone with her. One of us is always in the near background they are together. She wishes we would "drop him off" at her house, and we say "Oh that'll be nice. But not today, we're busy." It simply won't happen. If she ever pushes harder, I'll invite her again to actually talk with us. If she doesn't want to, then I'll no more leave my son unsupervised with her than I would with a stranger.

This was all very hard for me to come to. I'm from a family that talks everything out, ad nauseum, and we think we've failed if everyone doesn't agree by the end of the talk. So that's the other end of the crazy spectrum. But in this case, I have finally learned that if someone doesn't want to talk, you can't make them. You just have to deal in the way that's best for you.

In your case, you've got the history and you know all her likely behaviors. So you can choose if you want to engage in the battle to convince her to respect your maternal authority, or if you want to let the battle go and just keep your child supervised in her presence. Or the more drastic separation options.

You've got the right, and processed food and sugars are a totally acceptable place to draw the line. For me it has worked to draw the line invisibly, and skip the predictable battles and my own certain frustration.
post #27 of 32
I agree with the PPs who stated that the issue here is WAY beyond dietary. That's just the needle she chose to drive in because... well... who knows?
post #28 of 32
I'm not vegetarian and when it comes to questionable junk foods (Zoodles come to mind) I have historically been laid back about the odd bowl at grandma's.

Having said that, this was a crazy bad boundary violation and I'm kind of in the camp that she should be cut off for a few months while you "cool down" and after that it's super limited visits. This is just NOT a decision extended family gets to make over the parents' clearly stated wishes and values. And there are not shades of gray about it really: She knew she was doing wrong and she did it anyway.

I'm so sorry.
post #29 of 32
I'm definitely in the "cut off ties with her" camp, at least for 3 months, as a PP suggested. After that, contact would be very limited and fully supervised.

It's shocking to me that some grandparents think they have any sort of say about how their grandchildren are raised AT ALL. Obviously, they must be asking to be kicked out of the family, right?!?
post #30 of 32
Honestly, you already cut her off once. There was obviously a reason for that. She's been given a second chance and clearly didn't value it enough to treat you with respect. I'd cut her off again, possibly permanantly. This is a bigger issue than the hamburger.
post #31 of 32
Originally Posted by blessedmama59 View Post
Tell her about all of the heavy metals, antibiotics, and synthetic hormones that infest all of America's meat. Let her watch some of those horrific PETA slaughterhouse videos (Meet Your Meat, I think?). Maybe a little explanation and 'proof' that it's not such a radical thing will help her to understand more.
Respectfully, this is not an accurate statement. There are meat eaters out here in America who eat only ethically raised/slaughtered meat. I buy my meat directly from farmers who engage in practices I 100% agree with and they are slaughtered under very humane conditions. It is possible to be a meat eater and do it in a way that is not about synthetic hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals, or inhumane practices.

That said! I believe that it is a very reasonable choice to be a vegetarian and I think that the OPs mother was completely and totally over the line. That is unacceptable behavior and that would be grounds for severing contact for a good long while in my opinion.
post #32 of 32
Grrrrrrrrrr this makes me so mad for you!

I think given her 'history' of being toxic that it would be appropriate to only allow supervised visits, or if that's not cutting it, no visits at all.

My family respects my choices (though they don't agree with all of them) but I still don't leave DS alone with them because they don't fully UNDERSTAND my dietary choices. Until they can understand them (meaning understand what 'no meat' & 'no eggs' etc. mean, not necessarily the reasons behind them), they won't be watching DS alone -- wouldn't even go to the bathroom if there's food around. (I should also add there are other reasons for not leaving him with them, not just diet).

But I am incredibly strict with diet. I don't believe it's OK for DS to have "just a little" whatever -- to me, the things we avoid are toxic, I'm not willing to have them put 'just a few' toxins in his body, anymore than I'd allow them to give him a sip of vodka or something. I don't understand the impulse to feed kids foods other than what the parent has OK'ed, unless there is a severe lack of suitable foods & the kid would go hungry or something. *sigh* I'm getting more & more frustrated just typing this response...
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