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Not an issue for a while, but.. (meat related) - Page 2

post #21 of 99
I would not leave my child with someone if I thought that they might disrespect my parenting choices.. If I were you, I would be ask my partner to speak with his mother and if he failed, I would very bluntly explain that I do NOT want my kid to eat meat and if she can't support me then my child won't be left in her care. Hopefully all will work out- your MIL sounds like a handful
post #22 of 99
My inlaws make lots of jokes like that about feeding DS meat but I don't think they'd actually do it. I have no intention of leaving DS with them pretty much EVER so I don't really worry about it, I'm always right there supervising so I could stop them if they ever forced it. Even though DH eats meat he agrees that DS will not. I think in your situation if you do plan on leaving your LO with them you need to make clear starting now that this is a non-negotiable rule, that you don't want them taunting/tempting your child to eat meat, etc.
post #23 of 99
I haven't read all the responses so forgive me if I'm repeating.

I would very calmly look her in the eye the next time she said something like that. Pause long enough for your gaze to have an affect and then state: "I know you find that funny but quite frankly it has grown old. When and if we decide she's ready to eat any meat, you'll be the first to know. Until then, I would appreciate no more jokes".

My first husband and I were vegetarians for many years when our first child was born. We went through the same thing. Good luck - you will continue to come across people who will always be willing to share their opinions or say...poor little thing. It does get old. It's worse when it's close family and when they.just.won't.stop.
post #24 of 99
Maybe to get your DH more on board, you need to find an issue that he cares more about that your MIL will try to disregard you on. Because to me, this isn't a vegetarian issue, this is a "I don't respect you as a parent" issue. How does she feel about carseats? Discipline? Allergies? This is not going to stop without some measures being taken, she is going to keep disrespecting you in areas when she doesn't agree. And while normally I am all for some give and take and letting grandparents do some special things with their grandchildren, this to me seems like a small piece of a much larger problem of lack of respect.

And maybe she is just joking? I too would probably respond really strongly one time and just see if you could figure out if she is just joking or not. While it is totally rude to try and get a rise out of someone just for fun, a lot of people do it unfortunately.
post #25 of 99
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
OP -- OFF TOPIC -- how do you guys plan to do this? do you guys cook meat at home?

is dh going to stop eating meat in front of your dd?

if dh is going to continue eating meat in front of her and she wants to have some what will you say?
I am a former chef, so even though I don't eat meat, I have quite a bit of experience cooking it. It doesnt really bother me to cook meat in my home (we have seperate cooking dishes for this). I cook meat for DH about once a week. He eats meat, but he does not eat meat every day, nor does he really eat a lot of processed meat. Most of the meat we buy comes from local farmers.

He will continue eating meat, and if she wants to have some then we will have to make a trip to a local farm and then to Boone's slaughterhouse first. Obviously, they dont really let you watch while they are slaughtering, but Mr.Boone is nice and will surely give us a tour.
post #26 of 99
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I have been gone for most of the day. Thanks to everyone for their advice. I really appreciate all of your help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post

I would talk to my DH, tell him my concerns, and that the comments are making me very uncomfortable, etc., and have him bring it up with MIL. If he supports your decision, he should make it clear to MIL that it is not just your decision, but his as well, and that he, as well as you, will be extremely upset if the joking does not stop (or if meat is fed). A marriage is about a partnership, and he needs to portray that. He needs to take your side over his mother's.

If he can't do that...well...I'd suggest counseling. Seriously. What you describe sounds like a very unhealthy, passive-aggressive relationship between mother and son, and it's going to come between you for the rest of your marriage if you don't put an end to it. You should also keep in mind that the kind of relationship he has with his mother is likely to be the kind of relationship your DD will eventually have with Grandma. He needs to be modeling a healthy way of dealing with her.
This has been an issue for years. I have tried to work on it several times and I have pretty much been told that he does not have any intrest in going back and forth between me and his mother. He does not take my side, and he doesnt take hers (which in my opionion, IS taking her side). He's not interested in counseling for this issue because he doesnt thinks that is important to be loyal to his mother, regardless of his marriage.He will take my side if he sees something as being a big issue, or if he doesnt think that I am "blowing it out of proportion". I love him and married him knowing that this was an issue, so I know that I will have to compete with her for the next few years (until shes senile...shes pretty old and doesnt take care of herself at all)

Quote:
Originally Posted by spughy View Post
Chicken out of a jar isn't a "meat" issue, it's a food quality issue. I am a big fan of meat and encourage my DD to eat it (not that it's hard, she would live happily on fish, meat, eggs and fruit.) But chicken in a jar is just yucky. You could tell grandma she'd have to eat a jar first.
yep. I think maybe Ill ask her to eat a jar. I think it is totally gross, and Id love to see her explain to me why my child should eat it even though she cant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2goingon2 View Post
I would very calmly look her in the eye the next time she said something like that. Pause long enough for your gaze to have an affect and then state: "I know you find that funny but quite frankly it has grown old. When and if we decide she's ready to eat any meat, you'll be the first to know. Until then, I would appreciate no more jokes".
I feel like this would actually be a good way to deal with her. I feel like she responds well to seriousness. The next time she makes a joke, maybe Ill say this and she will feel inclined to have an actual conversation about it, where I can explain why weve chosen to go this route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post
Maybe to get your DH more on board, you need to find an issue that he cares more about that your MIL will try to disregard you on. Because to me, this isn't a vegetarian issue, this is a "I don't respect you as a parent" issue. How does she feel about carseats? Discipline? Allergies? This is not going to stop without some measures being taken, she is going to keep disrespecting you in areas when she doesn't agree. And while normally I am all for some give and take and letting grandparents do some special things with their grandchildren, this to me seems like a small piece of a much larger problem of lack of respect.
There has been one time when DH got really upset with her and kind of chewed her out. She kept referring to DD as a preemie when she was about 10 days old and DH told her, "That will be the last time you refer to my child as premature. She was not premature and she has no health problems. The fact that you refer to her as a preemie is both offensive to us and to people to ACTUALLY have children who are premature."

I plan to talk to Dh about this issue this weekend. Hopefully I can make him understand that this is a big enough issue to talk to her about. I know he would be mad if it actually happened.
post #27 of 99
I am an ethical vegetarian and DH eats meat, but we are also raising our son and future children as vegetarians. Like you, they are free to eat meat once they are old enough to realize what exactly they are eating/how it gets to their plate. We did take a good deal of chiding over this, even from my parents, but I absolutely know they would never, ever feed DS meat without my permission. And if I suspected they would, I would absolutely not leave DS with them.

I just wanted to give you a little heads up based on personal experience. People other than family will try to feed your child meat. I have no idea why, but some people seem to think chicken is not really meat, or just a little bit of meat doesn't matter (and some people actually think it's funny to try to sneak your child meat). One of my close friend's mother tried to feed DS spaghetti with meat. Right. In. Front. Of. Me. Can you believe it?? I practically shouted "stop! That one has meat" thinking she just got his meal mixed up with everyone else's and she said "oh it's just a little. Who cares?" So she actually knew it had meat and was going to feed it to him anyway. I will never leave DS with her unsupervised (and I wouldn't have expected that from her).

That kind of got off on a tangent (prego brain!) but I would ask your dh to have a serious talk with her about this issue, letting her know in no uncertain terms your position and expectations. I would also, once your child was regularly eating solids, send her food over with her so that MIL wouldn't be responsible for preparing anything. If the jokes continue and you feel she would actually give your child meat, I personally would absolutely not send her over unsupervised and I wouldn't feel the least bit bad. You wouldn't be keeping your child from her--she would be choosing to disrespect your parenting decisions and, therefore, choosing not to have the privilege of being trusted with your child.
post #28 of 99
If this was an issue about vegetarian toddlers/children I would have plenty to say (ethical omnivore here), but this is an issue about respect and your MIL needs to respect your choices unless she legitimately believes your daughter is in danger of malnourishment.
post #29 of 99
I didn't have a chance to read all the previous comments, but... I just wanted to say, I'm in a similar boat! Everyone talks about feeding DS meat and dairy (I'm a vegan) behind his back, and it really frustrates me. Especially since veganis isn't just a diet for me, it is a lifestyle, and my moral and ethical compass.

I've made it very clear to all of my family that DS will not be fed anything that isn't vegan. If they decide to go against my wishes, I will not be leaving DS unsupervised around them. I will have no problem with him visiting them - but he won't be out of my sight.

Can you compromise by bringing your MIL some things she can feed him? Maybe she just thinks of meat as THE meal, and doesn't want to just give her 'sides', or worries that your DD won't be getting enough protein or something? Make sure she knows you are giving DD lots of lentils, beans, and such... and maybe get your doctor to tell you that you can raise a healthy vegetarian baby, so you can pass it on to her! (Not that you need to be told, but so you can say 'My doctor said...'
post #30 of 99
A few thoughts...

First, I think you're greatly underestimating a child's understanding of food. I grew up on a farm. We had crops & raised various animals. I don't remember a time when I didn't understand that. My 3YO just determined she's going to become a vegetarian, and we *don't* live in a place where my children confront the animals that we eat. So I think you need to determine what your intentions are. Is your goal to set a time when you permit your dd to make that decision? If she asks for a hamburger at 2, are you going to let her have it? How, exactly, will you decide when she "knows enough" to make the decision for herself?

Separate the age/knowledge issue from a meat quality issue. They're two different issues. You will need to investigate the quality of the meats she's likely to want to try eventually (let's face it, one parent eats meat, so chances are that she'll at least try it), but you need to be prepared for that when it happens. Do that research now.

Does your MIL know what to feed a child who is vegetarian? We went through this being CF, and that is because of a food allergy. My MIL was truly stumped on altering her meals. Does your MIL know what your dd should get in terms of protein? Are you a well-informed vegetarian? (I don't ask that to be mean. I just know plenty of vegetarians - just like omnivores - who are unhealthy.) Are veggie alternatives readily available, so that if your MIL plans a cookout for the family, she can pick up veggie burgers easily? If not, are you willing to provide them?
post #31 of 99
In all honesty? I do not micromanage what the grandparents on either side do while caring for my children. There are not rules about TV. There are not rules about food. I provide guidance in car seat purchasing, appropriate diapers and changes of clothing, and I back off. My children's grandparents are not teenage babysitters for me to order around. They are OUR PARENTS who raised me and my husband to healthy, happy adulthood. They deserve my respect and deference whenever it's reasonable to give it, and I feel they've earned the right to set the standard of behavior in their own homes.

(It's probably obvious from the above that my kids' grandparents are not toxic or irresponsible, and that my children have no serious food sensitivities.)

OP, it's unfortunate that your MIL and you don't eat the same things. But I think you lose more than you gain if you try to control every single aspect of your daughter's life to the point where you're in a constant power struggle with her grandma over things like McNuggets. The human body is a remarkably resilient organism - it can endure the occasional McNugget and cartoon. You don't have to change how YOU live or what YOU believe, but much as you think it's crazy now, that 4 month old who's literally attached to you most hours of the night and day is going to be a 4 year old with her own agendas, preferences and relationships almost before you know it. There will be room in her brain to respect your choices AND grandma's choices, and to understand that different households have different central values, all of which should be graciously tolerated even when they clash with your own. Not a bad life lesson, that.

BTW, my older kids know all about meat, milk and egg production, and have since toddlerhood. Farm visits and all. It's really not a hard lesson to teach, no matter what your ethical stance. If you are calm about the slaughtering aspect, then your kids will be calm about it (even you all turn out to be opposed to it).
post #32 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
In all honesty? I do not micromanage what the grandparents on either side do while caring for my children. There are not rules about TV. There are not rules about food. I provide guidance in car seat purchasing, appropriate diapers and changes of clothing, and I back off. My children's grandparents are not teenage babysitters for me to order around. They are OUR PARENTS who raised me and my husband to healthy, happy adulthood. They deserve my respect and deference whenever it's reasonable to give it, and I feel they've earned the right to set the standard of behavior in their own homes.
Maybe the meat issue isn't one that would cause conflict for you (it wouldn't for me either), but for some people it would and I can understand that. When I read threads like this that I can't directly relate to, I imagine how I would react if the issue were one that would cause conflict for me.

For example, say that one grandmother insisted that cry-it-out was perfectly acceptable and would teach a baby to soothe himself, and that we were overindulging our baby by picking him up when he cried. Say that that grandmother made jokes about how "overprotective" mommy was, and implied that she would leave the baby to CIO if she were left in charge of him. In a situation like that, she would simply never be left in charge of my baby. We could visit however often she'd like, but she'd never be given the opportunity to leave him to CIO.

Anyway, my point is that some issues are more important than others, and that different people have different barometers for that kind of stuff. For the OP, this is an important issue and I respect that.
post #33 of 99
I am so sorry. It sounds like your dealing with the larger issue, as I am, of Grandma wanting an inappropriate relationship with DH and DC. My Dh took a while to come to my side and still falters to stand strong. This has led to his family thinking he doesn't want to be with me, then that I changed him (in to what?)

For me Dh not standing in the Gap for me was a big issue and a deal breaker. He is my husband when all the world is against me he is the one I need to be able to rely on. When I portrayed my self as...well myself damsel in distress needed assistance (even though I 'can' take care of my self) I need him. This helped him become more vocal and he does not stand for any back talking.

I think this will just be a symptom of a larger issue after issue after issue that will arise until you and Dh get some boundaries in place. When I post about MIL someone suggested that book (boundaries) and it helped me a LOT. (situation still sucks but not the life out of me KWIM?)
post #34 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
My husband and I are both rather unrepentant meat eaters, so with that said...

My daughter had zero interest in meat for quite some time. We kind of sort of would offer it and she refused so after a while we stopped offering. During that time period I could not *believe* how many people tried to force her to eat meat. (This was during the baby-toddler stage.) I had to get in somewhat fierce arguments with people about not putting meat in her mouth when she was actively saying no.

I think this is going to be a big issue. I think that your husband is going to need to seriously lay down the law if you want this rule followed. I think you are going to need to supervise visitation until you are ok with her having meat. It really sucks, but if you feel that strongly about this issue you will probably have to enforce it.

At this point my daughter is eating meat because she wants it. You might be surprised at how early children can start to understand "an actual bird died so you can eat this flesh". My daughter is only two and she can describe the process pretty well. I'm very firmly in the camp that if you are a meat eater it's not ok to think that meat comes from the grocery store wrapped in plastic.
I almost cried when I saw this post just to know I am not the only non-vegetarian who feels this way!

I don't eat a lot of meat (have never liked it) but DH is a carnivore all the way. Neither of us want our baby to have meat. ESPECIALLY not that nasty jarred "meat" eeeeeeewwwwwww.

I don't trust my MIL not to feed my child a happy meal. She happily tells a story about how she used to take my DH's cousins (raised vegetarian) to McDonald's every chance she got because "kids NEED meat" and "All that vegetarian stuff is just nonsense, people are supposed to eat meat" . She then instructed the kids to keep it a secret from Mom and Dad . I don't THINK so.
post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Maybe the meat issue isn't one that would cause conflict for you (it wouldn't for me either), but for some people it would and I can understand that. When I read threads like this that I can't directly relate to, I imagine how I would react if the issue were one that would cause conflict for me.


Anyway, my point is that some issues are more important than others, and that different people have different barometers for that kind of stuff. For the OP, this is an important issue and I respect that.


Thank you for this very well thought out post. You nailed how I (and I'm sure OP and other vegetarians/vegans) feel about this subject.
post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
In all honesty? I do not micromanage what the grandparents on either side do while caring for my children. There are not rules about TV. There are not rules about food. I provide guidance in car seat purchasing, appropriate diapers and changes of clothing, and I back off. My children's grandparents are not teenage babysitters for me to order around. They are OUR PARENTS who raised me and my husband to healthy, happy adulthood. They deserve my respect and deference whenever it's reasonable to give it, and I feel they've earned the right to set the standard of behavior in their own homes.

(It's probably obvious from the above that my kids' grandparents are not toxic or irresponsible, and that my children have no serious food sensitivities.)

OP, it's unfortunate that your MIL and you don't eat the same things. But I think you lose more than you gain if you try to control every single aspect of your daughter's life to the point where you're in a constant power struggle with her grandma over things like McNuggets. The human body is a remarkably resilient organism - it can endure the occasional McNugget and cartoon. You don't have to change how YOU live or what YOU believe, but much as you think it's crazy now, that 4 month old who's literally attached to you most hours of the night and day is going to be a 4 year old with her own agendas, preferences and relationships almost before you know it. There will be room in her brain to respect your choices AND grandma's choices, and to understand that different households have different central values, all of which should be graciously tolerated even when they clash with your own. Not a bad life lesson, that.
This goes beyond different diets... For many (I might even say MOST) vegetarians, it's not just a different diet -- it's a serious moral and/or health choice. There are some things that IMO are non-negotiable. My child will not be left to CIO. My child will not play with (real) guns. My child will be raised Catholic & attend Mass each week. My child will ride in a car seat. My child will not be physically disciplined. My child will not eat meat. Health/safety/moral issues are not something I'm willing to back off on, and I think many of us feel this way. No, grandparents are not teenage babysitters, but they also aren't my child's parents. As his parents, I feel it's my responsibility to raise him within these guidelines & make sure others respect them as well. This is not about grandparents giving the kid an extra cookie or letting them watch an extra hour of TV or stay up late. IMO, it's a much more serious issue.
post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
This is not about grandparents giving the kid an extra cookie or letting them watch an extra hour of TV or stay up late. IMO, it's a much more serious issue.
That's right. And, as serious as that may be, it's not even really about whether the kid eats meat. It's about whether OP's MIL respects her choices as a parent. She clearly does not. She's making fun of OP's choices and laughing about sneaking around behind OP's back in order to break OP's rules in front of OP's child. That's wildly inappropriate. Talk about teaching a child to disrespect her own mother.

Micromanagement has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's situation, and I can't understand why anyone would think that it does.
post #38 of 99
So far, I've seen several potential issues mentioned in this thread that some people consider trivial and some people consider vital:

* Happy Meals (junk food in general)
* Meat (ethically ambiguous foods in general)
* TV (an extra hour thereof, any at all)


and then some issues that most of us consider vital:

* don't hit the kids
* don't let the kids CIO
* don't drive the kids around without properly restraining them


The OP feels she has an issue with her MIL being disrespectful. That may well be true. The MIL seems to feel that the OP is hypersensitive in the matter of a child's hypothetical future diet. That may well be true, and MIL may feel disrespected by that, depending on how it's expressed in social situations. Since the child in question is only four months old, probably all involved are going to find their positions shifting and changing in the next few years. The fact that it's even being discussed at this point lets me know that both the OP and the MIL are not dealing with their difference in the friendliest, most respectful way possible. I have no problem following food rules when I babysit a child, but a first-time mom of a 4 month old who is listing out her Cast In Stone beliefs about what her child should/will/can eat a year or two or three from now? I think that person is in for a reality check about the level of control that one person (even a mom) can usefully and healthily wield over what is chewed and swallowed by another person (even a toddler. Especially a toddler.).

OP, you need to decide if it's more important to have dietary and other non-safety-related restrictions respected, or for your child to spend time alone with Grandma. (I can see either answer being the right one for you, depending on your specific beliefs about food, family ties etc.). Then you need to ask your husband what HE thinks, and then the two of you need to arrive at a compromise you can both live with. If he wants his mother to quit the passive-aggressive spiel, then he should tell her that. If he wants his wife to show some deference to his mother in non-life-or-death stuff, then he should express that as well. You can't begin to work out a solution among parents until both of you are being really honest with each other about your priorities. And you certainly can't deal with a MIL issue until both of you are on board with a solution and presenting a united front.

I feel like this comes off as me not supporting you in eating vegetarian yourself and in feeding your child vegetarian foods. I DO support that. But you are the only vegetarian adult in her life, and if you want other adults to have important caregiving roles, then you may want to consider letting go of the control a bit. I'd be saying the exact same thing if you were the only TV-free adult in your child's life. I happen to be the only adult Jew among my children's local family caregivers, and you know what? They watch Rudolph. With my MIL.

Letting go of a bit of control doesn't mean - "fine, give her meat, I condone it." It might mean "fries and chocolate milk are OK, but no Nuggets please." In the nearer term, it might mean buying some non-meat Gerber with a high protein level listed on the label and bringing it along in the diaper bag when Grandma babysits. Show that you, too, care about protein

If your husband was happy and loved and safe in his mother's house, your child can be too. It might be best to stop counting the years until she "goes senile" and be grateful that she's still got it together and your children will have good memories of her. You don't have to like her. But your husband loves and respects her, and his children should as well. Right now, before your child is old enough to notice any friction, is the time to figure out how you can engender that without making yourself miserable. I don't know waht your answer will be, but I do know that your resentment level is sky-high right now, and that something needs to change.
post #39 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
I have no problem following food rules when I babysit a child, but a first-time mom of a 4 month old who is listing out her Cast In Stone beliefs about what her child should/will/can eat a year or two or three from now? I think that person is in for a reality check about the level of control that one person (even a mom) can usefully and healthily wield over what is chewed and swallowed by another person (even a toddler. Especially a toddler.).
You make some good points in your post, but what if a family's food habits were associated with their religion? Would you think it was unrealistic for them to expect to "control" their child's adherence to those religious-based food values, at least through toddlerhood?

I know a family in which the mom is Jewish and the dad isn't really religious, but treif isn't served in their house (although the dad will sometimes order bacon or something at a restaurant). And their kids weren't given any of those foods when they were babies, toddlers, or young children. Now that the kids are older (5 and 8) they're curious about it, and the 5yo just asked her mom last week if she could try pepperoni pizza and the mom said yes, but no one accused that mother of needing a reality check when her kids were babies and she voiced her beliefs about food and planned to raise her kids with those beliefs, at least for the first few years of their lives.
post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
This goes beyond different diets... For many (I might even say MOST) vegetarians, it's not just a different diet -- it's a serious moral and/or health choice.
I agree. It's a matter of priorities.

OP, my parents are both vegetarians, and so is most of my extended family. But when I was younger, my parents would let me "choose", when we were out what to eat, more out of wanting to fit in than anything else. Hot dogs, ect, I stopped on my own by the time I entered elementary. I wish that they hadn't, and I won't be giving my son the same choice before he know what he is choosing. Your MIL should respect your choices about food just as much-- if not more, than your 'rules' about car seats.

I personally would be more angry if my mom gave my son a teeny piece of meat than if she took him for a 5 minute ride in the car without his seat.
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