My MIL told my dd she's getting "quite a stomach." - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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My dd (9) is not super skinny, but she's certainly not heavy, either. She exercises a lot (soccer, swimming lessons, karate, etc.) She eats a lot of fruit and vegetables, too. Overall pretty healthy kid.

So, we went to a restaurant, and MIL said to my dd, "Wow, you're really getting quite a stomach, aren't you." I yelled at MIL. I said, "She's just fine, and don't you ever say anything like that to her again."

I was (am) so livid. There are so many societal pressures to be thin. And MIL of all people should know better, since her daughter (my SIL) had bulimia for quite a while in her youth.

And why do people sometimes forget to treat children as human beings? Would you ever go to any other person, pat their stomach, and say, "My, you're really packing, aren't you?" Why would anyone ever consider that acceptable to say to a child?

And MIL tries to give my dd soda pop incessantly. Dh and I put a stop to that. So she wants to contribute to the situation, and then put dd down for it. UGH that woman drives me crazy.

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#2 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 07:33 AM
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to you and your DD.

I know first-hand how damaging stupid comments like that can be to a young girl. When I was 13, my dad pinched my arm and said, "Gettin' a little fat aren't ya?"

Now, my dad is a wonderful father and I know he never intended to hurt my feelings. To him, being fat isn't a bad thing. He was just making an observation that I'd put on some weight. But, ooooh, that comment still sticks with me today. I starved all through high school, trying to avoid fat comments. And I succeeded. In fact, I ended up with people telling me I was "too thin" which just made my self-esteem worse. I didn't know what was a normal weight, or how to acheive a normal weight. I just went back and forth for years, eating, then starving, eating, then starving. Even today I struggle with it.

I think some people don't realize that the "fat feelings" start very early with girls. Like they think, "well she's only 9, so it's still ok to joke about being chubby" or whatever. My sister jokes with my neice about having a "big butt" (the kid is 7 1/2 and is a gangly thing, not an ounce of fat on her). I'm not sure if my neice knows she's joking or not. If I hear her say it again, I'm going to step in because you just never know if it's going to effect them emotionally, ya know?

Good for you for sticking up for her.
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#3 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 07:51 AM
 
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Holy crap, what a moment! I would have been really really unhappy about that too. How did your Dd react?

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#4 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 08:52 AM
 
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I saw your post and thought of a comment my aunt made. When I was really little I was skinny then around your daughters age I got chubby...then hit a growth spurt and got skinny again. (I wish I could do that again!) Anyways she said....you used to be so skinny and cute and now you are getting so chubby. I obssessed about this for YEARS!!!! So please tell your daughter she is a great, cute person skinny or chubby. Oh....that would make me so upset.....because I know from experience how long I hung on to that comment.....ARGHHHHHH
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#5 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 09:54 AM
 
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It makes me so mad when people say stuff like that!!! Good for you for saying what youy did to her. Maybe next time she gives your dd soda you could say something about that to her. A child should just be able to be a child without grown-ups subjecting them to their own body image issues. UGH!

Hugs to you and your dd mama!
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#6 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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Surely it can't have escaped your MIL that women are under a lot of pressure to be thin. Your response was great, you stood up for your daughter. Congrats!
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#7 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
And MIL of all people should know better, since her daughter (my SIL) had bulimia for quite a while in her youth.
Well I guess we know the root of that particular problem.:

I think you reacted very well - I cannot believe she said that. Good for you for sticking up for your daughter!
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#8 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
How did your Dd react?
She just had a look on her face like she couldn't believe g-ma would say that. Sometimes she's a very quiet kid and it's hard to always tell what she's thinking. I apologized to her later for g-ma being mean and told her that g-ma's comment was absolutely not true. And I gave her a comeback.......I told her that if g-ma ever says that again, she has my permission to respond: "Well, your stomach is bigger!" ('cuz g-ma is overweight.)

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#9 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie
Well I guess we know the root of that particular problem.:
That thought certainly crossed my mind, too. And dh said that if his mom "complains" to him about my yelling at her, he is going to remind her that his sister had bulimia.

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#10 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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PS. Whenever I stand up for my kids with MIL or tell MIL not to do something (don't feed them soda pop with dinner, for example), she gets this really huffy, "Well, I never!" attitude and then complains to my dh. So, I'm sure he'll hear about this one, as well. But he absolutely agrees with me.

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#11 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 12:52 PM
 
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My DS is only 3 months old now, but mil is always saying how "overweight" he is in one way or another. Her last comment was a very rude, "You have an overweight dog and now you have an overweight baby!" Said with a smile of course but it's all too obvious that's how she actually feels. For the record, neither the dog OR the baby are, or ever have been, overweight. My DS is simply a big boy. He was 9 lbs 6 oz when born and so is still a fairly large baby. I checked with his ped and she said that he is absolutely perfect and obviously well taken care of!

The comments are one thing but mil is always trying to get me not to feed the baby as much as he needs and that is NOT okay in any way, shape or form. He currently eats about 6 ounces at a feeding bit since he'll sometimes eat less and we don't want to waste anything, we usually start him with about 3 ounces and then prepare more if he's still hungry. The last time mil was here, I had made DS a 3 ounce bottle. Mil fed it to him and when DS was done, he started crying because he was obviously still hungry. Mil just looks at him and tells him to quiet down because he doesn't need anything more to eat. I made up another bottle and handed it to her and she actually refused to give it to him at first! I told her that his DOCTOR had said to feed him exactly the way we were feeding him and finally mil gave him the other bottle. This from the woman who expects me to leave my child ALONE and unsupervised with her to babysit him??? I don't think so! I'd come home to find a screaming, starving infant.

The next time your mil made a comment like that, I'd say something like "Well, at least she can lose the weight. I don't know that the same can be said of your nasty attitude." Then I'd get up and walk out.
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#12 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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Wow, A&A. You MUST be livid. I've never seen you write that much before! I popped in here to see what the latest wacko MIL story was all about (I have one of those MIL's myself...) and I read your story, saw the in your sig, and thought to myself, Hm, I wonder if I recognize this person from TCAC, and liked to fell out of my chair when I saw it was you! LOL.

But yeah, I'm glad you told your MIL off. I'm forced to wonder if she made comments like that to her daughter, and that played a contribution to her developing bulimia.

Edit:
OOPs nevermind, I just finished reading the rest of the posts. LOL.
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#13 of 35 Old 07-15-2006, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gabysmom617
Wow, A&A. You MUST be livid. I've never seen you write that much before!

Really? Sometimes I can be quite long-winded.

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#14 of 35 Old 07-19-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Thank goodness you put her in her place, A&A! What a horrible and completely inappropriate thing to say! :

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfowler
My DS is only 3 months old now, but mil is always saying how "overweight" he is in one way or another. Her last comment was a very rude, "You have an overweight dog and now you have an overweight baby!" Said with a smile of course but it's all too obvious that's how she actually feels.
You know, I would seriously tell this woman to shove off immediately. Tell her that unless there's something sweet and loving (and genuinely so) about your child coming from her lips, she's to keep them glued together in your and his presence. Boys are heavily impacted by this stuff, too, and given that she's obviously lacking boundaries in a very big way, it's likely to only get worse as he gets older.
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#15 of 35 Old 07-19-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Ugh, my Granny (who raised me) is like your MIL. She is a very sweet woman, but very judgemental. The entire time I was growing up I was told I had a "bubble-butt" and large thighs and a pot belly, you name it. I have learned to ignore it because I know she has no idea what she's talking about, but I grew up with a horrible body image. I was dieting on slim fast and rice cakes at age 13 : Honestly, until I was about 18 I was pretty skinny, not rail thin, but certainly not in need of dieting. When I hit 18 I finally got some self-esteem and let myself gain a little weight because I wasn't so hung up on whether or not I was fat.

Granny still lives with me and often makes comments on people's physical appearance, like a friend of ours who has a beautiful full figure and isn't afraid to let it show (not in the overt-sexual way, just form fitting and flattering clothes) and of course Granny will make comments like how this friend shouldn't dress the way she does because sometimes her belly hangs out the bottom of her shirt. Whose belly doesn't hang of baby T's?

Occasionally Granny has made comments about dd (who is only 2 btw) and I snap on her everytime. No, my dd is not fat,skinny, got a belly, have chubby legs, etc. DD is exactly the way she is meant to be. I refuse to let this woman inflict the pain on my dd that she did on me.

I really do wonder what makes people think they have the right to make such [very possibly hurtful] comments. It blows my mind. I get the same sh*t when I'm pregnant and it ticks me off to no end. What happened to manners, common sense and tact?
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#16 of 35 Old 07-19-2006, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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So two days later, dh and the kids went to MIL's for dinner (I wasn't invited--the only reason dh went without me is because he wanted to see his sister and BIL who were visiting from out of town.) Anyway, I made dh promise to stick up for dd if his mother said anything else rude (which he would anyway.)

Well, she said something rude to my dh (her son, of course.) She told HIM that he needs to lose weight! His reply (said sarcastically): "Who made you Jenny Craig?" She shut up immediately, and BIL was ROTFL.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#17 of 35 Old 07-19-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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Comments like your MILs are what made me really overly concious of my body. That conciousness and my personality are what led me to 8 years of eating disporders. I'm recovereing now.

Good for you for standing up to her and telling her that those comments are both not appropriate and not welcome.

My own mother sounds a lot like your MIL. She makes offhand comments about my 12 year old sisters' size (a bit overweight), but does nothing to help my sister eat well (buys soda, snack foods, doesn't encourage well rounded diet) or get more exercise (limiting her video game/computer/television addiction? Taking family bike rides?)

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
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#18 of 35 Old 07-20-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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I'm sorry but, <What a Biotch!>
She should apologize to your dd.
Some people get wiser as they get older. some get worse.
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#19 of 35 Old 07-20-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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Is she getting a big tummy?
I ask only because it was the first thing I noticed about dd scoliosis.
I thought she wasn't sucking it in/standing up straight poor kid I kept telling her not to slouch! Ask your GP next time to check her spine.

8 might be enough
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#20 of 35 Old 07-20-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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Nice. As a person with an eating disorder, and parents/sibling/everybodydamnedelse who made "wow, you sure are getting fat" comments to me, starting at age NINE, I would love the opportunity to smack that woman.

Yeah, nine is when my MOTHER put me on my first diet. Thanks, mom.

OP, thank you so so so SO much for doing what my mother could never/would never do. I applaud you.
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#21 of 35 Old 07-20-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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Oh mama, I was once that little girl. Only I didn't have a brave mother who stood up to all the insensitive pricks who said horrible things to me about my weight. I look back at pictures of myself then, and I can see that I *wasn't* unhealthy, just normal pre-teen chubbiness, and if people had just STFU then I probably would have thinned out naturally. However, the only purpose those heartless remarks served was to create a terrible self image and and a lifelong battle to maintain a healthy weight and have a healthy attitude toward food. How sad and ironic. To this day I am haunted by the names my family and family friends called me while I was young.

to you mama, for standing up for your little girl. Keep it up. She needs to hear the message that she is beautiful, that she is loved NO MATTER WHAT she looks like.
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#22 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh
Is she getting a big tummy?
I ask only because it was the first thing I noticed about dd scoliosis.
I thought she wasn't sucking it in/standing up straight poor kid I kept telling her not to slouch! Ask your GP next time to check her spine.

She doesn't really stand up straight. Hmm.....

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#23 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 02:12 AM
 
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Good for you for standing up for your daughter. Argh - that is just infuriating! I was coming to this forum to post something that MY mil said to MY daughter when I saw your post. What is it with MIL's? I won't hijack your thread though! I'm so sorry she was such a you-know-what to your daughter.
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#24 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A
her daughter (my SIL) had bulimia for quite a while in her youth.
Gee, can't imagine how that happened.

I dunno, I think I would totally call her on that point, if she keeps saying stuff. Even if you take her aside and very sweetly say "I don't want DD to end up like SIL, so stop commenting on her weight". It's low and it's mean, but so is what she's doing.
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#25 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 02:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette
I dunno, I think I would totally call her on that point, if she keeps saying stuff. Even if you take her aside and very sweetly say "I don't want DD to end up like SIL, so stop commenting on her weight". It's low and it's mean, but so is what she's doing.
Honeslty, I don't think it's low and mean at all. I think it's very direct and to the point. It might tick her off, but quite frankly, tough.
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#26 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
She just had a look on her face like she couldn't believe g-ma would say that. Sometimes she's a very quiet kid and it's hard to always tell what she's thinking. I apologized to her later for g-ma being mean and told her that g-ma's comment was absolutely not true. And I gave her a comeback.......I told her that if g-ma ever says that again, she has my permission to respond: "Well, your stomach is bigger!" ('cuz g-ma is overweight.)
Okay, first I totally agree that what you MIL said was totally out of line, and I think you did great to stick up for your dd. But I bristled a bit when I read the response of "well, your stomach is bigger." It seems to me that the point of this conversation with your dd would not be about how big her belly is or isn't, but rather that it doesn't matter the shape or size of any part of her body, because her body is beautiful, and that no one has the right to make her feel bad about it. By giving her that response, you are essentially reinforcing that a big belly=something bad. What your MIL said was wrong not because your dd doesn't have a big belly, but because of what she really meant by that statement, which was a criticism of your daughter's body based on screwed up versions of what a beautiful body is.

I don't know if I'm explaining this right (I'm hurrying so I can go watch a movie with dh), but I just wanted to share my thoughts that adopting that kind of attitude is actually buying into and further promoting the culture of women being unaccepting of our bodies.
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#27 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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I had the very very beginnings of puberty when I was 9, got my period at 10.5 years old, and had a little bit of leftover "baby" fat until I was 13-14. I remember during this time being told by my own mother to watch my weight, watch what I was eating, and once being told to "get off your fat ass". I joined track for a while in 8th grade, which helped to regulate things, and I continued to jog for a while after I quit. By the time I graduated high school I was 5'0" and weighed around 100lbs. I stayed at that weight until I got pregnant with my first, and after I had him I went back down to 120. I got pregnant again immediately after, so that's all the farther I went down. I am 38 weeks pregnant and close to 150 lbs, and I've got to be honest I'm more happy being heavier than being a stick all the time. Other than breastfeeding, I have no plans to try to lose weight, in fact I'd like to maintain my weight around 120-130. Being thin is so overrated. I would tell your daughter that she's beautiful just how she is, and that being skinny isn't what's important in life.
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#28 of 35 Old 07-21-2006, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Okay, first I totally agree that what you MIL said was totally out of line, and I think you did great to stick up for your dd. But I bristled a bit when I read the response of "well, your stomach is bigger." It seems to me that the point of this conversation with your dd would not be about how big her belly is or isn't, but rather that it doesn't matter the shape or size of any part of her body, because her body is beautiful, and that no one has the right to make her feel bad about it. By giving her that response, you are essentially reinforcing that a big belly=something bad. What your MIL said was wrong not because your dd doesn't have a big belly, but because of what she really meant by that statement, which was a criticism of your daughter's body based on screwed up versions of what a beautiful body is.

I don't know if I'm explaining this right (I'm hurrying so I can go watch a movie with dh), but I just wanted to share my thoughts that adopting that kind of attitude is actually buying into and further promoting the culture of women being unaccepting of our bodies.

Good points, thank you.

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#29 of 35 Old 07-22-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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I think I would tell her if she can't shut her nasty fat trap she won't be seeing my kids anymore. What a
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#30 of 35 Old 07-22-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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I absolutely would not allow comments like that around my dc. The first time I would have said something similar, the second something similar to "I really don't want my kids to hang around people with such a negative body image." She should get the hint.
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