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Just wanted to share something about my mother in law


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#1 tessakrista

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

I have a very interesting and controlling MIL. Ds9 and I went to visit her 6 days ago. I brought my own food, so that I could cook at her place, but that didn't work. She didn't want me cooking there, and she only wanted us to eat the already cooked rice I brought, and the veggie salad. Her friend brought her a pastry, and she included that as well.

She was coughing, and then she was tasting the rice, putting the spoon in her mouth, then she would stir the cooked rice, and distributed it on my plate, ds9's plate and her plate. I find that so.... wrong. Anyways...she offered us some cream cheese, and ds9 told her that he didn't want any bc she was double dipping, and she yelled at him, and said everyone double dips, it's normal. He said that he didn't want any since she had double dipped. He went to the bathroom, and she ate the majority of her Italian pastry, and then when he came back, she told him to eat it. So he ate the small piece that remained, after she had eaten around the Zeppoli. He didn't know that she had eaten around it, I had seen her, and didn't know that she had offered it to him.

Oh yah... to make everything even more interesting...she was coughing all the time, and had phlem come up. So....here she is licking her spoon, using her spoon as the serving spoon, and spreading everything everywhere. I just find it all appalling. I just wanted to get out of there. Not surprising...she talked to me today and I asked about her health, bc I noticed she was coughing on Sunday...and she said that she has been very sick all this week with a lot of phlegm, headaches, diarrhea, tired in her bones and a sore throat. REally... She demands that none of her grandkids go to her old age home when they are sick, but she expects them to go see her when they are sick. BTW...she sold her house and wanted to move in to this little quaint old age building right beside her church. She wants to live independently, in a small space. She has 6 children who would quickly take her into their homes....even though she is so controlling... but she doesn't want any of that.

Just to let you know....one of her daugthers, my sister in law, does the same thing...the licking of the spoon and drinking from the same cup....kind of thing. It all upsets me so much!

One time at the end of last summer she had a get together at her house with all of the Italian side of the family. My son went in and asked for juice, she poured some cranberry coctail juice, drank from the glass, and handed that glass to him, telling him that she was a bit thirsty. I asked her if she had another glass, because she is a known staph carrier. She was really really offended. She told me that my kid is going to be really anxious about germs if I don't stop it. (guess that is true) Anyways...I insisted...and she said that the cranberry costs a lot of money, so she told my ds9 to give the rest of the glass to one of the uncles. She poured another glass, a small one, and told ds9 to drink it all, bc it is expensive. I find the whole thing very weird, considering that together, my sister in law and her husband likely make 400 thousand dollars per year. He is a professor and as I have found out recently, owns his own social agency/service that has been receiving a lot of funding (almost 300 thousand) that goes mostly to him, and she makes around 100 thousand, as a therapist.

She also did the same thing when it came to scooping out ice cream. She licked the spoon, and then dished it out, and I asked if we could pass on it.

I know I get obsessed with my ds's health....as I suspect we all do.... but I just find it so wrong...so rude...to do what these two do. I am so careful about sharing stuff.

Anyways...I just really need to vent. I figure that this is a good forum to do that, because we are all so aware of our children's health, and anything that can jeapardize their health and well being.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. This theme is not new, but because he has had a new flare up, I am more acutely aware of how much this type of rude and ignorant behaviour upsets me so much.


#2 1tiredmama

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:54 PM

Oh. My. Goodness!!! I could never go back! I can barely tolerate anyone touching my food, let alone licking it! And sick??? Yuck!

Have you tried using the "Ds's doctor said... therefore, I cannot allow..." line? Probably won't change their behavior, but it might empower you to stick to your insistence that your family's food not be touched.

Reminds me of a self-centered in-law who, years ago, refused to stop chain-smoking indoors during a family holiday weekend while my 4-month old had RSV.

I can understand why you needed to vent. :wacko:
DS18 dx'd PANDAS in 2012, 14 years after first symptoms appeared
DS15 Happy and healthy!
DD12 dx'd PANDAS in 2012, 9 years after first symptoms appeared

#3 tessakrista

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:00 AM

Oh. My. Goodness!!! I could never go back! I can barely tolerate anyone touching my food, let alone licking it! And sick??? Yuck!

Have you tried using the "Ds's doctor said... therefore, I cannot allow..." line? Probably won't change their behavior, but it might empower you to stick to your insistence that your family's food not be touched.

Reminds me of a self-centered in-law who, years ago, refused to stop chain-smoking indoors during a family holiday weekend while my 4-month old had RSV.

I can understand why you needed to vent. :wacko:


Self-centered in laws... yes. Both mother in law (MIL) and one of my sister in laws. Have to tip toe around things, which is really a sign of a controlling person. My husband has picked up some of their narcissistic traits, although the food licking, I have been able to competly halt, and my son and I are very vocal about it at home, so.... no sharing of utensils, cups, stuff put in mouth or anything in our house, and that includes me and my son. I don't want him getting anything he doesn't need to pick up. So...imagine how it feels to have my mother in law and my sister in law, do this thing, which is their thing, where they lick food, eat food, and then use the same utensil to scoop your own food, or they take a bite or drink something, and then pass it on to you. I just find it all so bizarre, and I hate it.

My mother in law has been known in the past to serve food to people, and whatever we don't finish, she would scoop up into a tuperware thing, and then refrigerate it, and tell my husband and I that she was going to save it for her other son who would come over the next day. I remember making a mental note not to eat what she cooked and served, because it was likely a leftover from someone else's plate. This is normal fare. Her daughters and sons find it all normal. My dh has adjusted because I find it unacceptable, but really, he grew up with that. I guess bc there were 6 kids, and she got used to doing that to save. But, the kids are all grown up and so are the grandkids, and she still does it. It doesn't matter whether someone gives her stuff, or she makes it, she will save it and then redistribute it.

So, that's why I brought food over, but she only wanted me to put on the table the food that I had already cooked, and not allow me to cook the organic chicken, even though ds9 said that he was looking forward to eating the chicken.

I guess m-i-l has narcissistic personality disorder, where only her needs are paramount. Don't know, but I know it bothers me so much. Plus, I know for a fact that one of her daughters does the same kind of thing, and it is viewed as normal. We went to my sister in law's house for some party in early Feb, bc she was the one who threw my ds's ninth family day birthday party. (He had a huge one with kids the following day at an indoor playground...and this was the family one, which I did't have last year with the family). Anyways...the sister in law, once again, scooped someone up, put it in her mouth, ate it, and then was going to scoop with the same spoon to feed ds9, and this time, she asked me if I preferred if she got another spoon, instead of using that one. I don't know why this is such an odd thing, but they find it odd.

Yes.. I don't want to go to MIL's place. I will avoid anything to do with eating. I will ask her point blank if she is sick, because I don't want my son to get sick, because it is not right to invite someone over when you are sick, and I will remind her that she feels the same way. She is very intense and very controlling, and sometimes she is a fun kind of person. Sort of like...you don't know what to expect out of her.

Anyways...just wanted to vent, because this is the norm in my dh's family, and I am totally seen as the weirdo for not believing that everyone should share food from the same spoon or drink the leftover stuff. I know teenagers do that, but you know what, I am not a teenager any more. Plus, I am a mother of a son who has changes when he is sick, particularly when he ends up with strep. It bothers me so much.

Just wanted someone to validate. Feel pretty alone in all of this. This forum has been so helpful and so supportive. I get ideas on what to do about my ds9's behaviour, and see that others have witnessed the same from their children. Thank you so much!

#4 tpotter

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:53 AM


Oh. My. Goodness!!! I could never go back! I can barely tolerate anyone touching my food, let alone licking it! And sick??? Yuck!

Have you tried using the "Ds's doctor said... therefore, I cannot allow..." line? Probably won't change their behavior, but it might empower you to stick to your insistence that your family's food not be touched.

Reminds me of a self-centered in-law who, years ago, refused to stop chain-smoking indoors during a family holiday weekend while my 4-month old had RSV.

I can understand why you needed to vent. :wacko:


Self-centered in laws... yes. Both mother in law (MIL) and one of my sister in laws. Have to tip toe around things, which is really a sign of a controlling person. My husband has picked up some of their narcissistic traits, although the food licking, I have been able to competly halt, and my son and I are very vocal about it at home, so.... no sharing of utensils, cups, stuff put in mouth or anything in our house, and that includes me and my son. I don't want him getting anything he doesn't need to pick up. So...imagine how it feels to have my mother in law and my sister in law, do this thing, which is their thing, where they lick food, eat food, and then use the same utensil to scoop your own food, or they take a bite or drink something, and then pass it on to you. I just find it all so bizarre, and I hate it.

My mother in law has been known in the past to serve food to people, and whatever we don't finish, she would scoop up into a tuperware thing, and then refrigerate it, and tell my husband and I that she was going to save it for her other son who would come over the next day. I remember making a mental note not to eat what she cooked and served, because it was likely a leftover from someone else's plate. This is normal fare. Her daughters and sons find it all normal. My dh has adjusted because I find it unacceptable, but really, he grew up with that. I guess bc there were 6 kids, and she got used to doing that to save. But, the kids are all grown up and so are the grandkids, and she still does it. It doesn't matter whether someone gives her stuff, or she makes it, she will save it and then redistribute it.

So, that's why I brought food over, but she only wanted me to put on the table the food that I had already cooked, and not allow me to cook the organic chicken, even though ds9 said that he was looking forward to eating the chicken.

I guess m-i-l has narcissistic personality disorder, where only her needs are paramount. Don't know, but I know it bothers me so much. Plus, I know for a fact that one of her daughters does the same kind of thing, and it is viewed as normal. We went to my sister in law's house for some party in early Feb, bc she was the one who threw my ds's ninth family day birthday party. (He had a huge one with kids the following day at an indoor playground...and this was the family one, which I did't have last year with the family). Anyways...the sister in law, once again, scooped someone up, put it in her mouth, ate it, and then was going to scoop with the same spoon to feed ds9, and this time, she asked me if I preferred if she got another spoon, instead of using that one. I don't know why this is such an odd thing, but they find it odd.

Yes.. I don't want to go to MIL's place. I will avoid anything to do with eating. I will ask her point blank if she is sick, because I don't want my son to get sick, because it is not right to invite someone over when you are sick, and I will remind her that she feels the same way. She is very intense and very controlling, and sometimes she is a fun kind of person. Sort of like...you don't know what to expect out of her.

Anyways...just wanted to vent, because this is the norm in my dh's family, and I am totally seen as the weirdo for not believing that everyone should share food from the same spoon or drink the leftover stuff. I know teenagers do that, but you know what, I am not a teenager any more. Plus, I am a mother of a son who has changes when he is sick, particularly when he ends up with strep. It bothers me so much.

Just wanted someone to validate. Feel pretty alone in all of this. This forum has been so helpful and so supportive. I get ideas on what to do about my ds9's behaviour, and see that others have witnessed the same from their children. Thank you so much!


Just stick by what you're doing. She's never going to understand. I don't suppose you could sometimes pass on going to visit? I finally got to that point with my MIL/SIL (SIL was the worst, and now that MIL has passed away, I absolutely refuse to do anything around SIL...she had made some terribly wild accusations against me, and recently I confronted her in front of everyone, and then told her never to contact me or my children again...I meant it.) So, I totally get where you're coming from. BTW, I feel so much calmer now that I don't have to put up with the nonsense.

#5 cobbiemommy

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:47 AM

My MIL started out very similar to your MIL. She kept telling me that back in the past when they used to go to Aunt Smith's everyone would drink from the same dipper at the well. I said how nice for them, but they also had a younger life expectancy! :angry:

MIL is not very well educated or well read (not being a snob, but it makes a difference in this case). I keep explaining to her that we all use our own glass, spoon, etc. If we foget which one is ours, we get a new one. That's what dishwashers are for!

She is starting to come around after this latest batch of testing, because I told her the reults in the most bare boned way that I could. Also, just explained that we would not be spending this kind of money if there wasn't something wrong.

This is the same woman who told me I had son on too many medicines, especially antibiotics. I felt vindicated when I found out that son has no ability to fight off strep, so they really were necessary!

Stick to your guns!
Cobbie

#6 bulldog24

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:21 AM

Holy gross!
Wouldnt go back. Its a risk to your son.

#7 jag10

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:07 PM

OMG, this thread had me cracking up!!!!

Especially the dipper! My FIL coached my SILs in softball and used to bring a pail of water and a dipper. If a girl was thirsty, that's how they got a drink.

My dh and I both come from big food sharing families. It's really been a shift in mindset that has taken awhile to occur. My dh was infamous for this one....putting a straw in a juice pouch and taking a sip out of it before handing it over; why? Because as soon as a little hand grabs it, they squeeze and it drips onto floor or table or whatever.

It's a lot of effort to change these habits if you grew up in a sharing family. I don't think it has a fig to do with affluence if you grew up on a shoe string, those are the habits you developed early on. Working in an elementary school, you should see what goes on in the cafeteria among kids! They take the "Pound of dirt before you die" to totally different levels.

My mom has laughed at me asking since when did I become a germaphobe? Since I've been shelling out tens of thousands of dollars and buckets of tears trying to get and keep these girls healthy mom! She tries to remember, but I know I have to start from scratch at our next visit. Honestly, I worry more about the little cousins than the adults. Their noses are always running and they cough all over the place and always have strep. It's everywhere which makes all of this such a daunting task. No bubbles exist.

#8 cory2605

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:40 PM

I have a very interesting and controlling MIL. Ds9 and I went to visit her 6 days ago. I brought my own food, so that I could cook at her place, but that didn't work. She didn't want me cooking there, and she only wanted us to eat the already cooked rice I brought, and the veggie salad. Her friend brought her a pastry, and she included that as well.

She was coughing, and then she was tasting the rice, putting the spoon in her mouth, then she would stir the cooked rice, and distributed it on my plate, ds9's plate and her plate. I find that so.... wrong. Anyways...she offered us some cream cheese, and ds9 told her that he didn't want any bc she was double dipping, and she yelled at him, and said everyone double dips, it's normal. He said that he didn't want any since she had double dipped. He went to the bathroom, and she ate the majority of her Italian pastry, and then when he came back, she told him to eat it. So he ate the small piece that remained, after she had eaten around the Zeppoli. He didn't know that she had eaten around it, I had seen her, and didn't know that she had offered it to him.

Oh yah... to make everything even more interesting...she was coughing all the time, and had phlem come up. So....here she is licking her spoon, using her spoon as the serving spoon, and spreading everything everywhere. I just find it all appalling. I just wanted to get out of there. Not surprising...she talked to me today and I asked about her health, bc I noticed she was coughing on Sunday...and she said that she has been very sick all this week with a lot of phlegm, headaches, diarrhea, tired in her bones and a sore throat. REally... She demands that none of her grandkids go to her old age home when they are sick, but she expects them to go see her when they are sick. BTW...she sold her house and wanted to move in to this little quaint old age building right beside her church. She wants to live independently, in a small space. She has 6 children who would quickly take her into their homes....even though she is so controlling... but she doesn't want any of that.

Just to let you know....one of her daugthers, my sister in law, does the same thing...the licking of the spoon and drinking from the same cup....kind of thing. It all upsets me so much!

One time at the end of last summer she had a get together at her house with all of the Italian side of the family. My son went in and asked for juice, she poured some cranberry coctail juice, drank from the glass, and handed that glass to him, telling him that she was a bit thirsty. I asked her if she had another glass, because she is a known staph carrier. She was really really offended. She told me that my kid is going to be really anxious about germs if I don't stop it. (guess that is true) Anyways...I insisted...and she said that the cranberry costs a lot of money, so she told my ds9 to give the rest of the glass to one of the uncles. She poured another glass, a small one, and told ds9 to drink it all, bc it is expensive. I find the whole thing very weird, considering that together, my sister in law and her husband likely make 400 thousand dollars per year. He is a professor and as I have found out recently, owns his own social agency/service that has been receiving a lot of funding (almost 300 thousand) that goes mostly to him, and she makes around 100 thousand, as a therapist.

She also did the same thing when it came to scooping out ice cream. She licked the spoon, and then dished it out, and I asked if we could pass on it.

I know I get obsessed with my ds's health....as I suspect we all do.... but I just find it so wrong...so rude...to do what these two do. I am so careful about sharing stuff.

Anyways...I just really need to vent. I figure that this is a good forum to do that, because we are all so aware of our children's health, and anything that can jeapardize their health and well being.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. This theme is not new, but because he has had a new flare up, I am more acutely aware of how much this type of rude and ignorant behaviour upsets me so much.


Good for you for role modeling to your son that 1.) Hygiene is a good thing 2.) Manners are a good thing! and 3.) It's okay to be persistant and refuse something that you know is not good for you despite pressure from others. Not to mention how you went to bat for him against an over controlling, spoon-licking, phlegm flying, mother-in-law! Ooooh, that made me made just reading it. I think I would have developed a 'sudden onset' of a severe migraine which would have made it impossible for my son and I to stay and visit. Yeah Mom!

#9 tessakrista

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for all of your responses. I had never heard the term "food sharing family" but I suppose that is the type of family my dh comes from. It is just "normal" for them to lick food, drink from a cup, and then give it to someone else. I didn't come from that kind of family, so I find it all so strange! Perhaps they have done that bc there were 6 children in my dh's family, and it was only me and my little brother in my family of origin, so there was more money to go around. I don't know. Regardless, even when we were dating and engaged, I found some things totally odd about my MIL, like the fact that she would make us food, and then scrape our plates when we had stuff on them, and save them in a tupperware for her other son or daughters to eat. Dh didn't find anything odd about that.

Well, now that my little boy gets really sick from exposure to stuff, I am acutely aware of everything, and for the past 2 years, nobody in our household is permitted to share the same glass, spoon, or anything. Remember, dh grew up that way, so he naturally would do take a sip from ds's drink, or give ds his leftover stuff... in the past. But when my ds had his initial pandas flare up two years ago...I became aware of everything that could have a detrminental affect on ds's health, and that type of nonsense was not permitted in our home. Now we live the same way that I grew up, which is to not share drinks, utensils etc. The end. But dh's family, still practices this "sharing" thing, that just freaks me out, and scares me to death. I am also shocked that the members with a lot of formal education, still practice this "food sharing" practice.

Yes... someone in a post mentioned that teenagers share stuff in schools. Yes, I know. Scary too. Developmentally, they are at a place where they don't realize how detrimental sharing stuff can be, including sharing saliva, cigarettes, pop etc. Teens typically believe that they are invinsible. I wonder if this is also the case for teens who have grown up with pandas, and are aware of germs, bacteria, viruses etc. Kids with pandas, have many other things, including anxiety, ocd like behaviour, and other things that typical kids don't deal with. I wonder if pandas teens also share a lot of stuff, or if they worry about the impact of sharing food, kissing others etc. Just wondering...

Like someone out there said in one of your responses to this post... it is a funny post. I mean, my dh's family seems like they would be great in a sitcom because of all of the strange and dysfunctional things that go on. MIL has to have something wrong with her, because she can be really friendly, and at the drop of a hat, she rages at anyone about anything. Scary stuff. But...this post is all about how disgusted I am that this food sharing practice happens, and is seen as normal.

Yes, as someone in a response pointed out, it is great to stand up to her. I am especially proud that my ds told her that he wasn't going to eat the cream cheese bc she was double dipping and we are not suppose to double dip. Regardless of her response, normalizing double dipping, and claiming that it is not rude, it is great that he stuck to his belief that it is wrong and rude...plus...it goes against what we do in our own home. In my home, we do not double dip. We pour things into separate plates, ensuring that we don't spread anything we might have that we don't know we have.

I just feel like my world is so different from others, because I have been locked in a very unusual extended family situation with my MIL and SIL. I always found the things that they do as odd, but now that these things can jeapardize my son's health even more, I just don't want any part of it.

Someone suggested to not be available to go to MIL's place. I go through that each time that I get upset with her, and then, we end up visiting, bc I do want him to have some kind of connection to his Italian grandmother, as crazy as she is, it is pretty funny listening to her lack of logic on things, and watch how she becomes irrational. However, it is also unhealthy, because there appears to be something so not ok with this woman, her children know that, and grew up with this type of mom who gets mad at people at the drop of a hat, and orders people around, yelling and barking orders.

I am conflicted. I want to keep our face to face involvement to a minimum. I guess that the visits have to be away from food stuff. Hard to do, as you can imagine. I can always fill up my kid before going to MIL and SIL's places, bc I know that they "recylcle" food, by scraping it off their plates and into a container for others to eat the next day. I find that so ... yukky. If they "recyled" food for themselves, well that is different, but for other people...for guests... that is so...wrong!

Someone on this post mentioned that in "food sharing" families, the juice is shared bc of the little juice that comes out in the beginning, to prevent it from spilling. I guess I see why that happens. But...I still don't like it, especially since one can share their germs that way.

I even tell my kid not to drink from the school's water fountain, ever since I learned that strep and other stuff can be transmitted that way, bc some kids put their whole mouths over that metal thing when they drink, therefore spreading around whatever they have to others. Yuk! Obviously I am obsessed with this type of stuff, and that is the thing that my SIL puts me down about. Someone on this post mentioned the notion of saying that the doctor made that suggestion. I will use that with SIL. It doesn't work with MIL though.

In the past I would say the doctor said this and that to my MIL, and she would respond by saying that doctors don't know anything. She claims that she knows more than a doctor bc she raised six kids, and the doctor is wrong. I ended up trying different strategies, until I discovered that she liked OPRAH a lot, and began claiming that I heard it on OPRAH, and that OPRAH suggested this and suggested that. MIL would respond back then. I haven't done the Oprah thing for the past year, since Oprah has her own network, and MIL doesn't get the channel. Just to point out that MIL values what Oprah says, even though Oprah doesn't have children, but not what a doctor says, regardless of how many children the doctor has. Celebrity status is big, I guess.

Thanks for all of your responses. I will do my best to be away from that toxic environment as much as I can, although I do want my ds to get to know his cousins, when the whole family gets together. It is a difficult call.

I will be very very clear with everyone that I don't want food sharing to go on. They will call me nuts, and I guess at some level, I feel nuts about my son's health, and want to do everything to help him be well. I will also make it ultra clear that I don't want to go anywhere if someone is sick. This in law family doesn't want anyone coming over if we are sick...makes sense...but will be sick and tell us to come by. Not right. MIL was sick, and told my son and I to come over. Very wrong. One time when we had a Christmas family get together at our place, the SIL who licks icecream and then serves it to others with the same spoon, has a son who came over to our place with strep! Oh yah...thanks! I tried my best to keep ds away from "strep" cousin, and aired out the home, and disinfected it after everyone left. Seems insensitive, but I guess you have all experienced this kind of stuff.

Pandas changes your world. It opens it up to see things from a different lens.

Thanks....

#10 phillypa

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:13 AM

I literally felt ill reading this post. I would go nuts. I grew up in a home where it was sterile in terms of glasses, spoons, not sharing food. It was ingrained in me to keep food sterile, never share spoons or glasses,etc. If a cooked chicken is sitting at the table for a long dinner it gets thrown in the trash. My stomach is queasy thinking about your situation especially with pandas in the picture. My husband is the same with with sterile food so we are a perfect match. There might be clutter on my floor but you eat at my house and your food is sterile. When I watch my MIL cook and stay in the room and watch her. I tell her not to put that spoon in her mouth and that I will not eat the food if she does. She respects that and laughs about it. She is also Italian...but I still watch her.

#11 smartyjones

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:33 AM

Like someone out there said in one of your responses to this post... it is a funny post. I mean, my dh's family seems like they would be great in a sitcom because of all of the strange and dysfunctional things that go on. MIL has to have something wrong with her, because she can be really friendly, and at the drop of a hat, she rages at anyone about anything. Scary stuff.

Someone suggested to not be available to go to MIL's place. I go through that each time that I get upset with her, and then, we end up visiting, bc I do want him to have some kind of connection to his Italian grandmother, as crazy as she is, it is pretty funny listening to her lack of logic on things, and watch how she becomes irrational. However, it is also unhealthy, because there appears to be something so not ok with this woman, her children know that, and grew up with this type of mom who gets mad at people at the drop of a hat, and orders people around, yelling and barking orders.



would it help you to deal with her if you looked at it as a science experiement of what are her neuropscy issues and how they could possibly be caused by germs that have percolated through her kitchen for years? maybe that could help you remove the personal nature as you stand strong in what you will and will not eat and just know in your own mind that you are the one with the correct hygeine.


you know the quote from 1800s or early 1900s when they didn't even wash hands between examining corpses and pregnant woman -- 'doctors are gentlemen and gentlemen have clean hands.' that's your mother in law -- 'mother's have clean germs'

#12 dcmom

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

OMG- I started reading your post, and could barely get through it- making me nauseous! I have no advice to give you, other than maybe you could go out to dinner, or have her over, rather than eating there. Yucko.

Just as a note from an ocd parent, however- it is important to keep things "reasonable" and real. In our house we TYPICALLY do not share foods, we don't double dip, etc- BUT we will occasionally ie- someone gets an icecream cone, another of us will taste it. Someone has a drink out, another may take a sip. We do not do this with a cold. BUT- for us, with two ocd kids it is really important to be REASONABLE about germs, and not make a big deal of it. At therapy for ocd, our awesome therapist had dropped an M&M on the floor of his office. My daughter said- Yuck!- he said that is no big deal and he ate it. (she is not really ocd about germs, but she could go that way, and has in the past) Then they discussed it a little, and he threw an M&M on the floor and kinda stepped on it with his shoe and ate it. Is this extreme- yea a little- but the reality is germs are everywhere, and while we should take reasonable steps to prevent them- we also need to relax.

THis is NOT IN ANY WAY meant to be addressing your MIL- that is gross- she is an adult and should know better. I just like to throw out there that the BEST policy (esp in a house where ocd lives) is to be RELAXED and allow the occasional ice cream share, or whatever.

(I, personally, have become A LOT more germaphobic since my kids got pandas- but I hold it ALL inside......)

#13 phillypa

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:58 AM

I'm going to back DCMom up on this one. I let them eat things that drop on the floor for the very same reason. I don't want them to get nuts about germs. We don't share licks of ice cream but I do let them eat food that drops on the floor. Not wet food but dry food. A cracker or cookie or something like that. I do this so they don't go overboard with germs. I actually read an article that it doesn't matter if wet or dry food touches the floor, the germs they pick up are the same. However, psychologically, for me, I can't do it. Only dry food. I freely admit I am personally OCD about food and sterility. But I believe that if you are going to have some sort of OCD, that is the area we should have it!! I can't even imagine having a waitress pack up my uneaten food at a restaurant. I was a waitress during college. I have seen wait staff pick/eat people's food being wrapped up. I always ask wait staff to bring me a container and I will wrap it up myself!

#14 dcmom

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:14 AM

Thanks philly :)

You know, for someone with ocd- they will not let the waitress wrap their food, BUT this will snowball and eventually they won't be able to eat out at all (chef, waitress, etc, preparing their foods). We ALL have thoughts of Ew- that might be gross, but we allow our mind to LET IT GO, the ocd mind sometimes CANNOT and will not let it go, and that is why this causes trouble.

My dd did have some germ stuff on initial onset- started with not touching elevator buttons, bathroom door handles, and other stuff in public. Then it moved to refusal to use any public bathroom (including school). Then, she had pex. How long until it developed into not being able to leave the house due to germs.

I tell her- germs are everywhere- the reality is you cannot avoid them, and it really would not be healthy to. Our psych told her an exposure he does for people with germ ocd is to put their hands in the toilet water, and then eat their lunch without washing their hands. Gross, right? She was so fascinated by this. The reality is- you will get sick from the germ you are not aware of, and very likely not from sharing a soda with a friend. I want my dd to be able to order a huge brownie sundae and share with her friends, or her boyfriend (way in the future), like I did- without thinking twice. I don't want her to wash her hands 15 times a day. I want her to eat her sandwich if it falls on the floor. I want her to be able to eat something from a greasy street vendor. That is life, that is good life-

#15 tessakrista

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

I literally felt ill reading this post. I would go nuts. I grew up in a home where it was sterile in terms of glasses, spoons, not sharing food. It was ingrained in me to keep food sterile, never share spoons or glasses,etc. If a cooked chicken is sitting at the table for a long dinner it gets thrown in the trash. My stomach is queasy thinking about your situation especially with pandas in the picture. My husband is the same with with sterile food so we are a perfect match. There might be clutter on my floor but you eat at my house and your food is sterile. When I watch my MIL cook and stay in the room and watch her. I tell her not to put that spoon in her mouth and that I will not eat the food if she does. She respects that and laughs about it. She is also Italian...but I still watch her.


I had a good chuckle. Good idea, watching her cook, and being very clear about her not putting the spoon in her mouth and then sharing it. My MIL does it when she's not cooking too. I am going to avoid food situations at her house as much as possible, and at my SIL's place too. The SIL situation is a bit different. My dh has 3 sisters, but only one of them really insists on licking everything and then serving with the same spoon. The other ones respect the notion that I don't like it, even though their children will drink from their grandmother's drink, and eat her partially eaten cookie or whatever.

I like your style...watch the MIL while she is cooking, and set the ground rules. Love it. :P




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