Hi Family & Friends. Welcome back to Coffee with Clare everything Thursday! I am delighted that you are here!
I am frustrated and have a “catch-22” problem. My mother-in-law (Sandy), who is a dear, lives about 3 miles away from us. My husband, Jim, and I just had our first child (a boy, Jason, now 13 months old). We are blessed as Sandy comes to our home and babysits Jason while my husband and I work full-time. We trust her without question; she loves that boy, and there really is no one else I could trust like this (with the exception of my husband and me – and my Mom who lives out of state). We are on a limited income, and with the high cost of daycare, this helps us enormously.
With that said, our dilemma is that Sandy feeds our son whatever he wants – she loads him up with carbs, snacks, sugar, sweets, sodas and the like. Sandy does prepare nutritious foods too; she makes Jason a delicious breakfast and hearty lunch. However, Sandy fills Jason with all these other non-nourishing “fillers” anytime he wants. Both my husband and I have asked Sandy repeatedly not to feed or give Jason these unhealthy “extras.” My husband and I are very health-minded and our healthy eating is very important to us. We want to raise Jason to hopefully make healthy food choices, too. Sandy is overweight and also overeats quite a bit of foods that we would never ingest ourselves! We have told her repeatedly about our concerns – what can we do? I want my husband, Jim, to handle this as it is HIS mother, and I don’t want any ill-will between us. Apart from this, we have a great family relationship with Sandy. Help!
Signed – Pulling my hair out in Cincinnati!
Dear Pulling My Hair Out:
Both you and your husband need to sit down together with Sandy (when your son is not around), and explain how grateful and thankful you are that she takes care of Jason while you both work. Speak from the heart and let her know how important nutrition is to your family; you want Jason to grow up learning how to make healthy choices. Finally, talk with her about the importance of her supporting your parenting choices related to nutrition. Tell Sandy you have a healthy nutritional plan, and that is why you are introducing these healthy foods to him now at such a young age. Explain to “Grandma Sandy” that you do not allow sweets and sodas in the house – what you have here at the house is what he is to eat. You may choose to prepare and label the food for Jason with which meal, and be sure and label any snacks. Again, be sure to finish the conversation with praising Sandy for helping you and taking such wonderful care of Jason.
Wait a few weeks – if you don’t see any improvement, I would suggest you start to look for at least part-time daycare and explain to Sandy you are looking at other outside babysitting help a few days a week.
Readers – any suggestions for “pulling my hair out”?
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Until next time~