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 Post subject: Christmas
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I have a really hard time at holidays. My MIL always has to host the inlaw family get together. It is a day full of food, baking and other food spread out on tables...and generally an extremely unsafe situation. To make it worse, they live 30 minutes from town under ideal driving conditions and christmas season tends to be about -25 to -40 around here. She REFUSES to let me host, and refuses to put baking out of the reach of my 2 year old if we would attend. She refuses to let me bring all the baking so that the danties left within reach are safe.

My husband pretty much told her last year that we are not willing to risk the safety of our children for the sake of the family all being together on christmas.

I decided to make a real effort to invite inlaws to my home, on a seperate day, so MIL could still have her day, and we could include another day at our place (I was thinking boxing day or newyears). I invited my sister in law (married to husbands brother) and their 3 kids yesterday. She told me "she would love too...but they do not wish to go against MIL and her traditions." I said, "It isn't, I 'll do it on a different day, and she can come too." SIL said "MIL wants me to get a grip and attend with everyone else. MIL would never attend a holiday at my house, because I need to teach my kids to be around their allergens." SIL told me that she did not wish to anger MIL by attending. NICE!! So they are not coming.

So I guess that I will do the usual. My parents come to my house, and usually friends of ours whose family is out of province. My friend, her husband and peanut/nut allergic 5 year old daughter, and milk/egg allergic 2 year old son usually holiday with us. I cook only foods that no one is allergic too. I make a ham, stuffing from homemede bread, potatoes, veggies, and tons of deserts like cookies, chocolates, pumpkin pie, and I was going to do a cheesecake this year. Definitely, the food is still delicious despite the fact that their is no nuts/milk/eggs/chicken/beef (I'm scared of turkey too because of the chicken allergy). The whole "holiday" thing really pisses me off. It really feels like my mother in law would rather have peanut brittle on the coffee table than have us attend. I also feel that she is just trying to prove a point about "teaching my kids to be around their allergens" by her refusal to attend an event that I have hosted.

What does everyone else do for Christmas?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
Saskmommyof2,

Somebody needs to explain to your MIL that holidays are a time for togetherness. Also, times do change and she needs to grow up. Just what is she teaching her grandchildren by doing this...that it's okay to be childish when you're an adult? How about the old adage of treating others the way you'd want to be treated. Wow, when I hear stories like this, it makes me realize how good I have it with my in-laws (no matter how annoying they can be).

I can't believe your SIL would side with her just to keep the peace. Perhaps if more people stood up to her, she might realize it's time to change. UGH! Sorry, just reading your story frustrates me.

I lost my parents at a young age..when this happens you realize that life is short. Too short to put up with nonsense like that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6479
Location: Ottawa
Somebody also needs to tell your MIL that these are your children (and your husbands'), not hers. The two of you will raise them including educating them as you see fit and based on what you both feel is appropriate. She is way out of line here. She needs to hear this from her son.
Your SIL has obviously seen how MIL is with you and doesn't want any of the hostilities directed at her.
I would let your husband explain it to her and just cut your losses. You do not need toxic people in your life, you do not need people undermining you with your own chidren and you definately do not need anyone purposely exposing your chidren to potentialy fatal situations no matter how well meaning she may think she is. "Road to hell..." comes to mind.
I feel sorry for your husband as he has to choose between his mother and his family an obvious but still hard decision and for yuor children who may internalise this to mean she doesn't care about them. Please let them think that she is well meaning but not understanding of the seriousness. For you I think you should breath a big sigh of relief that you are not forced to endure another holiday with this woman! :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
I also feel that she is just trying to prove a point about "teaching my kids to be around their allergens" by her refusal to attend an event that I have hosted.

I had an uncle like that. I'm allergic to peanuts and whenever he hosted New years or some other occasion (which was rare, thank God) he would almost always make a point of serving peanuts or nuts for the same reason your MIL wants to do it with your kid. My parents put up with that for a while but then, my mother told her stupid brother to **** *** and we have not spoken or talked since until my grandmother died six weeks ago. And we only spoke at the funeral and for that purpose only.

Thinking back, I think my parents should have put their foot down a lot faster but people were not as informed 20 years ago as they are now. I pledge you all my support and hope you hold your ground and do what is best for your children. And I do hope your husband is understanding and he takes your side and the side of your kids and not of his mother. I wish all the courage in the world and hope you have great holidays anyways. Don't cave in. Make the holidays safe for your kids. You are not the bad person here, even if anyone tells you that you are breaking the family or any crap like that, you have a duty to protect your children. The ones who are obtused minded are the one who are breaking the family. You even offered to host and they refused. You did all you could. Don't blame yourself.

BTW, even though I'm 31, my mother has been hosting the Christmas diner for the past 10 to 15 years because of me and everyone in the family has accepted that.

Best of luck to you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
You are not being unreasonable and should hold your ground. It is so hard when people do not understand but you have to put your children first. We had to decline a visit to my inlaws two years ago at Christmas because they would not put their cat in care during our visit. On a previous visit our daughter had to go to the ER 2x's with asthma complications when we stayed with the cat. It was not a popular decision but we had no choice.

Christmas is particularly difficult for us with food allergies. Nuts, milk chocolate, cream things are everywhere. We stay pretty close to home at the holidays. We go to my mom's and she only serves safe food. We are very often the hosts and when we are not we bring food for the children. It is a lot of work to do this all of the time. Non allergic people do not realize this. When we go somewhere to eat, I bring a side dish that is safe and usually a dessert as well. This way my daughter is eating some of the same food that others are and she does not feel so different.

With your 2 year old it is especially hard also. 2 year olds do not understand their allergies and they still tend to put many things in their mouths - at least mine did. I hope your family will understand someday soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
katec wrote:
On a previous visit our daughter had to go to the ER 2x's with asthma complications when we stayed with the cat. It was not a popular decision but we had no choice.


You know relations with the family aren't good when avoiding having to send your daughter to the ER is 'not a popular decision'! People generally have a mental block when it comes to their beloved pets. Sometimes I find that people might agree that an allergy to dogs, cats is possible but they somehow don't get it that others could be allergic to *their* dog or *their* cat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 15
Saskmommy, sorry you have to deal with this. I'm sure you have explained the situation and it's seriousness many times to her in the last 4 years. If she doesn't understand by now, how likely is it that she will ever understand? If I were in your situation I would also simply refuse to go to her place. Then maybe the family will start to take your position a little more seriously. :x


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
My husband had numerous life threatening allergies as a child. He has outgrown most of them. He has asthma too. My MIL does not think that my childrens allergies are all that serious because they have never had an anaphylactic reaction. I am extremely careful, and lucky.

When traces of milk touch my daughters skin, she gets hives. I would hate to see what would happen if she ate it! My MIL says that because my husbands allergy attacks as a child were ALL anaphylactic, that hives are no big deal, and that I should try allergic foods to see what happens so I have an accurate idea of what I am dealing with. She does not get it that my kids do not eat their allergens so that I know what will happen. Allergies are not that predictable anyways. I'm also hoping that avoidance might help them outgrow it, instead of exposure making the allergy worse.

My husband experienced anaphylaxis so many times as a child that no one has any idea of how many times that it really happened. The idea was "eat whatever, and go to the hospital for an adrenaline shot when you have a reaction." He was also hospitalized long term numerous times as a child for asthma and food allergy issues...most of which were preventable (in my opinion). When my husband was 8, he almost died from eating off of a nut tray at his grandparents house at christmas, so it blows my mind that my MIL thinks that having nuts on the coffee table is a good idea. She also thinks that my husband numerous anapylactic experiences is how he learned what not to eat, and that they are a natural part of a child learning to take responsibility for their allergies. CRAZY %$&#*.

I started posting here because my MIL was driving me up the wall with her opinions on allergies...and it is nice to see that everyone agrees with me that she is crazy.

We told my MIL that our 4.5 year old is reading really well. My husband and I both were early readers too. She said that my husband was reading well enough to read all of his own food labels when he was 5, and he did, and was responsible. Probably because he was tired of the constant anaphylaxis, but scary that he had as much responsibility as he did. Every year that my husband was little he recieved toffeefee (full of nuts, deadly nut allergy) in his stocking. Every year he gave his to his brothers. A few years after we started dating (he was about 21 ) I told his mother that he was allergic to the toffeefee. She said "I've given him those every year since he was a child, they're fine." He then informed her that despite him telling her numerous times since he was 10 that he is allergic, he still got them. The next year she made a real effort and bought him seashell chocolates (ground hazelnuts) because she assumed they were safe because they were not crunchy. She did not read the ingredients.

One of my husbands allergies is to eggs. They cause his trachea to swell and close, stop breathing and possibly die. MIL's way of dealing with the presence of eggs in baking was to have him use his steroid inhaler prior to and after eating the baking, even though she knew that eggs can easily be substituted. The inhaler thing usually worked, but ocassionally he needed adrenaline.

So yes, my husband agrees with me about everything. He is also very thankful that I do so much for our allergic kids. He gets really frustrated when his mother thinks that how she handled his allergies is correct and that I am over reacting. He also feels that the allergies are his fault, even though their are some allergies scattered on my side too. I don't blame him though. It is no ones fault.

I could go on and on about this, but this is long enough already. I have posted about her before, but everyone seems to respond to my crazy MIL stories so much that I know that it is not normal. Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 15
O.M.G. :shock:

That is SO awful, she is SO crazy. :shock:

Didn't any doctors ever tell her how insane she was / is? Has anyone ever tried to have a doctor speak to her about it?

Honestly, if a mother did that to her child today you would probably see social services step in and take the child away. That is just WRONG.

::hugs::

SaskMom2

p.s. edited to add: there are almost no allergies in my family and I still find ways to blame myself. :? Right before we found out she was allergic there was a big story in the news about eating peanuts while you are breastfeeding / pregnant increasing the chances of your children being allergic... and guess what I ate a lot of when I was pregnant and breastfeeding... :?
My son was also born with clubfeet, so who knows where these things come from? We do have one 4th cousin with clubfeet but that's it for family history! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
I'm glad that your husband and you are on the same page.

And yeah, I have to say it, because reading stuff like that just drives me up the walls. Not only is your MIL crazy, she is an idiot.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
saskmommy 2, I don't think that anyone can do anything about your situation unless you were to get your mother in law to go to family therapy or something---sounds like talking to your MIL about allergies = talking to the wall. I really have no idea here since I'm not in the situation, but I would bet that one reason why your MIL won't budge on the allergy issue is because by admitting that she could be putting your children at risk she would be also admitting that her way of dealing with allergies in the past was wrong. My theory is that no matter how awful people are to their children they still need to believe that they are/were good parents (unless they are complete psychopaths). When maintaining that belief is not consistent with the facts the facts get skewed. Most of us have a distorted view of ourselves and the world around us---some people just have a much more distorted view than others! I'd say that your MIL's case is pretty hopeless.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
You hit the nail on the head Lisa. I totally think that it is an issue to my MIL that she would have to admit (to family and herself) that she was irresponsible in handling my husbands allergies. It is easier for her to tell the rest of the family that I am a paranoid lunatic, than it is to make the holiday safe and admit that she was wrong. It is totally a power struggle/pride issue.

My oldest daughter was 9 months old at her first chrismas, prior to known allergies. My niece was 2, and my MIL had always played "santa" to her. Mostly because nieces dad was the black sheep child and did it to make MIL happy. When my husband and I said "No you can not be santa, we are" she defied us and bought our daughter a stocking and filled it with santa gifts anyways. I was furious, so was my husband. She said "in my house I am santa to everyone. Your daughter can get santa gifts at your house and at mine too" (and what about my parents etc. I felt like my daughter did not need 3 stockings with santa gifts, and it was my turn to have santa fun with my kids).

The next year she did not give our daughter(s) santa gifts because my husband firmly said "NO WAY", but freaked out :twisted: on me because I moved some dangerous choking hazard decorations out of the reach of my daughters and niece and nephew. She said that she did not appreciate that I was undecorating her house. I was just trying to prevent a choking death...honestly there were teeny tiny christmas decorations on the coffee table that the children were trying to eat. It has always been about power with her...not what is best for the kids. Needless to say, we have always had issues, even before the kids were born. None of which were my fault.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Although I did not see the movie, this makes me think of "monster-in-law" as the perfect way to refer to your MIL!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
You should definitely hold your ground and put your children's safety above your MIL's desires. If she objects tell her to read this forum page, so she knows that we all feel so sad for the position she has put you in by her failure to be flexible.

While it may be difficult for you to make new traditions with your young family, your children will appreciate the stand you are taking once they are old enough to understand, but if you endanger them just to keep the peace with your mother in law, you and your husband will never be peaceful.


Your husband must be so angry about how he has been treated - thank God your kids won't have to repeat his experience.

Pam


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 Post subject: I feel for you!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Ontario, Canada
I would definitely hold your ground. You child's safety is your number 1 priority (which you totally understand). I also wouldn't trust your MIL around your child without you there just in case she wants to prove her point further by introducing allergens to your child. It could happen.

I'm very thankful that my MIL "gets" my DS's nut allergy. It really helped that my SIL has a nut allergy.

I would start your own traditions. If your in-laws want to be a part of it ... great. If not, you know that your child is safe while enjoying the holidays. That's what's important here, not the feelings of the ignorant adults.

_________________
SAHM of 3 children. Oldest DS (1999) is anaphylactic to peanuts.


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