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Sils Hijacks Kitchen

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by hotchillipepper, Feb 9, 2022.

  1. hotchillipepper

    hotchillipepper Gold IL'ite

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    Hi All,

    I need your help to understand why certain ladies take over someone else's kitchen!

    My SILs and elder sister of my late MIL visit us sometimes and the only meal I am able to cook is the one I made before they arrived. the moment their exhaustion is over, they hijack the kitchen and start cooking for everyone in the house. I had them have their way because the stays were short and I didn't mind it much.

    Situation has changed as my younger SIL has come for IVF treatment and has been staying here for around a month and is expected to stay for 2-4 months depending on results. Now, her cooking style is very different from mine and my daughter is not able enjoy the meals; top it with constant nagging that she doesn't like her cooking and that she is difficult to please etc. Hell broke loose when I mentioned to her to be not judgemental about my daughters' preferences (that's the story for some other day)! it would also be interesting to see how SILs behave in each others house(never got the opportunity as they hate each other)!

    Anyways, the reason I am writing you all is that I fail to understand this obsession of some women to take over the kitchen and their total lack of regard that its someone else's house at the end of the day and they are there as a guests. I am happy to take help and let them cook some meals( their family are accustomed to their style of cooking which is totally understandable) but the way they make me alienated in my own kitchen is not reasonable. I have to watch my steps before I cook anything beyond tea! I don't understand why there is this deep desire to cook and make kitchen their territory.

    I hate to brag but just to clarify I am a pretty decent cook and have received multiple compliments from almost everyone I have ever hosted!

    Please share your insights even if you are the one who takes over someone else's kitchen. I really want to understand the reason but I can't talk to SILs as their fuse is very short and anything I say in this matter will spin in totally different direction.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    You should not have to say anything. Your husband needs to talk to his sister about respecting boundaries. She can cook for herself if she prefers. It is your home and you should feel free to prepare the meals of your choice for your daughter. You can encourage your child to try her aunt’s cooking, and praise what she genuine likes. It is good for children to be exposed to a variety of foods. However you don’t have to put everything aside to accommodate your SIL. Just go in and calmly do your work. Ignore any comments about your child being picky.
    If your SIL flies off the handle that’s on her. Stress is not good during IVF treatment so your husband can ask her to take it easy.
     
  3. PurpleRoses

    PurpleRoses Gold IL'ite

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    That's really insane! But I totally understand the situation. My question is what is your husband's role in this? Has he said anything? Did you try discuss about the boundaries?

    While she starts cooking, mention to her that she is welcome to cook as per her likes but you want to prepare for yoursf, your dh n kid. If she takes offence to that, be polite n tell that just as she has certain taste/way of cooking preference, so do you too.
    Let your DH handle the rest of matter about creating boundaries.
     
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  4. hotchillipepper

    hotchillipepper Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks for replying Maelstrom. My husband is very supportive of me and have been offering to talk to her to watch her boundaries, to which I have been refusing till now as I arrogantly thought that I can handle the matter by myself. He is not at home so I had been meaning to postpone his inputs as he needs to witness himself to get a better understanding of the matter. As of now I am laying low till hormonal treatment is over and trying to keep her stress free in this difficult time. But its a daily effort for me. My daughter is always encouraged to try something at least one bite before saying no to food. There has been times when she actually liked SIL food and cleaned her plate and this made SIL very happy and proud :). She gets ecstatic when my daughter likes her food and gets very disheartened otherwise(its kind of sad to see her face drop), which is a lot. and that's why I want to go back to kitchen to make some option for my daughter. I really hope that we both come to some understanding about the whole situation.
     
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  5. hotchillipepper

    hotchillipepper Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks PurpleRoses, I agree I am trying to cook as often as I can for my daughter. Thankfully husband understands my condition but I want him to come home from his posting as I feel that communication over mails/calls is often not the best way to deal with sensitive matters. Lets hope that I am able to keep it graceful till his arrival at least.
     
  6. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    If your husband is supportive then definitely ask him to approach his sister. That’s a huge plus to have him in your corner. It need not be confrontational. He can present it in terms of her needing to relax and focus on her treatment at this time. He can say that he understands she wants to have her favorite foods, but that kids also do better when they have familiar food and are able to eat well.
    For some reason food and kitchens make some women very territorial. SIL probably regards your home as only her brother’s house and by extension her parental home. Don’t be afraid to gently but firmly assert yourself.
     
  7. Dishaa

    Dishaa Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Op,

    Almost similar situation is faced by one of my office colleague, its between her and her Mother in law.

    As said by Malstrom, kids need to exposed to variety of foods, its for their betterment. If you think so, you can prepare food as per your kids preferences.

    I would suggest, you to enjoy your SIL prepared meals. Some pple think of cooking as their stress buster or hobby, so let her do it, u can help her.

    If her cooking style is bothering you u can talk it out with her about ur concerns instead of complaining to ur hubby. Even u can prepare a dish of ur choice ir share ur receipe with her.
     
  8. indubalram

    indubalram IL Hall of Fame

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    I will suggest to make a separate food for your daughter alone something that she wants to eat! If this is the only issue!
     
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  9. hotchillipepper

    hotchillipepper Gold IL'ite

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    I am totally in favour of exploring different taste profiles for adults and kids alike. We have often been pleasantly surprised by some of our food adventures. I can see what you mean by cooking being stress buster and its quite possible that this could be the very well be the case here. Thanks for bringing in this perspective.
     
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  10. hotchillipepper

    hotchillipepper Gold IL'ite

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    I agree, we both needs to have someone impartial to help each other understand each other preferences. I absolutely don't want it to be confrontational. This trip is for few months only and everyone should have pleasant memories to take home.
    SIL and husband share a close bond and she does regard this as her only home that's why she moved in with us in this difficult time despite having other alternatives. This brings additional responsibility to make sure her stay is stress free and successful one. Yesterday I went to many TTC stories on this forum and my heart went out to them for braving through so much of physical and emotional pain.

    As Dishaa said that it could be her way to deal with stress and may be if I can give her the freedom her mom would have given we all could have a happy stay(no way I can compare my efforts to that of anyone's mom still I can do my best). I will try to be more empathetic toward her and innovative not to compromise on kids diet. Hopefully will be able to find a middle ground for us to work.

    Thank you all lovely ladies for listening and offering advice.
     

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