“My Mil never likes to cook. They have maid at home who does most of the cooking cleaning stuff.”

Sharing an email. 

Do you think there are some expectations here, from the mother in law? If yes, then are those expectations fair?

What if the mother in law had a career or any other interests, or health issues, and there were no other relatives, …female relatives, who could come and cook for the couple?

Who doesn’t seem to be feeling any guilt in this email? Why is that so? 

Hi IHM

I frequently visit your blog.I am an avid reader of your blog. Almost all the topics touches a chord some where.

I m writing about a problem to get suggestions and inputs from bloggers here.

I work with a MNC married for one and half year. Now I am carrying three months. Initially all was good and we both were so happy. My Mil came to take care of me.

First few weeks I was not feeling like eating. Then slowly as pregnancy progress I took interest in simple daal subji chawal but served hot. This is difficult for my Mil.  She never like to cook. They have maid at home who does most of the cooking cleaning stuff.

I work in shifts so can cook only one time.

Now also due to weakness I found it is exhausting to stand and cook. But the truth is I don’t like her food. Sometimes it is good but most of the time she serve cold afternoon food.

And she won’t cook until you feel hungry.

Now I am feeling hungry too frequently.I need small stuff but in regular three four hr interval.

All these needs are not getting fulfilled.most of the time I eat office canteen food or outside snacks resulting severe gas and acidity.

Now I am cooking little things for my self but get tired soon. In all these my husband feels bad that I don’t like his mama’s food. His side is she could not cook now, still she is trying. So I should not complain. In reality I am not complaining for food. I started cooking but I complain of tiredness.

This could be a minor issue but at this time I feel like I m not getting enough nutritious food.

Otherwise I can eat all types of food. Don’t complain much.

Can anyone give valuable suggestion please.

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“After all, why do we as kids, feel so entitled to our mother’s time, indeed her entire life and personality?”

Why do men NOT have to choose between being a CEO and a father, but women have to make this choice.

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Mommy Guilt: A Western Influence.

54 thoughts on ““My Mil never likes to cook. They have maid at home who does most of the cooking cleaning stuff.”

  1. You dont need to eat cold food…u can always heat it in the microwave…or gas stove….Do you make fresh food for each meal ??
    U will feel hungry very frequently so better make a batch n keep it in fridge and heat it whenever u get hunger pangs….I rekon u wont be cooking fresh meal if u feel hungry at 3 am !!
    Now for the taste part…u can keep a cook too…that way ur MIL wont be required to cook….

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  2. – Let’s set this straight first – You and your MIL need to set your expectations straight. MIL is not obligated to do all your work because you are pregnant. Be grateful for the help you get. You are not obligated to love everything she does.
    – Why not hire a cook? Tell her what you like, make her cook healthy, simple.
    -Where is your mom in this picture? Why don’t you get her to come over and help you out? Are you close to any aunts who come could over to help?
    – Just because someone makes an effort does not mean we will love their food. We need not. Does your husband love every single dish you ever cooked?
    – So what if your MIL serves cold food? She is not obligated to wait on you hand and foot. Why not heat it up before eating – microwaves? Over stove?
    – Why not go for easy salads and meals? Forget rotis, use rice cooker. Prep chickpeas, rajma, daal in pressure cooker and keep them ready in fridge over the weekends. Have nuts and fruits when you are hungry. Cook quick one pot meals with the ready in fridge daals. I am sure your husband can help you out with those things.
    – Get a chair. Sit and cut vegetables. Sit down whenever you can. Do you have an oven? Then, cut in veggies and put them to roast in the oven.
    – Why not have fruits, nuts ready to eat. Why should it always be cooked right then hot food?
    -Examine your expectations. Do you expect people to pamper you because you are pregnant and you are disappointed they are not?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well much as you feel you deserve MIL’s care, it is not her compulsory duty to take care of you. You cannoy force her to do stuff for you especially what she hates.
    I don’t think you’d like it if you were told to do all household work yourself while working.
    So don’t feel entitled to your MIL’s care.
    You can:
    1. Hire a cook until you are strong enough to cook yourself
    2. Ask your husband to pitch in
    3. Stay with your parents or any close relatives if feasible
    4. Become independent. You can try. No offence I am not comparing or putting you down here
    5. Sit with MIL and talk it out. Reach an agreement and stick to it
    6. Get simple to prepare meals that are partially made or just need reheating or minimal cooking like sandwiches, pasta etc.
    7. Stock up on healthy snacks like fruits, nuts and raw veggies to eat when you can’t access cooked meals
    8. Find a good restaurant
    9. Book for tiffin service

    Hope this helps. Choose whichever option works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From my point, I see a lady who offered to help her daughter in law when she got pregnant!
    She does not like to cook and has maids at home, still she tries her best. She does NOT have to do it she could have easily stayed at her place..and instead of appreciating her help, all I see is childish complaints..
    She makes food for you, if you want it HOT every three hours, put it on the stove or a microwave…it takes two minutes!
    You do not like the taste of the food she cooks? then either a) suck it up and eat it b) tell her and request her with what exactly you want to be changed in the preparation eg, need more salt, need less chilli etc or 3) make other arrangement. Not everybody has the same taste while cooking..
    Though I personally do not have any pregnancy experience, if you do crave food every few hours, why not pack some fruits or sandwiches (could be made sitting down), healthier options than the canteen things and wont cause harm to your health.
    Also, just wondering, how come all expectations of ‘taking care in the way you want to be taken care of’ is on the mother in law only? why not ask your husband or your mom or siblings etc? Maybe your mom can cook to your tastes more? There are many options, you know.

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  5. In the times of refrigerators and microwaves , you shouldn’t have to stand at the gas and cook a meal more than once a day ( eeps ! did I just incur the wrath of domestic goddesses everywhere ) . Supplement with fruits , nuts and snacks(sandwiches, sprouts chat,salads) that don’t require any cooking at all and you should be good to go . Your MIL doesn’t sound like the labouring in the kitchen types so don’t subject her to that . She’s probably there to give you moral support more than anything else . Hire a cook and train her to cook your way if you want fresh meals thrice a day (although I doubt you will get a cook who’s willing to work that much – they would work max 3-4 hrs at a stretch ).Also now would be a good time to get used to eat whatever is readily available , whenever you are free – in about few months, the bundle of joy will throw a spanner in regimented meals plan !!!!

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  6. What would the LW do if the MIL is not there with them? Well….apply the same coping mechanism as if she is not there. If you are tired cooking, you would still endure that for that sake of filling up your tummy. So, just do it. Don’t take your MIL’s presense for granted and have something to pick on her like this. Not good!

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  7. Maybe because I was extremely nauseous when pregnant, I sympathise with the OP. In my opinion, you are allowed to be fussy. I know from experience that it is difficult to stuff down and keep down something you don’t want to eat when pregnant, hell, sometimes even a smell can set one off. I thought the fussiness of pregnant women was common knowledge – yes, there are the very lucky exceptions, but it is very common for pregnant women to develop sensitivities to food.

    I also agree that your MIL is not obliged to look after you and cook for you, but seeing as she apparently came over for the purpose of doing so, it’s a bit awkward to reject that help.

    However, you’re pregnant, so you can – as you said, you’re not fussy otherwise. I think the first person who has to grasp this is your husband. You are coping with the ravages pregnancy hormones play on your digestive system. He is only coping with his feelings. So he needs to understand that you cannot be polite about food for a few months in this situation. He or both of you (if you think that’s better), need to find a way to tell your mother in law that you’d like to make alternative arrangements for food. Then proceed to do so.

    Either discuss with her about cooking a big batch that you can reheat and dig into whenever you feel like. Or get a cook if possible, eat out (it’s not the healthiest but my motto in pregnancy was better something than nothing and continuous puking), and unfortunately, yeah cook for yourself if you have to. It is tiring, but what can you do? Also, while it’s good to try our best to eat healthy during pregnancy, we don’t need freshly cooked food for each meal, just a balance of food groups.

    Honestly, I think it would be nice if your husband could cook so he could support you during this time, but it’s too late for that. My husband being able to cook was a godsend during pregnancy because he was less likely to be super offended if I rejected his offerings.

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    • I agree.. I think more than anything else, she is finding it hard to communicate her situation to her MIL while trying not to offend her .. hope the husband understands and helps!

      To the LW – I had a very demanding lifestyle when I was pregnant and ragi porridge worked best for me.. whenever I found myself very tired I would just mix some ragi with milk(or just water), add some sugar and boil it till it thickens and eat it hot.. instant energy booster and very filling too.. I always had some almonds and raisins in my handbag which I would munch on whenever I felt hungry.. hope this helps! good luck!

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  8. For the letter writer I have just this one question – why do you think it is your right to be served by your MIL and that too in a way you want to. Lady grow up – her help is not a priviledge that you think you deserve. First of all get it clear in your head – pregnancy is not a disease that you should be taken-care of.
    The other thing that bothers me is that you have no expectation what-so-ever from anyone else – your husband who is your co-partner in this situation – or even your own family – parents/siblings/relatives – why is the onus on your MIL ?? Ok she offered to help you out – but did you guys talk about what that help means. To me what seems like is that you actually need a cook. In that case why didnt you simply hire a cook ?
    If in case this pregnancy is hard on you and you feel out of energy then maybe you should think of taking a long break from your work.
    If in case you need advices on eating nutritious food there are loads of forum on that. For example – you can keep with yourself a stack of nuts – walnut, almonds etc for that hunger. Tiredness is a part of pregnancy but keeping yourself fit by doing some exercise iike yoga, cycling, walking will help you with a comfortable delivery.
    This is coming from a woman who suffered from gestational diabetics and other complications in advance pregnancy. I injected myself with insulin before I could take a meal and I had to make sure my meal was ready before I inject else my sugar level drops down. There were loads of things I could not eat. I worked till I could manage. My german MIL did not “help” me because her life is her life – my parents stay in India and could not be here. I dont mean to say that I am a hero and am capable of great feats. The point I am making is in your position I would have been grateful to have the company of my MIL.
    Your MIL is not obiliged to cook for you ( and of course you are not obiliged to like her cooking) – ask your husband to help you out and find a solution.
    Have a safe and enjoyable pregnancy.

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  9. Where is your husband. Taking care of pregnant wife is prime responsibility of husband as you both are going to be parents. Discuss with your husband and work out your solution. Then may be you can ask your MIL in which way she will love to support you. If she says no then be happy with it.

    I have seen it in my family. My BIL and sister worked out everything together on their own. My sister used to do preparation like cutting veg, making chapatis and my BIL use to cook veg, chapati.Same thing for other works also . The things which can handled by sitting was done by sister rest by BIL. This work arrangement didnt changed even when their respective MILs/In Laws visited. They are welcome to help but responsibility was held by couple only.

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  10. Please consider appreciating the kind gesture from your MIL that she came to support you and is trying to help although she is in no way obligated to do so. if you don’t like her cooking, instead of complaining may be you can just find a maid who can cook whatever your heart desires or ask your husband to cook for you.
    In a country where a lot of people don’t even eat 1 meal a day, you are complaining about “cold food”. So annoying!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You could do a few things:

    1. Hire a cook and get a microwave. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get freshly cooked hot food the minute you get hungry so behold the microwave–a great modern invention that’ll heat up food real quick.

    2. Ask your husband to pitch in helping prepare food.

    3. Ask your MIL to leave–if her presence during your pregnancy is a hindrance then you should perhaps tell her that you can manage fine by yourself. If she moved in to help you cook, but you’re the one who’s ended up cooking most of the time, then clearly, she’s not much of a help (and she’s not obligated to be either).

    Now, you’ll face greater issues if–your husband decides not to help or if your MIL gets severely offended and insists on staying there to ‘help’ you. Based on what you’ve written here about your husband and MIL, I have no basis for assuming that either of the two situations are likely to happen.

    You might also want to read the book Lady, You’re Not a Man by Apurva Purohit. There’s a chapter that deals with pregnancy and how South Asian culture deals with it and how it adversely affects women in the work place.

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    • I agree with you and most people who have replied. The only benefit of doubt I think we can give is the help was not offered but announced and thrust upon her and in return for the “help” some kind of reciprocal worship in form of daily ‘thank yous’ and “I couldn’t have done it without you and you were there when my mom wasn’t” is expected and subtly demanded. Hence the resentment. The expectations are unreasonable by any standards but if I have been bullied in the name of help by well meaning people and you either have to be strong enough and declare that you don’t need “help” or you start complaining and asking everyone where is this “help” that I am supposed to be grateful for.

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      • //The only benefit of doubt I think we can give is the help was not offered but announced and thrust upon her//
        I agree.
        Also, agree with what The Bride has said, maybe the nausea makes it difficult to eat anything except very specific foods – have been through this, suffered a lot, and the only relief was when the husband was around and cooking.

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        • I have been through the nausea (complete with hospital admission 3 times due to dehydration as I couldn’t even keep plain water in at one point). Mom and MIL were just around the corner. No help was expected from either. Lived on soy drink and some munchies till I could cook again. Hubby is a non-cook. So, it was outside food taken with some trial & error from time to time.

          I can relate to the LW fully hearted and I know how it feels. Too tired and energy-less to even walk back to the bedroom after throwing up. Been there.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. 1) Heat the food before you eat it. 30 secs in the microwave. Cooking a fresh meal every time you’re hungry is a huge chore. This is why we have technology. Freeze and heat.

    2) Why don’t you ask your husband to cook for you? He made the baby with you, it’s his responsibility to provide care. If he can’t cook and doesn’t want to learn, he could arrange a full time cook (of course you can do that yourself too).

    In so many MIL-DIL issues, the husband gets no real mention. He is the person you can be demanding with. He is your partner, not the MIL. He owes you care and support, she really doesn’t. I think your expectations of special care are directed at the wrong member of the family.

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  13. I simply do not understand why this simple matter of hunger and food has to be complicated so much. A hired domestic help/cook can help both you and your MIL. I’m sure the MIL is not considered as a replacement for a maid/cook. And most of all, pregnancy is no illness. Everyone feels tired and nauseous. Similarly old people do feel tired and cannot and should not be expected to work for us. You’re a lucky lady that your MIL has at least decided to come and help as much as possible. Most do not come forward. Be grateful.

    Of course, all this because I’m not sure if there’s more to this disliking for the MIL.

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  14. I’m sorry, how old exactly are you? Why do you need to be taken care of? You are pregnant, not convalescent. How do you think the rest of the world live? Why do you think you are entitled to your favourite food cooked to your liking and on demand? If you don’t like her cooking, don’t eat it. What would you do if she hadn’t offered her help? Exactly, imagine she is not there to provide you with food. Be self-sufficient and update your expectations accordingly. This is what they call a 1st world problem.

    On a related note, my husband’s sister stresses to prepare a hot breakfast (idli or dosa) for her 7 year old son every day before school and felt if she didn’t do it, the poor son would faint. What’s wrong with cereal or toast?

    Why there always has to be a woman (usually a woman), whether family member or hired help, slaving herself in the kitchen for the commodity of hot, laborious, fresh food on demand?

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  15. It is so appalling to see that some here are getting snarky and nasty without as much as considering the LW’s feelings. I will be honest, even I felt the LW is being ungrateful by not valuing her MIL’s help. Or expecting more when she should be happy about what she is getting.

    But then I stopped and read her post again. Also ‘The Bride’s comment (the most helpful comment as yet) helped me to empathize with her. She is feeling weak, tired and is currently in a state that not everyone is prepared for – pregnancy. Agreed its not a disease but I am sure its scary, uncomfortable, strange and an onslaught of crazy hormones. Also being pregnant is a different experience for everyone. Some breeze through it, some can’t. Some can handle the challenges, some can’t handle even the minor issues, because we all are different. She said she isn’t a fussy eater otherwise.

    The LW posted her to get help and its great people are giving her relevant, practical advice on not expecting her MIL to cook as per her liking, hiring a cook, preparing meals in advance and munching on healthy snacks etc. All that great. But the same can be said without judging her harshly. Tough love and honesty I understand. But are we crossing the line somewhere?

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    • To be honest I dont think anyone here is being nasty to the LW. What I fail to understand is why cant we expect our women to behave like an adult taking control of their life ? Many of us have been through this crazy times called pregnancy – I know it is scary and confusing and all that. But it is fair to expect prefential treatment because of that – why did princess syndrome ? How does my being pregnant give me the priviledge to demand something from my MIL. If I have the right to demand anything it is only from my “partner in crime” – my husband.
      Other than that the LW is an independent working woman who should be able to take care of her needs like getting hot food on time. Adult women should be able to control their life.The advices that she got here in my opinion and all constructive. No one is blaming her – rather she is being given ideas and options to solve the problem.
      Given that I understand what a pregnant woman goes through – if it is sympathy that one wants then it is nice to be with others in the same situation. I remember joining a group of pregnant women who met once a week. Oh we used to spend the first half an hour discussing – how am I feeeling today. This group were so much interested in knowing about my back problem, about nausea and so on. Surely I cannot expect my not pregnant friends who have lives and family and career to constantly hear about my health. There are a lot of forums in internet also.

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      • I tried to convey this in my earlier comment and will say it again that I, in no way want to negate the constructive suggestions given by people here. Many have gone to an extent to suggest the LW specific dishes that she can cook, cooking methods, recipes etc.

        Although the tone used in some comments and level of assumption made about LW and her life is uncalled for.

        I approached it like this.
        I don’t know the LW’s medical history, endurance level, physical strength, nature of job so how can I assume if the the pain is in her head, or she just want to feel special or she is genuinely in pain?

        I am not her mother, doctor, colleague, friend, or mentor that I can speak to her authoritatively, reprimand and ask her to drop her demands and take responsibility. She and me don’t have any personal equation where I can take the liberty to speak however I want to. So I need to watch my tone.

        I know from her letter that she is nauseous, feeling weak, tired, possibly helpless, works in shifts (my younger brother works in rotating shifts and every 2 months his immunity, sleeping pattern, appetite goes for a toss. LW is pregnant so I wonder what it must be doing to her.)

        And I also know that she turned to strangers for ‘trivial issue’ like this so maybe she doesn’t have a support system or doesn’t want to confide in them. Maybe she needs compassion more than anything else as her husband is clueless.

        I figured that she indeed needs to be told all that has been suggested by others like it is not her MIL’s obligation to cook her hot meals besides other points,
        -But in a straight & honest but respectful manner
        -Without beating her up because I am flawed too, have been unreasonable at times and unwise & naive too.
        -Without implying that ‘My God! Look at this thankless ungrateful woman’
        -Without making assumptions about underlying issues in her personal life
        -And by sticking to facts written in her 1 page letter and nothing beyond it.

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    • Agree. She may be whining, but it’s only because she is unable to whine to her husband or MIL. She’s turned to strangers on the internet for food advise, but also, I suspect, for advice on how to assert her needs in her home.

      I think her husband needs to pitch in more actually. What is this about his feelings getting ‘hurt’ because his pregnant wife cannot eat his mom’s food?
      The primary care-giver in sickness and in health ought to be the spouse, not the older women in the family-high time women in India expected this.

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    • Yep. People are indeed a little harsh here. We can simply tell her to hire a cook. Whythe bashing around?

      She did not come here to get tossed around. I understand we women can get angry seeing oppression in one for or the other. But being harsh discourages people.

      Tough love is best left to Bachi and real life. Not internet.

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  16. Wow lady, you definitely have a good pampered life. Do you expect fresh cooked hot food every meal? Haa, I cook on weekends and heat & eat all week long. Your MIL seems helpful but I think it’s asking too much of her. What is your husband doing in all of this? Don’t give him an easy pass, pregnancy is a joint decision he should be doing his share of work. I won’t call it ‘help’ or ‘pitching’, this is his responsibility that he is not fulfilling. He can’t grow a baby, so he needs to do everything else to make your life easy, you need to demand that. Jeez, Indian men do get an easy life out, heaping all the work on his poor mother and no one even expects him to do much, fantastic !! My focus would be on my own health and getting ample amount of rest so my performance at work is not negatively impacted. This is time to be selfish and demand the husband be an equal partner, he needs to do the hard tedious domestic work if he wants to have kids.

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      • If the husband was traveling she would have mentioned it. Just like people have made assumptions that the help offered was not asked for, it is assumed that the husband is in town.

        And why do you think its a hateful comment. The poster has just called a spade a spade.

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        • Sonia, not necessarily true assumptions from you. I call it hateful because of lines like below. We know nothing about the husband, and we know one web-page worth about the woman’s life, but we feel free to voice that men are slackers:

          Jeez, Indian men do get an easy life out, heaping all the work on his poor mother and no one even expects him to do much, fantastic !!

          What is your husband doing in all of this? Don’t give him an easy pass,

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  17. When my sister was pregnant, she seemed to be having the same issues as you about not being able to stand for too long or cook. She didn’t have anyhelp – she and her husband lived alone, and the husband was obviously in office five days a week.
    Because she didn’t have the strength/inclination to cook, she was malnutritioned….

    So my advice to you is this:

    1. I can appreciate that your body is going through a lot of changes, but I’m having a hard time understanding yout expectations from your mother in law. Know that you are not your MIL’s responsibility. She is not obligated in any way to cook for you even if you’re pregnant. If she’s choosing to do so, you should count your blessings and be thankful.
    2. Know that your husband is your partner. He helped create the baby, and should now help keep him/her healthy. If this means that he needs to cook for you or heat food up for you, so be it. This will probably be a strain on his already busy workdays, but it is nothing compared to the strain on your body for the next six months.
    3. If nothing else works out, get a cook and tell her your exact taste preference. Have her cook simple, easy-to-digest snacks that can be stored overnight, just in case you feel hungry after she’s gone.
    4. I don’t know why I need to give you advice on this front, but heating food is not really a time-consuming or tedious task. Either you or your husband can do it.
    5. Take your nutrition seriously. I’m sure everyone, including your MIL, will give you the same advice.

    Good luck with the remaining six months.

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  18. Hiring a cook seems to be the best option. There should be no pressure on another human being to conform. If the MIL didnt cook for whatever reason, it was her choice and is still her choice. As a human being, I can only see a very caring person who sacrificed her comforts to be around her DIL. The MIL has absolutely no obligation to do what she’s doing.The time has come to start treating our parents and parents-in-laws as people who have their own lives to live instead of coming and serving the children 24 X 7 while they live their life.

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  19. Investing in a Microwave, cook, husband, should be looked into. Have your husband cook, since he’ s also responsible for this situation🙂 and its his wife and baby.
    Maybe check with the dr about tiredness, maybe cut back on work, go part time, if pregnancy is causing so uncheck fatigue and I’d does for some people maybe you need to take it slow at work and use that energy to prepare what your body needs.
    MIL shouldn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to just like you should do whatever you want to.

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  20. @Themoonstone : How do you know MIL is a caring person ? Whats left to help pregnant women if she doesnt get enough food to eat? At the same time, DIL should not expect her MIL to cook her meals…..Its where the HUSBAND comes into picture. Its neither MIL or DIL who are at fault, but husband who is not helping much and trying to find a solution. She is pregnant, nauseating, puking ,food allergies, tiredness, fluctuating hormones and mood-swings…..MIL wont be able to help her much….LW needs her mother. She should talk to her husband and call her mother and send her MIL back to her house.

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    • Umm… I am assuming the LW was involved in the decision to get or stay pregnant? While she probably is unprepared for the demands and changes to her body, the issue is for her and her husband to solve. How does transferring the problem from her MIL to mother help? Is that not again putting the workload where it should not be? How do we know that the mother is available/willing/able to do the things that LW needs?
      Much better to invest in paid help and technology, with the husband being the prime implementer, I feel. MIL / Mother are always there for emotional comfort and support.

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    • The world per pregnant women manage fine with their spouse. I’m or against mom or mil helping, but I find many people expect to be pampered and taken care of by mom or mil during pregnancy, some pampering is fine, but what if mom and mil have careers, life, other kids.. Wanting them to drop everything and come to ake care of a pregnant adult is IMO not very fair.

      Unless dr recommends bed rest or partial rest or whatever medically then a couple can ake do with oe hlp. Maybe a maid and cook etc or husband an tke a bigger load or something like that.

      I understand you would like ht food every 3hrs so do I. But we’re adults and either procure it ourselves or learn to manage, I say this because I put myself in both your shoes and think that in 10 yrs when my kid is pregnant I wil still have a career, maybe cut down a bit, pa, hobbies, routine etc., asking me to hold off all that for a yr will simply not be possible. If I’m expected o be at someone’s beck and call for 10 months then I should have a say in the timing of it shouldn’t I. No offense bt getting. Cook / Microwave seems to e the best option to me.

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    • Just like you ask, how do you know the MIL is a caring person, and that her mom should come..how do you know
      a)Her mom is a caring person?
      b)Even if she is, is she in a position to help?

      You also ask..”Whats left to help pregnant women if she doesnt get enough food to eat”..you mean to say, other than the pregnant woman eating, there is no other work that she would have done if she didnt have help? Maybe her MIL is helping with other chores- laundry, cleaning, grocery etc.How do you know she isnt?

      Anyway my 2 bits? Its neither the MILS nor the mothers job to do any of this. If they help out , out of their own free will, then you graciously accept the help for whatever works for you. If it doesnt, you speak up and politely decline the help. And for everything else, you work with your significant other to sort this out.

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      • I dont understand how can people outrightly expect from first time pregnent women to cook her meals all by herself? What if she doesnt have helpful husband? What if her husband is not kind of guy who cooks? I have seen many men, 90 out of 100 times who just dont enter kitchen at all…..or do not think even for a second that sharing house-hold chores is their responsibility too ! Different women have different pregnancy issues, some women go extremely weak, throwing up all the time….some women do not feel a tinge in their first pregnancy !
        Things are easier than done. Pregnancy is not a sickness but pregancy symptons varies from women to women. The LW might be suffering from mood-swings right now….instead of being harsh and telling her to cook her meals and heat in microwave, there are different friendly advises people can give !
        This is the reason I suggested that she should call her mother if she is not able to manage things at home all by herself. If her own mother doesnt cook the kinda food she wants, then she wont be able to blame anyone !
        Everyone knows that a mother would behave differently than a MIL would behave with DIL. And for tough pregnancy, any mother would be ready to sacrifice couple of weeks to comfort her pregnent daughter.

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        • My mother had no help with her three pregnancies ! No cook,no ayah nothing ! I am sure many women have no help whether first or second pregnancy ,..that why people find cooking no big deal ! Other work like sweeping floors,cleaning etc many women may not be able to do but basic cooking can be managed especially those who know how to cook !
          The previous generation of women not only continued to work throughout pregnancy but those without sufficient money and help even brought up their own childen,.Earlier too,only rich people could afford a posse of servants !!!
          Now also its the same,poor and middle-class people can’t afford help !!
          That’s vwhere in laws and mothers come in !
          No money,no help !

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  21. Just as a MIL shouldn’t expect a bahu to cook regularly, same principle applies the other way around. If your husband cant cook (which does happen believe it or not. My xBF cooked on his turn, but, well…), ask him to hire someone or get dabba.

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  22. By the way, perhaps off topic, perhaps not. My mom says if two people decide to create a baby, they should own up to it and take full responsibility. She says she is not going to be free ka nurse or day care center.😀
    She is done raising one child and says its time for her to read and travel and be at peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Interesting everyone is asking DIL to reassess her expectations from her MIL but the reverse has been almost set in stone for most DILs from the day they are married. Working woman who makes delicious home cooked meals has excellent house keeping and home making skills who will take care of our son and his family along with respecting elders (respect here is physically taking care of his aging parents).

    Then someone above asked where is woman’s mother? Why should her mother run to her aid? Oh, coz’ she is mother of a daughter. Taking care of a pregnant woman who happens to be DIL is a big deal. Lady she needs regular healthy meals and snacks. You had just one job🙂 If you can’t do it just ask for hiring a cook. But no, you have to prove you did so much, cooked with your own hands everyday…

    Can’t we desi grow up and live like humans who live and let live. We make trivialize basic needs and exaggerate unimportant issues and make mountain out of a mole hill. We just love drama and rush to others for resolution of our problems.

    Woman hire a cook or give the list of expectations to MIL and see what happens.
    Does your spouse has any role in this pregnancy beyond sperm donation? Get him a copy of “What to expect when you are expecting” http://www.amazon.ca/What-Expect-When-Youre-Expecting/dp/0761148574
    DG

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  24. I had severe morning sickness during my pregnancy – for the ENTIRE 9 months!!! OMG. It was hard. Sometimes I would be craving things, others I would have food aversions. And the instant I got hungry, I had to have it! I was home all alone for the entire 9 months and I ate all outside food. Or my hubby would prepare for me and I would eat leftovers. I also felt too tired to cook. Pregnancy is extremely tiring, much more than people think.
    If you are in India, I would hire a cook. Just tell your MIL a white lie – that it is not her cooking, it is pregnancy random food aversions. You can hire a cook and both you and your MIL can benefit.

    Like

  25. I had two pregnancies in th UK with pretty much no support other than the husband! Your MIL is around to provide moral support during your early phase of pregnancy, it’s not her responsibility to cook! If you don’t like what she cooks, help her around , prepare simple meals, which you all like! Nutrition at this stage for you, why don’t you eat fruits , nuts,healthy veg salads etc?

    And would u be complaining abt food if this had been your mom??

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  26. LW, I am sorry, but this seems like this is a case of you clinging very hard to the customs of home even while living overseas. In India pregnant women are waited on hand and foot, really thoroughly pampered and fed and fussed over. Overseas… not so much!

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?

    I do know pregnancy especially in the first trimester is exhausting and it is hard work to be pregnant. I used to throw up 3-4 times every day until my 7th month, I know how hard it can be. But that is no excuse to make ridiculous demands of others – I mean, everyone here is telling you to hire a cook, but no cook outside of India will ever stand there cooking fresh hot food for you every 3 hours, not unless you pay some astronomical sum!

    I think, LW, that you will find yourself much more happy and empowered if you stop treating yourself like a fragile glass doll. You are not fragile. You’re pregnant. It can be frightening because of how new it is and how much of a change it is. But don’t let it defeat you. You are strong! You can deal with food microwaved by your husband, I guarantee it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Dear LW,

    I want to take this opportunity to tell you 2 things

    First, is that from the tone of the letter I gather that your MIL being with you on the pretext of helping you is not helping at all. So why don’t you tell her that you are fine for now, thank her for taking out time and coming to help you and tell her you will call her if you need help. That way she can get back to her life and so can you. It would be great if you can hire a cook. Hopefully your nausea will go away soon, and you’ll be able to enjoy lots of food guilt-free ;D

    The second thing is something my gyenac told me on my first appointment “Pregnancy is not an illness”. So what I am trying to tell you is that you should not be feeling weak. Please talk to your doctor about it and take care of your nutrition. Take your prescribed prenatal vitamins, iron etc. regularly. If you find pregnancy tiring.. darling just wait till the baby comes!! When my daughter was born I understood what feeling tired to the bone means (dont worry, that phase passes soon).. So eat well and save your energy for when the baby comes.

    Oh yes, and please try and let the little things pass. I had a bit of a showdown with my MIL during my pregnancy (that I completely blame on my hormones). I still regret it.

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  28. Well, your mother in law is doing you a favour. You shouldn’t abuse it by being bitter. If you have very specific needs, hire a cook, or go for simple foods, or have a dabba service if you want homecooked meals.

    Also, if you are expecting so much help from her, you should also be prepared for her deep involvement in your life after childbirth as well.

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  29. Actually I don’t understand what is your problem ? If you like your MIL and if she has come to give you company then that’s good ,na !
    Yeah,if you don’t like her its complete ly different problem !If I was in your place,I d appreciate her just coming and staying with me so that my mind gets diverted a bit from pregnancy.
    If you are in India get a dabba service from reputed places ,keep pamphlets of restaurants who deliver,ask your husband to buy food while he returns from office , get a food processor which does every chopping and kneads dough if u are smart about operating it !
    You’ll have to work around this even if you were pampered your whole life !The kid will then become the focus so start now !!

    Like

  30. Pingback: Fortune Mother Exchange : Mother’s cooking for Indian male children. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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