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Expecting in Jan

Mothers (gluten-eaters) Want To Come "help" When Baby Comes?

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HI! Im hoping to get some advice or reassurance about having someone else in my kitchen...

My mother and mother-in-law want to come when the baby is born (in 8 weeks) to "help" me around the house. All my anxieties about having a new baby in the house are overshadowed by my concerns about food contamination by the mothers. Both mothers are fully aware of my Celiac Disease and seem to understand- they make great efforts to accomodate me. But they routinely fail and if I wasnt a hawk about the things going on in my kitchen would be VERY sick right now! While I appreciate their efforts- I cant afford for them to make mistakes during this physically and emotionally trying time.

As recently as last weekend, my mother in law had me help her make an entire italian meal gluten free so she could learn. She lobbied for meatballs "for the guys" and I gave in but made it clear I couldnt have them. We made the whole meal together- taking extra time to explain what I could and couldnt have and how to keep the gluten utensils/dishes clear of the meal prep area. We were doing great and I was easing up about my fears. I turned around to see her putting the cooked meatballs right into the gluten-free sauce...... :o

Im just wondering how other expecting mothers deal with having someone else in their kitchen??? I dont want to hurt their feelings. Im already limiting the length of their stays and not letting them come until the baby is 4 days old- which was a huge battle.

Resisting going to a totally gluten free house because my husband does great and I dont want to punish him! I have only been diagnosed and gluten-free for 13 months so my mom is no more familiar with the gluten-free diet than my MIL.

Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated!!!

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Why wouldn't you make gluten-free meatballs? It's pretty easy. We do it all the time.

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Maybe your best solution would be to make the entire house gluten-free just while the mothers are over. That couldn't possibly be so tough on your husband, considering most things can be made gluten-free, he could still eat gluten-free outside of the house, and it would give you great peace of mind. You being happier and more at ease in your own house couldn't possibly be a punishment for anyone :) I'm not an expecting mother but that's definitely what I would do. Hope you find something that works for you :)

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Another option would be to inform them that their "help" will be limited to cleaning and running errands. If you catch them in your kitchen touching anything that hasn't been approved by you, they go home.

You deserve not to be sick while you have a brand new baby. Be strict. No gluten.

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I agree with Mango - I would go with a totally gluten free house until they left. My husband went totally gluten free with me for a long time. Even now, all meals are gluten free, he has his own bread, crackers and cereal, and he eats gluten when we go out.

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Boy, I really feel for you! How about fixing some made-ahead gluten-free meals to cut down on their time needed in the kitchen?? You could spin it that it gives THEM more time with the baby!! You could also have a fully-stocked pantry of your needed items. And I agree whole-heartedly with everyone's suggestion to make hubby live gluten-free too while they are there. He may discover he likes your stuff just as well and it would be easier for you on a routine basis. Best wishes and congrats on the new little one! :)

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I agree about the gluten free kitchen. You will be a lot healthier and if your child turns out to be celiac.

Talk to your dh, he should be willing to go gluten free while home. It is not a punishment to eat healthy. There isn't anything that can't be made gluten free. He should talk to his mother about how important this is to his family.

Tell anyone that wants to help you, that they can not bring gluten into the house. If they do, they are not welcome to stay. Sound mean. No it is not, it's for your health and your mental well being. Family and friends who want to help should be willing to accommodate you. If they want to eat gluten they can go out to eat.

If your child turns out to deathly allergic to peanut butter, will you be willing to let people come over to eat peanut butter cups and pb&j sandwiches in your house. No, you'd have a screaming fit because he could die from the exposure. Part of your intestines can die from gluten exposure. You health is just as important. You need to be as healthy as possible to be the good mother your child will be needing.

I have a gluten free kitchen. My dh can eat gluten. I only cooked gluten free. The only gluten in our house was his bread and his Little Debbies he used to make his lunch. No, I did not touch his items, he made his own lunch, had his own cabinet to store his items and had his own part of the counter. 3 1/2 weeks ago he agreed to go gluten free. Now I make his lunch and he is finding he feels a lot better.

You can do this for your health and not feel guilty.

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Agree on the temporary gluten-free status. Plus, I'd do up frozen meals (at least the main part) so it's easy for them to put it on and do up the sides. You can have a menu of sorts. And if they're not willing to stick with it, then maybe they shoudl have to stay out of the kitchen.

It really depends on them and their eating habits. For instance, my parents are definitely make your own meals kind of people. My dad's diabetic. So we naturally stick to lower starch meals and so it's easier to go meat/vegetables for dinner.

Now, my in-laws are the total opposite and eat out all the time. In this instance, I'd see if MIL would make the main meal (following my menu) and the rest they can go out and eat there, leaving lunch/breakfast/snacks to myself.

The decision is ultimately yours. Have your husband back you up with his parents because it can be confrontational, even if it's not meant to be. But get used to that, if this is your first kid. No matter how good a relationship you have, sometimes things come across quite different when it comes to your children (in a good or bad way).

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"Mothers (gluten-eaters) Want To Come "help" When Baby Comes?"

Gluten Eaters, doesn't that sound like a really scary movie?

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Yup - unless you know you can trust them, the house is gluten free while they're there. Period. My mother-in-law is great about things like not double dipping in condiments, keeping her and my father-in-law's bread to the bread board and a plate, and only getting non-whole-food stuff from the store that is a brand/variety I've approved. That is the only reason I feel comfortable with them coming over and being in the kitchen. Other friends... well, if they don't bring food in... :)

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Congrats on the impending little one. I agree that the home should be gluten-free. You need to stick up for yourself with them. You need to be able to rest and care for the baby, and that is what they are coming to help for to begin with. It is your home and you have a right to ask, no demand, that they do all they can to keep you safe. It will be easier for them to do so if they don't have to worry about making you sick. The one way to be sure of that is to ban gluten foods from the home.

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Why wouldn't you make gluten-free meatballs? It's pretty easy. We do it all the time.

Good question- the whole point was for her to understand how to keep things separate. If I didnt have anything with gluten in it- then I couldnt explain how they couldnt cross contaminate. But it didnt work!

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Thanks to everyone who responded. I talked at length with my husband about it and he is fine going gluten free while there are guests in the house. (He remembers how sick I was before my diagnosis)

To the comment about "Gluten Eaters" being a scary movie- I laugh everytime I say it. Im not sure what to call them!

The frozen meals idea is great! It removes them from the kitchen all together and I love the idea of spinning it so that they have more time to spend with baby. Will definitely be using that!

I hate to do that to them but I think a blanket "Gluten Free" policy is going to be the only way Ill be able to relax. Now that the decision is made- maybe Ill start having nightmares about childbirth and parenting rather than bread crumbs and soy sauce!! Thanks everyone! :D

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