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Having a bit of a moan

I need to offload.

We have some friends – nice people, they have three nice children, in general we like spending time with them.

But there seems to be an asymmetry of effort in the relationship.

They are coming to see us soon, to stay, and I don’t know if its because I’m back at work and already at maximum capacity, but this visit is just proving to be a bit too much for me.

You see we don’t have a lot of room so my girls will be moved out of their bedroom and beds to accommodate their children. Except it turns out that we now need to locate another mattress because their youngest will no longer sleep in a cot, not even for one night without screaming the place down. Needless to say there is no option for mine to do anything except sleep with the travel cot shoved up against the spare bed in a room which really doesn’t have enough room. But they are guests and so we’ll accommodate them.

The food however is probably going to turn me grey.

Their children are fussy eaters.

VERY fussy eaters.

In fact I have been provided over the course of past visits with the list of what they will eat and whenever I suggest something slightly different (like the fact I put a bit of Cajun seasoning in the breadcrumbs when I make chicken nuggets to make them less bland) its oh no, they won’t eat that.

Trouble is that this list seems to be almost exclusively dairy in nature. Baked potato with cheese, pasta with pesto, pasta with butter, yoghurts. And we are no dairy because of Littlest’s milk protein allergy.

Which leaves me with the choice of cooking what they want and then a variation for the littlest.

Or letting them having the dairy and hoping she doesn’t touch it or worse eat any of it by accident.

And having the eye rolling when I have to tell them yet again that she cannot eat any dairy or we will end up in A&E and that touching it does, yes it really does and no I’m not over reacting, bring her up in a nasty rash.

I really don’t know what to do.

And I’m more than a little resentful because when we go to stay we have to make all the accommodations – we eat what their children eat and I take separate food for the Littlest (afterall, her allergies are my problem and I don’t expect my hosts to cook a variety of foods) and fit in with their routine and rules.

And I guess what has also narked me is the continued comments about how hard it is for the Mum having all these children but she has a full time nanny and is only working three days a week.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm reading that back it sounds like I have the grumpf.

I’m sure it will all be ok. I’m sure that we’ll have fun. But I’m not enjoying the build up and the planning on top of everything else.

And yes, I guess I’d like a medal or some kind of award for doing all this on top of my job without any help from Mr Muddling.

I think we need an award for overstretched, overworked, underappreciated Mums. Anyone else need one?

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12 comments to Having a bit of a moan

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    >I think you need to be more assertive about the menu if you know your child coming into contact with dairy remnants at the dinner table may set them off with a reaction. Feed your friend's kids beans on toast. It's completely unreasonable to expect you to cook something completely different for each meal on such a long visit.

  • Kate

    >I hear you that does sound like stress city. My suggestion would be that you ask them politely to provide food for their children and that takes the hassle out of it. After all you do the same when you go there and their nanny can make it! It seems to me that you are allowing yourself to take on too much, it's ok to ask for help. BTW am in London Mondays and Wednesdays if you want to meet up.

  • Titch

    >You do deserve a medal! Working full time as well… I agree with Sarah and Kate. I would just cook what you usually cook, and if they don't like it they can have a banana and a yoghurt for pudding to keep them going. It's actually quite rude for a guest to to be so picky. I am trying to teaching our kids to quietly leave what they don't like to not hurt the chef's feelings! Good luck!

  • PantsWithNames

    >A toughie. I have an extremely fussy eater and I'm really sensitive to adding the pressure onto any hosts. You could suggest that maybe she could cook for her children and you could cook for yours as the food you need to give littlest muddling is not compatible with what their kids want to eat. She shouldn't take offence to that, and may even be relieved as it is really embarrassing when the slaved over food cooked by someone else is rejected out of hand by my fussy eater. I might also add that my fussy eater can be far better than at home, so maybe she should take a chance on something a little different?

    When I go and see my friend whose son has a serious dairy (and wheat and many, many other things) allergy, we usually end up with sausages and potato wedges with steamed veggies – and then I can choose the extent to which I play hardball on the veggie front.

    Good luck and I hope you get some time to have some fun at the weekend to remember why you are going to all the stress in the first place!

  • BECKICKLES

    >You're not alone. I hate, and I mean hate, people staying over. You home becomes a house and not your home. It's horrible, you can never relax. Even if they've been your friend from day dot.

    I totally sympathise with you.

    Such as shame their fussy eaters. I'd be stuck if someone came who was fussy – my lad loves all meat, veg etc. Even liver, and he's only two! What have you got planned? Cheese on cheese with cheese? 😉

    I hope you have some fun times too – I'm sure looking forward to hearing about it!

    Big hugs! Here's to hoping you survive it!

    Becca

    P.S. – *Hands Muddling Mummy a Medal of Honour*

  • London City Mum

    >Simple solution.

    Just phone them and say that "right now is probably not a good time" and call it all off.

    You will be relieved, trust me.

    And whatever you do, DON'T APOLOGISE!!

    LCM x

  • Marylin

    >I dread people coming to stay, it means I have to do more, and in the mornings particularly, be up! and awake! and being pleasant… none of which go down well for me. Hope it goes without too many hiccups. x

  • Whimsical Wife

    >If they were true friends they would understand that sometimes their children will have to sleep where they will fit! I wouldn't dream of putting such demands on the people who were accommodating me!

    Also you should assert that you are dairy free – your childs health in your own home should come above the dietary preferences of visitors!

    Grrr on your behalf lovely

  • vegemitevix

    >I agree with LCM you really don't need this right now. But if that's impossible I think you should kindly point out to your friend that you are working fulltime, that Mr Muddling has been business AWOL and you're feeling stressed. Would it kill her to either a)bring takeaways her children would eat! or b)get her nanny to prepare some food for her kids? That can't be too much bother for her surely? In NZ we have a tradition of bringing food when we stay with someone..maybe you could pretend to be Antipodean in cultural alignment and belief system!

  • marketingtomilk

    >YOu know, you'll rant and then you'll be the kindest, most thoughtful, nicest host you can be. Because us types who have so much on our plate, and expect so much from ourselves always are. Why not this once be honest and ask for a little help – for them to bring some meals etc. They'll probably suprise you and not bat an eyelid.

    M2M

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Thanks all

    If I said they were family it might make it clearer… still it went off ok in the end, except for Littlest eating something she shouldn't have somehow… sigh

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