Cooking can be an art or an act of necessity. While most people can handle the basics, some struggle to boil water.
So what’s a child to do when their parent lacks talent in the kitchen?
After all, culinary ineptitude can have more consequences than just an unpleasant taste.
A woman who grew up with cooking challenged parents hoped to spare her children her fate. But after a conflict with her mother, she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor An_Expensive_Avocado asked:
“AITA for telling my mother I think she made me sick constantly as a child, in front of my children?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“When I was a child, I was often sick. I rarely had a fever so my mother would send me to school.”
“I would have horrible diarrhea & headaches and get sent to the nurse, then get sent home because even though I didn’t have a fever I was clearly ill. I’d get in trouble for ‘lying’ to the school nurse, get grounded, and then a couple weeks later it would happen again.”
“In middle school we were taught about food safety in school, and I finally realized that I was consistently being affected by food poisoning. My mother would cook dinner, leave it out all night & put everything away in the morning while packing it for my lunch.”
“This meant my portion also sat in my schoolbag all day. My parents would forget milk on the counter for hours.”
“Forget perishable groceries in the car for days, but then say ‘its autumn so it’s fine’ just toss it in the fridge. Condiments that were to be refrigerated after opening were just put in the cupboard, etc…”
“By the end of middle school I had stopped eating food from home and magically all of my digestive problems went away on a diet of early 2000’s cafeteria garbage. It didn’t seem to bother my parents, but I came to the conclusion that the food was making me.”
“I had tried to talk about it once (I was confronted by my mother) and was told because my brother never had the same problems that I claimed so obviously I was trying to hide an eating disorder. It was such a slap in the face that it was the fight that made me move out while still in high school.”
“Yesterday my kids and I (I’m now 31) were dropping off her groceries & she was heating up some lunch, and offered to share if the kids were hungry. They were super excited because they are small and we had never eaten at grandma’s before.”
“I declined and said we were picking up lunch right after.”
“She kept pushing, saying things like don’t spend money when you can get fed for free, let her spoil her grandbabies, etc…”
“Eventually I had to have the conversation again. I tried to be gentle, but I know she does not follow any food safety guidelines and I know nothing has changed from when I lived here.”
“I said that it is my responsibility to only feed things to my children that I am absolutely sure are safe. It never rose to the level of raised voices, but we still left with her in tears, my children feeling guilty that they ‘hurt grandma’s feelings’ and my family saying I’m cruel.”
“I might be the a**hole because she is claiming I ruined a fundamental trust the kids have in their grandma. As a child, my doctor said I was fine ( as in I didn’t have a food allergy etc…) and so me ‘ruining’ this trust now is forcing my personal conspiracies on my children.”
“I am being told that is spite and I am holding on to too much resentment instead of getting over it.”
“I am not willing to reconsider my personal stance, but I want to make sure I am not being cruel or spiteful.”
“This forum helped me last time I was in a morally confusing situation, so I am ready to accept judgement again. Thank you for your time.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Food poisoning can kill people and the young, elderly, and infirm are at a higher risk. Your mother’s food safety habits are atrocious, I can only imagine what Gordon Ramsay would have to say to her.”
“I have a couple of pieces of bread if you need them for a Ramsay special.” ~ Limerase
“NTA at all! OP, please keep your children away from your mother’s disgusting and unsanitary food practices.”
“You weren’t diagnosed at the doctor because they were testing for allergies. There is no way to test for food poisoning unless you are testing the food.”
“It is basically common knowledge (that they teach in school), not a conspiracy, that the way your mother treats and stores food is unsafe and can cause people serious illness.”
“Some people are more susceptible to it than others, but it is dangerous for anyone. You’re not overreacting.”
“Please don’t let your children be exposed to the same thing that you were as a child. No child should have to go through that, especially with gaslighting from their mother.”
“OP, you didn’t ‘ruin a fundamental trust the kids have in their grandma’. She did, by trying to feed them food that would make them sick.”
“You’re in the clear, please don’t feel guilty. Keep protecting your children so that they don’t go through the same thing that you did.” ~ CharlesBeast
“NTA. You tested your theory using rhe scientific method it sounds.”
“How’s your mom with other criticisms?”
“Your job as a mom to your kids is to protect them, even if it makes your mother uncomfortable. You did the right thing.” ~ FireInsideofMe
While protecting her mother’s feelings is important, safeguarding the health of her children must be her first priority.
Hopefully her mother will come to understand.