Mother-in-laws have a reputation for being overbearing. Often even well meaning advice, when unsolicited, can be hurtful and frustrating.
This goes even more when it comes to sensitive topics such as eating habits and weight—things most people do not want commentary on.
What would you do if you lost your temper after one too many bits of “helpful” advice or lecture sessions? One Redditor finally reached the boiling point.
Redditor petreservation turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgement on their own tense mother-in-law situation.
“AITA for telling my MIL she’s fat?“
The Original Poster (OP) explained the conflict with their mother-in-law:
“My MIL is a retired home economics teacher and extremely obese. I would guess she’s 5’0 and three hundred pounds. My kids and I are all a little scrawny, but active and eat fairly well.”
”Sometimes I allow them to have a soda when we go out to eat. Sometimes they don’t eat their veggies or finish their meals. I am half Asian so believe me, my parents were the same flavor of ‘you best finish this food we earned for you’ but they’ve chilled big time.”
”They don’t push their grandkids to finish or if they don’t want to eat green beans, it ain’t the end of the world. My MIL lectured me to no end about nutrition and how she raised my husband and his siblings. Her daughter is also morbidly obese.”
”I have said nothing until I finally lost it. I asked her if she honestly felt she was in a position to give me advice on eating.”
”Her response made me feel bad, she said she understands nutrition but is an emotional eater, a food addict. As is her daughter. And my husband told me I shouldn’t have said his mom was fat.”
“Am I the asshole? I feel like one, but then when I think of how much she lectures me, I feel justified.”
OP commented some more details after some questions.
“The big lecture I get is about how her family had to eat three square meals a day. Besides my husband, we are a family of snackers. She says all our snacking ruins our appetites and that’s why my kids won’t finish their dinner.”
”When I told her it’s because we get hungry, she said well, you young people have all this luxury we didn’t have and it’s all instant gratification. My husband does back me up and says that I have some kind of hypoglycemia (that’s not exactly true, but I do get faint if I don’t eat every couple hours).”
“It’s just always been a fine line of bullying and actual concern and I lost my temper.”
OP also clarified how the insult came into the conversation saying:
”I didn’t use the word Fat. After I asked her if she really thought she was in the position to give me advice on how to eat, she said, ‘I know I’m fat!’ And I didn’t dispute that’s not what I meant so.”
Redditors were asked what they thought by deciding:
- 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 NTA although this was a sticky situation.
“NTA. You’ve been lectured by someone who has zero right to do so, regardless of her weight. And you didn’t call her fat, you merely said she wasn’t in a position to be giving advice, after constant goading.”~HotConfusion
“NTA. Hate when people think they can tell parents how to parent their own kids. Unless she is a dietician (nutritionist depending on the country) a pediatrician, or you’re feeding your kids in an actual harmful way she should butt out. If someone keep doing that to me I might go for the jugular as well.”~brgurl
“It’s just plain rude for her to lecture you about your eating habits or how you raise your own kids. Even if she was a healthy weight, she should keep her opinion to herself.”
“Having a degree in Home Economics doesn’t give her any authority to hand out unasked-for advice and criticism of anyone’s eating habits. NTA.”~NoxWild
“NTA, but you are both a bit tactless. She should NOT be telling you how to raise your children or giving you ‘back in my day’ stories and expecting you to conform to her. But you should not have body shamed her.”
”I’m obese as well, and it’s not because I don’t know about nutrition. It’s because I have eating disorders. But to be fair, I would never tell you what to feed your kids, either.”~Udanax19
”NTA. It’s possible to be understand health issues and not follow the rules yourself (see: doctors who smoke).”
”But she should have kept her opinions to herself. You weren’t wrong for saying exactly why you would see her comments as suspect.”~tandoori_taco_cat
“NTA. Calling someone out never makes you feel good, but sometimes it needs to be done. My former mil was also of similar proportions and when she would lecture me about nutrition it really drive me up the wall.”
”People need to mind their business. It doesn’t matter why your mil is obese, because the why isn’t really the point here. She insisted on butting into your choices and infringing on your authority as parent. I think you set her back in her place just fine.”~vulpesvulpesfugit
“NTA, but you could have approached it better, before you reached your breaking point. You can explain that you’re trying to raise your children in a less stressful environment, so that they’ll be less likely to be emotional eaters.”
“Also, note that posts about overweight women and MILs tend to do well on this sub, so you may receive many NTA judgements. At the same time, there is one mod who is very sensitive about the word ‘obese’.”~baqkround
A good rule of thumb is unless asked to not bombard anyone with your options on parenting, eating habits, or weight. Hopefully these parties are able to establish healthier boundaries.