DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My daughter-in-law is a bright, sweet, loving young woman, but she tends to jump on the latest-greatest cooking/diet fads. Good for her, I say, except when I have to eat it too, which has been the case for the past six months, while I have been living with my son’s family waiting to move into a new condo. It’s been under construction for nearly a year, and I sold my house, anticipating I would have moved in long before now. Construction is behind, and so what was to be a two month at the most visit, has turned into a longer-term houseguest arrangement.
I enjoy being with my son and his wife and we all seem to get along well. I even find I can help out some around the house, including paying them rent and doing little things, like cooking dinner for them, since I get back from work earlier than they do most days. Only now that my daughter-in-law’s gone vegan, there isn’t much I can do beyond cutting things up and putting them aside until she’s home. It’s also not my kind of eating. I’m far from being a complete carnivore, but I do like a varied diet, and since she’s now all vegan, all the time, I try to have a more substantial lunch at work than I’d usually have to keep from being hungry later in the day, especially after having just eaten dinner. I also have a stash of snack food in my borrowed bedroom, which is not something I like having to do.
I know my son is as thrilled about this latest meal plan as I am, and although he has said nothing, I suspect he too is filling up before heading home for the day.
I think he should say something to his wife about how unpopular this particular diet is around here. Both my son and I have done research on veganism and compared notes. What we found is disturbing. If not properly done, a vegan diet can be dangerous for the dieters.
Am I right to encourage my son to step up and tell his wife what we’re feeling? I learned long ago to never be the meddling in-law, and this feels a bit borderline to me. --- HUNGRY HOUSEGUEST
DEAR HUNGRY HOUSEGUEST: The smart practice is nearly always, as you say, to be the non-interfering in-law, but I can see why you have concerns. While I’m all for healthy habits, after doing a little of my own research, it looks to me like vegan diets can be a real challenge to get right for the dieter.
Even though you and your son are on the same page, I think you may be better off letting him do the opinion-sharing within the privacy of his and his wife’s relationship.