Woman Who Uses 'Special' Recipe To Make Food For Her Kids Refuses To Share It With Her Mother-In-Law— 'Some Things Should Just Be For Me'

As the primary parent to her children, the woman has an inherent right to maintain family traditions and activities as she sees fit.

mother and daughter cooking in kitchen August De Richelieu / Pexels 

Navigating family relationships can be a delicate practice, best balanced by upholding boundaries and maintaining clear lines of communication. Yet not every member of a family will vibe at all times, which can be especially true of in-law relationships.

A woman who uses a ‘special’ recipe to cook for her kids refused to share it with her mother-in-law.

The woman posted her predicament to the subreddit r/BreakingMom, a Reddit community that defines itself as being for “Moms only... No judgments, no nastiness.”


She explained that she has two young children with her partner, and her mother-in-law is their primary source of childcare. She gave vague context to their relationship, saying, “She and I get along well but she gets moody about things sometimes.”

The mother-in-law asked the woman to share a baked oatmeal recipe that she makes for her daughters, only the woman doesn’t want to share it. 

mom refuses to share special recipe with her mother in lawPhoto: Mikhail Nilov / Pexels 


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“I want it to be a special recipe that only mommy makes,” the woman explained. She went on to say that her baked oatmeal isn’t “a secret family recipe or anything, just one I found and tweaked early on when my first just started eating solids and they both love it.”

The woman asked if declining to share her oatmeal recipe was “an a–holish move,” clarifying, “I've always felt some type of way about her doing things with them before I get a chance to because she's with them all the time.”

The woman appeared to harbor some resentment that her mother-in-law has certain experiences with her daughters that she doesn’t share. She mentioned that her mother-in-law has taken them to see the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, and signed her older daughter up for ballet classes, which she then took the young girl to. 


‘I feel like some things should just be for me,’ the woman said, expressing displeasure that her mother-in-law asked for a recipe that she wants to keep for herself.

She asked how to decline to give her the recipe without hurting her mother-in-law’s feelings. There was a range of responses from the other moms in the group. Some moms said the woman should just offer up the recipe; others said she should give her mother-in-law a tweaked recipe, so as to fake her out.

One mom noted that the mother-in-law was most likely not asking for the recipe to be malicious, nor is she actively trying to take anything away from the woman. She explained, “I think the hill to die on is that she is taking your special holiday moments away. She can make lots of memories with her grandkids that don’t cut you out of those special times.”

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Someone else mentioned the nuanced politics involved in interacting with family, saying, “A lot of family relationships is just lying to keep the peace, I think.”

Yet one mom agreed with the woman, echoing her initial sentiment that “some things get to be just mom's.” The woman responded directly to that comment saying, “This is exactly how I feel.”

She gave another example of a moment she interpreted as her mother-in-law taking a special tradition away from her and her daughters, explaining, “I wanted ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to be my song for my babies because my dad sang it to me every night and she started doing it, too. I'M THE MOM! Your turn has come and gone, ma'am!”

mom refuses to share special recipe with her mother in lawPhoto: Daka / Pexels 


She acknowledged that “it just doesn’t occur to her but it really hurts me.”

Another mom suggested, “Just be honest.” She recommended the woman tell her mother-in-law, “No, I am keeping this for myself and my babies.”

“You have a right to special things with your kids,” she stated, affirming the woman’s feelings.

Of course, as the primary parent to her children, the woman has an inherent right to maintain family traditions and activities as she sees fit, which might mean not sharing certain elements of her life with her mother-in-law. 


Yet the framing she gave to her mother-in-law’s relationship with her children seems like it might be perpetuating a harmful narrative — that one person is trying to take something from another. It’s hugely important for kids to have trusted adults, who aren’t their parents, who care for them.

At the end of it all, love is not a finite resource. Rather, it’s something that builds on itself — the more love you share, the more love there is. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.