26 Dec
My Mother Is a Soda Pusher!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My parents are staying with us over the holidays and although I’m happy to have them with us and my children adore them, I’m not happy that my mother tries to get the kids to drink soda.

I’m not a health nut, but we do not drink soda and I see no reason to give any to my 3 and 5 year old children.

I’ve talked to my mother about this in past years (she brings the soda with her, and doles it out as a special treat) and she said that she doesn’t know what the big deal is.

She thinks I’m being the food police. What do you think?



Dear Sodaless,

How can you possibly be the food police if what you’re monitoring is your children’s beverage intake? Or is the beverage police a unit of the larger food police force? And is Sipowitz part of that particular task force? Because I’m still not over seeing his butt on NYPD Blue.

I do know that as a parent you have a right to determine what your children get to eat and drink. And your mother doesn’t get to overrule you.

I don’t blame you for nixing soda in your home. It has absolutely no health benefits and there’s a lot to show that it’s bad for children. (If it’s part of their daily diet. A once-a-year soda, even once a month soda is probably ok.)

Your mother may think that it is more than ok and that you are depriving your children of their constitutional right to sugar and carbonation. She can think that all she wants but she can’t substitute her values for yours and make decisions for your children.

It is also not ok for her to disregard your wishes. What if she decides one day that your children need to wear matching Christmas sweaters with reindeer appliques? Then what are you going to do?

You should talk to your mother again, perhaps in advance of her visit. Let her know that although you appreciate the time she spends with your children and you value their relationship, you are concerned about the studies that have been coming out regarding sweetened beverage consumption and childhood obesity and diabetes. If you need more ammunition, blame New York City (everyone else does) and their anti-soda posters.

I'll have a glass of water, please. Thank you.

I suspect that your mother may be trying to find a special treat that she can share with grandchildren-a forbidden fruit, so to speak, that will win them over. Suggest to her that spending time doing a favorite activity (singing Justin Bieber songs? Playing Trouble?) would be a lot better for the children’s health and the grandmother-grandchildren relationship in the long run. And if she still insists on the forbidden fruit, consider persimmon.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

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13 Responses to “My Mother Is a Soda Pusher!”


Comment by Cate8.

This made me laugh. I can see both sides. As a mom my own mother was always doing things to my kids that I wasn’t happy about. For example: bottles(I breastfed all 8 kids), having them baptized behind my back !!! shall I go on??
this has been good training for my own grandmotherhood. I have 4 grandchildren and always and I mean always adhere to their parents’ rules. I just want to be a supportive and fun gramma I am not there to force my ideas on them…. luckily my older children that are parents are damn smart and know what they are doing.

so in this case the gramma is just being stubborn and disrespectful to you the parent. call her out on it—I have to keep doing this with my own mother (STILL)

Good Luck


Comment by thepsychobabble.

Yes, she absolutely should respect your rules and wishes in this matter.
BUT…you need to decide if the occasional soda is your Hill Worth Dying On. If it is, then proceed to put your foot down and tell her that either the sodas or her visits are going to come an end.

Marinka Reply:

I love the Hill Worth Dying On expression and can’t wait to steal it. While having a Pepsi.

muffintopmommy Reply:

Word to your (grand)mother on that! Brillzy saying…


Comment by mtwildflower.

I think you need to look at the big picture, especially if your folks live far away.

Number one, it’s not okay for mom to blatantly disrespect you in front of your kids. No matter how far away she lives, that is a big no no. I think that is the real issue here.

Number two, Soda is not good for you. Neither is candy, watching TV, alcohol, fried dough, bacon, fast food, etc, ad nausem. But, it all exists for a reason. Consuming any of the above *on occasion* is not going to harm anyone’s overall health in the long run. Grandma slipping a little soda to the kiddies is not as huge of a deal as usurping your authority.

So, the best thing here is two fold….pick your battles and compromise.

For instance, no soda for breakfast, and none just before bed. If you have two kids, 6 oz (half can) once a day, since it’s Christmas, is plenty. They have to eat all of their asparagus, or whatever. Set some ground rules that allow for Grandma to spoil, but not rule. You’ll be happier and so will she.

chris1010 Reply:

I agree 100% 🙂

N and Em's mom Reply:

Well said!


Comment by sisterfunkhaus.

While I think your mom needs to respect your wishes as a parent, I also think you need to pick your battles. Take a look at this in the grand scheme of things and be realistic about whether a few sodas from grandma are really going to make that big of a difference in y our kids’ lives.


Comment by Marinka.

To be fair, I also disapprove of grandmothers giving their grandkids alcohol.

muffintopmommy Reply:

I dunno. Like a wine cooler would probably be ok…that’s pretty much just an amped up juice box…


Comment by Plano Mom.

My in-laws lived with us for the first eight years of my 13-year-old’s life. Often it was awful, a frequent battle over our authority as his parents, even to the point of grandpa sneaking him candy for breakfast. So I think I can say that it is really unfair to expect them to be parents and hold fast to parental rules. Now that they don’t live in the same house, it is a joy to let my father-in-law spoil our son as much as he wants. They still need to respect you, but do give them the opportunity to be a grandparent and get away with something.


Comment by Poker Chick.

Just tell your mother that soda can cause osteoporosis. You’re welcome.


Comment by Lisa.

As long as you can say, “You know you only get soda when Grandma is here, so stop asking” I really don’t see the big deal. They’re SUPPOSED to spoil your kids. Think of it as a reward for all the times they had to say no to you as a kid and put up with your histrionics.

My husband’s grandparents gave the grandkids m&ms at every visit. We had a huge jar at them at our wedding reception to honor them. Now his parents give our kid a handful at the end of every visit. We don’t keep them in the house (okay except for when we sneak them when she goes to bed) and she doesn’t ask for them. It’s a simple little family pleasure, not a source of ruination.

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