View Full Version : Tired of food conversations - what do you talk about with other hs Moms?

01-10-2012, 08:04 AM
I've been homeschooling for a couple of years. We fell in with a group (a free, unstructured group - Yay!) pretty quickly when we started and I was elated. But I find that when we are together with any of the moms from this group, the conversation is 90% about food. Organic vs. non-organic, types of flour, places to get raw milk, fresh cheese, etc. etc.

My husband laughs and says I am granola but I'm not this granola, crunchy, organic. We eat vegetarian frequently. I cook with fresh ingredients as often as possible. I cook/bake from scratch as often as I can but I'm not afraid to pull a box mix off of the shelf if it is the best option (unless it is something that will be shared by hs'ers - at this point, I wouldn't dare.) I don't make my own bread everyday or make my own yogurt - have no desire to.

It is funny, when we were in public school, I was known as "Betty Crocker" because I would make things for school parties or gatherings and the other Moms would strut in with plastic grocery store containers. Now, I'm immersed in the other extreme.

I find I can talk to other people about food (mainly sharing recipes) but it doesn't dominate the conversation. One on one, they will talk about other things but, together, it's food, food, food. If the conversation changes for a minute, eventually someone brings it back to food. If I don't naturally have something to add to the conversation, I'm not going to force it but the result is I sit quietly and try to listen intently - sometimes for what seems like hours. I think my ability to not look bored is fading.

I joined this forum just a few days ago and I'm feeling like maybe I have an outlet to talk about the process of educating my kids, the challenges, curriculum, project ideas, etc. (Thank you!)

Is this just what it is like or should I try to find a new group? I don't really want to join or start a co-op, especially if it is going to be more of this. Our group has pretty eclectic homeschooling styles and I've definitely felt the "new kid on the block" feeling when it comes to talking about education. If someone asks "what do you use?" they normally aren't too interested in my answers - but most of these people never put their kids into school. I'm the person to go to when they want to know what it is like in school. Ha ha.

Typing it out, I think I'm answering my own question. Sigh. It is time to branch out and find new people, isn't it?? It is hard to find families where the kids jive AND the moms jive...bonus if the husbands jive too.

(Ha ha - just realized how appropriate my screen name of "cupcakes" is!! With buttercream frosting, baby!)

01-10-2012, 08:19 AM
If the group you are in is still meeting some of your needs you don't have to fully leave them. Maybe just don't spend as much time with them while you explore other group options. Unless that's against some rule they have. I'm a member of at least 3 homeschool groups that do things face-face. Though I've only showed up for events for two of the groups.
I also couldn't do the all natural food conversation very well. I try to do fresh a bit more often, but I have no problems with things like frozen waffles and box cake mixes. Though I have been wanting to find a "pudding in the mix" from scratch cake recipe.

01-10-2012, 08:25 AM
It sounds like it's more of a conversation rut than anything else. That's kind of funny. My homeschool friends don't talk about food that much. Sometimes... but not that often. Can you maybe do something that would lead to your group having a consistent reason to have a conversation that's not about food? A book club? A collective camping trip to plan? A project involving the kids that requires discussion and planning? And maybe it would help break the rut? Or maybe you should just say something. In a lighthearted way - before you lose it and scream, "I can't talk about where to buy gluten free flour any more!!!!"

01-10-2012, 08:46 AM
I would love it if the other moms would talk about food....ANYTHING but their church activities!! I try to move conversation towards curriculum, teaching styles, educational philosophy, but tend to get the deer-in-the-headlights look (I'm not using Sonlight, My Father's World, Rod and Staff....) Now, for sport, I sometimes try to ruffle feathers. In co-op yesterday I mentioned how on Sunday dh, the kids and I took our bikes to the coast for a nice long bike ride and lunch (this suggests we did not attend church.....oh my!). I mentioned how gorgeous it was and what a great time we had. A few minutes later I hear them all talking about how tired their kids are on Mondays because Sunday is always such a late night (Sun pm church) and that they only have time to teach Bible before co-op. How I wish I had co-op or playgroup options.....

01-10-2012, 10:00 AM
It sounds like you joined a cooking group and not a HS group! My brain fires off random topics which can and does drive people nuts but I can't stick to one subject too long or I'm bored. If we talk about food it might then jump to a recipe that I saw in a magazine or on TV then I start thinking about a celebrity who is now on the latest diet or suddenly fat/skinny. That might make me think of a book I've read which always heads toward what we're reading for HS, right now it's the Scarlet Pimpernel, which obviously (at least to me) is going to head towards gardening! It will not have me discussing the pros and cons of the French Revolution!!

Lately though I do feel your pain. No matter where we go - either in person or on line - every group is starting to make me feel inadequate. I don't cook completely organic, sorry can't afford it, trying to go as healthy as possible but I also wasn't put on this earth to stay in the kitchen all day (and I do love to cook). There is a group we see once a month and I think they are secret fast food eaters and late night Little Debbie lovers because their kids are all lethargic and pale. Another online group we chat with are all apparently raising prodigies though I secretly think they are all trying to cover for their own personal inadequacies or they have robotic children! I am the token "had her child in.....gasp.....PUBLIC SCHOOL so I'm somehow tainted by letting my child out of my grasp into the lions den of filth, debauchery (one of my favorite places), and Godless wilderness.

I do tend to, for my own amusement, say things to ruffle feathers. People who take the time to get to know me know that I do it to stimulate conversation and go right along with it. Those who look down their noses on how we eat, live, dress, teach or parent just make me sad.

01-10-2012, 11:27 AM
Could be worse. Some of my HS friends LOVE to discuss birthing methods. I don't like birth stories at the best of times, so there is no way I can enjoy constant conversation that centers around water births, ruptured placenta, episiotomies, etc. I'd probably vomit on their laps if I didn't have the cojones to pipe up and silence a conversation by stating that I had both my kids in the hospital WITH epidurals and wouldn't have changed a thing. :D They really don't know how to take that.

It sounds to me like most of these people may not know each other very well and think that food is a 'safe' topic. I would try to have more of the one-on-one conversations, and if that's not possible, I'd bring up topics that you've talked about in the past with other people - maybe people who aren't even in the group. Anything to get these folks to open up and realize that food isn't always the topic that everyone wants to talk about... I bet you're not the only one who's tired of it.

01-10-2012, 12:06 PM
This is really interesting. Birth methods, cooking... My homeschool friends mostly talk about homeschooling, kids and... general life stuff. Sometimes we gossip about each other too I guess.

01-10-2012, 12:53 PM
When my kids were in school and we were hanging in our neighborhood, the talk was mainly about: other moms, complaining about school staff, other kids, complaining about school staff, home improvement projects, complaining about school staff, vacations, etc. It was a variety of things (sort of) but most of it was complaining and gossipy. I've been relieved to be away from it because it was always so negative but...

Thanks for giving me some ideas about how to try to *mix it up*. I think part of it is also not being in a purely secular group. Food probably is a safe topic for everyone.

I very rarely hear anyone complain about their kids or the struggles. It's a little Stepford-ish. Or, if they do, it's a very brief comment and no one elaborates. We also don't talk about our successes.

01-10-2012, 02:58 PM
You know what I think is fun ? I also get a little burned out by all the crunchy food talk. BTDT, for years with no choice about it, and I don't anymore, because my kids are no longer allergic and we can eat that way when I want to deal with it but we no longer HAVE to. So now when it's more convenient to hit a drive-thru on the way to something, that's what we do. And I show up with a bag from Wendy's or Taco Bell. :grin: Just pure evil, I am. A very bad influence.

I favor all things in moderation, including being obsessed with healthy food.

Stella M
01-10-2012, 03:49 PM
I had a conversation about gluten with a h/s mom last night. But I only did it because I know she's very passionate about gluten and I wanted to be nice. I can talk about food till the cows come home but it tends to be about foods like cake, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, bread, tea, cake, cake, cake...

Otherwise it depends on the person. I'm not much for group talk. So one on one conversation will vary depending on who I'm talking to. Some people get my deep, dark secrets, some people get recipes...thankfully we are all mostly past the birth stories, because they bug me too. Curriculum can get boring quite fast I find.

I prefer my deep, dark friends.

01-10-2012, 03:50 PM
I wonder if you could try to bring along an activity or project to work on or a book that might prompt some discussion- or ask if the adults would like to do a book club. Maybe ask more questions about the things they like to do.

What are you interested in?

I guess you'd have to consider when looking for a group to hang out with if you are going to the group for your kids to get together with other kids, if you are going mainly to make friends with other moms or going mainly to discuss and get help with homeschool issues. You may need to find a different group.

01-10-2012, 06:00 PM
Maybe this is a safe topic for them and they cling to it so that no dangerous topics are brought up.

01-10-2012, 06:19 PM
Announce you've signed them all up to volunteer feeding the homeless. "We are all so passionate about food, I knew no one would mind."

01-10-2012, 06:22 PM
Ding, ding, ding....I have a winner. Or at least a hypothesis that I will test at the next gathering. One of the women is very respected and I think she tends to be a unofficial center of the group. She's a gem, truly. Amazing woman. But, she is very interested in food and very concerned about not gossiping or complaining. So, my theory that I will test at the next gathering will be to see if she is the one that constantly steers the conversation back to food because, as several of you have pointed out, it is a benign topic.

At least quietly testing my hypothesis will give me something to do and maybe my boredom won't show!!

Some of you have asked what I am interested in and, the funny thing is, I'd never considered before what I do like to talk about or what I spend time talking to friends about because, other than the occasional person that talks all about themselves that I find annoying, I've never paid that much attention. I don't like big chaotic groups with multiple conversations going on but I've never thought I had trouble coming up with topics in a smaller group. Till now.

01-10-2012, 06:23 PM
Announce you've signed them all up to volunteer feeding the homeless. "We are all so passionate about food, I knew no one would mind."

Heee heeee.... Good idea!

01-10-2012, 06:44 PM
its funny, the park groups i've been to OFTEn talk about birth! I had one 'freind' who was such a radical unschooler that if anyone talked about curriculum or schedules or discipline problems around her, the whole thing got really ugly. Then there's the whole - this is a mixed xtian and secular group so we dont want to talk about anything too deep . . . .

it seems like usually there are core groups of freinds who just gossip. which i guess is what they are avoiding?

01-10-2012, 09:35 PM
I like to cook, I can slaughter any ruminant that weighs less than I do and help with the ones that are bigger, and do the whole little red hen thing when it comes to bread. But I get so tired of the purer than thou food conversations. One of my cousins has been the primary biodynamic/organic food inspector for the last 15 or 20 years and even she'll eat at mcdonald's on occasion.

Maybe you could ask who people are going to vote for.......

Good luck

01-10-2012, 09:49 PM
cupcake.. first thing I thought of.... Your username!! lol

My group talks about God. 31 Bags. and did I mention God? I don't say much.

I'd go insane if I had to talk food. I would throw a fit. And then they wouldn't like me. I'd get so frustrated I'd say something rude.

I hang one on one. Groups of any sort I am usually the one not fitting in. Here I feel okay though... But then, I keep my mouth shut here too!

So don't ask me,, Ill be here in my room sitting at a tiny school desk, like for a first grader at teh computer. I could move it. Yes, I know.

01-10-2012, 10:43 PM
What do we talk about?
Gardening, environmental issues, our part-time jobs, special events we're planning, field trips or other events, regular "news" like who's been sick or gone on a trip or had company over or has a new dog, our husbands, our husbands' jobs, but mostly we talk about our kids, which is getting much more difficult now that my dd is 12. She keeps hanging around instead of going off to play. I want to tell her to leave so I can talk about her!

01-11-2012, 02:41 PM
I agree with several other folks' opinions - sounds like a conversational rut more than anything. Perhaps, as you get together regularly, you could use the time for an adult book club discussion group while the kids are playing?

01-11-2012, 03:37 PM
Too Funny.....I learned what a 31 bag was at co-op the other day (just after the conversation switched from the divine...)

01-11-2012, 10:26 PM
Too Funny.....I learned what a 31 bag was at co-op the other day (just after the conversation switched from the divine...)

I think i love you for this!!! BTW did you like the bags, I need to make money and thought of selling them. I need outiside input I am closeted here in Middle America and I sometimes forget what life is really like.