Post # 1
DH and I have been talking about TTC and all that stuff. Something that has been on my mind once we do have kids is MIL. H’s mom is a chain smoker, she smokes packs a day and inside her house, all day long. She smokes around all her guests, the first time I actually went to her house/met her she told me that ‘it was her house and she does as she wants and will smoke her in house whenever she wants’ (even though I mentioned nothing about her smoking – I guess its the way she addresses the issue when people first come over).
As annoying as it is, I have no issue around it, in regards to smoking around me. My only issue is smoking around any of our future children. She chain smokes around her current grandchildren all the time, and did so around her kids growing up. BIL was a premature baby and had some terrible health issues and still smoked around him.
All family holidays are held at their house, would it be exceptable if I tell H that I do not want her smoking around our future kids? That would basically mean we cant spend any holidays with them at their house. She also refuses to leave their house for any holidays either, as she believes she has to host it. I dont want it to seem like I dont want our kids spending time with H’s family or their grandmother, I just dont want them spending time around her at her house and all that smoking. She doesnt smoke at other people’s houses, just hers.
I know I am not pregnant yet and I dont have kids but it is something I want to address. Am I over-reacting?
Post # 3
No, I wouldn’t want to take my children there either. They say second hand smoke, even from her holding them, is worse than first hand! I am only 6 weeks and already worried about some of the people in my life who smoke, thank god there aren’t many, and none are family. I wish I had an answer to this delicate issue, I just wanted to say I don’t think you’re out of line for being concerned!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t bring my kids to her house. I also would not expose myself to that – the effects of second hand smoke on health are well established, and it’s horrible.
My mom smoked around us a lot when I was growing up, and my brother and I both have asthma and bad allergies as a result (and god knows what else that could become an issue later in life).
Post # 5
@TorontoBride2be: I don’t think you’re overreacting. It’s good to think of these things. That is insane to me that she smokes around children. I would not have my children at her house, including holidays. And if she has a problem understanding that it’s too bad.
Post # 6
Smoking (and second/third hand smoking) increases the risk of SIDS, and it’s fair for you to want to avoid that. I honestly can’t stand the smell of smoking, so I don’t blame you. It will probably cause issues, but it’s your right to not want to let your kids around that environment just like it’s her right to choose to smoke.
Post # 7
@TorontoBride2be: I wouldn’t let my kids be around her, nor would I want to be her even before (or during) pregnancy. Second hand smoke is unfiltered toxins. If she wants to sacrifice her own health, that’s fine, but you and your DH shouldn’t have to risk yourselves.
You’re definitely NOT overreacting. Have you talked to DH about this and talking to her about it?
Post # 8
@TorontoBride2be: I don’t think you are over-reacting, but I do thinkyou can put this on the back burner for a while yet.
Just because she has always hosted holidays in the past, doesn’t mean she always will. As children grow up and have families of their own, traditions change.
Not only do you have the right to raise your child smoke-free, I think you have an obligation to do so.
You and DH, along with his siblings can discuss how you plan to handle the situation. The obvious and easy solution is to have holidays at one of your homes so she has to go outside to smoke.
Post # 9
Totally understandable! Hell, I wouldn’t even want myself around that. Smoking is so disgusting and unhealthy.
Post # 10
Thank you ladies! I really do hate the smell of it, and going home having to shower and directly throw everything we wore in the washer. I know H hates her smoking but I also know that H is REALLY close to his family and I wasnt sure how he would take this.
My grandfather was a chain smoker, and my father told him that he was not allowed around me (when i was a baby) because of this – which was a delicate situation. I cant comprehend how MIL finds it acceptable to chain smoke around her guests but I guess it its her house.
Post # 11
You are totally not wrong. I make my brother, who smokes (but is trying to quit for my son) change clothes when we go to his house, and he doesn’t even smoke inside. I wouldn’t allow my child to be in a house where people smoke, whether or not they are actively smoking.
Post # 12
@TorontoBride2be: I know H hates her smoking but I also know that H is REALLY close to his family and I wasnt sure how he would take this
He may be close with his family, but I’m sure he will love his child even more and want what is best for it!
Post # 13
@TorontoBride2be: No smoking around your children. Make that a blanket rule. That is 100% reasonable. It really is outrageuous that she smokes inside when children are present, due to the health risk. If that means you don’t visit her, then so be it.
But your husband needs to be the one to have this conversation.
Post # 14
@julies1949: DH’s siblings arent concerned about the smoking or smoking around their kids. They all have kids and none of them have raised this issue to her or discussed any options for changing holiday traditions. MIL is rather stuck in her ways so I dont think she will take lightly to DH telling her that someone else will be hosting holidays, because in her mindset, since she is the mother, she has the right to host the holidays. The only holiday she doesnt host is thanksgiving.
And if we make it so that DH’s siblings have to decide on whether they want to spend holidays with us or MIL, they will choose MIL.
Post # 15
My mom put her foot down with my Grandmother and Aunt on my Father’s side when I was dx’ed with asthma as a child. She told them that we would not be at their house if they continued to smoke around me. We couldn’t stop them from smoking in their house but they stopped when I was around and eventually they stopped smoking inside all together. Just because they are family does not mean that you have to put your future children’s (or your own) health at risk because of their bad decisions.
Post # 16
@TorontoBride2be: Maybe do some research on second hand smoking which you can then present to DH and possibly even his mother. But I wouldn’t broach this subject with her till the time comes, and maybe not even with him, at least not seriously. Maybe plant the seed so he has time to think about how he feels about it.