Post # 1
We are expecting our first baby in about 2 months, yay! 🙂 …but I have a concern that has been bothering me throughout my pregnancy. My Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law both smoke heavily. As far as smoking, to each their own, BUT they smoke inside their house. So all winter when the windows are all closed up, its just full of smoke. Then in the summer, they say they go outside to smoke or in the office, but I know for 100% fact they do not because they have ashtrays all over the house that are full. So, in the summer when the air conditioning is on, once again its all closed up. Even when they windows are open the smoke is still in there and it smells absolutely horrible. I love my in laws and we get along great, but its so hard to enjoy my time there when it smells so bad…especially being pregnant it bothers me more. Darling Husband agrees that something needs to change because I refuse to bring my baby there if thats all shes going to breathe in. My DH’s brother has only brought their baby over to the in-laws 2 times since she has been born and she is 8 months old (we all live in the same city), because its just unbearable. This upsets my in-laws and I do not want to have to do the same thing, and upset them, because I want them to be in our baby’s life. So if anyone has any tips or advice on this touchy subject, that would be helpful 🙂 Thanks ladies!
Post # 3
This is really tough. I don’t really know how you could go about telling yyour inlaws without hurting them.
The fact is though, that 2nd and 3rd hand cigarette smoke is VERY bad for infants. It increases the risk of SIDS, asthma, and many other health issues. I think it should be your DH’s “job” to explain to his parents the risk that it poses to your child and how uncomfortable it makes you both.
If they want to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives, they have to put in the effort too, you know?
Post # 4
What a tough and awkward situation….I agree though that as your baby’s mother you have to look our for her best interests. Darling Husband should be the one to initiate the conversation, IMO. There’s no real way to sugarcoat it: if they want their grandchild to be come over, they have to start smoking outside (in all seasons, in all circumstances, even when you’re not there!).
Post # 5
I agree with Urchin. Your husband needs to just tell them how it is…and I totally am with you and would not take my future baby to their house either. They need to start smoking outside if they want you to bring your baby over!
Edit: Them being upset about this is not even 1% as important as your future baby’s health!
Post # 6
@urchin: Great advice. I agree that some education might be in order here. Your in-laws may not know how bad it really is for children.
Also make sure to invite them over to your house a lot. That way they get to see your daughter but in a healthier environment.
Congrats on your baby girl!
Post # 7
Does it upset them that their grandchild has only been over to their house 2x in 8 months and they don’t know why? Or does it upset them because they don’t think there is a problem and they think you have unreasonable standards?
I would start there. There is no way to sugar coat this. Say to them that having them in your child’s life is extremely important. You understand that they smoke, but your job as a mom is to make sure your child is put in the best possible situations. You can’t bring your child to their house…. but you’ld love to talk to them about regular visits at your house, where it is smoke-free and child-friendly.
Because…. even if they stopped smoking in the hosue TODAY…… the effects would be there for years and years and years. I would emphasize that you want them to see your child on a regular basis, but it has to be at YOUR house (or somewhere smoke-free).
I also used the “I’m a crazy mom” card a TON when my daughter was little. “I’m a crazy mom and I don’t want her to get sick – can you wash your hands again?” “I Know…. I’m crazy, but unless you hold the bottle in this one way that I am super picky about (which means with the bottom up and non parallel to the ground) then I’ll have to do the feeding”. “Yep, Tyrant Mom again…… My Dr is insane about how she sleeps. So I need her to be in this particular position”.
etc etc etc
Post # 8
@3xaCharm: Well its my niece who has not been there in 8 months, not our baby (since she isn’t born yet), but the in-laws have discussed with us how much it hurts them that they do not allow my niece to go over to their house. They said “there is only so much you can protect a child”…so in my opinion, it sounds like they think its no big deal. But, this is coming from the same people who smoked all throughout my DH’s childhood, and smoked with both him and his brother while pregnant. Resulting in my husband being born 10 weeks early and having health issues as a baby and my brother in law being born full term but at a weight of 3lbs. My Mother-In-Law makes up excuses for everything, “oh he was born early because I went to exercise class”…what?! that doesn’t even make sense, its the smoking that most likely caused it. So yes, I think they think its no big deal…
Post # 9
I don’t have a kid yet but I’ll throw my two cents in because my Mother-In-Law & Father-In-Law are the exact same way. They smoke in their cars, in their house, etc. My husband was a smoker, too, but thank goodness, he quit. My Brother-In-Law & SIL are much older than me, so they’ve had to go through what you will be going through. My SIL told them that it was unacceptable for them to smoke around her, and they stopped, and even stopped smoking in the house when they were around. However, they still smoke in their house & car when we all are not around, and you can tell. I refuse to spend the night there because it aggravates my allergies so badly. When we have children, they will not be spending the night there ever. My Brother-In-Law & SIL’s kids do not spend the night there. I know it hurts them, but until their house stops smelling of an ashtray, they won’t get their grandkids there to spend the night! Hopefully I can do some more convincing on my part when I do get pregnant. Anyways, just wanted to say I totally understand, and it does help to lay it out for them and discuss your concerns. Otherwise, they will be missing out on their grandbabies, and they don’t want that!! 🙂
Post # 10
My Brother-In-Law and SIL had this problem with my Mother-In-Law. She smokes inside her house, everyday. The house is so stinky that when i go home I have to wash my clothes. My Brother-In-Law told her that it’s bad for the baby and asked if she could smoke outside. Now she smokes outside or inside right next to the window. Their house still smells like smoke, though. I honestly think she smokes inside still
I would definitely have your husband ask her politely to stop smoking inside the house. Smokers dont realize how potent that smell is. Have you ever met someone who used to smoke? They tell you one big difference is they didnt realize how strong that scent is. Even if they smoke outside. It’s disgusting!
Post # 11
My mom and her boyfriend smoke in their place. My son has never been inside their place, and he is 2 years old. I just told my mom why I don’t bring him over, and she understands. I can hardly breathe in there never mind my chid.
However, my mom and my son have a wonderful relationship, she comes oer to my house, or we meet at my sisters. We do alot of outings together like Mcdonalds play land, the beach, parks, shopping etc. There are options, if your inlaws aren’t willing to budge on the smoking thing.
Post # 12
ugh. I’m hopefully going to be TTC in the next few months and I already have SO MUCH ANXIETY about this issue. It is my family with the smoking issue and they know firmly where I stand. My mom actually got diagnosed with a smoking related cancer earlier this year and I used it as an opportunity to segway into third hand smoke and smoking in the house in general when I have a baby. Sadly, not even cancer was enough to make my parents care about their health so I doubt my future babies will be. It sucks but they are just going to have to come to my house to see grandkids…. or maybe in the spring we can visit them outside, but I’m really going to put my foot down on this. FWIW to give you an idea of how bad it is, my mom once sent us home with christmas cookise that we couldn’t even eat b/c they tasted like smoke… it is bad.
Post # 13
They can still be involved in the grandkids lives, just not in their home. That would be my rule until they quit smoking completely inside. I would go out of my way to make sure they know they are invited over and you want them involved, but this is really best for the babies health.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the advice so far ladies, it’s nice to know so many others feel the same way (as they should) about this issue. I guess I’ll just have Darling Husband have a talk with them (again), about the risks and then how things will have to be if they choose to continue to smoke inside. No offense to them, but their hurt feelings are not going to stop me from protecting my baby.
Post # 15
We’re in the same boat with DH’s parents. They smoke inside all the time. I asked Darling Husband what he wanted to do about it, since SIL takes her little boy there. I was worried that he would say it was fine to take our future kids there and I was not going to have it! Fortunately, Darling Husband said that ohe they wanted to see our kids, it would have to be at our house. I was thrilled. But I’m still concerned becausthey’d smoke is going to still be in their clothes. I still cringe at the thought of my newborn being held up against smokey gross clothes. Tink it would be too much to keep a change of Clothes here for them to change into that I can wash ans insure are smoke free??