How to handle this tactfully? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-24-2010, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday, at my son's b-day party, DH over heard my FIL and BIL talking about some cigarette butts that my FIL found in his front yard - close to the house. My BIL is a smoker and the only other smoker in the family besides him is my mom. The cigarette butts were menthol and she's the only one that smokes them. We were all at their house for Christmas Eve and it's very common for her to step outside a couple of times, make an excuse to run to her car, so that she can have a smoke.

So, how do I mention this to her tactfully? Or do I mention anything at all??It bothers because it's embarrassing eventhough my FIL doesn't know who did this nor will he ever, but DH and I do.

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#2 of 10 Old 01-24-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Well, so much depends upon the nature of your relationship with your mom and what sort of communication is established between the two of you...

But, in general, i would suggest that you absolutely avoid accusations or confrontations. I just can't imagine much positive coming from that, and you don't have any solid 100% proof it was her anyway.

What I would do is say something like "FIL was really angry because he found a bunch of cigarette butts in his yard." You can elaborate more if you want. But i would leave it at that. It's truthful and doesn't accuse anyone of anything. If your mom wants to confess, she will. If she doesn't, she won't. But at least she'll know that those butts were causing drama, and hopefully won't be so careless next time.

JMHO.

Mama and co-parent to our beautiful DS (08/08) and our mighty strong DD (04/10) . Life is good.
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#3 of 10 Old 01-24-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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So let me get this straight, your mother (a grown woman) ducked outside you FIL's house on Xmas eve to have a few smokes (which are legal). She was careless and left her butts on the ground. YOur FIL (another grown up) is wondering about them within earshot of you and now you are worried about the whole thing? Is this right? And you don't want your FIL to know your mom smokes, why?

If this is correct, I would tell FIL (he may already know it was your mom and was speaking within your earshot on purpose), that they were probably left from you mom, apologize and let him know you will let your mom know not to be careless with her butts again.

Would that be reasonable?

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#4 of 10 Old 01-24-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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was he actually angry? littering sucks, so I can see the annoyance, but otherwise what's the hang-up here?

I agree with the above poster and think its odd how this is some big secret and your mom is like a 'bad' child for having a smoke.....outside.

unless I totally didn't understand or missed something from your post.....which is totally possible LOL
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#5 of 10 Old 01-25-2010, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenlunatic View Post
So let me get this straight, your mother (a grown woman) ducked outside you FIL's house on Xmas eve to have a few smokes (which are legal). She was careless and left her butts on the ground. YOur FIL (another grown up) is wondering about them within earshot of you and now you are worried about the whole thing? Is this right? And you don't want your FIL to know your mom smokes, why?
If this is correct, I would tell FIL (he may already know it was your mom and was speaking within your earshot on purpose), that they were probably left from you mom, apologize and let him know you will let your mom know not to be careless with her butts again.

Would that be reasonable?
The bolded part as NOTHING to do with this. I have no clue if my FIL knows that my mom smokes. That is not the point of this whole situation. The point is, that she's the only one that smokes this particular kind and DH had heard that he was upset about the butts being thrown on his property - he was initially asking BIL if they were his.

I'm just looking for advice on how to approach this subject with my mom regardless if my FIL ever finds out who did this. I have a pretty strong hunch that it was her, but again, I don't want to go point the finger at her and make her defensive. Her and I have a pretty good relationship - things have changed a bit once I had my first child - just seeing things differently now and have a much stronger opinion on certain things like her smoking and DS coming home smelling like smoke after a night at their house, but that's a whole other post.....

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#6 of 10 Old 01-25-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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Why can't you just say, "hey mom don't leave your butts on the ground it is considered rude these days, like littering." If your mom and you have a pretty good relationship I can't imagine this would be offensive. My mom who smokes and is older needs to be reminded of these things, as well that these days it isn't customary to 'light up' right outside the door of a non smokers house.

I still don't understand the whole hush, hush thing and why you feel you can't be up front with this.

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#7 of 10 Old 01-25-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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Why do you feel like you need to say anything to anyone? Unless you are asked a direct question you need not say anything IMO.
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#8 of 10 Old 01-26-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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If it were my mom, I wouldn't say anything.

I think your FIL needs to reassess his priorities. Sure, cigarette butts are gross, but in this situation, the inconvenience of picking up a couple off the ground after a family party is really not worth embarrassing a guest. I did give my dad an empty beer bottle when he was throwing butts on the driveway where the kids were riding big wheels...but it was in the moment and it was directly where my toddlers were playing; it wasn't a chastisement after the fact.

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#9 of 10 Old 01-26-2010, 02:08 AM
 
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Next time she is over hand her an ashtray/tin can/dish and say "if you smoke outside put your butts in here"

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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#10 of 10 Old 01-28-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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It sounds like FIL was asking BIL about it so that he could just ask him not to do it again if it was indeed him who dropped them in the first place.

I HATE it when anyone throws butts on the ground, anywhere. If it's outside my apt. then it's even worse. It's trash, it looks trashy, and it's disgusting. It's also not fun when your kids pick them up or the baby grabs one.

I would also be embarassed if my mom threw trash on the ground at my ILs house. Dh had to tell his brothers not to toss their butts bc it drives me nuts.

So I like the suggestion to just mention that there were butts outside the door and FIL wasn't too happy about it and was asking around about it. It gets the point across w/out pointing fingers.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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