Childcare providers who smoke - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-20-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So here's a little background on this: My daughter (1 year old in August) has been going to a daycare center since she was a couple months old.  The daycare costs about 1000, taken down to 700 by student childcare grants (I'm a grad student).  Due to location of home and school and such, this is pretty much my only option, but it's a pretty good place.

 

Soon, my mother is going to be moving up from Sacramento to Portland so that she can live in the same city as me.  I asked her if she would babysit 2 days of the week once fall term starts (with the other 3 days being in the regular daycare), and she enthusiastically said yes.  But then I realized that she smokes.  I mentioned this potential issue to her, and she said that her plan was, when she needed to smoke while babysitting my daughter, to take her on a walk in her stroller and stand 5-10 feet away and downwind while smoking.

 

Not only does letting my mom babysit twice a week give my daughter consistent time with her grandma and give my semi-disabled mom a purpose, but it also brings my daycare costs down to about 350 after the childcare grant from school.  I'm also hesitant to take this away from my mom after saying she could do it (and I'm not yet sure if I need to).

 

My issue is I haven't yet decided if I'm ok with this.  My generation is supposed to be super concerned about cigarette smoke and second hand smoke, and I know that cigarette smoke is definitely harmful, but I wonder if the precautions in this case  mitigate enough of the risk.  My mom smoked while I was a kid, and it hasn't made me want to smoke or made me sickly or asthmatic (yes, an anecdote and not statistically significant).  Sometimes, it feels like there is a bit of a confusion between "more likely to happen" and "will cause to happen." A friend of mine that I brought up my indecision with pointed out to me that everyone is exposed to all sorts of secondhand smoke and air pollution and such, just on a day to day basis living in a city.

 

So I'm on the fence.  

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#2 of 11 Old 05-20-2012, 08:24 AM
 
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#3 of 11 Old 05-20-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, it would be great, but she has been smoking for about 40 years now (2/3 of her life), and has tried to quit several times in the past, so I'm not sure that she physically/psychological is able to quit, and I don't want to hang it over her head...  But I'll consider it as something I might bring up to her.  I guess I want to consider the options without planning for her trying to quit smoking, since that's the situation I'm working with right now.

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#4 of 11 Old 05-20-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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I would give it a try.  Mom can go outside to smoke while your daughter plays inside.  By the time she's settled, your daughter will be a toddler.  So, they can play out in the yard while grandma smokes.

 

If it's too hard on your mom, you can always go back to full time daycare, but in the meantime, they've had that time together.

 

If the second hand smoke seems to bother your daughter, (asthma etc) you can always go back to the daycare full time.  

 

I think time with grandma is pretty priceless.  Maybe even worth any risks.  

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#5 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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Is she reliable? I mean, do you believe that she will really only smoke while they a walk in a stroller and your mom stands five feet away. Is that really realistic? How much does she smoke and how often? If she smokes multiple packs a day I don't that is really what would happen. Does she believe in the dangers of secondhand smoke ( a lot of long term smokers don't and view it is a type of oppression.) or does she think the risk is overstated?

 

A loving grandmother is a wonderful thing but there is a big difference between quality time and a childcare provider who is around a child for long periods of time and has a long-term addiction.

 

This wouldn't be okay with me, simply because I don't see it working out the way you described even with the best of intentions.

 

Finally, I have no idea how old you are but information about secondhand smoke has been around for a long, long time now. If your mom smoked around you after the mid-1980s then she ignored the warnings about how her behavior would affect her daughter's health.

 

http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/healtheffects.html

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#6 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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The smoke will still be all over her clothes, which your daughter will be exposed to. I don't know, maybe I'm TOO picky, but I don't think I'd want a smoker watching my children-mom or not. That being said, you never really know if your daycare center workers smoke either lol.

 


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#7 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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I'm in a similar situation with my parents (they alternate days) taking care of my DD (2.5 yrs) 9-2 five days a week in our home.  They smoke, but do so only outside while she naps (they have the monitor with them on the porch) or they put her in a play-pen for 2 minutes, which is right by the bay window to the porch so they can see her.  They fully believe in the dangers of 2nd hand smoke and I'm confident that they would not expose her to 2nd hand smoke.  However, I agonized about my decision to have them take care of her because of 3rd hand smoke (the chemicals lingering on clothing, breath, etc.).  My parents do not believe in the dangers of 3rd hand smoke and refuse to even consider quitting smoking.  In the end, I decided that quality time with grandparents outweighs the risks of 3rd hand smoke.  We have reduced/eliminated sources of indoor air-pollution in our home, use non-toxic products, eat organic food, etc. so I feel like we try very hard to minimize DD's exposure to toxins.  Also, I can tell you that my DD loves her grandparents and is very very close with them.  My dad was recently away on a trip and DD asked about him all the time.  When he returned and came over to see her, she was so excited and happy and could not stop calling PA - you're back!!! and running in circles around him!  My parents have been taking care of DD since she was 4 months old and I returned to work and I truly believe that I made the right decision. 


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#8 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: I talked to my mom again about the issue, and we talked about electronic cigarettes for the days that she is watching DD.  They still have some health issues, but they are a lot better than conventional cigarettes.

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#9 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskanmomma View Post

The smoke will still be all over her clothes, which your daughter will be exposed to. I don't know, maybe I'm TOO picky, but I don't think I'd want a smoker watching my children-mom or not. That being said, you never really know if your daycare center workers smoke either lol.

 


And I've worked at many a daycare. I'd go off a limb saying that 75% of the people I've worked with in daycares smoked...


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#10 of 11 Old 05-21-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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My grandmother took care of me & my brother most days of the week at her house & she was a serious smoker for much of her adult life. She & my mom must have come to some sort of agreement on this, because I don't remember her ever smoking around us.

 

I have had no health effects from this that I know of. My brother had some very mild asthma as a child, but very hard to say if the two are directly related.

 

I don't only mention this to say "hey, I lived!" (I did, but I certainly wouldn't allow my own DS to be in a similar situation today!) but also because we had a good outcome -- when my brother & I got a little older, we started hiding her cigarettes from her & eventually got her to quit. So I think your instinct that it may be beneficial for your mother to care for your daughter (even if she doesn't ultimately quit) is right on. And I continue to have a very special & close relationship with my grandmother to this day.

 

I also think it sounds like your mother is aware & respectful of your concerns - It's awesome that she wants to make it work & that makes me think she'd be a positive presence in your daughter's life. You can try it & if your babe ends up smelling like smoke when you get home you can discuss other ways to make it work with your mom or find another option.

 

Good luck!


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#11 of 11 Old 05-27-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Joplusone View Post

Update: I talked to my mom again about the issue, and we talked about electronic cigarettes for the days that she is watching DD.  They still have some health issues, but they are a lot better than conventional cigarettes.

 

I was going to recommend Electric cigarettes. Other than the nicotine (which does not cause cancer it is the other stuff in cigs that do - but nicotine still has a few risks) there are no health risks with them and none for your kid. What is expelled is not smoke just water vapor. I have helped several people switch and have used them myself to quit smoking. If your mom would like any recommendations don't hesitate to PM me. The "disposable" ones are not the best choice.

 

Who knows...maybe she will quit cigs altogether!

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