In-laws that smoke - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure if this is the best spot for this thread.  I wish they had a "Complaints about In-Laws" sectionwinky.gif

 

My in-laws all smoke...my husband's mom, dad, and sister.  They smoke in their tiny, cramped house.  They don't smoke in the house when we visit, however (or else we'd never go over there), but I can smell the stench as soon as I walk in and we leave there smelling like a chimney! It's disgusting to me.  Everytime they buy something for my 3-year-old or we receive presents for him like on Christmas, it all smells like smoke, especially the clothes. Thank god for the washing machine!  I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and when we went over there for X-mas day, I wanted to immediately leave that house and go back home.  The smell was awful and it made me feel uncomfortable breathing, as it's getting hard enough as it is.  I also worry about my son and my soon-to-be-born as well breathing in that air.  I didn't say anything that day except I asked my husband to turn on the fan (for some kind of ventilation because there was NONE).  I just told them I was hot because I didn't want to start anything, and at that point what could have been done???

 

Well, I was talking to my son's pediatrician about it and he said even third-hand smoke (smoke in upholestery, etc) carries a risk, which I could guess on my own. We aren't over there too much but I'm at the point where I can't even stand to be there, don't want my 3-year-old breathing it, and certainly don't want to bring a newborn over there.  I talked to hubby about it and he said they will never quit, which I knew.  I just explained that I don't feel comfortable going over there and asked him to ask them on the days we plan to go over there they smoke outside that day to at least let the house air out for a day.  I told him if not than they can just always come here.  I don't plan on going over there anytime soon after the baby is born anyway, so that helps.

 

(BTW, my MIL bought the baby a little rattle-type stuffed animal toy for X-mas that I wound up throwing away because I could smell it.  Her X-mas cookies also taste like smoke - YUCK! LOL!)

 

What would you guys do if you were in this situation?


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#2 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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My mom smokes, neither DH or I do.  She does not smoke in the house, but will go outside and smoke.  She stinks afterwards.  When she visited when our daughter was new, within a day the baby was congested, and the day after she left she was fine.  We put it together and realized she was reacting to the smoke smell.  I told my mom that she was not to hold the baby right after smoking, she would have to change her shirt.  DH has also put his foot down that when we do visit her, she is not to smoke while carrying for our daughter.  We've had to throw after cloth toys mailed by her because of the smell, the smell in the clothes we were able to wash out.  I think your requests are fine, you have to do what is best for your kids.  If they aren't willing to do that much, they can come to you and not smoke.  I did do it gently, "You know, we really want you to spend as much time as possible with the baby(ies), but please xyz...", maybe even mention the pediatrician.  I was worried about upsetting my mom (especially because she likes to smoke on the sly because she's embarrassed that she started back up), but she was surprisingly okay with it.  Best wishes!

 

Oh, and with the changed shirt and quick wash up, baby had none of the issues from the first visit. :)


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#3 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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My in-laws all smoke, and it's really hard. They don't understand why opening one tiny window a crack in an apartment where several people are smoking is not enough! We had to leave early on the visit where we told them we were pregnant because I got "smoked out" and felt really ill. We moved really far away (to Hawaii, ha ha) so I mostly don't deal with it. When we were visiting in September, we rented a cabin in a state park and made everyone visit US and smoke outside, where we could avoid it. 

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#4 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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My ILs were heavy smokers. It was hard, I put my foot down and refused to take my children over to their house. It didn't matter if they did not smoke while we were there, the 3rd hand smoke was just unbearable. I left with a headache every time, we reeked of smoke. I won't say it was easy because it wasn't, the IL's were deeply hurt, they did not understand, DH and I stood our ground and we would either invite them over or meet in a neutral place like a restaurant. 


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#5 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My ILs were heavy smokers. It was hard, I put my foot down and refused to take my children over to their house. It didn't matter if they did not smoke while we were there, the 3rd hand smoke was just unbearable. I left with a heartache every time, we reeked of smoke. I won't say it was easy because it wasn't, the IL's were deeply hurt, they did not understand, DH and I stood our ground and we would either invite them over or meet in a neutral place like a restaurant. 


You're right on and I feel much better after reading your post because I actually just made up my mind this morning that I am going to talk to my husband about it and I don't even want to go over there anymore.  I read some articles about third-hand smoke and the risk to infants and children (let alone pregnant women) and that was enough to deter me from ever going over there anymore.  I realize even asking them to smoke outside the day we come over is not going to help at all.  I noticed the third-hand smoke issue has just been studied not too long ago, so it seems to be a more recent discovery.

 

I'm now confused because I was going to have my MIL come over and watch my DS when I go into labor because I surely want my own mom with me in the hospital, but I honestly don't trust that she won't smoke in our house, even if we ask her not to.  (She doesn't tend to care what anyone says and does what she wants.)  Even if she smokes outside while she is here, she is going to bring it into the house on her clothes, then to our couches, etc.  She's fine when she visits here because she's only here for about an hour and doesn't smoke while she's here (and I honestly can't smell it on her; they visit once a week), but for her being in my house for more than an hour while we're in the hospital just makes me uncomfortable.  Not sure what I am going to do there.  Am I overreacting about that?  I just feel I am doing all that I can to limit my son's exposure to toxins and cigarette smoke/nicotine is the last thing I'd want him exposed to, especially when I am an avid nonsmoker!winky.gif


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#6 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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Well I"m a B!  I smoke and I smoke outside.  When I was pregnant and the babies were little nobody was allowed to touch them or smoke around them.  As a smoker I know the dangers and I know how rude it is to smoke around other people and their kids.  If I went into their homes with my kids it was for quick visits I refused to allow my kids around it.  That's coming from a smoker.  If I can quit before I got pregnant and stay smoke free til I'm done nursing...  they can curb their need for smoking.  Now only if I never picked it up again!!!!!

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#7 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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LOL, meant to say heartache not heartache! I fixed that in my post. BBL for more comments.


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#8 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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I would never go to that house, they can visit my house if they shower/put on freshly washed clothes and wash hands.     That is gross and I can't stand smoke. 

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#9 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post

Her X-mas cookies also taste like smoke - YUCK! LOL!


EWWWWW! That is so gross -- I had never thought of that before, but it totally makes sense that that could happen. 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post

I'm now confused because I was going to have my MIL come over and watch my DS when I go into labor because I surely want my own mom with me in the hospital, but I honestly don't trust that she won't smoke in our house, even if we ask her not to.  (She doesn't tend to care what anyone says and does what she wants.)  Even if she smokes outside while she is here, she is going to bring it into the house on her clothes, then to our couches, etc.  She's fine when she visits here because she's only here for about an hour and doesn't smoke while she's here (and I honestly can't smell it on her; they visit once a week), but for her being in my house for more than an hour while we're in the hospital just makes me uncomfortable.  Not sure what I am going to do there.  Am I overreacting about that?  I just feel I am doing all that I can to limit my son's exposure to toxins and cigarette smoke/nicotine is the last thing I'd want him exposed to, especially when I am an avid nonsmoker!winky.gif


I wouldn't worry about that part of it. Even if she smokes outside and then sits on the couch, it'll be such a short exposure and it'll have lots of time to air out, so I don't think it'll be a problem. It's not ideal, but wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, IF she could be relied on to only smoke outside. 


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#10 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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Well if you are not going to be able to relax while you're in labor & she's at your house, then I would find someone else to watch your DS. You need to be in a good mental space, you know? I don't think a short exposure is going to do much harm though.

I can't stand smoke either, and some of my in-laws smoke. At first I would just covertly take DS outside whenever they lit up. A few months later, when DN was born, they actually stopped smoking in the house during visits (maybe SIL said something, IDK)... so then I felt more comfortable. Unfortunately, their whole house does still smell like smoke -- I'm sure they smoke inside when kids aren't visiting... but we only see them a couple of times a year for a few hours so it just doesn't seem worth the damage to the relationship, you know? We just keep our visits short (for multiple reasons) and stay way upwind if we're ever outside with them when they decide to light up.

I guess what I'm getting at is, I believe the studies on third-hand smoke have thus far focused primarily on constant third-hand smoke exposure -- like kids living with parents who smoke in their own homes. I haven't actually seen any studies on incidental exposure (it would be hard to study anyway because everyone is exposed to small amounts if you ever leave your home... just passing by smokers while you're entering stores, or walking down a city street.... so it's impossible to completely avoid it. While I think it is ideal to avoid even occasional third-hand smoke exposure, I think there are other things to consider too, like family relationships. What will do more harm in the long-term, being exposed to smoke for a couple of hours a year, or having absolutely no relationship with otherwise loving grandparents? (I know you aren't saying you don't want a relationship with them... just trying to put it in perspective a bit.)

I guess with the baby, you could ask them to change their shirts and wash hands before holding the baby... maybe drape a smoke-free blanket over their shoulder too as a bit of a barrier.

And try to meet them at places where smoking isn't allowed... like maybe the zoo or a museum or whatever...

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#11 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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My stepfather smokes.  He lives with his mother and brother who both smoke as well.  Like.. chain smokers.  Baking soda and vinegar work wonders on toys- we do that for whatever the kids get.  You can scrub the toys with baking soda or vinegar, let dry, and put in a ziploc bag with vinegar.  Stufed animals are actually machine washable most of the time- we put those in the washer.  

 

Our visits are only every few times a year, but his mother's health is failing and we try and get over there more often.


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#12 of 13 Old 12-29-2011, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL, meant to say heartache not heartache! I fixed that in my post. BBL for more comments.



lol.gif You said heartache twice againsmile.gif

 


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#13 of 13 Old 12-30-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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lol.gif You said heartache twice againsmile.gif

 



Ok, now I'm thinking autocorrect is to blame cause I KNOW it typed it right the second time. eyesroll.gif So my 2 cents about Mil watching your kid while you are in labor is do you trust her other then the smoking? Are you going to be able to relax and do your thing knowing he is well cared for, or is that not the case? If it isn't then maybe thinking about who else might be available. If it is just the smoking, then I'd let that go. What ever she brings over on her clothes isn't going to stay in your house, it is a brief exposure. 


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