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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 16:26 PM   1
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My MIL's utterly selfish behaviour- We're so angry! Advice please!

Hey everyone.

My MIL's smoking has been a bone of contention for a while now, myself and my husband are ex-smokers and her husband doesn't smoke either. We have already said to her that she will not be allowed to babysit or have close contact with our baby if she carries on (because of the well documented fact that thirdhand smoke can contribute to babies getting ill or even dying of SIDS), but she's refusing to stop. Even though her husband has got high blood pressure, and she herself is overweight and not in the best of health. She smokes in one room of their home and also outside.

I have said that the toxins from smoking cling to the smoker, in their hair, clothes, on the work surfaces etc, even though they may not smoke in the same room those substances are still there.

ANYWAY to cut a long story short my husband and I have another one of our "give up or risk not being even able to hold your granddaughter" talks the other night, today we get an email from her stating that "third-hand smoking is not a cause of cot death. Even if the parents smoke it is only recommended that you smoke outside." (I'm guessing she means the recommendation is smoke outside rather than stop) and then she starts going on about cot mattresses being a bigger cause of cot death- we have already stated that we've bought new mattresses for both our moses baskets and cot. The links she has sent us about wrapping your mattresses to prevent "release of toxic gases" are 12 years out of date! There's toxic gases in smoke, is there not?!

She then finishes her email by stating "You have purchased lots of second-hand equipment which if not clean can pose a greater risk due to infection. Hygiene is much more important than the fact that I smoke in my own home. No way is this going to affect your child, and can you honestly think that I would do anything to put my grandchild at risk" I have cleaned EVERYTHING with antibacterial/antifungal spray, all secondhand clothing has been washed on a 60 degree wash. I am SO angry that she has turned all of this around onto us and is insinuating that actually, we're putting our baby in more danger than she is!

We are both really angry and upset and actually I am worried about my husband and what her absolute pig headedness is doing to him, it's clearly hurting him. Has anyone got any advice to offer? I really do not want to back down on this, as far as i'm concerned if she smokes then she's not even going hold our baby, end of.

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 16:41 PM   2
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Your the parents what you say goes as far as I am concerned, I would feel the same, if she wants to look after the baby enough she will go by your terms

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 16:43 PM   3
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I have no advice unfortunately.
I'm worried about this also as my step dad, who I pretty much class as my dad but we're not particularly close, also smokes and babies (well, my nephews) like to sleep on his fatty belly BUT he smokes and I don't want my baby asleep on his smokers clothes.
I read that if a smoker wears a jacket whilst smoking outside and then removes the jacket before holding baby its better... Albeit not ideal.
Although Tbh my stepdad probably won't see LO enough for it to be a big deal for me.
Sorry I've not been much help I just went off on my own tangent.

She's being selfish, her email is an absolute load of tripe.
Maybe you should reply 'give up smoking or don't see your grandchild!' End of story.

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 16:54 PM   4
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Thanks for replying

I think we are both of the mindset that we know we're right on this, and that there's no way we will back down. I mean, even if something had a 1% risk of harming your baby, would you be willing to take it? I certainly wouldn't and I cannot understand why she refuses to see that she *is* actually doing something to put her grandchild at risk.

This is her only grandchild so I don't get why she's being so bloody awkward about it all. She's had 2 miscarriages and was also a childminder years ago so she should know better really, but clearly she doesn't

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 17:27 PM   5
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Not to be rude but I think I can see her point..request she not smoke at your residence ok but otherwise just think of other exposure outlets of smoke contaminant or anything when u go out in public...just ask a simple change of shirt after smoking or her in the middle....ex smokers complain the most about smokers even more than never smokers lol just approach differently as I can see her point and u can't control all the toxic things as even bpa free binkies have risks and bottles etc....also, while suggestions are made on what causes sids even people who avoid all of those things still lose ur best and don't start wars that big when compromisong without risking baby is possible

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 18:41 PM   6
Miss Ashley
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Personally I also feel that you might be over-reacting. Telling your MIL to stop smoking because of what "clings" to her that may affect the baby? A little bit over the top. There are literally SO many "studies" that warn you of all kinds of potential health risks to babies/children/people in general that you have to kind of be careful you don't end up falling into the category of "bubble" parenting.

Yes, I agree that your MIL should never be allowed to smoke near the baby/in your house/in any confined spaces/around the baby's things but I honestly couldn't imagine telling my Mother (if she smoked) that she was not to hold her granddaughter just because she is a smoker...

it's a bad habit... something that everyone should get over... but it's not your choice to make.

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 18:58 PM   7
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I totally agree with you honey. Luckily there is only 1 smoker in my family - my sister. I didn't even mention my baby + her smoking but she told me she wont hold the baby if she's had a cigarette. I'm thankful for that because if i smelt even a hint of smoke she aint touching my baby!!

You baby your rules, don't let her push you down.... sending you info 12 years out of date? Pathetic!

Old Aug 19th, 2012, 23:20 PM   8
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If shes a heavy smoker shes not going to stop, not for her grandchild, not for her OH, not till shes dead.

I highly recommend not taking baby to her house even if she smokes in "one room" that smoke easily carries throughout the house in the air and contaiments everything.

So no going tohers, no staying over night, no baby sitting. Infact...while your pregnant she shouldnt even be GOING to her house! stay the hell away girl its not worth the risk to you and your bubbs!!!

However like I said, shes not going to stop, so this poses the you want your baby to have her grandmother in her life? if yes then you need to set some firm rules.
*Visits will be at YOUR house
*if she smells like smoke, she'll be turned away,
*keep some clean spare t-shirts of her size in your house, have her change into them when she arrives and take them off when she leaves (that way you make sue they get washed!)
*have her wash her hands the moment she walks in
*Keep chewing gum in the house while shes around - this will help get the nasty smell from her breath and also will help curb the cravings to smoke while shes over.
*NO kissing on the lips!

You cant control if she smokes or not, its HER life after all, but you can protect your LO by making sure people who smoke follow rules around your baby, and if they dont want to, thats fine, but they wont be seeing LO, because now, its LO's life.

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 23:21 PM   9
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Your baby, your rules. End of discussion.

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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 23:34 PM   10
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If she doesn't want to quit, she won't. The ultimatum is just going to backfire on you I'm afraid. While I do think youre going OTT, I do think you should take measures to reduce the risk without cutting out the baby's grandmother. Things like no smoking around baby, washing hands and no lip kissing are completely fair. Asking her to not smell of smoke is silly. I have my grandmothers leather couch and even 5 years after her death and multiple cleanings I still catch a whiff of smoke on it. Same with her vintage Valentino suit in my closet. Even dry cleaning it 3x, it still has a bit of smoke smell. Chewing gum or brushing teeth if she smells of it when she breathes would work.

You just have to decide what is worth more. Cutting the undefined risks or cutting the grandmother. Good luck! I hate smoking. It killed my grandmother and I miss her. She never got to see her great grandkids.

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