AIBU To ask MIL to not smoke in her own house?

(92 Posts)
SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 12:02:22

Just a bit of back story, me and my partner have a 14 week old baby... We were living in a bedsit (which we are still renting, but not staying in) which has damp. My MIL suggested we move in to her house for the sake of my babies health - All the while making out she would not be smoking in the house saying things like 'Maybe it will give me a kick up the bum to quit having to smoke outside everytime I want a cigerette' and 'I'm quiting after this last pack' and 'It'll be nice not having the house smell of smoke... For the first 2 days of living back here she didn't smoke inside the house (baring in mind she works nights sometimes and so isn't always here, but gradually it's becomming more and more and I can smell it in the whole of the house. Had I known it would be like this I wouldnt have gone to the ENORMOUS effort of moving all of our things and decorating a room for us to move into. I've asked my partner to have a word with her and ask her to no longer smoke in the house, but he is very aprehensive as he and his mother have a very 'polite' relationship and never argue or confront eachother.

I'm tempted to just move out and go back to our bedsit as after research it seems like smoke in the house is actually more damaging and dangerous than damp to a baby...

So AIBU to ask her to not smoke in her own house given the situation

MrsMelons Tue 20-Nov-12 13:20:13

If you were just visiting and expecting her to smoke outside then YWBU but not if she had offered to smoke outside whilst you stayed there then went back on it.

I get quite cross about the whole smoking thing TBH - people smoke because they choose too - plenty of people give up after smoking 40 or 60 a day for many years - people who say they can't are full of excuses and it is dangerous for babies so they are just being selfish if they are happy to smoke around a newborn.

Sorry - rant over - I know I will be flamed!

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 13:22:25

Thanks! I agree - it wont damage her to smoke outside but it'll damage her grandchild if she smokes inside - Both my parents have decided to quite and are taking these tablets and have so far done a week of no smoking all for my babies sake (and we don't even live with them) They have been smokers for 35 years and this is the first time they have both been able to do it at the same time and stick to it for any length of time. I'm not even asking MIL to quit - just to stick to what she said and smoke outside - If I can smell the smoke I hate to think what its doing to my LO's lungs

And you shouldnt be flamed. Its common knowledge it's harmful for babies. the people on here saying i'm being unreasonable I imagine are smokers. I was a smoker for 9 years and quit as soon as I found out I was pregnant and havnt had one since, my partner a smoker for 10 years quit 2 months before I gave birth and hasnt had one since.

You're right full of excuses

YellowTulips Tue 20-Nov-12 13:24:21

If the understanding of you moving in was that she would not smoke then YANBU. However from your posts it seems this was implied rather than an explict understanding.

The upshot is that its her house and she can smoke in it (or not) as she pleases.

Equally, its your baby and its up to you to stay in a house where someone smokes or to leave.

So I think its a pretty easy conversation tbh and doeant have to be at all aggressive or nasty.

"We moved in at your kind invitation to protect the health of our baby from the damp at home. I thought we had an understanding you were going to stop smoking, or at least not smoke in the house because that would undermine baby's health and increase the risk of cot death equally, if not more than that of the damp.

I realise now that we didn't actually agree this outright and that perhaps we naively assumed you would give up. It's your house so we have no right to tell you you can't smoke, so we either need to come to an arrangement you are happy with (such as smoking outside and 30 min no contact with baby rule after a fag) or look at moving back home and focus on dealing with the damp problem. Let me know what you think."

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 13:28:44

That's basically what my partner said albeit not as clear and concise - She did explicitly say she was quitting, but previous to the it was more of an implication of smoking outside as she said 'maybe it will help me to quit having to smoke outside each time I want a cigerette' which I think most people would deem as an 'understanding' that that's what was going to happen

squeakytoy Tue 20-Nov-12 13:33:13

Move out and rent your own non-damp flat then? It is her house.. not yours.

I woulda assumed the same thing. In fact I'd have read it as her way of putting my fears at rest without an awkward conversation.

I'd have taken chances with damp too if she had told me she would be smoking in house.

I agree that it's common sense. God knows y anyone would need asking or telling to not smoke around a child sad

YellowTulips Tue 20-Nov-12 13:36:44

OK - so if "what she thinks" is I'll keep smoking inside the house then in your place I would start making other arrangements and tell her your are going to do that.

With any luck, just the fact you start looking at options might be enough for her to change her behaviour (I'd actually be bloody embarrased if having invited someone to stay they then had to move out because I couldn't be bother to smoke outside - its not like you are telling her to quit totally).

Could you look to spend some time at your parents at least over Christmas?

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 13:41:31

unfortunately my parents live in a small one bed house so there is no room for us... We would like to get another flat but because of our tenancy and situation that won't be possible for a couple of months - the damp is not extreme so we would have stayed there and will move back if she is not willing to smoke outside I know it's her house and feel very awkward even getting partner to bring it up to her, but it took so much effort to move on that basis that she would quit or ATLEAST smoke outside I just feel like we've been put in a rubbish situation. I totally agree it's unreasonable to ask someone to not do something in her house, but had I thought this situation would arise again I wouldn't have moved in

dreamingofsun Tue 20-Nov-12 13:47:09

i think its totally reasonable to ask someone to stop doing something thats dangerous to others, even if it is in her house. if she picked up your child in her house and shook it really hard, would you just say oh well her house her rules? No you wouldn't.

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 13:52:28

lol extreme, but good point

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 14:12:32

Let's hope she sticks to her word this time now that she has said again she'll smoke outside

maddening Tue 20-Nov-12 14:47:55

how bad is the damp? Could you dry it out a bit?

Blu Tue 20-Nov-12 14:49:09

She invited you to live with her, she now has her grandchild under her roof and it isn't unreasonable to ask her to look out for the health and wellbeing of her grandchild.

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 14:57:15

We could dry it out, we did last winter mostly it's just one wall thats extra bad... I am going to see how the next week goes as she has now said (again) she will only smoke outside - If that lasts then I'm happy to stay here, if it doesnt then we will move back and try and make the damp livable!!

Pandemoniaa Tue 20-Nov-12 15:01:32

I don't think YABU but it is difficult if you didn't politely lay down ground rules in the first place. Having said that, I can't imagine needing to be told that smoking around babies and children is unacceptable. And I say that as a smoker.

When my dgd comes to visit, everybody smokes outside. Or avoids smoking at all. It doesn't matter who owns the house, none of us would dream of putting her at risk.

I think you have to ask her, politely, if she could smoke outside while you are staying with her.

elizaregina Tue 20-Nov-12 16:04:52

sack girl

I would err on the side of caution in realtion to damp in american when they remove damp - mould they wear full white nuclear style suits - damp can lead to a host of problems, people are very casual about it in this country but mould spores can be fatal as well as lead to a host of other problems.

she is obivsouly aware that her smoking isnt right - and has let it slip - i would kindly remind her....im sure she will feel bad - guilty - start to smoke outside again and not blame you for asking her and therefore no problems all round.

Lia87 Tue 20-Nov-12 16:19:01

YANBU, smoking increases cot death risk as well as being harmful healthwise to your baby, maybe get a leaflet from doctors or hv to show her that your not just making fuss over nothing incase she doesn't actually realise the dangers are so severe, your dh needs to stand up against her when its for the sake of his baby too, its not like its a small pointless thing to argue with her over

KitchenandJumble Tue 20-Nov-12 17:20:31

YABU. She may have had good intentions but found the reality of quitting more difficult than she had anticipated. I certainly don't blame you for not wanting her to smoke around your child. But it is her home and she can do what she likes. I think you should move out if you can't cope with her smoking.

FWIW, I have never smoked in my life.

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 22:00:51

I don't care if she quits I care that she let us spend a week decorating a room in her house and the moving our stuff in on the basis the house itself would be smoke free to then not continue to smoke outside she herself said it was due to laziness that she stopped going outside, not really good enough when it comes to my child's health, it's not like we're living here for free and not like she said she was going to be smoking in the house, otherwise we wouldn't have moved in. Just looks like it might be another big move just before Christmas. Just think its ridiculous to let people go to so much effort if your not sure you can keep your word, we've only been here a week and she only smoked outside for 2 days

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 08:37:04

so is she still smoking in the house now, once you asked her not to? if so thats well out of order.

if so, perhaps you should point out that (as well as having to move out) you won't be able to visit with your child in future and that she'll need to come to yours.

the thing that stopped my MIL smoking in the house wasn't anyone's health, it was the fact that she had her kitchen painted!! They are dillusional and have mad priorities.

Fancydrawers Wed 21-Nov-12 09:25:53

YADNBU. I expect people whose houses we visit who smoke to smoke outside when we visit. I don't think it's rude. Nobody has ever complained about it, and they know that if they weren't happy to do that then that's fine but we wouldn't be going to their stinking home.

YouOldSlag Wed 21-Nov-12 09:49:04

YANBU. I am currently a smoker. I gave when pregnant and only foolishly started again ( about 5 a day) when my DS started school. I still smoke outside, even in the rain.

I wouldn't dream of smoking in the same house as a baby, or even holding a baby after smoking.

Your MIL is going back on her word. It may be her house, and I was all ready to say YABU when I read the thread title, but babies and smoking is no laughing matter.

She promised to smoke outside and/or give up. She can at least stick to the first bit as a favour to her baby grandchild.

SackGirl Wed 21-Nov-12 10:13:49

Well she has said she will smoke outside again now, but I don't think she gets the severity of the matter and already sounds like shes waning on the idea - Very very pissed off that we may have to move again before christmas. Sorry if this offends, but what kind of woman smokes in a house with a baby in, surely its a given to not? Everyone knows the possible health implications. I feel like going and shouting at her for letting us go through all of this hassle only to put my childs health at risk

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 10:25:55

can you get a booklet from the health visitor? perhaps something more official might help and irrespective of your current living arrangements she needs to understand her responsibilities as a GP.

until i read posts on here i didn't realise the advise had changed since i had kids, eg washing hands/changing clothes.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 21-Nov-12 11:40:05

There's a baby in her house. Of course she shouldn't be smoking. End of. YANBU.

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