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For not wanting my children around smoke indoors

(14 Posts)
brummiegirl1 Fri 08-Feb-13 22:32:08

Sorry this is not meant to be an attack on smokers its just how i feel for myself and my children. Im really struggling with this as my inlaws have been saying all sorts about me and im selfish etc. Also to add my main reason for feeling like this is because my dad died 18 months ago from COPD so i saw himk suffer greatly.

This has been an ongoing problem since i was pregnant with my first son 3 years ago. My MIL is a non smoker but BIL who lives there and lots of other family who are often there smoke indoors. It is a small house so even smoking in another room or closing the door does not work.

Before i had my chidren i used to visit alot but i stopped when i was pregnant with my first. I never told my MIL why i stopped as i didnt want to tell her what to do in her own house. My husband had a word with her and she said that no one wound smoke in front of me. I did end up going down and BIL did smoke in front of me. So i haven't been ever since.

When my first son was born my MIL came to see him 2 weeks after his birth and then didn't see him until he was 11 months which was his christening day. There was alot of tension surrounding the christening and only MIL and SIL came and SIL only came so MIL was not on her own. I really don't get on with SIL as she phoned up a few weeks before pissed out her head having a go at my husband saying he needs to stand up to me and the problem is all me. Hubby feels the same as i do about the smoking around our children and told her. She denied it and continued having a go at me she even said i used my dad as an excuse which made me very angry as i had not long lost him.

My MIL kept saying we are stopping her seeing her grandchildren and yet we have tried on a number of occasions to arrange to go and pick her up take her out and drop her back (she lives an hour away)and it has always been cancelled at the last minute. She has only been to our house once in 3 years and only seen my 2 year old 3 times and 7 month old once.

I have never made a fuss about it as dont want to be seen to tell her what to do in her own house but am choosing not to take my children into that, its not even like they smoke outdoors and they smoke infront of other children in the family.

I know im being unreasonable when hubby goes to visit as because of the travelling time its not just a quick visit and im left at home with the kids and just feel so resentful so know thats not reasonable to hubby but i feel they dont make an effort with my children but they may feel that because they don't see them why should they bother. Im also pissed off that FIL has given money to other grandchildren but my boys have had nothing not even a christmas card. I don't mean to sound i want money but don't like them being treated differently to the rest. This may sound like it contradicts what i have said but inside im fed up that they don't make an effort not to smoke indoors if my children were to go there and they are obviously not bothered about not seeing childre.

I really dont know what to do really but need to get it off my chest and see other people's opinions

MsVestibule Fri 08-Feb-13 22:42:57

she even said i used my dad as an excuse I'm against smoking in front of children too (as I imagine most people are), but surely your Dad dying of a smoking related illness gives you even more of a reason to be against this!

The only advice I can give is to make sure they know they are always welcome to visit or you are happy to go out somewhere with them. After that, it's their decision. How often does your DH visit his family? I know being left with two young children/babies while he goes to see them must be galling, but don't make him feel bad about it.

But apart from that, however frustrating it is, there really is nothing you can do about it, apart from rant to us!

brummiegirl1 Fri 08-Feb-13 22:56:12

Thankyou is good to let it out so i dont let it affect me and hubby. The thing i forgot to add is FIL also has emphysema and was in intensive care a months ago so they are also seeing their dad go through this illness.

We have always made it clear tto MIL that she is welcome to come to ours anytime but it has only happened once.

Hubby sees his family once every 2-3 weeks its just i feel left out even though i have made the decision not to take my children so i know there is no answer to that and also its always at our expense the visiting with petrol etc and no-one ever comes to our house to share the load with hubby. We dont have alot of time together as it is with husbands 2 jobs and a college couorse. Just feel so frustrated with it all!

MsVestibule Fri 08-Feb-13 23:22:43

Would your DH consider going not quite as often? A two hour round trip, twice monthly, (plus the time spent there) when he's working hard/studying/has a young family sounds excessive to me. I would have thought monthly would be enough in these circumstances, especially as they make no effort back.

I would feel really frustrated about it too, and although your DH has supported you regarding the smoking issue, perhaps he needs to really see that so many visits are affecting you adversely and it's unfair on both you and your children.

I could have written your post op. it's do hard isn't it. All we want is for the children to not be unnecessarily exposed to things that could seriously harm them, and it sucks that we have to play the bad guy in order to do it. My mil and bil also smoke as do alot of the people who visit her. I just can't risk taking my asthmatic dd round there. She always comes back coughing!! Even if they smoke outside while we r there doesn't happen only her other sons kids get that treatment it's still in the house.

I know exactly how you feel and you are not alone in your fears as a mother of the damage it will possibly do. thanks

It must be very frustrating to feel that your inlaws put their smoking before your children's welfare, and that is essentially what they are doing.
One thing though, if you have never smoked, you have no IDEA what sort of a hold it can get on people - to use my own experiences, I smoked for years and years, and eventually had a heart attack and was in hospital. I stopped for a while, but eventually started again, the lure and craving was that strong, and then of course had another more serious heart attack confused I also used to work with someone who, when the consultant told her she had lung cancer, left his office, walked outside, and lit up....
Just sort of trying to illustrate just how smoking addiction can "warp" a persons feelings, and make them completely ignore and disregard even pressing evidence of the harm it does.
I don't for one second think that you should have to expose your children to their smoke, but I think you might be taking it personally, as if they are against you when it's more likely just that they are for smoking iyswim, rather than against you, and it is so much easier to call you, and blame you, than it is to admit something they enjoy so much is harmful. It's like the ultimate exercise in denial almost - I know "I was that smoker" confused

Yfronts Fri 08-Feb-13 23:32:11

Can you get your DH to go less often? Once a month? You could all eat out locally to MIL? Or even just have a coffee and chips in a pub with a play area.

Yfronts Fri 08-Feb-13 23:34:10

I completely agree with you though. Smoking is unacceptable round children and kids health must come first. You have every right to stand your ground and it must be particularly hard what with your dad passing away of a smoking related illness. IL's sounds twisted and selfish.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 08-Feb-13 23:37:31

It's very very unlikely that your children will have any major problems from visiting smokers unless they live in the same house and are subjected to it on a regular basis day in day out.

Can't you go in the summer for a BBQ (you could offer to organise) or nearby pub/restaurant? They aren't making an effort but I'm not sure you really are either. I do think your DH should be able to visit his family though and I don't think once every 2-3 weeks is that much really.

Im not entirely sure that's true clipped if they stayed say three hours and she smoked say three cigarettes then effectively the baby and toddler are also exposed. In a confined space with a higher respiratory rate than adults it could well be more than enough to
Irritate the air ways. If the baby was to be layed on the carpet or sofa his nose would be very close to the fabrics. Fabrics that have been absorbing smoke and the related chemicals for tears. Would u risk it?

That's not a dig by the way, but my dds first chesty cough came at five months, within a few short days of my mil taking her for five hours while I worked. It doesn't take long at all in small children and they can't get away from
It they can't reach doors and windows if it gets to much.

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 10:06:27

I have tried to make alternative arrangements by suggesting to my MIL we could come down and pick her up take her out and drop her back and the one time she has come to our house my husband went to pick her up and take her back the next day so 4 hour round trip which he didnt mind but the expense always lies with us.

We have on a number of occasions planned something in a neutral setting but my MIL has always cancelled the day before apart from that one time she did come to our house. The reason she cancelled was because we were not going inside her house. I have been called selfish by my MIL although she said it to my hubby and she even said at one point about court for access! I said to my husband how can she do that when she can see children when she wants and what court would agree to a child inside a house full of smoke?

Before i was pregnant i knew this would be an issue as one christmas we went and there were little children their the youngest 18 months and 6 people were smoking and it was suffocating. I had to go outside as i was wheezing.

On my son's christening day my MIL and SIL didn't even come to see our new house and suddenly announced that they had to go only an hour into the buffet after as they said their transport had come. My husband thinks his sister arranged it as she didn't speak to anyone.

This is a real deal breaker for me and there is no way i can compromise the smoke around my children but fed up of the resentment i feel towards them. My husband visits because his dad is ill and if im honest ii think that is where my resentment comes from(not towards my husband) but because his dad has the same illness as my dad (and i don't wish him any harm) and everyone is now really upset and keep phoning hubby saying how ill he is and when i was going through the same thing with my dad all i was getting was bitchy comments from them all.

SamSmalaidh Sat 09-Feb-13 10:27:41

Not wanting to take your very young children into a smoky house is 100% reasonable - my DH is a smoker and even he wouldn't take DS into a smoky environment.

It is not your fault that your PIL in such crap and lazy grandparents that they can't put themselves out slightly to visit the children every few months.

Having said that, I don't think one visit every 2-3 weeks is so unreasonable for your DH - though can he make it a half day visit? An hour away isn't so far, he could leave at 8am, be there by 9am for the morning, leave before lunch and be home by 1pm so you can have lunch and the afternoon together.

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 10:43:19

SamSmalaidh- It is agood suggestion but his weekends are taken up with his course(he does that on a Saturday from 8-4) and Sunday he is usually working so he usually goes after work in the week as where he works he is closer to the motorway anyway.

I never stop my husband seeing his family i'm just fed up i can't be a part of it even though realistically i could but only if i took them into a smoky environment. It then has an impact on us all as we don't have alot of time together anyway and im also fed up that financially it's always us even if we cant afford it and have to put petrol money on credit card.

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