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Smoking outside around children

(67 Posts)
Avamh Tue 21-Feb-17 22:11:56

I'd really appreciate some opinions on this as I'm not sure what I should do.

My mother in law helps look after my toddlers for a few hours a week when I work. This week, as it's half term and their toddler group wasn't running, she took them to the park.

She smokes quite a lot which my husband and I don't like, but that's her choice. However, when she took them to the park the other day, a friend saw them and she was smoking while holding one of their hands walking towards the swings....

To me this is unacceptable. We let her smoke outside when she is at ours, I still hate the smell but she is doing us a favour so accept this, but to be holding a cigarette while holding their hand, this to me is so wrong.

AIBU to be angry at this and should I discuss it with her and ask her not to smoke at all around them?

Thank you!

ZackyVengeance Tue 21-Feb-17 22:15:06

Pay for child care

Lolabels Tue 21-Feb-17 22:15:16

I don't think you are BU. Obviously your friend didn't think this was ok either.
Tell her you are definitely not ok with it.

IateallthePies654 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:16:05

Meh, isn't actually going to cause any harm is it? Once every not very often at all. YABU

Avamh Tue 21-Feb-17 22:17:03

Zackyvengence - helpful thanks!

I am very grateful for her help, and tell her that regularly....but surely I can still have an opinion on a situation my children are in hmm

slyoldfox Tue 21-Feb-17 22:17:23

Yanbu. I'd be angry at this too. You should definitely mention it to her.

early30smum Tue 21-Feb-17 22:18:18

Such a tough one. My mum used to smoke and when we visited she would still insist on smoking in the house in a room the kids didn't go into. But you could still smell it and especially when they were babies at the time and it really worried me. Her stand on it was, her house, her rules... it's hard because she is saving you £ on childcare and as you say, doing you a favour. But I agree smoking whilst holding the hand of a child isn't good. Not sure what I'd do.

Mrsknackered Tue 21-Feb-17 22:18:25

Definitely say something if it bothers you but if it is any consolation, I used to sleep in my Grandma's bed every weekend and be woken up by her having a cigarette next to me and then half a can of Elnett sprayed, I've survived!

CrabbyJo Tue 21-Feb-17 22:18:53

You're being ridiculous never mind unreasonable

OnHold Tue 21-Feb-17 22:20:07

Your friend sounds like a stirrer.

OpalFruitsMarathonsandSpira Tue 21-Feb-17 22:24:08

But ZackyVengeance post is helpful. There are no blurred lines with paid childcare. I always say to grandmas who are 'told off' for how they provide free childcare, "just tell the parents to dock your pay this week!"


LostMyDotBrain Tue 21-Feb-17 22:25:42

I think you're overreacting, and I say that as an ex smoker. She's outside, not in an enclosed space. It doesn't model healthy behaviour, certainly, but that's the case whether she's holding your DC's hand or not. I often think that questions like this about smokers are more about how un-classy it feels rather than any actual thought into the likelihood of it harming others. The risk is so minimal in this instance that I'd advise as PP has said above: if you want to be that specific over how your DC are cared for in your absence, pay for that care.

Mrsknackered Tue 21-Feb-17 22:26:16

OnHold agreed. Clearly she hasn't got too much else going on. I wouldn't bother reporting back on a grandmother having a fag. Might have been her only vice!

SaucyJack Tue 21-Feb-17 22:26:21

Nobody should be smoking in a play park.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 21-Feb-17 22:28:27

I would hate that too, but it's outside and she's giving you free childcare so would you be prepared to pay for childcare if she refuses to stop doing this?

flumpsnlumpsnstuff Tue 21-Feb-17 22:28:40

I'd rather she has a cigarette in her hand than be glued to her mobile not watching the kids. She's outside, it's in her other hand what perceived danger are you seeing ? confused
Have a word with her but don't be surprised if she then starts telling you all the things you do which she thinks are wrong.

FantaIsFine Tue 21-Feb-17 22:30:52

I'm a heavy smoker but find the idea of holding a child's hand while doing so utterly grim (but not as bad as if while pushing a pushchair). It's probably not actually HARMFUL health wise though, open air and all that and perhaps she was deliberately downwind. So I see where you're coming from, but not sure it's totally objectionable.

I don't think I've helped at all. Sorry!

FantaIsFine Tue 21-Feb-17 22:33:09

Agree with SaucyJack as well, if it's one of those fenced in areas (don't think you're actually allowed to, never mind a view on it being okay or not)

mummy2oneandtwo Tue 21-Feb-17 22:33:25

I can't really pinpoint why it made me uncomfortable (I think angry was the wrong word in my first post)

I guess part of it is second hand smoke, but I grew up around family members smoking and like other have said, turned out fine and healthy. I think it's more that I just don't want them exposed to smoking at all...I don't know...maybe I'm wrong and if I did speak to her about it I'd do it in a nice way.

As I've said I regularly tell her how grateful I am for her help and buy her gifts, etc to show this appreciation, but I still think I can have an opinion on how they are looked after when I'm not around?

seagazer Tue 21-Feb-17 22:35:44

I'd say walking down a busy road breathing in car fumes isn't very nice for your dcs either. Leave her be, my DM used to smoke while minding my kids and i would never have had a go at her about it. I don't like the sound of your friend at all.

avamiah Tue 21-Feb-17 22:37:37

I grew up with parents who constantly smoked and I hated it, hence I don't smoke.
My mum is 80 now and still smokes but thankfully only in the garden now.
I think it's kind of your mum to look after your little one and if she is like my mum she doesn't think she is doing any harm as she is outside.
It's really your call on how you deal with it as it's your mum after all not a childminder but I know how you feel.

bumsexatthebingo Tue 21-Feb-17 22:42:12

Well of course you can ask her. Surely you will no better than anyone on here how that will be received. She's well within her right to say no though - you don't have to use her for childcare.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 21-Feb-17 22:44:14

Your friend sounds like a stirrer.

I agree.

avamiah Tue 21-Feb-17 22:49:04

Yes I agree to about the friend.
She sounds like a busy body with too much time on her hands.

gamerchick Tue 21-Feb-17 22:50:19

You can ask her and you can be annoyed about it but ultimately she is also within her rights to say no to your request and you will have a choice to make. That's the top and bottom of it really.

Also yes, your friend is a stirrer and may be quite happy to see you pay for childcare if she knows what buttons to press.

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