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About MIL smoking around DD (outside)?

(19 Posts)
Guitargirl Sun 12-Aug-07 13:31:38

I need to know whether I am just being a bit PFB or whether I am right to be a bit pissed off.

MIL is staying with us for a month. She is a heavy smoker. I do not allow her to smoke in the flat so she smokes on our balcony. It's so hot at the moment and our flat is stuffy at the best of times. I try to keep the windows shut during the day as when she's smoking on the balcony I can still smell the smoke in the flat.

Anyway, when we're out and about with DD in the park or cafe, etc MIL always makes a big deal about moving away from the pushchair/DD to have a cigarette, goes to sit on another table or to a different place in the park. BUT she likes to take DD out a lot in the pushchair on her own. The other day when I was walking back from the shops through the park I spotted MIL sitting on a park bench with DD asleep in the pushchair next to her and she was smoking. I went and joined them and she was of course surprised to see me and put out her cigarette. Later on I asked her not to smoke around DD even outside. She said ok but she has just returned from another walk with DD and it is obvious she's been smoking, the smell is obvious. Besides they've been gone an hour and a half and I know she can't go that long without a cigarette.

I HATE it, I hate the fact that she smokes around DD, I hate the fact that my home smells like a smoker's flat as the smell from her clothes stays all the time. She insists on feeding bread to DD with her fingers and she doesn't wash her hands in between having a cigarette and feeding her.

The problem is she does not speak English and I speak her language badly. Anything else I say about this is going to have to go through DP. Am starting to feel as though am always having a go about something and am sure she thinks I am being overly controlling (e.g. I seem to always be asking her not to feed DD with something inappropriate). But I don't want to let this one go, apart from anything else I am already dreading having to go and stay at MIL's as I won't be able to control the smoking thing there at all.

Sorry for rambling, far too long I know. I guess what I'n trying to ask is, AIBU to ask (again!) that MIL does not smoke around DD outside and that she washes her hands before she feeds her? It's just so embarrassing you know, to have to ask another adult to wash their hands??

elasticbandstand Sun 12-Aug-07 13:33:09

well she is smoking outside and therefore is trying. tis hard if she is a heavy smoker

Dropdeadfred Sun 12-Aug-07 13:34:26

YANBU - if she cares about your dd's health then she will understand.

belgo Sun 12-Aug-07 13:34:35

do you have to stay at your mil's house? I would really hate to stay in a smoker's house.

It's a tricky one while she's staying with you. You've made your point, and if she ignores you, there's not much you can do, except hope that the month goes by really quickly.

Saturn74 Sun 12-Aug-07 13:37:51

I would feel the same as you.

But you have already mentioned it to her.

So, now you have to weigh up whether it is best to mention it again, and risk a row, or to accept that she may smoke near your DD when out, but that she will be going home soon.

It is a tricky decision.

And one which I'd leave up to your DH, as it is his mother, and I think it's unfair that you have to deal with it, tbh.

Kbear Sun 12-Aug-07 13:41:16

Tell your DH to tell her that smoking anywhere near your child is not on. He should deal with it. It's not negotiable, tell him.

Tinker Sun 12-Aug-07 13:43:24

Ah, she's trying. I wouldn't stay at teh in-laws though if it's going to bother you a lot. Not without clearing the air over this matter.

tissy Sun 12-Aug-07 13:43:54

I think YABU, and I'm a rabid anti-smoker. I was brought up by two smokers, and everyone we knew smoked. That didn't turn me into a smoker, and my health is fine. (Yes, I know about passive smoking).

This woman is a guest in your house, your husband's mother, and your daughter's grandmother, and you are seriously suggesting that you ask her not to smoke outside, when she's with your daughter? It's very difficult for a heavy smoker not to smoke, and she is making a huge effort already. If you really must, try and engineer it so that she doesn't get to take dd out on her own.

It's only for a month. Give the poor woman a break.

Kbear Sun 12-Aug-07 13:46:22

Don't agree, and I wouldn't let someone push my baby in the pram whilst they were smoking, don't care if it was just for a month. No way.

RedFraggle Sun 12-Aug-07 13:53:39

I don't think you are being unreasonable. It is your dd, but that siad I think the easiest thing is to make sure that someone else is always with her and then she can wander off for a cigarette rather than either smoking near your dd or leaving her alone while she stands at a distance smoking.

I would however ask your dp to talk to her about needing to wash her hands after smoking. Also, ideally she should have a drink of water or something prior to being around the children to limit the smoke in her breath. My MIL smokes quite heavily too so i got DH to have a chat with her about this, and she has been fine. (You could always broach it with dp that you read an article about needing to wash hands etc to reduce passive smoking risk to children and could he have a chat with his mum?) If that doesn't work though I think you will have to just grin and bear it. Can't you stay in a hotle when you visit her. Trust me it makes visiting in laws MUCH nicer!

RedFraggle Sun 12-Aug-07 13:54:37

hotel even! sorry for the spelling trying to type and chat to toddler!

Guitargirl Sun 12-Aug-07 14:03:41

Thanks for the replies.

I guess the best way to deal with this is to try to only leave her alone with DD when they are at home. I know she wouldn't smoke in the flat as she did this once when she came to stay after DD was born (DD and I were asleep) and when I found out I was livid.

Maybe it will rain for the next 3 weeks and then she won't want to be taking her out??

About going to stay with her, I guess am going to have to cross that bridge when I come to it. There's no way we could stay in a hotel (much as I would love to) as their family come from a culture where staying in a hotel when you could stay with family would be totally alien to them. It probably won't be till next year some time anyway so I guess I could have come up with a strategy by then.

DD is going to the doctor's this week to query asthma, I guess I could ask him for a load of leaflets and leave them lying around.

McEdam Sun 12-Aug-07 14:31:05

She is trying hard to do the right thing by smoking outside - it's very tough if you are a smoker.

And I don't think there is any hard evidence that being outdoors near a smoker does any real damage, tbh. Last time I checked - admittedly some time ago - all the research on passive smoking involved people married to smokers who smoke in the home, or people who work in smokey places such as pubs and clubs.

McEdam Sun 12-Aug-07 14:31:28

I can see why you are worried/pissed off, though.

Emprexia Mon 13-Aug-07 13:13:12

Personally, i think you're being a little unreasonable by asking her not to smoke around her outside.

Smoking is an addiction, and outside, the smoke isn't going to be affecting your DD, by asking your MIL to not even smoke around her outside, you're effectively cutting your MIL off from seeing her grandchild.

I dont allow my mom to smoke around DS indoors, but i'm not going to ask her not to smoke when we're outside.

mustsleep Mon 13-Aug-07 13:19:31

i have ths same sort of prob mil smokes like a chimney and i had to stop leaving ds at her house as she smokes in her house (even the bedroom) and have had to throw away the travel cot that was bought for her house as she keeps it in the smoky bedroom

as a result of this dd has never stayed at her house and when she visits us she has to smoke outside - although she thinks i'm being funny about asking her not to sit on the doorstep and go right outside she doesn;t seem to understand that it all blows back into the house

Guitargirl Mon 13-Aug-07 16:39:28

Have pretty much decided to bite my tongue and not say anything for the rest of her stay. She knows how I feel about it but seems as though there is very little I can do and am only going to wind myself up by dwelling on it.

Kaishay - as MIL is currently staying in our house for a month and comes to stay with us whenever she wants I am definitely not cutting her off from seeing her grandchild

muppetgirl Mon 13-Aug-07 16:49:33

I can see your point though. My MIL smokes outside but as she is a smoker she doesn't understand that she smells very strongly of smoke. I hated it when she held ds1 and when I got him back he stank (Yes, stank) of smoke so much I wanted to go and change him.

The clothes we wear smell when we stay there, she irons ds's clothes (despite me asking her not to) whilst smoking so I just end up washing everything when we get home.

I am the daughter of heavy smokers and have never smoked myself as I was fed up with the comments that I smelt of smoke from other children at school.

Ds is now 3.5 and we don't see the IL's that much which is fine but I did have to talk to ds about smoking as he told me the other day 'smoking is okay of it's outside isn't it mummy?' To which I said no, smoking isn't fine and told him all about it. This is one time where I don't mind upsetting the MIL as I don't want him thinkng smoking is ever fine.

Dropdeadfred Mon 13-Aug-07 18:40:42

Kaishay - even if that was the case then it would be the MIL cutting herself off buy choosing to carry on smoking rather than be with her gc.

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