Mother-in Law

  • My son is just turned two months old and we have been making the rounds to see our relatives.  On our last visit to my in-laws my mother-in law smoked the entire time we were there and then wanted to hold the baby.  I kept making excuses that I needed feed and or change him and then finally took him outside for a walk.  She keeps offering to baby sit so my husband and I can have a night out, but I don't want to take her up on it due to her constant smoking. Does anyone have any ideas how to diplomatically discuss my issue with this to her?  My husband doesn't want to visit at all since he just stopped smoking a year ago he can't stand to be around it all, but I want the baby to have a relationship with his grandparents.  What do I do?

  • Tricky situation.. It's tough to talk to someone who smokes about the harmful effects of smoking and the even more harmful effects the smoke can have on a baby. I think the best thing to do is have your husband bring up to her that he would prefer that she not smoke around the baby.. Make it clear that you aren't trying to make her stop completely, althought that would be AWESOME, but to atleast not do it around the baby. While the baby is at her house ask her to please smoke outside or somewhere the smoke will not affect your son. And let her know that if she thinks she can do that then you don't have a problem with the baby being in her care if that is something you are comfortable with. IF you fin`d 1ha

  • I think you need to talk to your husband and make sure you are on the same page. Then, talk to your mother in law together. We had that problem and I just told her that I didn't want her to smoke around the baby, so when she visits, she goes outside to smoke. As a result, she has cut down on smoking a lot when she is around the kids and rarely does it. Honesty--while difficult--is the best policy

  • There is no getting around the delicate nature of the situation, but once there is a baby in the picture, feelings must take a back seat to the baby's welfare. The harmful affects of smoking around a baby are so well documented that it is not even disputable any more. I would not bring my baby into the home of a heavy smoker at this point, as second hand smoke will be circulating through the home at all times. Certainly communicating well is important, but the bottom line is that you are making your mother in law choose between her grandchild and her smokes. Seems like a no-brainer to most, but maybe not to a heavy smoker. I would limit her visits with the baby to your home and demand that your house remain a smoke-free environment. It sounds like you and your husband are on the same page, but if she becomes resistant or angry, you can't bend the rules. Good luck! 

  • You have gotten some really good advice!  I agree this is a really tough topic, but it is one that is not going to go away.  I also agree with others that while a hard topic to take on, it may be one that ultimately helps your mother in law.  Often when faced with breaking out of an unhealthy coping mechanism the thing that does it is having something that they want more in their life that that coping mechanism.  Having the baby be more important than smoking may be what helps her quit, or at least reduce her smoking.  It's a win for your family and it's a win for your mother in law if it's addressed.  

    Let us know how it goes,

    Jess

  • As said before, great advice from the others on this board. I'd just make sure that your mother-in-law understands how much you want her to have a relationship with the baby. Help her to realize that you aren't trying to keep the baby from her, but rather trying to find ways they can be together. Make sure you come armed with the facts. Babies exposed to cigarette smoke are at much higher risk of SIDS, among other things. If you have some cold, hard facts to back up your wishes, perhaps she will understand how important the health of her grandchild is related to this issue. Good luck!!

  • How are things? Did you talk to your husband about this issue?

  • Hope you were able to figure things out - thinking of you!