Not staying at families house due to smoking — The Bump

Not staying at families house due to smoking

I have a 15 month old DD and am expecting #2 in a few months. My problem is we are far from our family and will be moving even farther. We plan to come "home" for about 3 weeks later this year but don't plan to stay with my parents. This will devastate them but they both smoke in the house. They don't do it while we are there but it still sticks to everything, in the past we have let dd spend the night there, and when she came home everything smelled like smoke and we had to air her bed out for a whole day plus wash it twice. Obviously we don't want her exposed to that.

My mother complains she doesn't see her grandchildren enough so I invited her to come watch dd while we are away for a week at my house (which is a few hours away) she agreed and is now changing her mind and wants us to bring dd to her house. (tickets are already bought) I need to tell her today that I will not be bringing my kid there due to the smoke and will have another family member watch DD if coming out is too much of a problem. Since I don't want to have this conversation twice I plan on telling her we also wont be staying there with the newborn and dd later this year.

I realize it is their house and they can do whatever they want in it, but growing up in a house filled with smoke and always smelling like it I vowed that I wouldn't put my kids in the same situation. Has anyone had to have this conversation with family in the past? how did you deal with it? any suggestions?

Re: Not staying at families house due to smoking

  • I'm a FTM and I can relate! my son just turned 3 weeks old and I had to have a very similar conversation with my mother. She used to smoke in her house and for months prior to my son being born I made it clear that she needed to stop smoking in her house if she wanted her newborn grandson visiting over at her house (we live in the same town). Today was actually the first day I brought him over there, only after I made sure she had aired her house out for over a week and cleaned everything top to bottom. I only spent an hour there as it was. Be firm in your demands, your children's health is more important than their own self satisfaction.
  • Just keep telling you self that your children's  health and well being is more important than her feelings.  We haven't had to have this particular conversation with our parents, but we have had other difficult ones.  I know my dad didn't like it when I told him we wouldn't be going down there for Christmas mornings anymore and instead will be starting our own traditions at our home.  He didn't like it and kept trying to get me to change my mind. Finally, I had to tell him I was not changing my mind and wasn't going to talk about it anymore.  I know he was upset and disappointed, but it had to happen.  Likewise, my husband had to have a very difficult conversation with his mom about money.  I think she was under the impression that she could retire whenever she felt like it and that her children would support her.  My husband said that was not going to happen.  None of our parents have saved for retirement and since we can't support all of them, it wouldn't be fair to support one.  We simply are not going to risk our own retirement, savings, debt reductions and children's college funds because my MIL decided she doesn't want to work anymore.  Well she was not happy.  I'm talking crying, sobbing, accusing us of letting her be homeless, but my husband stayed firm.  Like my dad, she eventually got over it.  Those two experiences taught me that upsetting or disappointing your parents is part of growing up.  At a certain point both my husband and I had to be ok with upsetting them and knowing it wasn't the end of the world.  In fact, I would say that setting firm boundaries helped our relationship as they are more respectful now.  

    So that is my advice to you.  This won't be the last time that you hurt your mom's feelings.  At a certain point you will have to be ok with that fact.  She is allowed to be disappointed, but that doesn't mean the burden is on you to make her happy.  Again, keep telling yourself that your children's health and well being is more important than her feelings.  
  • cleverhumancleverhuman member
    10 Comments Photogenic
    edited April 2016

    You have your point. If you parents want to spend more time with grandchildren, they should make an effort. I think they must understand you; it is the health of your kids, we are talking about.

  • I feel your pain. My ILs have been smoking in their house for 30+ years. It makes ME sick to stay there, and I refuse to make a baby stay there. Likewise, I really don't want to even go pregnant. Anytime we do go stay with them, we literally do not even bring our luggage into our house it smells so bad. We take all the clothing out and it goes immediately into the washer, regardless of if it's been worn or not. The physical luggage stays outside to "air out" until it doesn't smell anymore before it comes inside.

    I'm dreading having that convo with MIL. I love my ILs alot, we're very close, but I know it's really going to hurt her feelings. She has recently stopped smoking due to a recent breast cancer diagnosis (and just finishing up chemo now) but FIL still smokes in the house....and there's no removing 30+ years of chain smoking from inside their house. They live in an older home that is basically a bunch of small rooms and carpet - so you can imagine how bad it is!

    The only saving grace for us is that I'm due at the end of November / early December, which means this year's holidays won't even been up for negotiation. For us the battle will be the years to come. :(
  • Other members in the family should be considerate enough is there are pregnant women and children with regards to their smoking habit. 
  • we had to deal with this not too long ago. My mom "quit" smoking but when M would come home from her house he would smell like smoke. All it took was DH sending her a msg and basically saying "we are smelling smoke of M's clothes when he comes home. We don't want him around it since it's not good for him. It's no problem should you choose to keep smoking in your house but from now on you'll have to come see M here."
    she sent a msg back from her and her H saying "consider it handled". And it was the end of it. 
    She was willing to do anything to be able to have her grandchild around. But we also gave the option for her to continue living her life and she is welcome to visit anytime. 

  • You're 100% in the right so just stick to your guns. This will hurt their feelings, they will try to guilt you or make you the bad guy, but you're not. You've given your DM the chance to babysit on your terms and she's going back on her word and getting fussy. That's on her not you!
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