30 Jul
Thank You for Not Smoking Around My Baby. You’re Not Smoking, Right?!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’m going to be a first time mom this September to a little boy. My problem is my boyfriend’s parents. They smoke like chimneys, we do not. They have stopped smoking around me while I am pregnant and have agreed to not smoke around the baby when he’s born, but I don’t have much faith in that.

They smoked around my boyfriend and his sister all their lives. We had to borrow one of their cars this weekend and everything was covered in cigarette ash.

I don’t feel comfortable with them watching the baby. Even though I know they’re going to love this baby as much as grandparents should, I feel like they love to smoke more. How can I deal with this?


My Baby’s Grandparents are Smokin! But Not in a Good Way.


Dear My Baby’s Grandparents are Smokin!,

I’ve never been addicted to smoking although at one point, I did give clove cigarettes a real try in the hopes of improving my high school social status. But I remember my husband quitting smoking. And about five years later, I asked him how he felt about cigarettes and he said, “Man I could REALLY go for one right now.”

My point is smoking is really addictive. So let’s give your boyfriend’s parents some credit for at least having the decency to honor your wishes and not smoke around you while you’re pregnant.  Of course, it’s a little more complicated once the baby comes. Mostly because it will be about two years before your little one can tattle on his grandparents. On the upside, he’ll really wow his toddler friends by knowing how to say words like “cigarettes” and “nicotine” way before they do!

But in all seriousness, you are right to be concerned about this. Secondhand smoke is very harmful to children. There are many serious side effects, including a much greater risk for developing lung cancer later in life.

I think you need to ask yourself, “Are my boyfriend’s parents trustworthy?” If yes, then you have to have faith they will not smoke around your newborn baby. But they are human. And perhaps, together you can agree on a place they can smoke (maybe outside on their front steps) when they are caring for your baby. If they aren’t trustworthy, then you don’t want them watching your child anyway.

But if they are good people, work something out. Grandparents can add so much to your child’s life. You don’t want your son to miss out on that just because they have a bad habit they can’t break.

Good luck,

Kelcey, TMH

10 Responses to “Thank You for Not Smoking Around My Baby. You’re Not Smoking, Right?!”


Comment by Marinka.

Perfect advice, Kelcey!


Comment by Lib.

Your response was dead-on. I feel like smokers have become such social pariahs that it’s hard for them to get a fair shake these days. It’s nice to see someone remember that it’s possible they are loving grandparents AND smokers.

Big ol' B with a capital B Reply:

I agree with this. My mom smokes (after trying to quit many times) but when she comes to visit she only smokes outside and then immediately comes in to wash her hands and brush her teeth.

I’ve never asked her to do this for us. (Although, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask her to smoke outside.) She chose to do it because it’s better for our family. She’s a great grandma and also a smoker.


Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

And, really, it’s pretty easy to tell if they have been smoking around the baby – you can smell it. Also, if you have them babysit in your own house, it is much less likely they will smoke.

rojopaul Reply:

This is actually a good idea. At their own house, it may be harder to fight off the desire. I think it’s good to have them at mom and dad’s for another reason, and that is that even if they aren’t smoking when the baby is there, he or she is going to come home reeking of smoke anyway if they smoke in the house. All blankets and clothing will really smell too. Just look at the borrowed car. There’s no way to keep the smell away even if they aren’t smoking in the baby’s vicinity.


Comment by Anne-Marie.

When your baby is a newborn, you might want to talk to them about the way that lingering smoke on their clothes, in their hair, on their skin, can irritate brand new lungs. I used to smoke, and my sister was fine with me going outside (I was down to about two cigarettes a day at that point, though) and holding the baby after washing my hands, but I didn’t meet my niece until she was a few months old. Just for the first couple of weeks, maybe think about some way to minimize the time the baby is around the smell (that smell indicates that the toxins are still around). I do get it though–I am due in October and have had countless dreams in which I smoke. I always wake up from them craving a cigarette! It’s been well over a year since I quit, and I still want to grab them out of other people’s hands sometimes.


Comment by Cate8.

Sounds like they will be fine…especially since they don’t smoke around your pregnant self. 🙂
I smoke… Never inside. My kids and grandkids come first. plus I don’t want my house to smell like ass (ash).


Comment by thepsychobabble.

Honestly, if they’ve agreed to not smoke around you while you’re pregnant, they probably can be trusted not to smoke around baby.
I know first-hand inlaws that would NEVER smoke around a baby, but a pregnant lady, well, that means it’s like third hand smoke or something, right? And that should be fine, stop over-reacting. (I know some shitty inlaws, in other words)


Comment by Help Me Get My Foot Out of My Mouth! | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] that always comes in early and we speak casually while watching the kids play. Well, I am 8 months pregnant and she asked when I was due. So I responded and then asked when she was due. She responded with […]


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