Mom Bans ‘Heavy’ Smoking Mother-In-Law from Holding Baby Unless She Showers & Changes First

An expectant mom recently wrote into a Slade advice column under the Care, and Feeding category and the internet is abuzz with reactions.

An anonymous mom-to-be was concerned with a newly identified issue called thirdhand smoke. Unlike standing next to a smoker actively puffing away and you breathe in the fumes as with secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke is the residue of smoke and other cancer-causing chemicals in clothing, furniture, and the air immediately surrounding the smoker.

Mostly it is the “Smoker Smell” that lingers after someone smokes and according to Mayo Clinic is an active health risk, especially for kids.

So, the pregnant daughter-in-law, along with her husband, want to ask her mother-in-law (MIL), who she describes as a “heavy smoker” to both shower and completely change her clothes before holding the baby.

“We don’t want my MIL to fell ostracized, and we don’t want to hurt her feelings…how can we still be welcoming and let her know we are excited to have her around while still setting these boundaries?” she wrote.

Many commenters thought these requests were extreme. Some remarked it was a passive-aggressive commentary on the MIL’s behavior.

Someone else said, “If your goal is for you MIL to never see your kid, go ahead with this.”

Some advised her to seek a medical professional’s opinion, and not rely on the advice of random strangers on the internet, but since she asked for help on the internet, advice columnist Carvell Wallace weighed in.

“Kudos to you for taking it seriously,” he wrote back. While he noted visits to the in-law’s home might restrict what the couple can ask of the MIL, he suggests they stick to their guns in their own home. He also advised the woman to “be sure to say in clear and explicit language that you welcome and love her. Her hurt feelings may interfere with her ability to hear it, but that’s fine. She can just deal with it.”

He hoped that grandma would instead opt to quit and that all would be happier and healthier in the end.

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