It’s a big deal to be responsible for the life of an innocent little baby. It can be overwhelming and exciting all at the same time.
Before the baby is born, many moms-to-be go through a nesting phase where they want everything in the house and the baby’s room to be set up perfectly and ready to go. Preparing for a new baby can also include baby proofing the entire house and perhaps changing your habits to make the environment a safer place, such as not wearing shoes in the house and trying to kick a smoking habit (hopefully not on the part of the mom-to-be since you definitely shouldn’t be smoking while pregnant).
One mom-to-be shared on Slate that her in-laws plan to visit once the new baby is born. Her big concern is that her mother-in-law smokes heavily, and although she doesn’t think her mother-in-law will smoke around the baby, she’s still concerned about the effects of thirdhand smoke.
You’ve probably heard of secondhand smoke. If you’ve ever walked down the sidewalk near someone who’s smoking, you’ve breathed it in, but thirdhand smoke is not as well known. Basically, after someone smokes, it’s the smoke that’s left behind on clothing, on surfaces and in dust. If you’ve ever visited the home of someone who smokes, even when they’re not smoking, the house probably still smells like smoke. Why? Because the smoke is lingering everywhere. This is thridhand smoke.
This mom-to-be wants to ask her mother-in-law to shower and change clothes after she smokes if she wants to be able to hold or touch her new grandchild. While this might seem a little extreme, it also makes complete sense.
The answer she received on Slate states that “you are perfectly within your rights to ask for what you want; her response to that is her business, not yours.” That is, she can totally ask her mother-in-law to shower and change clothes when when her mother-in-law is visiting, but where it gets tricky is when the new family visits the in-laws at their own home. You can’t really enforce such strict rules when it’s not your home. The advice was to stay at a hotel.
Have you ever heard of thirdhand smoke before now? Do you think it’s extreme to ask the mother-in-law to shower and change clothes before holding the baby? How would you react if you were the mother-in-law in this situation?