I can’t stop my daughter-in-law from doing this… 213



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I’m so excited about the upcoming birth of my third grandchild in three months’ time. It’s such a special time leading up to the birth, and I am already making little things for the new bundle of joy, as well as babysitting his or her’s siblings. Although I can’t wait for the new baby, there’s something I’m very worried about: I’m worried that my new grandchild will be born with a birth defect or be very ill.

You see, my daughter-in-law is still smoking. At first she wasn’t open about it, in fact she was secretive about it. My son found out and told me about a month ago but I just couldn’t believe it. Is this woman mad? Smoking is terrible for adults, so what do you think it’s doing to your baby? My mind instantly went back to my own mother who smoked while she was pregnant. She didn’t know back in the 50s how dangerous this was for her baby but she did it because it was a habit. I weighed 6 pounds and developed asthma as a child, and I believe her smoking was responsible for that.

I also thought about a show I saw on SBS or ABC last year about ‘Britain’s Worst Mothers’. One of the girls on the show had come from a family of smokers and her own mother and grandmother smoked while they were pregnant. They had the idea that if you smoke, you can make your baby’s heart stronger. that really just defies logic and the doctor was just as flabbergasted as I’m sure every viewer was. Just pure ignorance and stupidity – and lack of care for an unborn child.

I have tried to bring up the subject with Belinda, my DIL, and she just refuses to speak about it. I showed her pictures (which you can see here) that show what smoking does to a foetus but it had no effect, she seemed to be more insulted than anything. And I understand that, but how can I get it through her head that smoking harms your baby?

I’m hurting because I was unable to play sports as a child due to asthma as a consequence of my mother’s smoking in pregnancy. I want my grandchild to have a wonderful, healthy life, and I wish my DIL wanted the same things.

What should I do?


Tell us your thoughts below. 

Guest Contributor

  1. des here say to mothers who smoke and get pregnant that to give up will cause stress and that is bad for baby okkkkkk so new age lol

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  3. I’m not trying to be rude, but I know when I write this it’s going to sound that way. Honestly I’m not. This is just my opinion. I don’t think it’s you’re place to be showing your DIL those pictures. Unless she has no mother of her own and she’s 12,

    I can honestly see why she was insulted, and I can assure you, she’s NEVER going to forget what you did.

    This is entirely your DIL’s decision. If your son has a problem with it, then he needs to work that out with his wife, even attend a doctors appointment with her and discuss it with the doctor. Involving his mum, worse, letting you do what you did (if he knew what you were going to do), was wrong. It will only lead to her being angry with him as well as you. Imagine how she feels, her husband and his mother discussing her like that, and you talking to her about it – with pictures. I agree with her, I think it was insulting.

    You should’ve just advised your son to go with his wife and talk to the doctor together, then you should’ve just stayed out of it.

    11 REPLY
    • As a mother to two sons I once had a mother in law so I stay neutral in all my sons and daughter in laws business ..you make waves your son will either cast you out of their lives or she will give him hell ..so agree to disagree and mind your own business

    • I agree Marilyn, as an in law there are clear and definite lines you cannot cross. We all know them. I have the best son in law on earth. Love him to bits and I know there is nothing he wouldn’t do for me. But, I know where the lines are. It’s all about respect for your child and their marriage I think.

    • Agree with all of you. Even one wrong word to a DIL, no matter how well intentioned, can lead to being cast out. Even daughters these days don’t like advice or the slightest hint of criticism.

    • You’re so right Christa, I remember visiting my daughter when she had her first baby. I immediately rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in. She said to her husband, see, that’s why I’m happy to have my mum here, she helps, not like your mum. I looked her straight in the eye and asked, ” if your MIL walked into your house right now, said, good lord this place looks like it’s been bombed, where’s your cleaning stuff, and started scrubbing away like I’ve just done, how would you feel. She looked back at me and said, I’d hate it.
      I said, and I’m sure she knows it. So back off.

      MIL’s get a very bad rap. You have to realise you are now not number one in your son’s life. You don’t get to have your say or do what you like in his house anymore.

    • You are all so right. They are adults, they make the rules now. We only get to enjoy their life on the periphery and you know what it’s so much easier. I’ve seen it many times where mums can’t let go of their control, and in the end loose all contact, and they still don’t get it.

    • Agree, that while your thinking is right, it is absolutely wrong for you to address your daughter in law on this subject. It is up to your son to discuss it with her in an understanding and non judgmental manner.

    • It is hard for mums to learn to butt out & let the kids make their own decisions especially as they are now adults. Maybe have a talk to your son about your concerns and leave it to him to explain your concerns. At the end of the day they will have to deal with any consequences. It is their child first.

    • Sounds like they had that talk Kay and the outcome was mum had “the” talk with DIL. Even showed her pictures of babies born to mums who smoke and it hasn’t gone down well with DIL, naturally. The whole thing seems to have been handled badly by mother and son here. Whilst I agree that smoking in general isn’t good, and smoking during pregnancy is worse, it’s not MILs place to show this young woman pictures like that. She may actually have made the problem worse and caused her a lot more stress, which might just make her smoke more.

    • Well aren’t we all judgemental and opinionated, she is just a very concerned MIL and she has a right to feel that way. If you can’t show your concern them it also shows a lack of interest. And as for being a good MIL, being honest and true to oneself is important, shutting up is just self protection, yes don’t nag but don’t sit on the fence either

  4. Mind your own business. She could be smoking a lot worse then cigarettes or drinking heavy. She needs your support. Maybe she has tried to quit but can’t. It isn’t easy.
    My advise for what it’s worth…pray for her that her baby will be born healthy.

  5. Being a smoker of many years I know it’s not good for me. Having said that I smoked during my pregnancy and have four healthy children with no asthma or any other health issues. Smoking is not good but it is also not your place to interfere. Sorry I would not dream of doing that to my daughter in law. It is between you son and his wife.

    4 REPLY
    • i sm,oke to during my pregnancy and my children had no problems at all they are adults now, with there own children, i think mother,s and mil should keep there noise out ,

    • my grandaughter is 18…her mother smoked the entire time. No health probs and was an average size baby. Any bigger and my daughter would have had trouble giving birth. Sorry GM but none of your business.

    • You need to keep your nose out of your son’s and your DIL’s business u nosey thing,it’s nothing to do with you,it’s their child not yours

    • You need to just be thankful she isn’t into drugs,and im not sorry when I call you nothing but a nosey interfering MIL,look after your own backyard and leave your son and DIL alone you nosey old bag

  6. Sorry, But I agree with Margaret Peluso. By sticking your nose in you will create all sorts of tensions.Mother in laws tread a narrow road at the best of times and the last thing your son needs is his Mum telling his wife what she can and cannot do. I do however understand your concern but at the end of the day it is up to your daughter in law and your son.

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