My son is engaged and he and his fiancé “DIL” are expecting a baby boy in late February. They also have a 4 y.o girl who is DIL’s from a previous relationship, but my son has raised her since she was 1.5 and considers her his own (she has no contact with bio father.)
I have been feeling rather snubbed as of late. To start, we have repeatedly asked if we could get 4 y.o granddaughter for a few hours to have at our home (alone) and been ignored or told no. My son told me this is because “they” (DIL I am assuming- my son grew up in my house and was never too good to be around us until he met her) but “they” don’t want their children around “thirdhand” smoke. We smoke inside but only in the kitchen with the fan on and it doesn’t smell. I told him that we of course wouldn’t smoke while they were in our house and he said that doesn’t matter because they think that smoke residue sticks to the inside of the house and that we need to stop completely AND get the house deep cleaned PROFESSIONALLY before they will bring our grandchildren to our house.
This is absolutely devastating to us. I don’t think that DIL should be dictating what we do in our own home while they kids aren’t around in order to have us see our grandchildren and bond with them alone. My son said DIL has had two infants in her family pass away from SIDS (mind you over the last two DECADES, so not exactly a common occurrence) and that exposure to “thirdhand” smoke is a non negotiable no for her.
She is so obsessed with this anxiety she has that she’s even said that my husband and I will need to SHOWER, EVERY SINGLE TIME before we come to see the new baby at their house (as again he won’t be allowed at ours.) She says the “doctor recommended” that anyone who smokes (which is JUST US) showers, changes into freshly washed clothes that “have not been exposed to cigarette smoke,” and refrain from smoking until our visit is done. (In addition to washing our hands before holding him which we would of course already do.)
She says that anyone who comes into the house smelling like cigarette smoke (or strong perfume- wouldn’t want us trying to skip our shower) will not be allowed to hold the baby when they arrive. So if she deems that we smell like cigarettes, she will tell us we cannot hold OUR NEWBORN GRANDSON when we come to their house. She even condescendingly said that they would be “HAPPY TO KEEP A CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR US AT THEIR HOUSE IF WE DON’T THINK WE CAN KEEP OURS SMOKE FREE”
This all leads me to my next point- I complained to my son, explaining that asking us to shower every single time we come will be way too much and is expecting too much, and that we will likely want/need to go out for a cigarette at some point during our visits to the new baby as it’ll be difficult for us to sit for so long without having a smoke.
My son then says “it shouldn’t be too difficult to sit through the visit without smoking as we are only wanting people to stay for around a half an hour, and the showering shouldn’t be too inconvenient as we will only be interested in having any given person over ONCE A WEEK when he’s newborn.”
They want me, who lives 5 minutes away, to contain my visits to once a week for THIRTY MINUTES. He told me this is because they want to “bond as a family” (we are their family?! And we want to bond with him too!) and that DIL will be “bleeding, exhausted and in pain” (I’ve given birth before- this is dramatic.) He also said that DIL wants to give the baby breast milk and that she doesn’t feel comfortable being exposed in front of guests but won’t “feel like” walking up and down the stairs with baby to feed him so guests can stay, so we will be expected to leave when the baby wants to eat and not come again for another week.
I was never close to my mom (DIL is so I’m sure HER mom will get to be there nonstop) but I let my ex husband’s mother come over as much as she wanted after I had my two sons. She also smoked inside and still got to have my children overnight and for visits whenever she wanted because she is THEIR GRANDMOTHER. I am absolutely appalled and so heartbroken over these “rules” that we’ve had put in place. I always thought we had a good relationship with DIL until we really started noticing that she avoids the subject every time we ask to have their daughter alone.
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