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AIBU to expect to see my new grandson more than once a week/spend time alone with gc?

(118 Posts)
grandma1sttime Thu 06-Jan-22 04:30:17

Hello all
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.

grandma1sttime Thu 06-Jan-22 04:33:49

Wanting to add that I also am not allowed to post photos of the children on my Facebook, and that DIL has said that even if we stopped smoking inside and paid for their ridiculous cleaning that we still couldn’t have the kids for “more than a few hours during the day” because she thinks we are alcoholics. We do love to have drinks in the evenings, but would be perfectly capable of not doing so if we had a reason not to (such as an overnight with our grandchildren.) The word “alcoholic” is very upsetting to me as it has been used to hurt me many times in my life by many different people.

Lolo81 Thu 06-Jan-22 04:43:08

Assuming this is for real, then in answer to your question - yes you are being unreasonable. A simple google search will show the risks of third hand smoke and the associated recommendations, links to SIDS etc. The amount of research and information we have now compared to 20/30 years ago (when you allowed it with your son) is incredible. Similar to now wearing seatbelts, using car seats, not using physical punishment etc etc, just because it was acceptable in previous generations doesn’t mean it was right or safe - we just didn’t know any better then.

Why is the Facebook thing even an issue? What difference does it make? I’m assuming that like most parents your son/DIL want to limit exposure of their child’s image to strangers.
Finally - yes you are family - extended family, so maybe realise you don’t have a central role here.

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 06-Jan-22 05:18:16

This doesn’t sound real! If it is, you are absolutely being unreasonable. Surely their children, so their rules. You have no rights over your grandchildren at all.

Ravelling Thu 06-Jan-22 05:21:26

I don’t think smokers realise how much the smell clings to their clothes and home. I can understand that they don’t want their children exposed to it. I try to avoid visiting homes where there is smoking indoors.

I think we have to understand that the customs and expectations around a new baby’s arrival have changed - and for the better. 30 years ago, my ability to sleep, feed, develop a routine etc was hugely impacted by a constant stream of well-meaning, loving (and loved) family and friends visiting to spend time with my son. I remember feeling exhausted and tearful as I made yet more tea and plated more biscuits while he was passed from lap to lap.
You have to accept their requests and build their confidence in you as grandparents.

Nansnet Thu 06-Jan-22 05:46:31

Quite frankly, if this is real, then I'm not in the least bit surprised by your DS & DiL laying down these rules. Just because you say your DS was happy spending time with you when he was growing up/living at home, well, he didn't really have much choice did he? But now he does. It's his children, and if he and your DiL don't want their precious children subject to smoke, then that's their choice. If your grandchildren are so important to you, then you have a choice to give up smoking, or at least adhere to their rules.

As for you moaning about the fact that you'd need to go outside for a 'smoke' during a visit to your newborn GC, and then expect to be allowed to go back into the house stinking of smoke ... are you for real?! If you were my child's grandparent, you wouldn't be visiting a second time, until you got your act together. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but this really isn't about what you want. It's about what your DS & DiL want for their children.

vegansrock Thu 06-Jan-22 06:06:06

I can’t believe this post- could someone really be that ridiculous? Of course a baby shouldn’t be in a smoky environment and the smell does linger all over smokers’ clothes and hair. If you really want to be part of your GC lives you should give up smoking for your own sake and theirs.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 06-Jan-22 06:30:02

Of course you are being unreasonable, if this post is genuine.
Give up smoking and stop expecting your GC to come to your home alone.
If you can’t give up smoking then shower before you visit, people who smoke smell like old ash trays and seldom realise it and if you are in there home, it’s their rules.
How anyone can act like this in 2022 is beyond me.

welbeck Thu 06-Jan-22 06:37:53

this must be a reversal.
i remember reading dr miriam stoppard about 30 years ago, that anyone who smoked should not be allowed to hold a baby, as their breath will be carrying smoke particles.

BlueBelle Thu 06-Jan-22 06:56:23

Obviously this is a wind up in fact it sounds very familiar I think this or similar has been posted before

It feels as if you have thought of everything possible that is unacceptable and anti social and posted it in one post to get us all revved up to argue and be shocked

Don’t play in to this one folks

Hetty58 Thu 06-Jan-22 07:04:11

This seems to be a work of fiction - but never mind (just in case) yes YABU! You follow their rules - or just give up smoking and drinking!

Lucca Thu 06-Jan-22 07:14:51

Are you also anti vaxxers y any chance ?

Blondiescot Thu 06-Jan-22 07:20:28


Obviously this is a wind up in fact it sounds very familiar I think this or similar has been posted before

It feels as if you have thought of everything possible that is unacceptable and anti social and posted it in one post to get us all revved up to argue and be shocked

Don’t play in to this one folks

I was thinking exactly the same! It all sounds very familiar!
And even if it did happen to be legitimate, then yes, the OP is being unreasonable. I wouldn't want my child anywhere near someone who smokes.

love0c Thu 06-Jan-22 08:38:36

Oh dear. You know what you should do really. Stop smoking. You will have a new grandchild in a few weeks. Make sure you will be around for year to come to enjoy!!

DiamondLily Thu 06-Jan-22 08:38:47

If it is genuine, then it’s a case of parents hold all the rights, parents make the rules.

I am a smoker, but it’s still the case that Grandparents don’t get to make the decisions.

It’s also perfectly natural for a young woman to gravitate much more towards their own mum than a MIL, where pregnancy and birth is concerned. (Assuming, of course, they have a good relationship.)

When my grandchildren were born, which was between 18-26 years ago, being around smoking wasn’t the major issue it is now. Smoking in the garden was seen as ok.

We lived in a London suburb, and traffic pollution then was a far bigger issue. But things change.

I must admit that, sometimes, I don’t really understand all these dramas with visiting times and rules laid down now by some new parents, but some grandparents need to back off, and stop overwhelming new parents, with their demands about what they want.?

So, if you are genuine, stop with all your demands, and follow the rules your son and DIL want to impose.

If you don’t, you may find you don’t see your GC at all.

It doesn’t matter what you think, or anyone else thinks - the parents have the only say in it.

love0c Thu 06-Jan-22 08:39:02


MayBeMaw Thu 06-Jan-22 08:40:24


DiscoDancer1975 Thu 06-Jan-22 08:41:49

I didn’t read your post, too long. Just answering title....and YES is my answer.

DiamondLily Thu 06-Jan-22 08:47:38

I think the other post, previously, was ostensibly from a DIL saying she didn’t want her MIL involved a lot, because both paternal grandparents smoked and (in her view) drank too much.

The background was the same, but in reverse.

Chewbacca Thu 06-Jan-22 08:51:40

Yes. You are being unreasonable. Very.

notgran Thu 06-Jan-22 08:52:31

Loving this post. I haven't been part of GRANSNET for very long but it isn't hard to work out the "unusual" people who for whatever reason post spoof messages. Better than the "Daily Mail On-Line" grin

nandad Thu 06-Jan-22 08:55:12

Deja vu. Post has appeared before almost verbatim.

Parsley3 Thu 06-Jan-22 08:55:22

I remember reading a similar post to this not that long ago. Two posters with the same unusual problems is quite a coincidence. Why not look for that other grandparent with the same problem as yours and find out how they resolved the contentious issues as that baby will have been born by now.

harrigran Thu 06-Jan-22 08:55:49


DiscoDancer1975 Thu 06-Jan-22 09:06:52

I’ve now read the post. If you are genuine, then you’re completely barmy if you can’t see how you’re wrong on so many levels.