Dear Abby: I fear my baby’s time with Grandma, a heavy smoker

SHARE Dear Abby: I fear my baby’s time with Grandma, a heavy smoker

DEAR ABBY: I’m 7 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, and my husband and I are happily awaiting our baby’s arrival. I am fretting over something I need some help figuring out.

My mother-in-law is a serious smoker. She smokes in her home, in her car and right before getting into anyone’s car or leaving home. She reeks of smoke all the time.

I do not want my baby around a smoker, but of course, I want our baby to bond with Grandma. She’s oblivious to the dangers of second- and third-hand smoke and laughs it off.

My husband says we can’t make her stop smoking, and he doesn’t want to talk with her about it. I am adamant about our baby having a smoke-free environment. What do I do? — PROTECTIVE FUTURE MOMMY

DEAR MOMMY: Your tobacco-addicted mother-in-law is not going to quit smoking. Your husband doesn’t want to talk to his mother about it because he knows it will go nowhere. That leaves you.

Unfortunately, your child is going to have to live in a world in which there are people who smoke. While you may be able to minimize his/her exposure, you cannot guarantee that from childhood to adulthood your child’s environment will be entirely smoke-free.

Because you are adamant — for good reason — about your baby having a smoke-free environment, you will have to insist, with your husband present, that Grandma bond with her grandchild in your home or some other smoke-free environment. Period.

DEAR READERS: The departments of psychiatry and medicine at Tufts Medical Center want to learn more about the impact caregiving has on family members and friends of people who have been diagnosed with depression or other illnesses.

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In the past, readers have generously helped by sharing your experiences, and I hope you will do so again.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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