Do you have many friends that are parents? I’m only just beginning to acquire a few, not because I am new to making friends (okay, fine maybe I am), but because my husband and I began our family so early it is only now, almost six years after our first was born, that the couples in our circle beginning to have children.
I like to think I’m a pretty cool mom to have over for a playdate. I never overstay my welcome, my kids are friendly, and I make a point to refrain from giving unsolicited parenting advice. Nothing chafes me more than someone presenting their parenting philosophy as absolute fact and so I try not to force my opinions on others. Breastfeed or formula feed, circumcise or leave it intact, let them cry it out or attach them to your body and carry them with you always — I support you in whatever you decide is best for your child.
I have only one exception to this rule, one action that a friend can take that will make me think twice before accepting their invitation for a playdate.
I draw the line at parents who smoke in the presence of their children. It pains me to see a toddler playing at the feet of a mom or dad with a cigarette in hand. I can’t stop thinking about the secondhand smoke making its way into their unpolluted little baby lungs. As a child I suffered from asthma and I know all to well what it is like to gasp for air. With all the research showing that the children of parents who smoke are at greater risk for the disease I cannot fathom why anyone would expose their children to it.
If you light up within breathing distance of my children, as much as it conflicts with my polite southern upbringing, I am not afraid to ask you to relocate or put out your cigarette.
How do you feel about smoking? Is it in poor taste to smoke around children?
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