Posted by Saraline , Monday, March 21, 2011 7:31 PM
According to popular opinion, parents who smoke cigarettes are the root of all evil. It doesn't matter if a parent steps outside and walks twenty paces away from their house before lighting up. They still suck and everyone feels sorry for their children.
A little story not related to parenting but related to tobacco: a town in the area where I grew up was recently a candidate for CBC's Hockeyville. They did not make the top ten. The local hockey team also has a picture of a tobacco leaf on their uniform. Does anybody think that this is a coincidence?
Anyway, to get back on topic, everybody hates smokers, especially smokers who have children, because parents who smoke are jerks.
I am pleased to announce that I am officially no longer a failure as a parent because I quit smoking for good two months ago.
You have probably heard that smoking while pregnant is also a bad thing to do. I quit for the first time while I was pregnant. After doing some research online, I discovered that I could not chew nicotine gum, use a nicotine patch, or use any medications to help me quit smoking because they are all bad for pregnant women and fetuses. I did read that cutting back gradually would probably be okay and gave myself a week to do so.
My week was cut short a couple of days in when I saw a rather terrifying commercial on TV about how your entire uterus gets filled up with smoke every time you take a drag from a cigarette. If you are pregnant and you want to quit smoking cold turkey, I recommend watching commercials about smoking which have the intention of scaring the crap out of you. I gave the rest of my cigarettes to my neighbour. Since I still wasn't telling anybody that I was pregnant at that point, I told her that I had given up smoking for Lent and she believed me.*
I did not smoke for my entire pregnancy, but I did politely ask for a cigarette while I was in labour.** Once I was a new parent, I was very stressed out and at a loss when it came to coming up with solutions for dealing with my stress. My son's father would come to my house to see the baby and after ten minutes would sigh and say, "I need a break. I'm going out for a smoke."
And dammit, I wanted a break too. I stole a cigarette from my ex three weeks post-partum. I wanted more, but I also did not want to go all the way to the store because I had just had a baby and it still hurt to walk. I asked my neighbour, who was pregnant herself by this time, to go to the store to pick up my cigarettes for me. I am certain that anybody who saw her buying them thought that she was buying them for herself and they are probably still judging her to this very day.***
So then I recently quit smoking again. This time I'm using the nicotine gum, but sometimes it's not enough to just chew the gum; sometimes I have to stand outside while chewing the gum so that I feel like I'm having a cigarette. Sometimes I have to write an entire blog entry about cigarettes because I cannot stop thinking about them.
EDIT: I just want to add that I do not think that you are a jerk if you smoke, even if you have kids.
*Everyone always forgets that I'm not religious because I like church music.
**I may or may not have screamed, "Give me a cigarette or I'll kill you!" in the middle of a contraction.