MIL Refuses to Call Granddaughter by Her 'Ugly' Name

MIL with glasses looking at her phone
Twenty20 / @nina_p_v

One of the first big decisions when a couple finds out they're expecting a baby is setting on a name. We all have our expectations, hopes, and inspiration, and it can be challenging enough for the two of you to agree. When you finally settle down on one, the last thing you need is a third person trying to interject their opinion, especially if it wasn’t asked.

That’s what one mama-to-be is experiencing but to an extra level. She and her partner have agreed on a first and middle name for their daughter, who is due in May. The couple fell in love with the chosen name and decided to share it with family early.

  • And everyone loved the name, except their MIL, who not only hates it, but refuses to use the name.

    The name the parents-to-be chose for their daughter is influenced by a children’s book series and the name is a “nod to the books of our childhood.” Mom and dad decided to pair the first name with mom’s middle name. “It's honestly a very pretty name,” the mom says, adding, “everyone we have told (both people we know and strangers) have professed love for the name.”

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  • Well, everyone loves it except for her MIL.

    The mom took to Reddit’s JUSTNOMIL forum to get advice on what she should do about this situation. She writes, “Back in November we visited her. She lives one state over and refuses to visit us and insists we go to her. We went there the week before Thanksgiving (and for the first time ever DH agreed to staying in a hotel instead of her ashtray smelling house as she is a chain smoker)."

  • During dinner on the first night, she went to her MIL’s house, and she shared the gender of their baby and the name they have chosen.

    MIL wasn’t impressed, it seems. Mom-to-be writes, “She makes a face like she smelled something horrible and goes (and I'm paraphrasing) ‘I wanted you to name her Other Name’ after random relative that died when DH was four years old. She then says the name we picked is an ‘ugly name.’ I push back and say (pretty harshly) that that's her name and we aren't changing it. She just shook her head and said that she ‘doesn't want it.’"

  • The mom-to-be says her MIL has refused to use her daughter’s name since, only referring to her as “my granddaughter.”

    “Not once did she say her actual name to be,” the mom says. “I know on the surface this sounds normal, but it seriously bothered me.” She goes on to say that she would add in comments like “do you mean [NAME]?" and her MIL would just ignore her. “She brought up buying her a gold ID baby bracelet (apparently it's a Cuban thing) and she goes, ‘I'll have it engraved with-- my granddaughter's name.’"

  • The mom-to-be was looking for advice on what she should do in this situation, and people offered their opinions.

    One person offered this advice: “If she keeps it up or makes up a nickname, just keep correcting her.” And says every time the grandma uses a nickname, to re-correct her with the baby’s actual name.

    “Or take it further, narcs hate to be called out on imperfections, so you say, ‘MIL, your memory seems to be faulty. We keep telling you her name, and it seems like you're forgetting. Are you feeling okay? When was your last check up?”

    Another commenter says, “She sounds terrible. And it does sound like she's doing it on purpose. I wouldn't confront her about anything at this point. It's so petty it isn't worth acknowledging. But if she does come up with a nickname you don't like, be ready to shut her down about it.”

  • Overall, people had the same advice: It’s your baby and MIL can deal with it or not.

    “Your kid your name. Nobody asked her,” was the advice of another person on Reddit. Ultimately, it’s the parent’s decision on what to name their baby. And while no one wants any tension in the family, especially anything that overshadows the joy of a new baby, but MIL is going to have to get used to it eventually.