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Expecting dad firmly breaks it to his mom that the baby won't be named after his late sister. AITA?

Expecting dad firmly breaks it to his mom that the baby won't be named after his late sister. AITA?


"AITA for firmly telling my mom that my daughter will never be named after her daughter?"

Before I was born my parents had a daughter, my sister. She died when she was 2 while mom was pregnant with me. Ever since the death my mom has been stuck in grief and has been unable to move on in a healthy way. My dad bailed when I was a baby. And the relationship with my mom was rough. Growing up I heard all about the sister who died before I was born. My mom would have us in extreme mourning on the anniversary, my sister's birthday and the anniversary of the day she found out she was pregnant.

She'd pull me out of school and I couldn't do anything those days. We didn't celebrate Christmas because mom said there was nothing worth celebrating without her. Mom would get upset if I wanted to celebrate my birthday. Then she'd throw parties and have photos of my sister displayed around the house and yard for everyone in attendance to see her. She told me it was also a way for me to have my sister at my birthday parties.

Whenever I had friends over she would talk an obsessive amount about my sister. She made them so uncomfortable. I started dating my wife as a teenager I did my best to keep her away from mom. The first time they met mom talked about my sister the whole time, showed off her baby pictures and home movies of her and spoke nothing about me. My wife asked what I was like as a baby and asked to see photos of me but mom couldn't stop talking about her "most precious little girl."

When I moved out of my mom's house our relationship strained more because I refused to stop my life on those three days anymore and I also started to celebrate Christmas. Mom was so mad. She yelled at me down the phone that I was a monster and how could I care so little about my sister being dead. I shouldn't be able to act like those days are normal days or like we have anything to be happy about at Christmas.

We were very low contact for a few years and then she reached out to me and we talked and I told her she needed to get help because I could not live like that anymore and I couldn't live with feeling like I didn't matter to her. She apologized and promised she would be better and she was. Until now.

My wife and I are expecting a baby girl and a few days ago my mom declared that she couldn't wait to meet baby "Ella." "Ella" being my sister's name. I told her we weren't using the name and mom freaked. She told me I couldn't possibly have a little girl and not name her after my sister. She told me Ella deserved to be honored and remembered and how could I do this to her and to my sister and where was the love for my sister. I told her to stop.

She said I had to use the name and she would tell my wife the same thing, her daughter deserved that. I told her I will never name my daughter after hers and after seeing her reaction to me not using the name "Ella" that I regretted us getting back in touch because she will never stop wanting everything to revolve around that loss. My mom called me an evil b%stard for wanting to erase my sister. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

glimmerseeker said:

Wow. This whole post is just sad. It sucks that your whole life has been about your mom grieving her daughter. It’s too bad she didn’t let herself enjoy being YOUR mom. You are completely NTA here. This is your daughter, your and your wife’s, and only the two of you get to name her. For your mom to have assumed she would be named Ella and then freak out when told otherwise just shows you that nothing has changed for her. Keep your distance for your own peace of mind. Congrats to you and your wife!

Apart-Ad-6518 said:

NTA 100%. "My wife asked what I was like as a baby and asked to see photos of me but mom couldn't stop talking about her "most precious little girl." This was utterly unfair of your mom. She went through a terrible loss, but she should have found joy in having you. Instead, she let her unresolved grief cast a shadow over an innocent child.

"My mom called me an evil bastard for wanting to erase my sister." It's probably time to go NC with her. She can't & mustn't be allowed to do the same thing to your baby that she did to you. Continue to celebrate & enjoy things with your wife. Naming your baby is your choice & hers. Congratulations!

joosdeproon said:

Oh Gosh NTA x 1000 You have not had a normal life because of your mother's untreated grief. Can you imagine the nightmare if you were to "bring back" your sister? Your mother would make it weird and creepy to a level that you haven't even seen yet. Sadly I think you should once again go LC or NC. Please say your wife is on your side.

Peony-Pony said:

NTA. Your mother's life stopped the day your sister died. I am surprised your family have humored and indulged her maudlin behavior for all these years. Unless your mother agrees to start intensive therapy, you need to keep a healthy distance between her and you, your wife and soon to be child. She's not mentally stable.

archetyping101 said:

NTA. I'm sorry you grew up in Ella's shadow. It also isn't mentioned if your mom ever saw a therapist to help her process her grief. I'm sorry you didn't get to be yourself and be celebrated because Ella died. It must have been hard. You don't owe her this. She needs to process her grief.

Flaky_Drag1826 said:

NTA. I’m very sorry your mom experienced such a horrible loss, but it wasn’t your loss and it shouldn’t have been put on you. My current wife had a brother that was born and died before the other children came as well. The parents do check out on that anniversary, but by themselves and do their own thing. They take one day out of the year to be together and process their loss. I honestly didn’t even know this was a thing until this last year it’s that low key. I’m really sorry for both of you.

Hot_Box_4574 said:

NTA This is all about your mom's extreme grief and inability to move on in her life after a traumatic death. Is she in therapy? You never knew "Ella" so you have no attachments to this person who died before you were born.

You also had to grow up without being celebrated (no birthdays?!) because your mom couldn't move past her grief. Name your child whatever you want. It's unfair of your mom to have put her grief on to you like this for this long. She needs to continue to get help because her life and yours didn't stop the day Ella died, even if she thinks it did.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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