Everyone is sensitive about different things, and it can be hard to navigate the times someone else's feelings get suddenly kicked up. Are you supposed to let them deal with them on their own, or do you try to step in and offer a shoulder or place to discuss?
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for giving her daughter a name her grandma hates. She wrote:
I (27F) gave birth to me and my husband's (31M) first child almost two months ago. She’s a perfect little girl and I was so excited to have my family meet her. I have three older sisters who all have kids as well. A fun tradition that my family does is to have a small get-together once the baby is about 2-3 months old. We don’t announce the baby’s name until after the birth to make it a surprise.
At the little party, we give the parents a bunch of little gifts that have the new baby’s name on them. My grandmother always quilts a beautiful baby blanket and embroiders the baby’s name. She’s done this for all my sisters and cousins. The issue is the name my husband and I chose for our daughter. For context, my grandma has a unique history with her own name.
She was born as “Lucille” but from the time she was 8 she told every single person she met that her name was Barbara. She did this for years until even her family called her Barbara. She even got her name legally changed. When I was a child I always asked her why she changed it. She simply said she liked Barbara better.
It became a family joke, but she never seemed upset about it and always laughed with us. My husband’s grandmother raised him from when he was a baby to when she passed away when he was 19. Her favorite celebrity was Lucille Ball. She and my husband used to watch “I love Lucy” all the time together. He misses her very much and said that he would love to honor her in some way.
Her name was Mary but we chose to have that as our daughters middle name. We decided that Lucy is a name we both loved and would honor his grandmother and maybe make mine chuckle a bit. After I gave birth me and my husband were facetiming my entire family when we announced the name. A few of my relatives laughed and said it was cute but my grandma was dead silent.
When I asked her what was wrong she demanded to know why I chose Lucy. I was shocked and confused. I began to try and explain but she suddenly hung up. This greatly dampened the mood. My grandma wouldn’t answer any calls from me afterwards. I asked my oldest sister and she said that my grandma was apparently offended and thought we were mocking her.
She said she’s not coming to the party in a few weeks to meet my daughter in person and that she’s not giving the baby quilt to us unless we apologize and change our daughter's name. I don’t know why it’s escalated so much. My grandma has always been kind. I have no idea what to do. Births in my family are always celebrated and happy events but this has ruined it.
I almost feel like some of my relatives are ignoring me because they don’t want to “pick sides” but I don’t even understand why there’s a fight. Dealing with this along with my newborn has been incredibly stressful. My family is puzzled as well but most of them are saying I shouldn’t have chosen a name I knew my grandmother disliked or at least asked her about it first. AITA?
There's trauma there that grandma isn't sharing. But that's her issue, not yours.
NTA. But there's a lot more to the story about why your Grandma changed her name, otherwise there wouldn't have been such a dramatic reaction. You can name your child whatever you want, and tbh for your Grandma to make such a big deal over something that has ZERO significance to anyone but her, to the point of punishing you and her Grandchild, is malevolent, childish, and downright mean.
You have two choices. Change your child's name to appease a woman who won't explain and wont be around long, or name your child what you want and not have a quilt or good will from your Grandma. It could be that in time your Grandma will settle down, but perhaps she won't ever.It's your choice, but whatever you choose you're Not the Aholes.
You asked her why she didn’t like her original name, all she said was she liked Barbara better. She never gave you any indication there was a major reason she disliked it. I think Lucy is a cute variation of Lucille. I also think your grandmother is being ridiculous. If this is the hill she wants to die on, that’s her choice. NTA.
NTA, my own grandmother did not speak to my mother for 6 months over my name. Sorry to hear of this situation for you. I can only say time will heal it in the long run.
NTA. This name holds a lot of meaning for you and your husband. I also think your daughter will be happy to learn about the origin of her name. :) Your grandma's strong reaction indicates that she probably strongly disliked her old name Lucille, but how could you have known? She needs to communicate her feelings, but since she's ignoring you, well, she's kind of the AH a little bit.
Her feelings may be justified, but she needs to realize that this is hurting you and your relationship to her. I don't understand why your family is on her side here. Just because your grandma hated having that name doesn't mean she has to hate for someone else to have that name. Stay strong. When she's ready I'm sure she'll contact you, so you can talk it out. :)
OP is NTA here, but it does seem like there's more to the name issue than grandma is letting on.