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Pregnancy joy turns sour when SIL decides this baby is all about her. AITA?

Pregnancy joy turns sour when SIL decides this baby is all about her. AITA?


"AITA for defending myself against my SIL who was upset we waited to tell her we were expecting and waited until our son was born to announce his name?"


My husband (42m) and I (41f) tried to have children for 13 years before we accepted that we were never going to have it happen for us. We spent a lot of time hoping and trying different things and nothing worked.

I was 35 when we decided to come to terms with our life as a childfree couple. We sold our old house, downsizing considerably and we started changing how we lived our life. We had devoted so much time to preparing to be a family with children that we didn't really know what we wanted now that it was no longer in the cards.

Then, just after my 40th birthday, I discovered I was pregnant. It was a huge shock and what was even more surprising was the baby was healthy when I went for my first scan. But I was afraid, we both were, so we waited until I was 18 weeks to tell people.

I didn't really show until I was about 21 weeks so that made it easy to hide. We announced and people were thrilled for us. All our siblings already had children who were 9 and older, so this was the first baby born into the family in a while.

We got asked about names and whether we would have a name real or baby shower with a name reveal. We decided to keep the name to ourselves until he was born. Something special and a surprise for people.

Most people understood but it came to our attention recently that one of my husband's sisters (SIL) was not happy about any of this. She didn't like that we kept the pregnancy to ourselves for a while and disliked it even more that we didn't share the name.

She brought this up at Christmas for the first time and surprised the whole family, she brought it up to my husband on three separate occasions after it and then she brought it up to me 4 days ago.

She told me we left our families out when this was just as big a deal for them as it was for us. She said everyone had wanted us to have a baby too and how could we cut them out like that. She also claimed we could have gotten feedback and blessings from family members on his name, which is Hawthorn for people who will ask.

I told her that the news came as such a surprise and we worried and wanted to come to terms and get to what we felt was a safe point before telling people. She argued we needed our family if something went wrong.

Then she said there was still no excuse for the name. That the name was kind of odd and she would have liked us to pick a more classic name, like James or George. I told her I understood that everyone had their own taste.

But we were getting one chance to name a child and one chance to experience parenthood and we wanted to make the most of it. I said we never did it to hurt anyone but we wanted to do what felt right to us.

She told me that was what my husband said and it was lame, especially to defend myself that way when it was something that the whole family are experiencing. She told me we just wanted to leave everyone out and we should have known better. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA. Your SIL is a giant AH. While it’s great for your family that you got pregnant. It is in no way happening to them. This is your experience and after years of trying and eventually giving up to find out you actually were pregnant would have been incredibly hard to come to terms with.

Especially to get to a place where you were comfortable enough to tell anyone. I only started announcing my first around 18 weeks because I was so worried something would go wrong and I had no history of issues.

Everything you did was completely understandable. Your SIL is a control freak who seems to think her opinion is the only right one. No decent person would ever comment negatively on someone’s child’s name. I absolutely love the name BTW. Congratulations on your son!

The OP responded here:


Thank you! I'm glad people understand. It's hard to trust that things will be alright. And for me, at that time, it was terrifying to think it could be taken away so easily. We had so much to do and come to terms with and we didn't have a lot of time really to get ready.

Not as much time as we had to prepare to our supposed child free life. I have never for one second regretted giving us the time for just us. Even if I am thankful for our families and their support.


Honestly it seems like your SiL is annoyed she wasn't able to insert herself into your pregnancy and make it about her. Your reasons are understandable and honestly it's your child, not hers. She's making your pregnancy and your child about her and how "hurt" she is. I'd bet good money if you looked this wouldn't be the only occasion she's been like this.


OF COURSE NTA First things first: congratulations! Even if you just put it down to enthusiasm, your sister-in-law is in the wrong. It's your pregnancy, your baby, your choice. The only reasonable response to parents saying what they've named their child is "What a lovely name."

Others are not entitled to insert themselves into your decisions, though of course you can invite them. You and your husband need to discuss and agree where your boundaries are between the wider family and your own (nuclear) family, and support each other in maintaining them (and changing when you agree it's appropriate.)

This is one of the most difficult things in having children. And wishing you and husband and Hawthorne (did I say it was a lovely name?) all the best.

For what it's worth, I know lots of women who have had miscarriages who behaved as you did; the few I know who had still-births all were very private and internal during their pregnancies; in lots of cultures it's more or less taboo to talk about names and so on before the child is born.

The OP again responded:


Thank you so much! And yes, we are having talks about his sister and what we do now that we're having these issues with her. We actually became aware of the cultures that don't share the pregnancy news or names until certain stages when we found out I was pregnant. It was comforting to know others did it, even if it was for different reasons overall.

So, if you could give the OP any advice, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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