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'Insulted' in-laws berate new mom for not 'honoring' them with baby names. AITA?

'Insulted' in-laws berate new mom for not 'honoring' them with baby names. AITA?


When a grateful but frustrated mother found herself on the receiving end of pressure from in-laws about an antiquated tradition she never agreed to, Reddit had her back.

'AITA (Am I the a-hole) for telling my in-laws that they should appreciate having grandkids instead of acting insulted that they aren't named after them?'

Adventurous-Video636 writes:

My husband and I welcomed twins into the world a couple of weeks ago. It has been a crazy whirlwind experience for us. I am a childhood cancer survivor who was told I was infertile due to the treatment I received.

My husband and I spent many years trying for a baby anyway with no success. We also started to save money for IVF to see if there was any hope for us to conceive. We had gotten close to our goal when I learned I was pregnant.

My doctors were surprised because they knew I had tried and knew the treatment I went through means it's so rare to get pregnant at all, let alone naturally. To learn it was twins was an even bigger surprise.

Someone we know suggested that not actively trying and focusing on other things might have allowed my body to let it happen. I'm not sure. But we were grateful for the chance to be parents to these babies. Even with a complicated pregnancy I felt like I had won the lottery and the fact I was able to deliver two healthy babies is incredible to me given everything.

That's wonderful! What could go wrong now?

The problem is my in-laws. My husband is an only child because MIL suffered a placental abruption when she was 34 weeks pregnant and it required an emergency c-section and my husband being born early.

Their side is big on honor names so he has four names, all after his four grandparents (exact names of his grandfathers and male variants of his grandmothers names). My ILs were expecting us to do the same, and thought it would be even easier for us since we had twins, and we had a boy and a girl.

But we wanted to give our kids their own names. We wanted them to have names we love and chose for them. So we named them Caelan (our boy who also has a nod to the Irish side of my family) and Summer (a nod to my husband and myself and our anniversaries, both of first meeting and marrying).

Beautiful and meaningful. Who could be upset about those names?

We waited until the babies were born to announce the names and my husband received many calls from his parents afterward, saying that they were hurt we chose not to honor them and how could we give the only children we will ever have random names instead of loving family names. It has been pretty consistent.

My husband went out to buy groceries for us the other day and I was home alone with the babies when my ILs called me to bring the topic up to me for the first time. They asked how I could name our miracle babies anything but the names of their four loving grandparents and did I not care about the fact these would be their only grandchildren ever.

I told them they should appreciate having grandkids, given the circumstances, instead of acting insulted that we didn't name them after them. I told them these babies were a huge surprise but we loved and wanted and they should enjoy them now that we have them.

They told me I couldn't just dismiss their feelings like that and hung up... They told my husband I insulted them. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?

What do you think? Sure, parents have the right to choose the names of their children, but could she have handled it better knowing how much it meant to her in-laws?

Here's what Reddit had to say...

ilp456 says:

NTA (Not the a-hole). No one has the right to tell you what to name your children. But because of family tradition, they have had these expectations in their minds. First, your husband is the one who needs to handle his parents. Second, it needs to be explained to them that you named your children for the reasons in your post. It was not a statement against them. And congratulations to you both!

OP responds:

He has been handling them up to this. They called me while he was out after bringing it up to him many times. They are aware of the reason we chose their names too. To them nothing is more special than grandkids named after family members.

MoseSchruteJunior writes:

NTA, but given that there is a huge expectation from your husband's family/culture to follow this naming convention, did your husband ever let them know ahead of time that you wouldn't be followings this? Or was it just a surprise to them once the children were born?

Because honestly, as much as it is none of their concern what you name your children, it would have at least been polite to give them a heads up that you were at least CONSIDERING not following this convention, rather than dropping it on them after the children were born.

OP explains:

My husband was not aware it was expected and was surprised when they expressed their feelings on it.

manchvegasnomore asks:

How do your parents feel? Given the lack of any mention I'm assuming they don't really care? My wife's and I boy/girl twins turn 17 next month BTW. Trust me, you'll get a full night's sleep again someday, feeding infant twins is exhausting.

OP answers:

My parents are anti-honor name so they didn't care about us not naming the babies after them and love the names we chose. They had five kids and not one of us has a name that was used in our immediate or known extended family. Not even as middle names.

bright_copperkettles responds:

If I was your mom I would be very tempted to drop some not-so-subtle comments at the next joint family gathering. 'Oh, did you know they talked about naming one of the twins after us, but we said no, of course! What kind of grandparent would deny a baby their own name?! Can you imagine?'

Cataclysmus78 comments:

NTA. I will say that I do understand the sentiment of Honor Names, but this is ridiculous. You and your husband have done nothing wrong. I’m sure that, with a little time, the grands will come around. Beautiful names, btw! My Summer graduates college next week!

From OP:

Aww, congratulations to your Summer! And thank you!!

Creative_Fish_9447 adds:

NTA. Even your husband didn’t want to name them after grandparents… They seem very selfish as the only thing they care about is “legacy” and “tradition” - instead of being happy for this miracle that happen for whole family.

OP agrees:

Yes, this is how I feel. How can the tradition they followed be more important than enjoying the grandkids you have always wanted? It also feels that forcing the tradition takes away the joy of getting to choose your children's names. If you want to use the honor names without pressure that's one thing. But forcing it removes part of the process from the parents.

So, there you have it!

Honor names are great if someone chooses to honor you that way. To demand it? You might just be a narcissist.

Sources: Reddit
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