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  • 'My Mother-in-Law Changed My Newborn's Name Behind My Back'

    What's in a name? For starters, parents, you have the last and final say over your child's name.
    by Rachel Perez .
'My Mother-in-Law Changed My Newborn's Name Behind My Back'
  • Marriage takes a lot of hard work and patience, and adding in-laws to the mix can be taxing (or toxic, as some may point out) to a relationship. Now, not all mothers-in-law want to make life for their daughters-in-law a living hell, but they can be really mean (click here for a collection of true stories). Some also seem to have issue about boundaries, and their lack of understanding what it means was one of the most unbelievable stories we read recently.

    An advice column on Slate featured a mom who hid her identity behind the name "Mama Bear" asked for advice how to confront her mother-in-law. The problem: MIL convinced her son to change her newborn grandson's name while Mama Bear was out recovering from a C-section!

    "I just discovered my husband spelled our son's middle name as 'Finlay' instead of 'Finley' on all of his legal documentation," Mama Bear wrote. "I, of course, am furious, because I told him I was fine with the middle name, but it had to be spelled Finley — and he agreed before our son was ever born."

    She found out about the betrayal of trust two months after giving birth. Her mother-in-law sent a Christmas card with her son's misspelled name. Her husband was to afraid to tell her about the change and said he regretted what happened as soon as the card arrived.

    What other parents are reading

    Apparently, Mama Bear's mother-in-law thinks Finlay is more masculine than Finley and convinced her son to change it. "His mother guilt-tripped him into doing this while I was asleep after my emergency C-section," she wrote.


    "She tried to convince him to give our son a first name that I very much hated, saying that I would 'get mad' but [I should] get over it," Mama Bear said. Thank goodness her husband stood firm about his son's first name but gave in to the spelling his mom wanted for the second name.

    "She blatantly disrespected me and the name my husband and I had chosen for our son," Mama Bear said. "She manipulated my husband into thinking it was all right to lie to me about something as serious as the spelling of our son's name," the furious mom added.

    Mama Bear said they're working on the necessary documents to change the spelling of her son's middle name. (We dare say her husband needs to work on knowing when he should be on Team Wife.)

    What other parents are reading

    Now Mama Bear, clearly still furious (who wouldn't be), wanted to know from Slate how she should talk to her MIL. Doling out advice was writer Carvell Wallace, a co-host of Slate's "Mom and Dad Are Fighting."

    "I don't think I would talk with Mother. If I did, I would say only one thing: 'Whether you let or encouraged your son to go behind my back and change the name of our child, it was an extremely shitty thing to do. You can rest assured that I will remember it for a very long time,'" Wallace wrote and added Mama Bear should walk away.

    We wholeheartedly agree.

    What other parents are reading

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