Content Warning: Child loss, miscarriage, grief
Though a name may technically just be a name that appears on a piece of paper for legal purposes, we all know the significance that a name can have.
So much so, we can be hurt if we don’t get to name a baby a certain name, or even if a loved one decides to change their name, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Famous-Throwaway-922 had chosen one name for a girl and one name for a boy, but because of multiple miscarriages, she had not been able to name a baby one of those names yet.
When her sister decided to take not one but both of those names for her own child, the Original Poster (OP) felt deeply betrayed.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not inviting my sister to my baby shower?”
The OP spent years struggling with child loss.
“My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for several years. We had a really hard time conceiving, but after a few years of trying, we finally got pregnant.”
“We told our family the news, and told them the baby names we had picked: Violet for a girl, and Carson for a boy.”
“We unfortunately lost the baby in the second trimester. Then we experienced two more miscarriages (both in the first trimester) and went through a couple more rounds of failed IVF.”
“It was a very difficult and traumatic time for us.”
The OP’s sister later made a decision that shocked her.
“We visited my family over the 2022 winter holidays, and my sister announced that she was pregnant.”
“I was genuinely happy for her, until she told us the names they’d chosen: Violet for a girl, Carson for a boy.”
“I took her aside and told her that I was very happy for her pregnancy, but hurt and confused that she would choose our baby names, especially with everything we’ve been through.”
“And she basically said, ‘Don’t try to pull the miscarriage card on me, you can’t call dibs on a name.'”
The OP tried to communicate with her sister, but to no avail.
“For further context, my sister has always been competitive and attention-seeking, and growing up, she’d find ways to one-up me or make my special occasions, like my birthday party or high school graduation, all about her. But NEVER to this extent.”
“I tried talking to her a couple more times about it, but each time she’d say things like, ‘You might never have kids, you can’t just keep those names in reserve forever,’ and was just so hurtful.”
“I stopped bringing it up for the sake of keeping the peace, and after a few months, she told my parents she wasn’t going to use either of those names, but she wouldn’t tell anybody what name they HAD chosen.”
“Fast forward to a couple of months ago, and she gave birth to her baby girl: Violetta Karsyn. And I’m just so hurt.”
The OP didn’t want to include her sister in her future celebrations.
“I found out in the early spring that I’m pregnant, and I’m far enough along now that the doctors feel pretty good about everything.”
“We let our families know last month.”
“My mom and her friends have planned a baby shower, but I told her I do not want my sister invited.”
“My mom said I’m being an AH for not inviting her over the baby’s name, but at this point, it’s not even about the name to me anymore. It’s the malicious comments, the lack of compassion, and the overall pettiness.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the sister and said the OP couldn’t claim those names.
“YTA. Yes, it was insensitive of her to use a variation of ‘your’ names. But you can still use the names. Take the high ground and invite your sister.” – Aggressive_Risk_4246
“YTA. Now you have sealed the deal that your sister isn’t going to be involved in your kid’s life at all.” – Delirium1984
“Not an a**hole, but you should be able to articulate your thoughts well enough to resolve this as opposed to blocking her out of a significant moment that you’ll never get back.”
“Unless you two had a complete and unresolvable conflict… But it sounds like it wasn’t talked through enough.” – HowEyeManage_4122
“ESH. I was the last cousin born in our family and I have the same first name as another cousin and my middle name is the name of my other cousin. These names were chosen for me in my mother’s youth and so even though I was the last one I got duplicate names to my cousins.”
“These are common names and familial. We all survived it. Your sister is being a little weird about this and so are you. Try to think about how you’ll remember this 20 years from now.” – Average_Star_Person
“ESH. I’m sorry for your situation and the hard times and suffering you endured until you finally got pregnant and everything worked out well. Then again, there is no ‘I reserve the names x, y, and z!’ kind of thing, so duh.”
“Your sister seems to be a very… special kind of person and what she did is really terrible. To top it off, your Mom seems to be okay with what your sister did and not okay with keeping her out because she most likely will ruin a day that should be filled with happiness.”
“Looks like all the females in your family have issues of some kind that really suck.”
“What is the kid’s father saying? If my sister-in-law pulled such a stunt, she would never be welcome again.” – PoofBoom
“YTA. Invite your sister.”
“Before the shower, ask someone to manage her. This event is about you and your baby. Do you have a bold cousin or friend who can shush her? Tell her it’s time for her to leave when she crosses the line?2
“But don’t allow her being an AH to turn you into one. Your sister will continue to compete with you. Don’t take the bait.”
“Your child will be so absolutely wonderful and perfectly suited for the name you choose. Just think of it this way: You got to name your niece AND your own child. You have excellent taste in names. Best wishes as a new mom.” – Neat_Favor19
But others understood how the OP was hurt by her sister’s and mother’s behavior.
“NTA. Your sister is a sadistic person who needs therapy. I would go LC or NC (low contact or no contact) with her.”
“If your mom can’t understand that, I would schedule a family therapy session and invite her so that she can have an expert explain it to her. It sounds like she favors your sister and is blind to the toxic behavior (perhaps she is like this too?).”
“You’re right that it’s not about names. It’s about intentionally cruel, meanspirited behavior designed to hurt and destroy you. The ‘you might never have children, so you can’t keep the names reserved’ comment is particularly awful.”
“And again, it’s not about the names themselves and who uses them, it’s about her complete lack of empathy, her going out of her way to hurt you when you were at your most vulnerable, and the fact that others, including your own mother, choose to ignore her hurtful behavior and worse, back her up.”
“I would ask neutral members of the family what they think (what does her husband say? Are your husband and hers on good terms?) and I would speak to a professional.”
“Good luck and congratulations on the baby! I had a somewhat similar situation with my SIL and although she never was meanspirited, she showed insecure behavior for what it was and our relationship never improved, my baby (now in high school) gave my husband and I enormous joy, and she became just a ‘blip’ on our radar that we had to endure every once and awhile. Karma has a way of catching up to people like her.” – SharpCookie232
“Get ahead of this now.”
“Tell your mom if your sister is invited or if she tries to bring her in sneakily, she can consider herself as not a grandmother to your kid.”
“Golden children always get their way, that’s just how it is, so you need to make sure there are consequences for her main enabler.” – Admiral_Catch5449
“Absolutely 100000% NTA for banning your sister, and if you decide to block your mom, still NTA!” – jabronimax969
“NTA. If your sister was a decent human being who just happened to love the name, Violet or Carson, she would’ve come to you and said, ‘I know you were going to use those names, but I really like them. Do you mind if we use them?'”
“Just announcing them the way she did and then saying you have no claim to them, and eventually using BOTH, just shows how spiteful she is being.”
“I feel for her poor child who was named to hurt you and not an ounce of thought put into her name.” – mumofboys86
“NTA. I agree that you can’t hold a name forever, but the way she responded to you trying to talk to her was heartless and inconsiderate, and then she used both of the names you picked out.”
“You’re not being petty. She did this to hurt you. I sincerely hope at some point in her life she matures and is ashamed of herself.” – thaliagorgon
“To OP, her children that died were real and she already had Violets and Carsons who just didn’t get to draw a single breath. But it doesn’t mean they weren’t real to OP and her husband.”
“To me, her sister choosing those names shows her lack of taste and class. She deliberately chose names that have painful connotations for her sister.”
“If it was OP’s friend or a colleague, I might feel differently, but this is a child that would in normal families and circumstances be very prominent in OP’s life, so it’s more hurtful.”
“To paraphrase a saying, with a family like that, who needs enemies?”
“NTA, OP.” – Puzzleheaded_Cat6130
The subReddit could completely understand the emotional connection the OP felt to the baby names she had chosen, but they were divided over how she was treating her sister.
Some agreed the sister was being hurtful, while others felt the OP was wrong for acting like she owned the names once she had chosen them.