When a baby is about to come into the family, fellow family members are not shy about sharing all of their tips, tricks, and strongest opinions regarding how to raise that child.
But a favorite argument has to be the naming of the baby before they’re born, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
A Redditor, who has since deleted her account, had a surprise baby later in life, who she named Clara upon giving birth.
But when her adult son and his girlfriend began accusing her of stealing the name they’d wanted for their own child, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for threatening to financially cut off my son over a baby name?”
The OP had mixed feelings over hearing that her son was expecting his first baby.
“I had my son fairly young and I recently had a change of life baby (right before menopause).”
“When I was four months pregnant, my son, who was in college at the time, told me that he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant.”
“I wasn’t very happy, but I’ve been supportive, and I’ve given them a lot of financial assistance.”
But the OP was extra surprised by her son’s girlfriend’s reception of her baby.
“I had my daughter two months ago and named her Clara. My son’s girlfriend went ballistic.”
“She said they were going to name their daughter Clara and that I should have consulted with them (umm, I got pregnant first, but whatever).”
“I told her she needs to grow up and that she doesn’t own the name. They also never mentioned the name Clara to me before.”
“My son asked me if I would consider changing Clara’s name.”
“I said no and he stormed out of the house.”
The OP wasn’t too thrilled about the alternate name for her future granddaughter.
“Well, they told me the other day they are going to name their daughter Paxtyn.”
“I guess I made a face, and she started yelling at me that it is my fault, because I stole the only name she likes.”
“I even asked her if she likes the name Paxtyn, and she said she is going to like it when I have to tell my friends I have a granddaughter named Paxtyn.”
“So she pretty much said she hates me more than she loves her daughter.”
The argument did not end there.
“My son said I have two months to fix this (change Clara’s name).”
“I told them that they are both idiots, and I feel bad for their future child. I also said if they name their daughter Paxtyn just to be spiteful, I will not give them any further assistance.”
“My son called me up and said I was being controlling, but when I asked him if he actually likes the name, he hung up.”
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 pointed out that the baby’s name couldn’t necessarily be claimed.
“Wait, what? You had a daughter and named her. Your son’s girlfriend wants the name for her unborn child.”
“Your son gave you an ultimatum to change your daughter’s name.”
“No. NTA. Your son doesn’t seem mature enough to live on his own, less parent a child.”
“Congrats on your daughter.” – TopaztheBigBoss
“Here’s the thing, though. OP didn’t tell them NOT to name the kid Clara, they were the ones who took an issue with it without having ever discussed it beforehand, and now they won’t name the baby Clara unless OP changes her daughter’s name.”
“They’re literally willing to give their child an awful name neither of them likes for the sake of pettiness.” – sofiard182
“Just tell them to also name the kid Clara and be done with it.”
“Plenty of families have 3 (and sometimes 4) generations of men with the same name… you can handle two Clara’s if it’s that big a deal.” – SqueaksBCOD
“NTA. They have no claim to the name. You can name your child whatever you choose. Are they planning on making everyone with that name change it?”
“And if they’re ‘responsible’ enough to have a child, they should be perfectly capable of supporting themselves without your help financially.” – Remindme2000
“Honestly, there are a ton of these same-baby-name posts, and it seems as though, while you can’t own a baby name, intentionally big-footing someone else’s is a big no-no.”
“So, in general, saying ‘you can’t own a baby name’ doesn’t fly. That’s especially true in the case where someone announces the name first or it’s the same name as someone who died shortly before or after birth.”
“But in this case, the girlfriend didn’t tell people the name she was using and just assumed everyone else would ask her first, which is insanely unreasonable, given that OP got pregnant first.”
“The girlfriend’s expectation is contrary to all logic and reasonableness, assuming the girlfriend never asked OP what the name was to avoid conflict, the very thing she expected of OP!”
“The girlfriend’s the one who’s controlling and narcissistic, a word that gets overused here, but this scenario makes it clear that that’s what she is: She thinks everything should revolve around her, e.g., that other people should defer to her but she shouldn’t defer to them similarly.”
“It all makes me a bit suspicious about whether she was honest with the son about how she got pregnant in the first place…” – mbbaer
Others agreed and advised the OP not to financially contribute, no matter the outcome.
“At the moment ESH: your son and his girlfriend because they think they can force you to change your daughter’s name even though they never mentioned the name to you and you because you’re trying to ‘punish’ him like he’s still a child.”
“Call your son and tell him: ‘You’re right, I was being controlling and I apologize. I still view you as my little boy but you are an adult now and have to make your own decisions, therefore I will treat you as an adult.'”
Then add: ‘I will continue paying your tuition (because that is my job as your parent), but you and your girlfriend are responsible for all other financial obligations (that is your job as parents). I know from firsthand experience how hard it is to raise a child at your age, but I have full confidence in your ability to rise to the occasion.'”
“To clarify, it may not be a parent’s legal obligation to pay for their kid’s education, but if the kid is already partially through college, you’ve set the expectation that you’ll pay for their tuition, and now has a baby on the way too, then I think it’s the mom’s moral obligation to fulfill that expectation that she set.”
“Parents don’t have to pay for college, but if they’ve set that expectation then take it away suddenly and punitively then that makes them bad parents.” – Justice-dono
“Do you think it’s OK to give someone an ultimatum to change their child’s name because you want to use it for your future baby? The mother is providing financial support to this young couple, and they are being a pair of arrogant, demanding little a**es.” – squirrelfoot
“NTA. I’ve seen a few comments giving an ESH verdict because of you cutting off financial assistance due to the name, but your post says if they name her that just to be spiteful you’ll cut them off.”
“I could be wrong but I’m assuming that if they actually liked the name and weren’t trying to hurt you, you wouldn’t be cutting them off over their name choice?”
“Your son and his girlfriend sound ridiculous. If they never told you that they were planning on using that name, then they have no right to throw a hissy fit over it now, and if it’s really that big a deal to them, then they should just go ahead and call the baby Clara anyway!”
“There’s a bunch of people in my family called Mark, family names are a thing.” – stormageddonzero
“Remove the talk of finances from the name. It just makes the whole thing sound pretty and plays into their game.”
“Give a general comment on the name, like, ‘So happy to hear you decided on a name! I can tell you put a lot of care and thought into it and Paxtyn is lucky to have such loving parents!'”
“And then have a separate conversation that you see they are adults starting a family and you are going to redirect your finances or limit funding on anything but college and medicine, focus on setting up for being a mother to Clara and spoiling Paxtyn as a Grandma.” – Proteus8489
“You shouldn’t be financially supporting your son and his family anyway. Pay for his college, sure. But this knucklehead knocked up his girlfriend all by himself, so let him be a real daddy, not a pretend daddy, and take care of his family.”
“Let him work 20 hours every weekend supporting them while he’s in school. Let him learn how to budget. Let him learn what it means to be a parent.”
“That was your mistake, right there.”
“Blaming a name, retroactively, is passive-aggressive and immature. You could say, ‘Great! I’ll call her Paxy-Toodles! Whee!’ without threatening to withhold money you shouldn’t be giving in the first place.”
“You are playing their game rather than being a parent. You have every right to refuse to assist them but you are taking an adolescent stance as to why.”
“Better to be clear with them, before the baby is born, as to why you are cutting off assistance. They need to grow up, as do you, and quit this bulls**t.” – LeMot-Juste
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a brief update.
“I took some of your advice and texted her that I’ve been thinking about it, and I kind of like the name Paxtyn.”
“She wrote back, ‘F**k you, you evil b***h.'”
“So I think that’s the end of their money.”
The subReddit was taken aback by how this argument even occurred, since the OP had not been told that her son and almost daughter-in-law had wanted to use the name “Clara” before.
Some thought the OP could have tried to respond more supportively to the name “Paxtyn” in the beginning, but beyond that, the situation was sort of out of her hands.