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Teen Called Out By Mom For Refusing To Go By Inherited First Name In Favor Of Middle Name

Two women sitting at a table facing away from each other.
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

While we are ultimately responsible for our lives and the decisions we make regarding them, there are nonetheless some things in our lives that we have no choice over.

Specifically our families, our bodies, and our names.

Of course, once we become adults, we have a little more freedom in what we get to do with the things we initially had no choice over.

Which doesn’t mean our family and loved ones won’t still have an opinion on the matter.

Redditor Serious_Extreme_4780 made the decision, at a fairly young age, to go by her middle name instead of her given first name.

A decision that did not please the original poster (OP)’s mother and grandmother for rather personal reasons.

While the OP’s mother and grandmother openly pleaded with her to start using her given name, the OP stood firm in her decision.

Wondering if she was being insensitive to her mother and stepmother, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to start using my first name despite pleas from my family?”

The OP explained why her decision to use her middle name instead of her first name did not sit well with her mother or grandmother:

“So I (16 F[emale]) am named after my grandma Nancy, my mom’s mom.”

“There’s a bit of a tradition in my family to name the first grandkid of each gender after one of the grandparents of the same sex.”

“I was the first girl.”

“My mom wanted to follow the tradition, and dad didn’t.”

“So I was named after mom’s mom.”

“My dad chose my middle name Skye.”

“Ever since I was in kindergarten, I have used the name Skye instead of Nancy.”

“My family called me Nancy for years anyway.”

“But eventually, everyone else would ask for Skye when they wanted me.”

“My teachers called me Skye.”

“My friends.”

“My friend’s parents.”

“Our neighbors.”

“Our doctor.”


“So my family started calling me Skye too, and sometimes Nancy would slip in, but I personally never used it.”

“My mom and grandma were the people most upset.”

“Grandma because she felt like she didn’t get her grandchild named after her since it was never used, and my mom because she wanted the tradition too.”

“But also, she doesn’t like Skye and only said yes to it as my middle name because Dad didn’t like Nancy, and she didn’t want to be unfair.”

“I have toyed with the idea of changing my name when I turn 18, but it feels like that would be a sh*tshow.”

“Ever since Christmas my mom, grandma and some other family members on my mom’s side have suggested I should use Nancy again.”

“Grandma told me it would mean a lot to her, and she said I’m getting to an age where the name doesn’t seem so bad or old.”

“My mom told me Skye isn’t really a name I should be going into my adult life using.”

“And she said Nancy will sound so much better.”

“She also told me it is my name, my real name, and it would be a pain to use a name that isn’t my legal first name as an adult.”

“Other family members said I should do it to make my grandma happy.”

“Or I should do it because it seems like I’m rejecting my mom, which is weird to me.”

“My mom and grandma sat me down last Wednesday and told me it means so much to them and pleaded with me to go by Nancy.”

“They said I have used Skye for 11 years now and isn’t it time to grow up a little and use my real name and use the family name.”

“Mom told me it’s embarrassing to her because some of her friends have asked why I hate grandma or my name so bad that I use my middle name like it’s my name.”

“I told them I don’t want to be Nancy and will not start using it instead of Skye.”

“I told them I am Skye, and that might not be easy for them, but it’s what I prefer, and I’m the one living with the name. I’m the person who has to introduce myself.”

“My dad is on my side and has tried to get mom to back off.”

“But she has been really unhappy since Wednesday and has been a little hostile since my refusal.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to go by her first name.

Everyone agreed that as the OP was nearly a legal adult, she had every right to go by whatever name she wanted to, and if anyone needed to “grow up,” it was the OP’s mother and stepmother.

“Oh, they did not ask that.”

“Or if they did, it was only because of a lot of prompting from your mother.”

“Other people are simply not that invested in your family’s drama.”

“NTA.”- IfICouldStay


“If your mom’s friends are asking her why you hate your grandma, which I’m sure you don’t, it is because your mom is creating that perception.”- Philip_J_Fry3000


“You are not a prop to make grandma happy.”

“You are your own, almost-fully-adult human being!”- SushiGuacDNA


“If I understand this – your mother wants this (at least partially) because she expects your child to be named after her?”

“It seems like this tradition, while originally harmless, has run its course, and some people are willing to go down with the ship, relationships be damned.”

“Although I would be curious.”

“Maybe in a moment when you are bonding alone with your mom, ask her in confidence whether she ever really wanted to name you Nancy in the first place.”

“She may be defending a tradition precisely because she was forced into it.”- RNH213PDX

“’Skye’ is not a real name?”

“That’s awfully funny because it’s what I named my daughter.”

“I had no idea.”

“She’s 22 years old now. I wonder what she’ll do when I try to adjust her birth certificate.”

“I never knew.”

“How unfortunate.”


“NTA.”- StarTheVagician


“And seriously, are you sure you don’t want to legally change your name once you turn 18?”

“Maybe just swap them to Skye Nancy?”- BigZookeepergame4522

“Listen, OP, Skye is your real name-it’s right there on your birth certificate!”

“It is your middle name, yes, but it’s still your name.”

“And you can go about your life, and in school and get a job, and everybody can call you Skye.”

“It would be nice if you would let your grandma call you Nancy.”

“If you really wanted to.”

“But if they get too annoying, you can go to court and legally drop the ‘Nancy’ part from your name. NTA.”

“And both my husband and I use our middle name, our first name.”

“And it’s ‘fine’.”

“And we always know when a telemarketer is on the phone because they ask for our first name (a sure sign they have never even met us).”- YouthNAsia63

“Phrase your reply like this.”

“‘So let me be clear here; my feelings about what I call myself are not important to you.'”

“All that matters are your feelings.”

“Is that what you are telling me?'”

“Then repeat.”

“‘My thoughts don’t matter; is that it?'”

“Keep looping from there.”

“NTA.”- ClevelandWomble


“Don’t change the name you use to please someone else.”

“I’ve been using my middle name for 57 years.”

“I file my taxes as ‘M. Middle name Last name’.”

“My driver’s license is the same.”

“Tell Grandma to get over herself.”- bdayqueen


“Absolutely not.”

“I’m a middle-name user.”

“I’ve heard all the bullsh*t, and trust me, it’s all about trying to control your identity.”

“Skye is the name you identify as; therefore, you are Skye.”

“As for it being a pain as an adult, there are plenty of ways of handling it.”

“For example, in a doctor’s office, you can list your preferred name.”

“At work, you introduce yourself as ‘Skye’ and you continue to use Nancy only when legally required and the only places it’s legally required is on government documents, which means your credit card, for example, can be Skye [LastName].”- nikkesen


“Funny how ‘grow up a little’ means ‘do what we want regardless of your wishes because what we want is all that matters’.”- Chance-Contract-1290

It’s understandable that the OP’s grandmother might be the slightest bit disappointed that her daughter didn’t want to go by her name.

Even so, it’s hard not to wonder why she wasn’t honored enough that her daughter still followed the family tradition and gave the OP her name.

Which will always, deep down, be her name, no matter what she chooses to go by. Nor is going by a middle name instead of a first name such a revolutionary prospect in the 21st century.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.