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New Dad Called Out For ‘Humiliating’ Stepmom By Choosing Baby Name To Honor His Late Mom

A man lying down with a baby lying on his chest.
Nikola Stojadinovic/Getty Images

When people finally become parents, they are often surprised to discover that one of the first challenges they face is what to name their child.

Even if some people might have known what their children’s names will be since they were children themselves, they are nonetheless surprised when their spouse or partner might not agree with the name.

Not helping matters either, other friends and family members also tend to have opinions of what people should name their children and are seldom shy about sharing these opinions.

Even if they have no say in the matter whatsoever.

Redditor Effective-Signal-809 had a clear idea of what he would name his firstborn child, regardless of the child’s gender.

Unfortunately, the original poster (OP)’s stepmother did not approve of his choice of name.

Even going so far as to say his choice of name was “deliberately cruel”.

Wondering if this was actually the case, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Reddtors:

“AITA for giving my son a name that honors my late mom?”

The OP explained why his stepmother was hurt and angry by the name he gave his newborn son:

“My wife and I welcomed a son into the world 11 days ago and we chose a name for him early in the pregnancy.”

“We actually had a name for a boy and a girl.”

“Both of them a nod to my late mom who died when I was 7.”

“My son’s name has caused some tension with my blended family.”

“Mostly with my stepmother and my step and half siblings, who all feel like I chose the name to spite my stepmother who married my dad when I was 11 and was the primary caregiver in the home.”

“The fact she offered to adopt me six times and I said no added to their viewing this as an insult.”

“Her offers to adopt me came early in the marriage and then when I turned 18 and was away for college.”

“She told me I might like to have someone always readily available who could drop everything and come to me if I needed medical attention.”

“She always took it hard when I said no.”

“I also never felt close to her despite her many efforts to fill the role of a mother for me.”

“Nobody other than my mom ever could fill that role though and that was something we never saw eye to eye on.”

“But her kids, including the ones with my dad, would see this and would grow angry that I turned her down.”

“So now that I have a son who has a male form of my mom’s name, they feel like I did this with the intention of saying ‘I hate you’ to my stepmother.”

“They feel like any other honor would have been fine or another variant for a daughter but the fact I gave it to my son bothers them so much.”

“I was told my actions were deliberately cruel and intended to humiliate my stepmother.”

“They said even a middle name to honor mom wouldn’t be as hurtful but the choice tells the world I don’t consider her good enough to be my mom.”

“The truth is I never saw her as my mom and I don’t consider her my parent either.”

“I always respected her efforts to be there for me (to a point at least) and I know my dad basically dumped me on her when they got married and she was the only ‘parent’ around the house for the most part.”

“But I still never wanted the relationship she tried to have with me.”

“I never intended the name to be a snub either.”

“We just wanted to honor mom and loved the name.”

“I don’t even see my stepmother or step and half siblings much except for twice a year at best and once a year more typically.”

“This was the exception because my son was born.”


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
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for naming his son after his late mother.

Everyone agreed that the OP and his wife were the only ones who had any say in what their child would be named, with some feeling that his stepmother making this about herself only further emphasized her selfish nature:


“They’re mistakenly ascribing malevolence and intentional insult to your simple indifference.”

“That’s a ‘them’ problem, not a ‘you’ problem.”

“You have no duty to your stepmother beyond being civil.”- extinct_diplodocus

“NTA, signed, a stepmom.”

“You’re allowed to honor to your mom’s memory, and it doesn’t necessarily speak to any other relationship in your life.”

“I’m sorry they’re putting you through this.”- TurbulentWalrus1222


“Bro, you have the best opportunity to drop the hardest Don Draper line ever.”

“’My wife and I chose this name together, it was a team decision’.”

“‘We didn’t choose this name to spite you’.”

“‘We don’t even think about you’.”

“Finish up with your father that if your stepmom keeps picking this fight it WILL affect any future quality time he may want to spend with his grandchild, and to think hard about how long he intends to tolerate this disrespect to your mom, to you, to your wife, and to your child.”

“Stepmom can keep playing stupid games, but let your dad know you’re more than willing to hand out stupid prizes to everybody in that house.”

“Let him handle it and go about your business.”

“Congrats on your tiny human!”- CuriousTsukihime


“This is a serious case of main character syndrome, you naming ur kid has nothing to do with step mother.”

“They should all mind their own lives and let go of this weird competition they have with our late mother.”

“Congrats.”- Regular_Swordfish_85

“I don’t consider her good enough to be your mom if she is still having a fight with a deceased woman.”

“Your biological mother was your mother; if an adult and her family can’t figure out why an eleven-year-old might have felt that way, then I truly don’t know how to help them.”


“You probably would want to forgive them for being clueless, but having a fight over your kid’s name is absurd.”- mlc885


“It sounds like your stepmother has some jealousy issues towards your deceased mother.”

“That may have affected your ability to bond with her as a child.”

“If she had honored your relationship with your deceased mother and integrated your memories of your mom into your blended family, maybe you would have become closer.”

“Spouses who join a family where a parent has died need to be prepared for the deceased parent to be a daily presence in their lives.”

“People who die don’t become no longer members of their families, they become a deceased family member.”- Boysenberry


“My mom passed when I was 11, but my parents divorced when I was 2, and my SM has been in my life since I was 6.”

“When I named my oldest daughter after my mom, my SM was thrilled.”

“She thought it was a beautiful way to honor my moms memory.”

“IMO, that’s how a healthy, loving SM would handle this.”- Haunting-Wing-8451


“Your baby, your choice.”

“But am I the only one who’s triggered by this remark: ‘She told me I might like to have someone always readily available who could drop everything and come to me if I needed medical attention’?”

“Being a true parent means unconditional love regardless of relation and official documents.”

“This almost sounds like ‘I will only be there for if you let me adopt you’ a.k.a blackmailing.”

“Towards a child no less.”

“If this resembles her usual way of expressing her grievances towards you over the years I can understand why you haven’t bonded into a more (step)parent/child dynamic.”- dingesje06

“You had 7 formative years with Mom.”

“That equates to a lot of love and many memories.”

“It’s commendable that both you and your wife want to honor her.”

“It doesn’t sound like you have sufficient contact with family for this to be a long-term issue.”

“NTA.”- survivor0000

“I think your dad is the biggest a**hole here.”

“He set her up for failure by forcing her to be the primary caregiver to a kid who was not open to another parent.”

“But that doesn’t mean that she needs to keep finding new ways to hurt herself now like she is with your choice of name for your son.”

“NTA.”- Necessary-Cup-9628

One would imagine that the nearest and dearest of the OP would have been surprised if he hadn’t named his child in honor of his late mother.

It’s a shame that the OP’s stepmother never had as close a relationship with him as much as she seemed to want.

However, seeing as she managed to make the OP’s child’s name about herself, one can’t help but wonder if she was as warm and present a mother as she apparently thought she was.

Hopefully, the OP’s stepmother will rest a bit easier when she remembers that she has other children who can potentially name one of her future grandchildren in her honor.

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'.