Mother-in-law changes baby's name while mum recovers from c-section

parenting 12/02/2019

It's well-known that mother-in-laws can sometimes be a bit hard to deal with. Sometimes you do get those angels who you get along with so well, but other times every single thing the mother-in-law does can get on your nerves.

One woman, who thought she had a pretty good relationship with her MIL, revealed that her's forced her son to change their baby's name, and she didn't find out until two months later.

Writing in to Slate and their Agony Aunt type column, the woman wrote:

Dear Care and Feeding,

My son is 2 months old, and I just discovered my husband spelled our son’s middle name as “Finlay” instead of “Finley” on all of his legal documentation. 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.

His mother even sent a Christmas gift to middle name “Finlay,” and when I made a comment to my husband he didn’t even have the decency to tell me! He just let me keep believing for two months that our son’s middle name was spelled Finley when it legally isn’t! I discovered this all when I went looking for his Social Security card and birth certificate to file them away properly. He says he regretted it as soon as the card came and has been afraid to tell me.

Now here is where it gets tricky.

Apparently his mother guilt-tripped him into doing this while I was asleep after my emergency C-section. 

Keep in mind she lives a few states away, so this was all over the phone. She tried to convince him to give our son a first name that I very much hated, saying that I would “get mad, but get over it.” My husband thought changing his first name was too much but apparently gave in to spelling his middle name the way his mom wanted. She thinks that “Finlay” is more masculine than “Finley.”

My husband is very much also at fault for doing this in the first place and we are working through that together, but I feel as though something needs to be said to my mother-in-law. Do I approach her about this? Do I let my husband approach her about this? Do we approach her together? What should I say? I have no desire to have any sort of relationship with her moving forward, so I am not worried about playing nice.

I will be legally changing my son’s name to the correct spelling.

—Mama Bear

It's fair to say that this horrid mother-in-law story would have to take the cake for one of the worst we have heard. 

The advice columnist found the whole ordeal outrageous and after a few choice words about the mother-in-law, they turned their attention to the husband.

"Purposefully changing the name of your child on a birth certificate behind your back is pretty close to a fireable offense if you ask me. I mean real close.

I don’t take divorce lightly, and I’m recommending it on the strength of this one event alone, but a thing like this gets up to a good 65 percent on the Potential Divorce-O-Meter, and if I were you I would need some time to get over this.

He owes you a significant and full-throated apology, and if he doesn’t see why then it’s hard for me to imagine that you are in a relationship with a trustworthy partner."