In-laws get a bad reputation, and in the case of one new mom and her mother-in-law, that frustration is more than justified. The new mom, nicknamed Mama Bear, wrote into the advice column at Slate magazine with a unique situation. She found out that the middle name she and her husband had agreed upon for their child was changed behind her back, and that it was her mother-in-law’s doing.
The mother-in-law definitely stepped over the line but as we soon found out, she wasn’t the only one to blame.
It Wasn’t A Simple Mistake
When Mama Bear went to file away her 2-month-old son’s birth certificate and Social Security card, she was shocked to find that his middle named was spelled “Finlay” instead of “Finley.” Even though it was a one-letter difference, Mama Bear knew something was up.
Mama Bear and her husband had specifically agreed upon the middle name on the condition it was spelled with an ‘E’. The new mom was pretty confused at first and knew it wasn’t just a simple typo.
Choosing A Name Is Already Difficult Enough
Let’s be honest—any parent knows that choosing the name is one of the hardest parts of the process. First, both parents have to go through the long list of people they hate and cross those names off the list. Then, you have to find something that you both agree on. Usually, the middle name is a concession or bargaining chip from one of the parents.
A lot of time and effort goes into choosing the right name so it can be pretty devastating to see it was all for nothing.
Mama Bear Confronted Her Husband Right Away
The first thing Mama Bear did was go to the source: her husband. He was the one who filled out their son’s paperwork while Mama Bear was in the hospital recovering for her C-Section.
When she brought the evidence to him, her husband admitted that he had changed the spelling on purpose because his mother had “guilt-tripped him into doing it.” While he said he regretted it the moment the Social Security card came, he couldn’t bring himself to admit it.
This left Mama Bear wondering how her mother-in-law would do such a thing.
Mama Bear Says Her Mother-In-Law Was Deceptive And Disrespectful
When Mama Bear prodded more, she found out that her mother-in-law called her husband to first try and convince him to change the name entirely. Her mother-in-law wanted the son to have a different first name and said Mama Bear would “get mad, but get over it.”
Eventually, the mother-in-law settled with a different spelling of Finley because she felt “Finlay” was more masculine. The mother-in-law even sent a Christmas card with the middle name on it just “as a jab” toward Mama Bear.
It Left People Questioning The Husband
Mama Bear told Slate that she knows the mother-in-law has always been a manipulator and disliked her. In fact, she said the entire situation left her questioning her husband more than anything. Even the advice columnist didn’t mince words when it came to her husband’s choice to lie and act behind Mama Bear’s back.
Mama Bear plans to legally change the name and is still unsure how to approach her mother-in-law but we can rest assured that Mama Bear won’t forget about this for a long, long time.