"She blatantly disrespected me and the name my husband and I had chosen for our son," wrote the new mom.
The relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law is infamous for being strained. It is not surprising at all when they pull things like this MIL did. Writing into Slate's Care and Feeding parenting advice column, a new mom, who called herself Mama Bear, shared the incident about how her MIL and her husband went behind her back to change her newborn's middle name. All this while she was still recovering from a C-section.
She wrote: 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. It was only when she was filing her son's Social Security card and birth certificate that she found that the spelling was wrong. When she confronted her husband, he told her that he "regretted it as soon as the card came and has been afraid to tell me." He did not even bother to say anything when she commented about how his mother had sent her grandson a Christmas gift with the middle name spelled “Finlay.”
The husband tried to defend himself by saying he was guilt-tripped by his mother who lives a few states away. She even tried to convince her son to change the child's first name. Mama Bear hated the name and the husband who knew this thought it would be too much to change the first name and settled to change the spelling of the middle name at least. She did all this over call and even told her son that his wife would “get mad, but get over it.” The husband gave in to his mother's wishes to change "Finley" to "Finlay" because according to her it was more manly.
His mother has always been a manipulator and I have always known she doesn’t like me. But she blatantly disrespected me and the name my husband and I had chosen for our son, Mama Bear wrote. She thinks her MIL sent the present with the whole name spelled out, as a jab at her. She even acknowledged that her husband was as much at fault as her MIL was. She stated, I have no desire to have any sort of relationship with her moving forward, so I am not worried about playing nice.
I think this mother in law maybe a reincarnation of my mother in law - who is now in Heaven, no doubt causing many of the angels to decide Hell might not be such a bad place after all.— Miss Betsey Trotwood (@Suzyiam) February 13, 2019
Slate's columnist that responded to Mama Bear, Carvell Wallace, was livid about this incident. If I were in your situation, I would not approach the offending in-law about this issue because I’d be afraid an actual fistfight would break out, they wrote. They assured Mama Bear that she had every right to be angry. Referring to her husband, he stated, He’s got to decide if you are his co-parent or if his mother is. And until he makes that decision, he can’t be trusted. Period. Although they were cautious about divorce, the advisor said, "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." Wallace went on to say that he did not think Mama Bear was in a relationship with a trustworthy partner.
Mama Bear also wanted to confront her MIL and Wallace said it would be best not to talk to her at all. But if she wanted to, he advised her to say this one thing: “Whether you let or encouraged your son to go behind my back and change the name of our child, it was an extremely shitty thing to do. You can rest assured that I will remember it for a very long time.” Then I would drop the subject and let this woman spend the rest of her days anticipating a retaliation that may or may not be soon coming. They concluded their advice by saying, You and your kid deserve so much better. Your husband needs therapy, your mother-in-law needs to kick rocks.