Q&A: How can I handle it when my in-laws meddle in baby name decisions?
What do you do when the in-laws say to you, “Some ladies want to send baby shower gifts, and asked if I knew the name because they wanted to monogram the presents. I know you told me you were going to name her X, but I figured you were kidding. A lot of people like to throw people off and so they tell the family a fake name. I figured that’s what you MUST be doing. So can you tell me her real name so they don’t monogram her gifts incorrectly?”
Ahhh, the influence and effect of the powerhouses known as your partner’s parents. In this case, your maternal instinct trumps your mother- or father-in-law’s opinion. What you say goes—and will eventually be accepted and pronounced by her or him.
First, you must decide how important it is for your chosen name to be blessed by your child’s future grandparents. Is this a matter of etiquette or generational warfare?
If you are simply looking for a way to deal with your in-laws’ denial, then a simple, “Yes, that’s the name,” or, “Tell them not to monogram the gift” will suffice. You might be tempted to put them in their place with a cheeky retort, but no comebacks are necessary if you hold the upper (and winning) hand. In other words, there’s no need to fight the battle if you’ve already won the war. Besides, it sounds like no amount of explaining or defending on your part would satisfy them anyway. In my book, the sooner your in-laws see that “some ladies” have no effect on you or your child-naming (or child-rearing) decisions, the better.
Psss! Weigh in, yourself: How much say do your in-laws have in your baby-naming decision?