Man Begs Wife to Change 3-Week-Old’s Name Because His Mom Still Can’t Pronounce It.
Choosing a baby name is a huge choice with a lot of aspects to consider. Some parents have a very easy time deciding on a first name. Other parents, on the other hand, have no idea till the delivery and even after. Baby name regret exists, and in this story a father wants to inquire if it was okay to alter his baby’s name three weeks after delivery. Read the story and let us know what you think of the situation.
My wife and I have a 3 week old baby daughter, our first. Her name is a bit uncommon – in the general family of Scarlett.
As background: My mom raised me independently, and when I wanted to seek education in America, she spent her life’s savings for me to make a life here. Recently, she immigrated to be closer to my wife and I, but she doesn’t speak English at all, so there’s been a significant language barrier. My wife and her family have never learned my native language, so my mom was sort of left out from the excitement of my wife’s pregnancy. I translate as often as I can, but sometimes the conversation moves too fast.
We chose our daughter’s name when my wife was 7 months pregnant but decided to keep it a secret until she was born. Since coming to America, my accent has slowly faded. My mom, however, cannot pronounce English names without a thick, thick accent. I didn’t even think about this until after our baby had been born and we introduced her to my mother, who was completely unable to pronounce her name. She was very embarrassed about it, but I promised her I would work with her on being able to say my daughter’s name.
Since then, she still can’t say her name and has resorted to calling her ‘Mouse’ in our native tongue. It doesn’t make my wife happy, but it’s been an okay compromise. We had a family Zoom that my mom was a part of last week, and while she wasn’t able to understand much, she was cooing at the baby. My MIL asked what she was saying, I told them that she was calling her mouse. My MIL laughed about it and asked why she didn’t just call the baby by her name. I said she couldn’t say the name which made my MIL laugh harder and ask for my mom to “just try.” I gave an excuse for the call to end, and my wife had an argument with her mother about making fun of my mom.
My mom isn’t fluent in English, but she knew she was being laughed at. She was extremely embarrassed by it all and hasn’t wanted to speak to anybody since.
That night, I asked my wife if we could think about changing the baby’s name so my mom might have a chance to say it. I tried explaining how hard it was for her, but my wife kept shutting me down and saying that it just wasn’t possible. She said it would be more embarrassing to tell everyone we’d changed the name because my mom “couldn’t figure it out” and then implied my mom needed to work harder on English, not us give into her “demands.” – even though she asked for nothing of the sort.
I tried to offer a compromise, saying we could make her current name a middle name, and explaining how important it was to me that my mom could have an active role in our baby’s life. But she said that if I pushed any further, she would have to push for separation. She said that I was asking her to compromise on her values and destroy our baby’s identity. I don’t think it’s unreasonable – she’s 3 weeks old, it’s not like she’s been her name for 30 years. Am I A Jerk for telling my wife I want to change our baby’s name?
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: