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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 16:03 PM   1
JoHio
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Rant: Good News, Bad Reaction


Here it goes -- I'll try to keep this short. Today, we found out the sex of our fourth baby: a boy. We would have been delighted either way, but are super happy because this means my son - my oldest - finally has a brother. I was also delighted because it means I get to name my babe Harvey - after my uncle as well as a great uncle - two men I adored and adore, who have both passed.

My husband is totally on board with the name, and has been since we thought our 3rd might be a boy (which obviously was not the case). However, when my mother-in-law asked about possible names and I said we had one, and told her what it was, she actually freakin' recoiled her body, scrunched up her nose, and said, "Can't that be a middle name?"

For my husband's sake, I hope my face did not belie the violence of my thoughts. I did manage to just smile and say, "My baby. My choice." But I wanted to slap her. Well, no: I felt like I had been slapped.

I have spent the last 4 hours trying to calm down. I told my husband when he got home, and he was mortified, and very disappointed in his mother. I asked he NOT bring this up to her: I don't want it to seem like I am not capable of handling myself or that I was tattling on her. He pointed out she will almost definitely make a remark about the name to him, and he will not be as kind as I was. I asked him not to be as rude as she was, but to try to make her see how hurtful and rude her comment was - especially since she knows how much the death of my uncle hit me, and how much I love him.

However, I feel I may be over-reacting. I would love some opinions and perspective from other mothers. I don't know if it is worth pointing out she (and that entire side of the family) also were pretty awful about our name choice for our second child, Fionnuala. (An Irish name. Very old, quite common in Ireland, but not here in Canada. My husband's choice, and I thought it was lovely.) My husband asked them to mind their business and be civil then, and now...this. Again.



 
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 16:09 PM   2
LoraLoo
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I love the name Harvey...she got to pick names shen she was a Mum, none of her business now!



 
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 16:31 PM   3
JoHio
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That's what I have always thought. I am just amazed she would think it was her place to say anything. And the Miss Manners in me can't easily accept these breaches in common courtesy. But that's what etiquette demands: acceptance and forgiveness right?



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM   4
Bumpontherun
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My eldest daughter is called Helen. When I told MIL the conversation between me and her went along these lines (oh yes this was after the baby had been born and name announced)

"We're calling her Helen."
"Oh, how about Helena?"
"No, we're calling her Helen."
"Well can I call her Helena?"
"No."
"Why can't I call her Helena?"
"Because that's not the name of my dead grandmother."

That shut her up - I wasn't that surprised to be honest - she was horrible about our choices of boys names too. I think some people are just really tactless. If your husband wants to defend you then I would let him.



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 10:33 AM   5
karoolia
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That was very rude of her. Unfortunately not that uncommon from what I hear. A lot of my friends and cousins have kept their name choices secret until the baby is born, which is what I think we will do to for this very reason. My MIL already scoffed at a name I only picked out as a possible so I'm sure she would comment on the actual name as well.

I think if your husband wants to defend both of you and the name to let him, but leave it up to him. You already handled it on your end and I hope she won't mention it to you again.

By the way, I think Harvey is a lovely name. My brothers have a very good friend named Harvey and he has always been so good to our family (until very recently he was a neighbor). I can only think of good things to associate with that name.



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 14:49 PM   6
JoHio
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Thanks, ladies! I sometimes feel like I obsess about things (which, OK, I do) but now and then, it's totally justified. Maybe not to obsess, but to feel hurt when someone is cruel.



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 14:51 PM   7
JoHio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumpontherun View Post
My eldest daughter is called Helen. When I told MIL the conversation between me and her went along these lines (oh yes this was after the baby had been born and name announced)

"We're calling her Helen."
"Oh, how about Helena?"
"No, we're calling her Helen."
"Well can I call her Helena?"
"No."
"Why can't I call her Helena?"
"Because that's not the name of my dead grandmother."

That shut her up - I wasn't that surprised to be honest - she was horrible about our choices of boys names too. I think some people are just really tactless. If your husband wants to defend you then I would let him.
My 3rd child's middle name is Helen. I love the name. It was almost her first name, but I am part Irish, part Iranian, and I had not done an Iranian name yet and was unsure we'd have more kids, so it got bumped. Good thing this next babe is a boy, I guess, or I would have really regretted it!



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 17:39 PM   8
WackyMumof2
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Wow!! As you said, your body, your baby, your choice! I am honestly surprised you have held your tongue! So glad that hubby has your back though.

I like Harvey though it's not something I would use personally as there are so many other names that I like. Lol. But for you, it has a special meaning for you. I would honestly be telling her that you have picked it because it has a special meaning to you and you would appreciate it if she keeps her comments to herself. Different situation but if it helps, my MIL TOLD us we would have to have a 5th baby because she WANTS a granddaughter (we are expecting our 4th boy)! But again, like you said, my body, my choice! I told her it was NOT happening and if it did, it had NOTHING to do with her wanting a granddaughter. That shut her up. Make your voice heard hon. People really need to stop feeling they have a right to tell a woman what she does with her body and what she calls her children!



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 23:12 PM   9
KatBar
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You are definitely not over-reacting. That was not appropriate or nice of her to respond like that at all - and like you have said, especially when she knows the meaning behind the name (your uncle and how close you were).

We've recently considered changing our choice of name for this next little one due to people feeling the need to share the dislike of it - ALL from my husbands side I might add. I knew my MIL didn't like it, but in her defence, she had mentioned she didn't like it before we had said we were going to use it (we were talking about someone else's child). She is out-spoken tho, so would have possible said that even if she did know we liked it.
Then, after she told my FIL the name, he came down and said to my husband and I "I am still trying to wrap my head around this name choice", in a rude-wish manner. My husband responded "Oh well. You'll get over it!", and then nothing more was said. I wasnt too pleased tho.
THEN, I hear my hubby on the phone to his brother, and he starts defending our name choice, so it became very clear his brother was telling him he didn't like it, which really became the last straw for me. When my husband was off the phone, I confirmed with him what I thought I had heard - that his brother was giving his opinion on the name and that he didn't like it. I was throughly annoyed, as it was not an invited opinion (& we don't like all of his 3 sons names, but would never in a million years say that to them), but my husband just brushes it off as 'who cares what they think'.

It really started to tarnish the name for me tho. I still really like it, and we may still use it in the end, but we now have come up with another name we also like and can use - which I have strictly told my husband that his family is to know nothing about until our son is born.

It's just such a shame that people can't keep these things to themselves!! We all know that not everyone is going to love the names that we love, but it shouldn't be too much to ask of people, to respectfully keep their opinions to themselves.



 
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Old Sep 23rd, 2017, 17:44 PM   10
sunshine2014
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Oh dear. I totally understand and DO NOT think you are overreacting. My MIL has no filter either, and this is something she would totally do. However, after being unable to get through to her in the past I would totally have my husband say something. But that's me lol.

People have no clue. I chose not to tell anyone the name until baby is born, because everyone has an opinion and thinks they should share it. They are wrong. You are not. I love the name, it's different and meaningful.

I'm sorry that happened. She sounds like she's on an other planet, maybe the same one as my MIL. Oh the stories I have....



 
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