Mother-In-Law Secretly Changes Baby's Name While Mom Recovers From C-Section

“I discovered this all when I went looking for his Social Security card and birth certificate to file them away properly.”
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By Stephanie Grassullo, Contributing Writer
Published February 12, 2019
Mother-in-law changes baby's name while daughter-in-law recovers from c-section surgery
Image: Getty Images

The phrase “monster-in-law” is thrown around a lot, but this story puts a whole new twist on it.

A new mom was shocked when she discovered her mother-in-law had a hand in changing the spelling of her baby’s name behind her back. The anonymous woman wrote in to Care and Feeding, an advice column on, to share how the shocking revelation surfaced.

“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,” the mom explains. “I discovered this all when I went looking for his Social Security card and birth certificate to file them away properly.”

As any expectant parent will tell you, choosing a baby name is both fun and frustrating, and often a decision made after several weeks of careful consideration. When the mom and her husband finally agreed on a middle name, Finley, it was under the agreement that it would be spelled exactly like that. So when the mom came across legal documents spelling the name with an “a” at the end, she was furious.

“[My husband] didn’t even have the decency to tell me! He just let me keep believing for two months that our son’s middle name was spelled ‘Finley’ when it legally isn’t,” the mom shares.

It’s a sticky situation, and, of course, it all leads back the woman’s mother-in-law. The MIL allegedly first tried to talk her son into changing the baby’s first name, but when that didn’t work she settled on the spelling of the middle name. Her reasoning? She thought spelling it as “Finlay” was more masculine.

Here’s the real kicker—all this was done when the mom was recovering from her emergency c-section surgery.

She says her husband regrets his decision, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he let his mom become a master puppeteer.

“I will be legally changing my son’s name to the correct spelling,” the mom promises.

Yeesh! Baby names and mother-in-laws can be two stressful topics alone, but combined they are a force to be reckoned with.

Hopefully the mother and her husband are able to resolve the issue between the two of them, and the son never allows his mother to make such a major decision about their baby without consulting both parents first.

As they say, misery loves company. Hear other mother-in-law horror stories from women who’ve also weathered the storm.

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