When picking a baby name, the only two people who should have a say in what gets written on the birth certificate are the parents themselves.
Despite this, there will always be relatives who have very strong opinions about names and might try and get you to change your mind.
Usually, this won’t cause too much trouble – unless they start overstepping boundaries.
This is a situation one mum claims to have found herself in after discovering her mother-in-law had gone behind her back while she was unconscious and convinced her husband to alter the spelling of their baby’s name on the birth certificate.
The mum revealed all in a letter to Slate.com’s Care and Feeding advice column and it’s fair to say she was not happy.
The parent, known only as Mama Bear, reveals she and her partner picked their son’s first name together, but she let him choose a middle name he liked – so long as they used a specific spelling.
The middle name he selected was Finley and she wanted it to be written just like that, with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’.
However, two months after they welcomed their baby, the mum was horrified to learn that her husband had gone back on their agreement and changed the spelling on the birth certificate while she was unconscious, recovering from a C-section.
And she claims her mother-in-law is to blame for the change as she “guilt-tripped” him into doing it.
Her letter read: “Dear Care and Feeding, my son is two months old, and I just discovered my husband spelled our son’s middle name as ‘Finlay’ instead of ‘Finley’ on all 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.”
She goes on to reveal that she started to suspect something was up when her husband’s mother sent a Christmas card to her son, featuring the incorrect spelling.
However, she only discovered what they had done when she was filing all her son’s paperwork away for safekeeping.
“He just let me keep believing for two months that our son’s middle name was spelt Finley when it legally isn’t,” the outraged mum continued.
“He says he regretted it as soon as the card came and has been afraid to tell me.
“Apparently his mother guilt-tripped him into doing this while I was asleep after my emergency C-section.
“Keep in mind she lives a few states away, so this was all over the phone.
“She tried to convince him to give our son a first name that I very much hated, saying that I would ‘get mad, but get over it’.
“My husband thought changing his first name was too much but apparently gave in to spelling his middle name the way his mum wanted. She thinks that ‘Finlay’ is more masculine that ‘Finley’.”
The woman goes on to describe the mother-in-law as “manipulative” and asks whether she should confront her about the whole thing
The agony aunt is incredulous and warns against approaching the in-laws as a “fistfight” might break out.
She adds: “What in the entire f*** is up with your husband? 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.
“Purposefully changing the name of your child on a birth certificate behind your back is pretty close to a fireable offence if you ask me.
“I’m mad just reading about this. You and your kid deserve so much better.”