Father-in-law slams mum over baby name choice: 'Disrespecting our traditions'

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty Photo: Getty Images

Deciding on a baby name with a partner is hard enough without their family getting involved. 

One woman has found herself in the middle of a family feud, after she and her husband decided to forgo tradition, refusing to of name their firstborn son, 'Shay' and instead picking their own moniker.

Telling Reddit users about the situation, the woman explained the her surname is Smith-Clark, and her and her husband (Shay) decided they want their child to have her surname.

"I'm attached to my name, and he liked the idea of the kids inheriting it," she said, adding it was her husband's idea. "Plus, adding his name in would be weird. Smith-Clark-Johnson is kind of a mouthful."

The couple decided on the name Connor for their son, revealing the moniker to their family and friends a few weeks ago. Her father-in-law, however, was not impressed.

"Apparently his dad didn't know we were using my name," she said. "Connor Smith-Clark does not work for him."

Although she was aware of the tradition, her husband assured her it wasn't a big deal not to name their son Shay, because he knows she doesn't like the idea of their child being a 'Jr.'

Unfortunately, her father-in-law was outraged by their decision.

"[My husband's family] have had every firstborn kid named Shay Johnson, and he was hurt I was 'disrespecting their traditions.'" she wrote. "My FIL is usually a very nice, easygoing guy. He gets along great with me and my side of the family. I was kind of shocked he'd get so defensive about this."


"I get it's a tradition," she continued. "But it's a weird hill to die on, y'know?"

Her husband took her side, saying "the family could survive a generation without a Shay Johnson."

"Plus, his sister just got married, and she'd probably carry on the tradition when she has kids," the mum-to-be reasoned. "His dad wouldn't hear any of it. He's been refusing to speak to us."

"My sister-in-law suggested we use Shay as a middle name, but the middle name we picked out already is honouring a deceased friend of ours, and neither of us want to change it," she said, admitted she feels bad about the situation.

"It's clearly important to his family, and we could save Connor for if we have another boy in the future," she mused. "AITA for sticking to my guns here?"

Reddit users agreed that her extended family has no right to decide their baby's name.

"Your partner isn't attached to the tradition so there is no reason for you to change the name," one user reasoned, adding there are other family members to keep the tradition alive. 

"Your kid, your rules," they continued. "His family traditions aren't the law."

"It's incredibly sexist to expect a couple to comply to the MALE traditions," another pointed out. "OP has a family and her own traditions as well, and they are not less important than the traditions of the Johnson family."

"Imagine any family events," another laughed. "Honey come meet Shay Johnson, Shay Johnson II, Shay Johnson Jr, Shay Johnson Sr, Shay Johnson III and Shay Johnson."