A recent Reddit post sparked a discussion where a mother shared her experience of her father-in-law’s demand to give her baby a white Jewish name. Here’s the full story.
Fil Wrote, “If You Don’t Do This for Me, You Can Consider Our Relationship Over”
The Original Poster (OP) aged 37 and her husband aged 45, had a baby four months ago. OP is South Asian, and her hubby is Caucasian and Jewish.
Recently, OP learned that her FIL had been sending her husband emails while OP was in the hospital giving delivery, asking that they give the child a white Jewish name.
He had written, “If you don’t do this for me, you can consider our relationship over” and “I don’t understand why my grandchild should have a pagan Hindu name” as well as, “A [my heritage] middle name would be fine.”
However, her husband did not tell OP about this and they chose to give their baby the name OP chose.
He Wanted To Give Their Baby a Jewish Name
Later, he said in an email, “So babynamedebacle wins again.”
OP mentioned that her country’s cosmology is used to choose the names of their children. And the FIL is aware that OP does not practice Hinduism and that Hindi and her language have similar linguistic roots.
OP’s husband has never recommended a Jewish name for either of their children, and OP was unaware that her father-in-law had requested this for the first child before insisting on it for the second.
When questioned, the husband stated that he had no strong opinions about the baby names but knew that OP’s naming custom was important to her.
Her Mom Was Turned Down for a Visa
All of OP’s family members reside in their country of origin, and shortly before OP went into delivery, her mother was turned down for a visitor’s visa, which has been quite upsetting for OP.
OP says that her mother helped with childcare, and cooking, and was a wonderful support during the six months following the birth of OP’s first kid, and she recommended naming their second child.
OP’s first child was never supported by her FIL and MIL when they visited them, and they once demanded that OP and her husband return in an hour when OP asked her FIL to take care of the baby who was napping.
OP mentioned that her husband along with everyone else in their immediate family doesn’t like the FIL due to his extreme racism.
FIL Is Offensive, Hostile and Aggressive
The FIL frequently says offensive, hostile, and aggressive comments that are racial or sexist in nature. He said “Arabs are the most murderous people in the world” when OP first met, and things have only gotten worse since then.
So when OP’s husband finally confronted his father about the name debacle, the FIL refused to apologize for insulting their relationship, OP’s character, and her background.
Currently, FIL wants OP and her husband to drive 5 to 6 hours with their baby to visit them instead of coming to OP’s house to see the baby.
OP told her husband that she doesn’t want to go and her husband also agreed to her choice.
Was She in the Wrong?
OP took to Reddit to ask if she was wrong for what she chose and several Redditors commented that OP was not wrong.
One Reddit user wrote, “Don’t placate racists. Only two people get a say in the child’s name: the parents. If FIL has a problem with this, he can go stew in the corner by himself. A baby is a person, not a vessel for carrying on a heritage. And if he wants to see the baby, he can come to see it, a mother who has just given birth taking care of a newborn can ignore command performances.”
Another Redditor commented, “Keep as little contact with a guy like that as possible. Having a new baby is a very valid reason to not travel 5 hours away from home.”
So what do you think? What would you do if you were in OP’s situation?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Koldunov. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.