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To think my family shouldn't change our DC's name?

(182 Posts)
CallMeAnything Mon 22-Aug-11 17:55:50

I've namechanged for this as it totally outs me to anyone who knows me and I've revealed some pretty personal stuff under the cosy anonymity of my usual name. It's long too, sorry.

DC1 is born 5 months ago. In the labour room DH and I agree that we will call the DC Katharine/Kate/Kitty. DH phones our parents to tell them DC's name is Kitty.

I had been thinking Kate might also be a nice variation and text a few friends to say this is the name. My Mum gets wind and asks if it is Kate or Kitty and I say it can be either.

DH doesn't agree and says he thinks DC should have a definite name that everyone uses. When I think about it I agree it is silly for people to call her different names and we agree on Katharine on the birth certificate but to be known as Kitty.

I repeatedly refer to DC as Kitty to my Mum, who continues to call her Kate. This really bothers DH who asks me to put her straight. A few days after I get out of hospital I say to her "sorry for the confusion but we've decided it's Kitty and we want everyone to call her the same thing". Mum replies without hesitation "Well I'm going to call her Kate, that's not a problem is it?" (said in a tone that says there will NOT be a problem). I am still very shaky and emotional and do not want to fall out with her so say she can call her Kate if she really wants to. DH is not happy about this but I beg him not to make me have a row with my Mum as I'm not up to it.

A few days later when I'm feeling stronger I broach the subject again with her and am instantly dismissed again. I am stupidly weak again and leave thinking we have agreed that she can call her Kate as long as she makes it clear to the rest of the family and her friends that her name is Kitty.

Five months on I feel irrationally angry with her over this issue and feel like screaming "IT'S KITTY!!!!!!!" every time she calls her Kate in front of me. This is partly because I'm angry at myself for backing down and not standing up to her and partly because she has completely ignored our wishes and teaches my young neice and nephew to call her Kate, tells all her friends it's Kate and even writes bloody letters to her aged aunt from baby 'Kate'.

I know a lot of you will say this is petty and I know it's minor in the grand scheme of things but I'm going to have it out with her and am interested to know if you think I'm just being ridiculous or if she's being as rude as I think she is.

I find it really hard to stand up to my Mum as if I've ever said anything in the past she gets upset and all "I can't do anything right" etc. So I tend to leave things and seethe in private. She'd say we get on brilliantly btw!!! My parents are very good to us in other respects and help us financially etc.

Am I being unreasonable to insist that she uses the name we've chosen? Have I left it too late now?

The name obviously isn't Kate/Kitty but illustrates my point.

fifitrixibellesmith Mon 22-Aug-11 17:58:43

you cant physically force her to call her a particular name, just be grateful she isnt calling her something daft like kittikins

i wouldnt make an issue of it, others will think she is a bit loopy for calling the kid a non-name

hester Mon 22-Aug-11 18:01:04

I don't think you are being petty or ridiculous. Not sure what you should do about it... have you been successful in getting her to change her behaviours in the past? What worked then?

iklboo Mon 22-Aug-11 18:01:34

Start calling your mum 'Bob' every time you speak to her. When she pulls you on it, repeat her Kitty/Kate argument back to her grin

VeronicaCake Mon 22-Aug-11 18:01:48

Oh I dunno whether you are unreasonable or not. I'm not sure it matters. You have two options when something makes you seethe, carry on seething or say something. A lot of people opt to carry on seething and there is nothing wrong with that, and it is possible that this is something that will stop making you seethe (I seethed a lot when DD was 5m old, I don't seethe anywhere near so much now she sleeps through the night).

On the other hand it may continually irritate in which case you have to say something now because both your mother and your daughter will be in your life for a long time.

We have a similar issue with DD's name, people shorten it in different ways and I really don't care, but I also have a name for family and a name for work so it seems quite sensible to me.

Kayano Mon 22-Aug-11 18:01:59

Well she got it stuck in her head and she now thinks of her as Kate

Understandable IMO

Also my dad calls me a different nn to everyone else and my mum refuses to use my actual nn
I think it's fine - it my and my dads name and we are very close

I think you both need to chill out tbh and leave it as it is. It does no harm. Plus.... Your initial texts started it in the first place!

ObiWan Mon 22-Aug-11 18:03:00

I think it's kind of nice that a child has a name that is used just by the Grandparent, or someone close. It's something special, just between them.

It might just be because I had 'favourite' relatives who all seemed to have their own preferences when it came to versions of my name. It marked something in our relationship that was just for us.

G1nger Mon 22-Aug-11 18:03:33

Of course you're not being unreasonable. Your mum is being disrespectful.

TidyDancer Mon 22-Aug-11 18:04:13

I don't really think it matters tbh. My actual name has several nicknames. Ie, think Francesca (it's not really). To my family, I'm Fran. To DP I'm Frankie, to friends I'm Chessy, to someone else I'll be Chesca. It really doesn't matter, and has never caused confusion.

I think just let it go. I get why it annoys you, but don't have it out with her, that's OTT.

TidyDancer Mon 22-Aug-11 18:06:09

P.S. It's not really changing her name, so if you can stop thinking of it like that, you might be thinking clearer. It's a nickname, it's not her legal name.

GalaxyWeaver Mon 22-Aug-11 18:06:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

diddl Mon 22-Aug-11 18:06:21

The thing is, your daughter´s name is Katharine.

Your mum doesn´t have to use a nn of your choosing.

EssentialFattyAcid Mon 22-Aug-11 18:07:53

I really don't think it is a big deal but I suspect that your relationship with your mum has other problems than this as a general background and that this is why it is a big deal for you?

activate Mon 22-Aug-11 18:08:46

tell her

tell her

tell her

or shut up about it

if you don't tell her it's your problem

you are now the mother in this situation

MumblingRagDoll Mon 22-Aug-11 18:10:36

Jeepers! Of course YANBU! It' YOUR child. You will have to tell yourMother straight...stop ccalling her Kate. I tell people ALLthe time not to ue a particular nickname with my DD...my DD is called Rose and people eep saing "Rosie" I say "No...it's ROSE"

Do the same! You're a woman not a child...dont let her boss you!

Everytime she says Kate...you say "No..it's Kitty" and repeat....

RoseC Mon 22-Aug-11 18:11:06

YANBU - someone's nickname can change over several years (I'm on my third within the family). You would be being a bit U if your mother wasn't insisting on 'Kate' with family members who are new to the situation and so should be happy with Kitty.

beckybrastraps Mon 22-Aug-11 18:11:44

My daughter has a name that has plenty of nicknames, and different people use different versions. I use one myself that no-one else uses. DH will only ever use the full name. I think you quickly lose control of nicknames.

Insomnia11 Mon 22-Aug-11 18:13:04

My MIL always calls me Debbie, when no-one else has called me that since school, as since then I've been Deb or Deborah. I think she knew another Debbie once and it stuck in her mind when she first met me.

I don't mind, the only variation I hate is "Debra".

That's not my name, that's not my name...

Tommy Mon 22-Aug-11 18:14:18

good luck with that - my FIL still calls DS2 by the nickname that he (FIL) prefers and that no-one else calls DS2.
DS2 is next week.
We have told him and told him and told him

[sigh]

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 22-Aug-11 18:14:34

I agree with Galaxy. Her name is Katharine. Anything else is a nickname and you can't really insist on one nickname. Most people have lots, I certainly do. All you can do is politely request, what else can you do?

ivesufferedenoughfools Mon 22-Aug-11 18:18:59

I really feel for you and it's so difficult when it's someone like your own mum who won't call your DD by her correct name. I didn't change my name when I got married and my whole family still write to us as Mr and Mrs X...

Mummyrev Mon 22-Aug-11 18:19:41

YANBU to want your DM to call your DD the name you chose. We have fallen out with one set of GPs over this, although this was one of many many issues with them. But you will have to be clear with your DM about why you want some consistency over DD's name. Strangely our problem was also over a Kitty/Katie. Be bold and talk to your DM.

ragged Mon 22-Aug-11 18:19:59

I think you're being silly, pfb, controlling; what does it matter if your Dd gets a special pet nickname from the one granny? Ime she won't get confused (DC have multiple nns; they like it, I like it).

BlueFergie Mon 22-Aug-11 18:20:41

We called DS a shortened version of a popular name. Lets say its Dan. DH wanted to put Daniel on the birth cert but I refused for this exact reason. Why register the child with a name you don't like enough to use and which you have no intention of using, it will just confuse matters.
Immediatly DFIL started calling him Daniel. I stamped it out straight away. Everytime he said it I corrected him. he only did it a couple of times. When DS got a bit older DFIL started calling him Danny. I immediatly corrected him again. It stopped and he is now always called the name DH and I chose for him.

Everytime she says it correct her. Eventually you DD will start doing it herself. My DS does now. Doesn't even like been called buddy or mate, just says no I'm Dan.

MissRead Mon 22-Aug-11 18:21:24

I find it really hard to stand up to my Mum as if I've ever said anything in the past she gets upset and all "I can't do anything right" etc. So I tend to leave things and seethe in private. She'd say we get on brilliantly btw!!! My parents are very good to us in other respects and help us financially etc.

I could have written that especially that she thinks you/we get on brilliantly!

As someone in a very similar position, I think this is your problem. It's not really about the name is it? (well that alone would irritate the hell out of me!) It's about her not respecting your wishes and you not feeling able to say anything. It's easy to tell you to confront her but I know from experience how hard that can be when someone is likely to play the 'poor little me' card if you do.

I had similar (non-name related) problems with my Mum around the time my DD was born and it contributed in a huge way to the depression I suffered. You need to find a way to deal with this, which may well be how you choose to view the situation rather than anything actually changing because I doubt your Mum will change the way she is. Only you can work out the best way to do that but do try and sort it in your head and not let it spoil your early months with Kate your DD wink

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