I couldn’t believe my ears. What did she just say?
My mother-in-law waited fourteen years to tell me she is upset that I didn’t name my daughter after her. I know, right? That’s a long time to be annoyed at someone. But such is the passive-aggressive relationship that commonly exists between a woman and her mother-in-law.
I wasn’t sure exactly how to react.
At first, I was quite shocked. I named my daughter after my mother. I love love love my mother. We are close. We are best friends. And I chose my daughter’s second name to honor my grandmother, who had passed away when my daughter was just a baby.
It wasn’t all sentimental. There was no obligation for me to choose these names. I just happened to really like them. Had the names been more unusual I might have made a different choice. It all worked out in this instance, and it never occurred to me for a second that my MIL would be upset by this.
I can't think of many instances where a daughter-in-law has named a child after her mother-in-law. It is more common to include their name as a middle name, but not always. Daughters tend to name their daughters after their mothers, if they choose to name them after anyone.
I didn't say any of this to my MIL that day. I just said, "Oh", and changed the subject.
Just a few weeks later she brought it up again. It clearly needed to be addressed.
The fact is that my mother-in-law & I have not been close for a long time. She was close to my husband's ex-wife for many years. She made little effort to make me feel welcome in those early days. She wasn't at our wedding or in our lives frequently for years. It's just recently that we've developed a closeness. I'm very fond of her now and I am so sad I did something that upset her or hurt her feelings.