SIL wants to name her baby after my sister, what can I do?

My brother and his girlfriend have recently announced that they are pregnant. The entire family is so excited. However my [name]SIL[/name] shared with my sister and I that if its a girl she plans on naming the baby michelle, my sisters name. My sister is NOT comfortable with this because for one she doesn’t like her name and we live in the same town and see each other often so it will be confusing. Should my sister [name]Michelle[/name] say something or just let it go?

Yes, I think your sister should say something. Ask what it is about [name]Michelle[/name] that appeals to the mommy-to-be?

Maybe she would like an alternative like [name]Michaela[/name], [name]Michelina[/name], [name]Mischa[/name], or [name]Mia[/name]?

Or, perhaps it is the -elle ending that appeals to her, in which case she may enjoy [name]Adelle[/name], [name]Annabelle[/name], [name]Danielle[/name], [name]Estelle[/name], [name]Gabrielle[/name], [name]Giselle[/name], [name]Isabelle[/name], [name]Mirabelle[/name], or [name]Noelle[/name].

Considering it is your sister’s name, and she doesn’t feel comfortable with it being used for this woman’s baby - or anyone’s - I think she can say something. She can’t say that this woman cannot use the name [name]Michelle[/name], but she can express her concern and offer up other alternatives.

[name]Ouch[/name]. What an awkward situation! If your sister says nothing, she’s going to feel really uncomfortable, and if she says something to your brother’s girlfriend, your brother’s girlfriend will likely feel hurt.

If your sister is uncomfortable to the point that she simply won’t be able to live with a niece named [name]Michelle[/name], she could always say something like, "I’m so flattered that you want to name your baby after me, but trust me, you don’t want to use [name]Michelle[/name] as a first name. I don’t even like my own name, and it’s honestly pretty dated. What about using [name]Michelle[/name] in the middle, or better yet, a variant of [name]Michelle[/name]?

There’s [name]Micheline[/name], [name]Michaela[/name] (although it has so many yooneek spellings), and [name]Michelina[/name], or you could even go with an [name]Elle[/name] name! I love [name]Elle[/name] names! There’s also [name]Marcheline[/name], which sounds a lot like [name]Michelle[/name]!"

As long as she makes it clear that it’s the name [name]Michelle[/name] that’s the issue, not that she’s being honored, I think it would be okay to say something.

If it were me, I’m thinking that I wouldn’t say anything though, because I wouldn’t want to hurt the baby’s mother. I could see myself just smiling, and saying that I was honored, which I would be. I’d be truly flattered.

Plus, there’s always the possibility that baby [name]Michelle[/name] will go by a nickname that sets her apart from your sister, which would solve the confusion problem.

I hope that everything works out! :slight_smile:

Would they be naming the baby after your sister, or is it just a coincidence that she loves the name [name]Michelle[/name]? If she loves that name then I’m not sure there’s much to be done, it wouldn’t be fair to expect her not to use it. I think a lot of families have the same name repeated, and it doesn’t seem to be a big issue, especially if little [name]Michelle[/name] has a nickname, like [name]Mimi[/name] or something. On the other hand, if they want to use [name]Michelle[/name] to honor your sister, she should definitely speak up… does she prefer her middle name?

Oh, and I’m assuming your and your sister are not very close with the mother? Maybe your sister should broach the subject with your brother to see what he thinks before talking to the mother. Or after she talks to him he can just subtly handle the situation.

Heavens, I think [name]Michelle[/name] the elder should be happy to think that someone would like to honour her.

On the other hand if she is not honouring her and wants to use it just because she likes the name then of course she should be allowed to use it without any negative feelings from anybody.

If [name]Michelle[/name] the elder doesn’t like her name that is not something that this new mother to be has to worry about surely? I would like to think that she can be mature enough to be happy with the situation.

I say join in the joy of this new baby and enjoy her whether her name is [name]Michelle[/name] or Rumplestiltskin.

To summarise, [name]Michelle[/name] should wrap her arms around the girlfriend give her a big hug and be genuinely happy that there may be a [name]Michelle[/name] the younger in the family. I think it is wonderful.

I agree with [name]Rollo[/name]. This is one of those situations where you smile and keep your thoughts to yourself. If the [name]SIL[/name] likes the name, why spoil it for her by saying something negative? The only thing that can come out of saying something is hurt feelings.

I think the main issue (as has already been mentioned by other posters) here is whether or not your [name]SIL[/name] is using the name to honour your sister or just because she loves the name.

IF she simply loves the name [name]Michelle[/name], I agree with the posters who say that your sister should probably not say anything, however, if your [name]SIL[/name] is using the name for the purpose of honouring your sister then I think you sister should say something, but should be very careful how she broaches the subject.

Some thoughts I had . . .

  1. If someone wants to honour someone when naming their child, one of their primary concerns is that the person feels honoured (maybe that’s stating the obvious). What I mean is that I think your [name]SIL[/name] would want to know how your sister feels so that she does actually honour her in a way that makes her feel honoured.

Often, people might be so sure that the person they are honouring is going to very happy and blessed by the gesture that they might not even think to ask how the other person feels. We recently used the middle names of two very close friends as the middle names for our second daughter. We didn’t let them know until she was born because a) we didn’t know for sure we were having a girl and b) we wanted to be able to change our minds if the names didn’t fit with the first name we chose. We didn’t even think to ask them how they felt about it. They were, as we suspected, honoured by the gesture, but I guess it’s possible that they might not have appreciated it.

  1. There are many ways your [name]SIL[/name] could honour your sister without using her name as the first name of your niece.

a) She could use a variant of [name]Michelle[/name] or something that sounds similar, as mentioned by a previous poster.
b) She could use your sister’s middle name as either her baby’s first or middle name.
c) She could use [name]Michell[/name] OR a variant as the baby’s middle name.
d) She could use a name that means something similar to [name]Michelle[/name] as either the first or middle name.
e) She could simply generate a list of other names she likes and ask your sister to be involved in choosing either the baby’s first or middle name.

for point c) “[name]Michell[/name]” should read “[name]Michelle[/name]” (oops, I didn’t proofread my post! Found a few other mistakes too!)