Reddit is no stranger to stories of family drama, and it's the most common kind of tales one might find on the popular subReddit "Am I The A**hole?"
Reddit user getyourownbabyname got the internet talking about whether she was in the right with her post, "AITA for not defending my cousin after he stole my baby name?"
Her story began on a happy note before taking a turn for the worse.
"I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant with my first child- a little girl! I've known for years what I want to name my child. The first name has sentimental meaning for me, and my husband and I chose the second name together. We've planned the name for years- when we were dating and talking about the future, one of the things we always said was that our firstborn would have this name. It's gender neutral, so it didn't matter if it was a girl or a boy."
"As soon as we found out I was pregnant, we started referring to the baby by name. Because we've had this name in mind for so many years, our whole family knows the name and the meaning behind it. We've already started decorating the nursery with little items that have the name or initials on them. There's basically been no question that this would be our child's name."
"My cousin's wife gave birth two weeks ago. They had refused to tell anyone what name(s) they were thinking about during the pregnancy, which is fine. But the name that they ended up choosing is pretty much exactly the same as the name my husband and I chose for our baby. It's exactly the same first name and then an almost identical second name. "
"It would be like if our baby's name was Mary Elizabeth, then the name they chose is Mary Eliza. The actual name isn't as traditional/common as that, so it really does stand out as being the same name."
"I was pretty upset when I found out, because they definitely knew the name we'd chosen and it feels weird and kind of spiteful to use it. I know we don't own the name or anything, so we can't stop them from using it, but it still felt pretty icky. My husband and I basically decided to just be sort of privately weirded out but to try our best to ignore it. I sent my cousin a text to tell him and his wife congrats on the baby, and then didn't reach out any further than that. I didn't say anything to him about the name."
"Well, it turns out that even though my husband and I are trying to take the high road here, the rest of the family is pretty mad. Apparently, a bunch of them (including my cousin's mom) have reached out and told my cousin and his wife that what they did is really shitty and that they need to think about changing their baby's name."
"They've also reached out to me to say that they think it's awful and that they know how much meaning the name has for me. I absolutely didn't ask them to do this, but I can't pretend I'm not happy that people are 'taking our side.'"
"My cousin called me yesterday and said that I need to call all of our family and tell them to stop pressuring him about the name and that I'm fine with it, because they're ruining his and his wife's time with their newborn. I have no intention of doing so because A) I didn't ask them to talk to him about it in the first place and B) I'm not fine with it; I think it's weird that he and his wife did this and I have no interest in defending him. AITA?"
GrizzlyDraws was the first of many to agree OP's cousin was at fault.
"NTA. Clearly your cousin was keeping the name secret because they knew this was going to cause a ruckus - and did it anyways. Good on your family for seeing the BS, too."
hotfrspock echoed the sentiment in their own words.
"Exactly what I thought too. They kept it a secret because they were scared of the fallout. Now that's it's happening they cant deal and want to blame someone else. Honestly I don't know why you would want all that stress just to steal a name."
d20sapphire advised that OP continue on their chosen course!
"Wouldn't be the first game of "baby name chicken" I've heard of. One of my closest friends took my first choice girl name when he and his wife had a daughter and claimed ignorance after I reminded him. I told him I'm still going to use it and he just shrugged it off. Name your kids the names you want regardless of whoever else 'steals' them."
"NTA. Name that child the name you want and let your cousins live with the name-stealing reputation."
nme44 understood OP's feeling, but also offered an anecdote from their childhood.
"I can see how OP is incredibly annoyed. I would be too. But then I remember that my dad's cousin named his daughter the same name as me (we were named after the same person) and it was literally never an issue."
"ETA: OP is still NTA in my eyes. My SIL and I were pregnant at the same time (with different sexes even) and we ran names by each other before committing. It's kind of just a nice thing to do so there are no hurt feelings."
interloperdog19 has seen this same scenario play out on a large scale.
"I grew up in a family that is apparently bizarrely uncreative when it comes to names, because several of my similarly aged female cousins had the same name as me, and there are also two male names that were used multiple times for my male cousins."
"It's always a little baffling to me when people on Reddit act like it's such a horrible thing to have a shared name like that if you're related. I always actually kind of liked it. My cousins with the same name and I were affectionately referred to as the "[Name] gang" and I remember it feeling kind of like we were in a special club."
"That said, I also completely agree with you that OP is NTA. Their family apparently doesn't have the same tradition, they chose a unique name, and the cousin obviously knew the family wouldn't be cool with this. And it's okay to not be cool with it! Pretty ballsy of the cousin to ask the OP to defend him."
"edit: And for the record, the female name and one of the male names were family names, but one of the male names was just a really popular one around the time my cousins were born."
AudreyTwoToo actually thought OP might be taking things a bit too far.
"OP shouldn't decide to tell people to call the other child a different name. It's not her place. She can call her child what she wants and the whole family will know the ridiculousness of the whole situation. To say, 'Well, everyone call the other child by this name that they don't go by, ever.' will make OP look as petty as the cousin."
"Honestly they're cousins. If they were siblings it would be more difficult but I wonder how close the kids will actually grow up that the name will be an issue anywhere besides within their own family. Hence I say go through with the name anyway."
kaismama, on the other hand, couldn't ignore the cousin's shady behavior.
"This was my thought too. They made it blatantly obvious they knew they were stealing it from her when they kept the name a secret."
CornPorridge complicated matters still further with a dissenting opinion.
"I know I'm in the minority here but I just don't see what the big deal is if second cousins have the same name. That's getting fairly extended as far as families go. Also I don't believe in this whole 'claiming names' thing for the most part anyway."
DeBlasioDeBlowMe was just glad to read a story where the family was supportive. That's what makes it all come together!
"This might be a Reddit first. The family actually backing the OP. NTA."
Hey, if we can't all come together to hate on one family member, when can we unite?
Although that might not be the best moral for a story...
Hopefully everything works out for everyone in this story and peace is restored.