How To Tell Grandma We Don’t Want Nathan

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Dear Joel,

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in March. We couldn’t be more excited or happy. We’ve been looking forward to parenthood and my mother-in-law is also looking forward to becoming a grandma. She is a delightful lady but she has all but insisted on naming our child. She keeps talking about little Nathan, buying beautiful clothes and toys for little Nathan, the problem is I don’t want to name my child Nathan. Nathan is a nice name but not the name we want. What can my husband and I do?


Wow, she really leapfrogged over some of the small decisions and went straight to one of the big ones. My answer is no, she can’t name your child. You have to tell her that Nathan is a wonderful name, but not your choice. I wonder if the real reason she is suggesting a name is that she secretly fears that you and her son may forget about her once the baby is born. If she can give your child his name, she will extend some kind of influence over your new family. Assure her that she is so very important to you, now and once the baby is born. Thank her abundantly for her gifts and good wishes. Give her a job like maybe organizing the shower or helping you decorate the nursery. You may just find that she will worry more about those things than your baby’s name. Congratulations and good health and prosperity to your new family.

Joel Markel

Write to [email protected]. His radio show, “Preferred Company” airs Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. on and 1160 & 1310 WOBM-AM.

If you or anyone else is in need of home health care, call Preferred at 732-840-5566. “Home health care with feeling.

Joel Markel is President of Preferred Home Health Care and Nursing Services Inc. serving all of New Jersey in adult, senior and pediatric home health care.”