Q: I'm due with baby No. 3, and we picked a name after the place my husband and I fell in love. My mother-in-law told my husband we couldn't name our daughter that because she hates the name. She later told my husband that if we named our baby something she didn't like, she wouldn't call her by it. She'd make up a name she liked because she's a "free spirit." It makes me feel disrespected and angry.
Carolyn, it would be so great if you could respond with a letter I can give my mother-in-law. This behavior is really nothing new, but I especially hate the drama she loves to drum up around special occasions.
A: This letter's for you: Stick with your name and ignore your mother-in-law. Per your description, she's just being herself, fighting hardest for the spotlight when it's focused on others. Since that's about her, not you or your family, the only things on your to-do list are to resist the urge to take offense and calmly ride this out.
Sending congratulations to ex's family members can be dicey
Q: My ex and I broke up about two months ago, and not on the best terms. I adored his family, though. His sister and brother-in-law recently had a baby, which I saw via social media. What are your thoughts on sending a quick Facebook message congratulating them? I sincerely just want to wish them well, and have no desire to connect with my ex.
A: I highly doubt they're feeling weird, but I'm also a sucker for no-strings-attached goodwill, so it's a wash. Trust your gut.