There are some daughters-in-law who really don’t care what their mother-in-law has to say about them while there are others who will basically bend over backward to please them. Throughout history, the relationship between mothers-in-law and the women that their sons choose to marry has always been a fickle one. As a matter of fact, there are very few people in this world that don’t have at least one story to share about their in-laws.
Of course, everything gets much more complicated the moment you and your partner decide to have a baby. Seeing how your child will now have two sets of grandparents, you want to make sure that everyone in the family will get along. And that’s why some moms go the extra length to please their mothers-in-law so much so that they will actually name their baby after them. It might sound like an odd thing to do, but it also shows that you are willing to make a great effort. With that being said, here are 20 names that moms have chosen to honor their mothers-in-law. Thank goodness though that some of these names are old-fashioned, but have a great, modern appeal. Take a look at our list below and let us know what you think!
Matilda is a name that is making a huge comeback. It’s also a name that either your grandmother or your mother-in-law might have, as it was incredibly popular back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This mom wrote on Facebook, “At first I wasn’t sold on naming my daughter Matilda, especially since it sounded so much like a name from a kid’s animated show. But the more that I got to know my mother-in-law, the more I liked her name. And the more I wanted to name our first-born daughter with it. It’s a choice that I don’t regret because Matilda became like a second mother to me.”
Meredith is a power name that says she’s either head of her family or she’s a CEO of her company. Either way, she’s a woman that you don’t want to mess with, and especially if she is also your mother-in-law. The woman wrote on Reddit, “My mother-in-law’s name is Meredith and believe you me, she is a force to be reckoned with. She is the matriarch and the glue that sticks my husband’s family together. She won’t let you mess around. I wanted a strong name for my daughter and Meredith sounded just about right. She’s a tough little cookie.”
Georgina is another acceptable name that you can honor your mother-in-law with. After all, who doesn’t love a cute little Georgie, especially if she has pigtails and a dimpled smile that you can’t resist? This mom wrote on Facebook, “My mother-in-law has always been nothing but kind and accepting to me. As a way to thank her, my husband and I decided to name our daughter Georgina Savannah in her honor. No, we are not from the Peach State but we do think that the names go well together. It also moved my mother-in-law to tears when she found out about it.”
Helene is a soft, feminine name that works well for a sophisticated woman or an adorable little girl named after her foreign-born grandmother. If you really want to add a little flavor to the name, put a few accent marks on top of it! This mom wrote, “My mother-in-law passed away shortly after my husband and I got married but before I got pregnant with our first child. We named our daughter Millie Helene in honor of her memory. Millie is the name of my mother, and Helene will be a way for our daughter to never forget her or who she was.”
16 Maria Augustina
Maria Augustina is a woman with passion. She has an undeniable zest for life. She keeps her friends close and she keeps her family even closer. There’s always room at the table in her house, regardless of who you are or where you come from. This mom said on Facebook, “It might sound like a mouthful – and it is – but my husband adores his mother. Plus, I can’t deny that Maria Augustina isn’t a great Abuelita. She also loves to tell everyone that her granddaughter is her mini-me. They have the same name and even look alike. It’s hilarious and everyone gets a good laugh from it.”
Bertha might not make the top of everyone’s list, but it’s one that should be kept in consideration. The name Bertha is actually an old German name that means intelligent. This mom wrote on Facebook, “I didn’t name our daughter after my mother-in-law, but my husband’s grandmother, or rather, Oma. He loves her dearly and they have always been close. She’s also one of the sweetest women that I have ever met. Bertha just seemed like the perfect fit for our daughter’s name. Sometimes we call her Bertie for short. It’s cute and fun and it fits her. We love it.”
If you thought Bertha was a strong name, get a load of Bertha. Ida is another old Germanic name that actually means “labor or work.” In other words, your daughter Ida should be pretty good at doing her household chores and making sure that her bed is always made, right? Ha! This mom wrote on Facebook, “My husband’s family is from Poland and my mother-in-law’s name is Ida. It’s a perfect name because it’s easy to pronounce, it’s easy to spell and it also sounds a little mysterious, if not European. Plus, it was great to see Ida gleam with the most joy I’ve ever seen from her when our daughter was born. She’s a great grandmother to her.”
Elizabeth is a classic name and one of the most common names on our list. This mom wrote on Facebook, “My mother-in-law’s name is Liz and she’s a school teacher and one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my life. She’s great with kids and above all, she’s a family-oriented person and a great listener. She’s the kind of person that I can trust with my biggest secrets, knowing it will never come out. It just felt very natural to name my daughter after her. She’s Liz and our baby girl is Lizzy. They sometimes like to call themselves to Liz and Lizzy show.”
Tina is a name that you simply can’t go wrong with, regardless if you get along with your mother-in-law or not. As a matter of fact, if you do decide to name your daughter Tina after your husband’s mother, it might help thaw the ice a bit. I mean, who doesn’t love being honored with a grandchild named after him or her, right? This mom wrote on Facebook, “It just happened to be a coincidence that I’ve always loved the name Tina and that the man that I married also had a mother named Tina. I let my MIL think what she wants, but it sure has made her happy.”
Mary is a great, classic name that has been on the top of baby girl name lists for decades. That is, until more recently. But if you have a mother-in-law named Mary and you still love the name, here’s your chance to grow even closer with the woman who raised your partner. “My mother-in-law’s name is Mary and she raised my husband and his brothers as a single mother. She was always tough and a hard worker. It was actually my husband’s idea to name our baby after her. It fits though, because our now toddler is a scrappy little girl!”
Anna is a name that no one can let go of – get it? It doesn’t matter if you have Scandinavian or Latina roots, everyone loves the name Anna. This mom wrote on Facebook, “My mother-in-law’s name is actually Anna Marie. I wanted to name our daughter our own version of it, so we named her Anna Bella and we named our second born daughter Danielle Marie. My mom’s name is Danielle. This way both of your girls get to be named after their grandmothers. And most importantly, both women are very happy and there’s no jealously between them. That way, life remains great.”
A lot of people think that if you name your child Minnie, you must be a huge fan of Minnie Mouse and all things associated with Disney. But that’s not always the case. Minnie is a cute name that, believe it or not, is making a comeback in the hospital wards. This mom wrote on Reddit, “My husband’s great grandmother was Minnie. People have always said that she was cute and sassy when she was younger. It turns out that our daughter is just as cute and sassy now, too. They are generations apart but they have so much in common.”
Margaret might not be an ideal name for a newborn baby girl (especially in the year 2018) but don’t dismiss it right away. As a matter of fact, Margaret is a great name with French origins that actually means “Daisy” or “Marguerite.” This mom wrote on Facebook, “My mother-in-law’s name is Margaret, but I didn’t want to name our daughter a name that sounded very 1950’s. So we went with Daisy. Should my relationship change with my MIL, at least I won’t feel bad about naming my daughter after her. At least, not in the direct sense. I’m practical. Anything can happen.”
Barbara is another name that has become less popular over the years, but it’s not one that has been completely forgotten. Former First Lady Laura Bush named one of her twins after her own mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, and her other daughter with her own mother’s name. This person wrote on Reddit, “Ok, seeing a toddler with the name Barbara looks weird, but when I tell people that I named her after my mother-in-law, who happened to have passed away from cancer, people then understand. You can’t judge a book by its cover, or a person by their name. Barbara is an important name in our family.”
Martha might not be on the top of everyone’s baby name list of 2018, but it’s a name that has managed to withstand the test of time. And there’s a good reason for it: Martha isn’t the kind of person that you would want to mess with if you know what we mean. This mom wrote on Facebook, “At first I didn’t like the name, and I certainly didn’t think I would ever name my daughter after my mother-in-law, but the moment I gave birth, I couldn’t help but notice how much she looked like her. The name just clicked.”
Nellie is sweet, she’s cute, and best of all, she’s smart and she’s sassy. She always has something to say and will have a counter argument for her parents. We did mention that she is incredibly smart, right? Now, we could easily be talking about your toddler or your mother-in-law! This mom wrote on Facebook, “My mother-in-law is Nellie and when I first met her, we didn’t get along. She’s kind of like the ‘alpha female’ of the family. Her word is always the final word. Rather than butt heads with her, I figured we would name our daughter after someone that is so strong-willed."
If Kim Kardashian and Kanye West can name one of their children Chicago, then clearly, you can do the same by naming your child Florence, right? Well, this mom didn’t name her daughter Florence because it was her mother-in-law’s name. Instead, it was the city that she was born in. She wrote on Reddit, “My mother-in-law was from Italy and she was fiercely proud to be Italian. I thought that this would be a great way to honor her and my husband’s heritage at the same time. It will feel extra special when we one day visit Florence, Italy, as a family, too.”
Clara is a name that sounds beautiful in many different languages. Just ask this mom, who named her daughter Clara after her mother-in-law from Spain. And the best part about this name is that it sounds beautiful, no matter where you come from or how old you are. The mom said on Reddit, “This might sound strange, but the moment I met my future mother-in-law I knew that I wanted to name my daughter Clara. This was even before I started dating her son. The name just stuck out to me, and I’ve kept it ever since. It’s an adorable name.”
At first, Bessie might not sound like a conventional name that you want to give your daughter, especially in the year 2018. But with that being said, it’s the kind of name that sounds good, even after you’ve said it out loud or to yourself ten times over. This mom said on Facebook, “Bessie was actually my husband’s grandmother’s name. So she’s like my grandmother-in-law. She’s the sweetest person in the family, so I suggested that we give our daughter her middle name after her. She cried when we told her. It was a very touching moment for the entire family.”
Grace is the kind of name that will sound good, no matter how old your daughter will be or what year it is for that matter. Plus, there’s an American Girl doll named after her, so you can’t go wrong with Grace. This mom wrote on Facebook, “My mother-in-law’s name is Grace and it just sounds like such a powerful yet spiritual name. And it’s a name that can easily carry on from generation to generation. Here’s hoping that my daughter will pass it on to my granddaughter one day. We could start a new family tradition that will hopefully last through the ages. Fingers crossed.”
References: Facebook and Reddit