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I posted before about my husband's stepmother. She wants my husband and I to call her "Mom". SMIL(stepmother-in-law) is not the nicest person, whereas MIL is one of the sweetest persons I've met. Husband and I will not be calling her Mom.

My husband's stepsister is pregnant and SMIL wants her grandchild to call her Nana. Does that mean that when my husband and I have children that our kids have to call her Nana too? Is SMIL entitled to that name just cause her daughter was the first to have a baby? I'm concerned cause my MIL has always wanted to be called Nana to the children we have and has stated many times that is what she wants to be called. I feel as if SMIL is stealing this name from her. I know that MIL will be a more loving grandma to our baby than SMIL will ever be. I don't think its fair for my MIL to have to think up a different name just cause SMIL's daughter is having a child first. Could SMIL be called Nana by her biograndkids and something else by our children?

I'm concerned cause in no way do I want to hurt MIL, and she loves the name Nana. She talks all the time about becoming a Nana. She knows my husband and I are trying to get pregnant and she can't wait to become a Nana. MIL does so much for me. I love her dearly, whereas SMIL never calls, yet wants all this credit for being a great SM to my husband. I really want MIL to get the grandmother name she's always wanted(after all she's one of the biograndmothers & SMIL isn't), and I don't think its fair that SMIL gets the name just cause she has grandkids first.

Illini Teacher

Senior Member
I say, do what YOU want to do!

In the end it is your decision. Have your future kids call MIL Nana and SMIL "grandma sue (or whatever her first name is :) ).

I don't think it matters one bit what your husbands stepsister's kids call her. I wouldn't sweat it at all. I'm really proud of you for trying to make sure that your MIL gets her rightful respect. As I've said before, she really does sound wonderful!

I think that if you and your husband can come to an agreement before you have kids you will be really happy when the subject comes up with a little one here!

Best of luck and try not to worry too much. You have a big heart trying to make sure you don't offend too much!


Senior Member

Hi, I understand what you are saying. It is really important when the first grandchild is born for grandparents to choose the name that they will be known by forever after. I have only got nana's. I actually have 4 nana's. They are all known by their last name except one who decided that made her seem old. So I have nana white, nana wilson, nana joy etc. when we are with them though we always just call them nana. I think that so long as you have some way to distinguish between them then they can call themselves whatever they want. It sounds like your mother in law will be a much bigger part of your kids lives anyway, and I would guess that it is not all that likely that they will make a habit of being in the same room as each other. Good luck with all your worries. Don't let this issue get you down, just wait and see how it plays out.


Senior Member
Do what you want, but...

...the nicknames may not stick. I was the oldest grandchild on both sides. One of my grandmothers wanted to be called Grandmother-and she certainly fit that description. I called her Mamaw instead. When she passed away 40 years later, she was still Mamaw. Her next door neighbor and her husband started out as Helen and Kampaw by oldest granddaughter. Her little brother changed it several years later to Tiger and Joe, and so it became. By the way, my other grandmother was also Mamaw. I chose Papa and Papaw for my grandfathers. Now why did my little baby mind call both women the same thing, but not the men?

when my oldest son was born (1st grandchild on both sides), my stepmother-in-law already had a grandchild and great-grandchild who called her Mamaw. My grandmothers were both still alive, so my son(s) had THREE Mamaws.

My mother couldn't decide what she wanted to be called. Every baby shower gift card from her had a different moniker on it. She finally became Me-me.

So don't worry about it. Your mom can be whomever she chooses, unless your child decides to change it! HA!