The Pregnant and Delusional Reluctant Mother: The Name Game

You know what I wasn’t prepared for at all! while pregnant:  Baby Names.

Turns out people have a LOT of opinions when it comes to names.  And they don’t hold back.

It never mattered what my response was to the question.  It was always met with some kind of a response longer than:  “Ok.”  or “That’s a fine choice.”

Sometimes it was a discussion regarding specifically personally problematic boy names:  For some reason Evan really had a bad reputation.  Who knew?  I like that name.  Other times there was commentary on weirdness, or length, or all the possible derogatory nicknames that the kid was certain to be called.

Fortunately, Chris and I didn’t disagree about names.  We just went with a few potential names and practiced saying them for a few weeks before the baby was born and once he was born, we knew Mackinley was the name we wanted.

Here are a couple of things I might point out regarding the ahem name calling process:

1.  You might not want to tell AT ALL.  That’s probably a wise idea actually.  Just tell everyone you want it to be a surprise or perhaps you and your spouse agreed not to decide until you actually meet the baby.

2.  If the person asking is someone very near and dear, or you have problems being less than completely candid, share away. . .but be prepared for an opinion.

3.  What if Someone Wants “your” name?  Well, that’s a little tricky.  You should be flattered.  But maybe you’re a little put out?

I think if you are both considering a more common or traditional name, you probably just have to leave well enough alone.  If you are choosing a name like Mary or Jonathan, (both fine names, I might add) you should not expect your child to be the only one with that name.  If you are hell-bent on Raisin and your co-worker is also planning to call her kid Raisin, well, perhaps you should delicately broach the subject with her if you feel strongly about it.

4.  What if You Want “Someone’s” Name? If you are close to that person, Ask!  Not too long ago my Sister asked me about a girl name we both liked for a middle name.  Not that either of us have girls at the moment. . .Turns out she really liked the name.  I had no idea.  Of course, I gladly agreed that she should use the name if and when she had the opportunity.  It’s a family name.  And she had a much closer relationship with this family member than I did.  I’m glad she asked.

However, given the fact that our poor Mother misspelled Mac’s name on this adorable little ornament she painted for him, it might not be a bad idea for all of her Grandchildren to actually have the SAME name.  Ha!

Yes, she transposed the E and L. . .NO I’M NOT PLANNING TO TELL HER! I’ll just correct it. I know how easily this can happen when you are focusing on getting the letters and paint perfectly applied. . .Plus, usually I’m drinking. . .What was her excuse? Ha!

5.  If someone asks your opinion about a name, you should give a tempered but honest opinion.  If they don’t ask, then don’t offer them your two cents.  Sheesh.  This pretty much applies to any aspect of pregnancy, parenting or life.

6.  Are you feeling any pressure (to use a family name)?  Tricky.  Tread lightly.  Whatever you decide, make sure you and your spouse are in complete agreement and you are respectful when you discuss the subject.  Our son has two middle names – one for each Grandfather.  It’s a whopper of a name but we wanted to honor both of our Fathers and who knows if we’ll have more children?

7.  Seek comfort in the fact that once the little gal or guy finally arrives, chances are people won’t be giving you flack about his or her name any longer.  And if they do, well shame on them!

8.  And finally, this should be obvious, but if you’ve ever looked at some of those online baby naming chat forums in the wee hours of the morning because you’re too effing pregnant to sleep, I feel like it needs a mention:  try not to be a complete doofus.  If your last name is Peters, please reconsider naming your daughter Sharon!

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4 thoughts on “The Pregnant and Delusional Reluctant Mother: The Name Game

  1. Well, we decided that the name was the one thing we wouldn’t share before the baby was born, even though we were pretty sure which name we would pick in the end. We also still wanted to wait and meet her before we made a final decision. But the main reason was to avoid any discussions. We also did not want to invite input from others whether family or not. In the end, it worked pretty well for us.

    • We felt like we wanted to meet Mac too just to be certain. 🙂 Towards the end we told some folks “We think it’s going to be Mackinley” but by then I was too exhausted to even register anything they said after that. Ha!

      • Yeah, I know what you mean. 🙂 Both my husband’s and my mom often have strong opinions and are not shy to share them and given all the hormones and emotions I was dealing with, I just didn’t feel like arguing. I didn’t feel like talking at all, come to think of it. They can be quite exhausting in conversations. 😉

  2. Yes! I say keep it to yourself! 🙂 In fact, I don’t even ask the question anymore. I don’t want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position. So many things I don’t ask any more! I know better now! HA

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