Baby names…the struggle…and a little advice.   Leave a comment

Today I am going to shy away from writing about the crap that plagued my childhood.  Although it’s therapeutic to write about, it also brings me down and makes me sad and angry while I am reliving it.  I’ll continue to write about it because I’m already convinced it helps me to let it go once I hit “Publish” but I’d like a day that’s mostly free of negativity today.  I have to go back to work in 4 days and I’m already sad enough as it is 😦

As you know we have two boys.  Their names are mixtures of various family members names and we picked names of individuals we wanted to honor.  I love their names.  They are good, strong, and  unique.  Not unique enough to the point where they will be made fun of, but unique enough that they will probably be the only ones in their class and/or grade with that name…and I like that.

When I was growing up, there were always others in my class and grade level with my name.  It was never unique.  My middle name was, but not cool enough to be called by.  My parents chose a first name they liked that was evidently popular at the time I was born…but its popularity did not last long.  I even had other kids at school tell me they didn’t really like my first name. I didn’t really mind my name but I played along with them in order to be a part of the group and discussion.  I remember telling this group of girls that I hated my name…but I didn’t and don’t hate it now.  Oh the silly things we do to be accepted when we are young.

Anyway, so when I was pregnant with both of our boys, my husband and I really struggled to come up with names.  We didn’t buy baby name books, but we did search around the Internet looking for popular names.  We put together various name combination and would write them out, say them out loud, write out the initials, etc.  I had always been a fan of honoring other family members and naming our sons after people we love, and my husband was mostly on board with that idea too.  He in fact came up with my first son’s name after months of us struggling to come to an agreement.  We both had names we liked but could not agree at all.  He thought the names I chose were guaranteed to bring on a lifetime of teasing for my first son, and I thought the same about the names he had picked out.  We were even to the point of analyzing initials to see if our kid would be made fun of for whatever three letter word his initials spelled.  Finally, one day he said the name out of the blue…and it was so obviously right.  For months, we had argued over the name to the point where we didn’t even know if we would have on picked out by the time he was born.  We ended up naming him after a couple of family members and continued a lineage of first, middle, and last names (in the same order), and it is perfect for him.  He’s the spitting image of these particular family members so I know in my heart it was meant to be.  I just wish my husband and I hadn’t argued so much trying to figure it out.

When I found out my second baby was a boy, we went through the same thing…only worse.  In fact, we didn’t even have his middle name picked out until right before I went into labor.  My husband had one name combination he wanted after some family members on his side, and I had just one first name that I wanted to use desperately to honor a very important male family member who did so much for me growing up.  We both had boys’ names picked out and we both wanted our names because who knows if we’ll have another boy down the road…this might be it.  My first son is named after my husband’s family, so my sweet husband let me have the first name for my second son that I wanted.  Although, he would tell you that he let me have the name so I would stop bitching, but I digress.  😉

Now that both of my sons are here, I’m really proud of the names we chose.  But, I think all of us moms feel that way.  My sons could be named Blanket (sorry MJ – may you RIP) and Pillow and I would still love their names…because those names are attached to the two most precious things in my life.

It is amazing how our children give life to their names.  In one of my earlier posts I wrote about how I didn’t necessarily bond with my first son while I was pregnant and even though we announced his name before he was born, the whole concept that this little unborn person with that name would soon be part of our family was difficult for me to grasp.  But, as soon as he was born, I realized his name was perfect…the same with my second son.  It just feels so right.  It’s a weird feeling to describe but I’m sure the rest of you parents out there can understand what I’m trying to say.

I do have some advice when it comes to naming your children.  First, don’t argue with your spouse over it too much.  Pregnancies do not last forever – just enjoy it.  Even though it may not seem like you’ll ever agree, your child WILL have a name (you can’t leave the hospital without it). 😉  Second, write down all of the name combinations you are considering, then make more combinations out of your original combinations.  Third, write out their initials…and sound them out. I thought my husband was crazy about this, but do give it some thought to make sure you are not setting your kid up for years of ridicule from his classmates.

Remember that the names that are popular now may only be popular for 10 years or so.  In the same thought, family names may also never be popular.  I am a proponent of using family names, but that doesn’t mean I would name my daughter Mildred if that name existed in my family (Disclaimer – I apologize to anyone who is named or likes the name Mildred.  It’s just not my favorite.  I’m sorry.)   If you are really struggling and do not like fad names or family names, think of historical figures and celebrities – you may get some inspiration there.  Pick up magazines at the supermarket and check out people’s names.  Peruse some of the free historical books on Kindle and browse the chapters for names.

Make sure you give your kid’s middle name the same attention as the first name…I think they are equally important.  Remember that your kid may want to go by his middle name in the future, so make sure it’s one you and your kid can live with.

Lastly, a good friend of mine gave me great advice when my husband and I were struggling to decide. She said to come up with three names that we both like and then go outside and shout each one of them several times.  Conclusion – pick the one you don’t mind yelling over and over and over again 😉

Would love to hear some stories about how you chose your children’s names.

All the best,

Someone’s Mom

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