Category: Navigating Name Problems and Disputes
Ideally, choosing your baby’s name is a fun, inspired endeavor, but too often baby name problems get in the way. Here are the problems we hear most often, and how to fix them:
Your family interferes with your name choice
Your mom wants you to name the baby after her. His dad wants you to name the baby after his mom. And everybody hates the name you’ve chosen….and isn’t shy about telling you so. Name discussions with family can be an illuminating way to pass your pregnancy, but the minute family members start to act like they have equal voting rights, it’s time to cut off the talks. Bowing to family name pressure is the Number 1 reason for name regret.
Your friend ruins the name you love
A while back we did a blog called Not Your Mother’s Baby Names, about names that fail to bridge the gender gap. That post focused on newly-minted names that the older generations may not get, but those aren’t the only kinds of names that don’t translate across the generations.
Mom may have liked perky cheerleader names — Kerry, Missy — while you prefer serious Biblical names — Abraham and Lydia. Time-honored choices such as August and Imogen that sound classic and handsome to you may feel hopelessly dowdy to her.
The fact is, each generation tends to reinvent baby names anew, gravitating to new choices and new tastes in names. It’s how we make our name choices our own — but by definition, that may mean that Mom (and Dad and Grandma and Aunt Sue) fails to like or understand them.
Duana Taha reports that she and her new husband are compatible in every way, until they start talking about baby names.
I recently got married, and we’re very happy. Like a lot of just-married couples, we’re thinking about children in the near future, which is great.
Except we forgot one crucial thing. A baby name pre-nup.
Do most couples work out their baby names before they agree to be tied together forever? Was I unaware? Because there are some issues here we definitely should have discussed…!
In this perceptive and illuminating guest blog, Zaira Shaal confronts the naming issues facing interfaith parents.
My boyfriend and I have talked about having kids a few times, and the main topic is always what we would name them. He is Muslim, I am Catholic, and while we are both Pakistani, we have very different ideas about the names we like.
We both grew up in North America and now live in London, England so there is added pressure to ensure our children’s names can be pronounced by their friends and colleagues as they grow. Our own names, Waqas (Wuh-kaas) and Zaira (rhymes with Tyra not Sara), have proved difficult for peers to handle over the years so we are sensitive to this.
While he prefers names like Khalil and Omar for boys – and hasn’t really thought about naming a girl – I have always loved names like Audrey and Grace, Adam and Jacob. We came to a compromise and came up with a list of names that work for both religions. This also appeases both sets of parents and ensures our kids all have uniform sounding names. I don’t want one Matthew and one Mohammed.
It’s one of the biggest problems parents-to-be complain about on the Nameberry forums: family pressure over the choice of a name.
If not promoting their own or other relatives’ names, family members might just exercise what they see as their right to voice strong, uh, opinions about names. Ugh, you can’t name your son Felix: That’s a cat’s name!
Or was your family blessedly pressure-free on the topic of names? Or maybe you even tried to talk about names with them, and they weren’t interested?