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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4

    Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    We're thinking of using my Grandmother's name Nola if our baby is a girl. Not only does it have the family connection, but it's a nice balance of unusual but not too weird, and easy to spell and pronounce. The downside is, well, Grandmother Nola wasn't always the nicest lady and she and my mother didn't have a great relationship, so I worry that my mother will have a hard time with the name and/or the baby.

    I don't want to ask directly because we want to keep the possible names secret and I am certain that my mother would not say what she really thinks even if I did ask.

    Surely someone's been through this one before? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    162

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    Here's my take: names are abstract until they're applied to an actual person. I HATED the name my sister chose for her baby-- really, really hated it. But that little girl stole my heart, and while I still think her name is lame, I couldn't imagine her as anything else. So if you like Nola, go with Nola. And if putting that newborn granddaughter in your mom's arms doesn't change her negative association with the name, then I'd say that's your mom's problem, not yours.

    Hope that doesn't seem too harsh.

  3. #3

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    I love the name Nola so much. It was one of the top names I was considering for my daughter. I actually got the name from the movie Match Point (Scarlet Johanson's) character. The main reason I decided against it was because people kept pointing out to me that Nola was actually short for New Orleans, which I have no connection to what so ever. But if that doesn't bother you then please use it, it is a beautiful name

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    216

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    Umm - don't want to go against the grain here but I have thought about this same situation. My Grandmothers name is Eleanor. Pretty name, right, and very in style right now, I have always loved the name. My Grandma and my Mom however have also had problems though. And she isn't always kind either. And the older I have gotten the more I have learned about their relationship. I don't think anybody would hold a name against a little baby but it might be hard on your Mom to name the baby after (of all family members) somebody there was tension with. And there might be more to their not getting along then you even know. If that makes sense . . . And this might be only my situation and not apply to you . . . .But that was the first thing I thought about, hope it was helpful!

  5. #5

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    Hold on to it BUT keep looking. If everything else pales in comparison, use it. Sometimes a name can turn into forbidden fruit and it'll just be all the more tempting to use it if you keep thinking about it and well, I'm not really sure if that's the best thing to do in this case... especially if you and your mother are close. I know I personally would be thinking, 'out of all the names in the world, why did she have to choose that one?' No doubt she'll love her grandbaby, but to love someone sooo much and have that negative connotation attatched to that special little person might be the thorn on the rose.

    I couldn't do it. But, like I said... if everything else pales, then keep the red rose
    (that was cheesy wasn't it, lol... it's late, sorry)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    7

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    I also had a grandma Eleanor who had a very strained relationship with my mother. I am using it as the middle name for my daughter no matter what her first name ends up being. Does your mom have any siblings you could ask about how she would feel? I am hoping to just bring the good feelings of a family name and hope that the actual person who she is named after won't be the focus for more than an instant.

  7. #7

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    I understand your frustration. I love the name Lawson, which is my DHs grandmother's middle name, as well as my sis-in-law's middle name. While I love my SIL, my husband's grandmother is not a pleasant person, to put it mildly. I'm not sure I want to name my child after someone I can barely tolerate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    12

    Re: Potential conflict over a family name-- advice please?

    That's a tricky situation, but I'd say that using Nola would be fine.

    Imagine that Nola were, say, your great-great-grandmother. And that you'd never met anyone who remembered her. Right now you'd be dancing with joy because here's this interesting name with a family connection that sounds quite current, too. If you later learned that Nola was also a suffragette or a beauty queen or a published poet or had some other outstanding attribute, that would be a bonus.

    Grandparents love their grandchildren, regardless of what we name them. :)

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