Post # 1
Husband and I only just got married and aren’t really planning on TTCing for about a year, but I’ve been thinking a little about baby names – specifically the surnames.
I didn’t change my name after getting married, and I’m not sure that I want/need to. I’m very close with my family and, before marriage was on the horizon for me, I was the one learning all about our family history so it could be passed on to the next generations. So my family and heritage is very important to me, and it’s something I want my children to feel connected to as well.
Unfortunately, our family name is dying out – we’re a big family, but pretty much all of the last few generations have been women. My great-grandfather and grandfather were the only boys in families of women, and my dad has four sisters and a brother (the brother only has one son and has no intention of more kids). My older brother has two girls and his wife can’t have any more children, and my younger brother is gay (so probably not gonna be any kids there, either). So I would really like for my children to have my surname, to be able to carry on my parents’ line and have that connection to the family and heritage.
TL;DR – I would like my kids to have my surname instead of my husband’s. Is that totally weird or unnatural? Are my reasons for wanting it completely selfish/stupid?
I haven’t approached the husband with this, yet; thought I’d bounce it off of you guys first 🙂
Post # 3
I dont think its a terrible idea, but I also dont think myhusband would go for it. Have you thought about hyphenating it? Your husband might want his child to carry on his name, as well.
Post # 4
Also, I don’t think it is selfish. I think your intentions are good, and it is great you love your family so much. But you might also want to look at it from your husband’s perspective.
Post # 5
I have a similar problem. My dad is one of five boys and all of my uncles kids had girls. There are 2 out of 40 kids that are boys. What if you gave your maiden name as a first name? That’s pretty common in Irish families.
No way would my husband go for our kids not having his last name. I get the family tie to your last name, I have that too, but they are his children also. So we compromised, he gets to give them the last name, and I get to pick the rest of their names. I mean my mother’s maiden name is almost died out also, with only one boy to carry it on. I have a few neices taht have my mom’s maiden as their middle names.
Post # 6
@mrswestcoast: Thanks for the reply 🙂
I definitely plan on checking with him and seeing what options he likes (I already know he’s not a fan of hyphenating). I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he feels the same way as I do about his name and wanting our children to have it, so I definitely won’t begrudge him that – I just want our children to have an equal shot at either name 🙂
I just figure if I can get some other perspectives, or even personal experience, then I’ve got a decent case to present to him.
Post # 7
@HisIrishPrincess: To be honest, if the children get his surname, I would be pretty adamant in getting to pick the rest of their names (with his input, of course!).
I like the idea of using my surname as a first or middle name, but it’s one of the Scottish “Mc” names, so sounds weird as anything other than a surname. It’s a great idea, but I’m not sure how it would work practically. I also like the idea of the name passing down further than my immediate children, I guess.
Post # 8
@LadyElva: I think you should bounce this idea off your husband first. Choosing a name (whether it be a first name or a surname) is a deeply personal decision that only you and your Darling Husband can make. While others out there may not agree with the decision, it is yours alone to make.
Neither SO nor I would give our children my surname, but I wouldn’t judge someone else for using the mother’s surname. It’s none of my business.
Post # 9
I don’t think that’s weird at all. I would suggest using one surname as a middle and the other as a last name.
Post # 10
@LadyElva: Is there any way you can use your surname as your child’s first name? I think it would only work for a boy, though. I know a little boy whose first name is “Mac”, short for McXX…which was his father’s family name.
Post # 11
I have friends who have done exactly this. One couple gave all three kids her surname, and the other couple I *think* alternated surnames with their two kids. I say think because the second is a teeny baby, and the last time I talked to him, she was going to get his last name, but that was before the birth.
Post # 12
It’s neither unnatural, nor selfish. let alone stupid. Who says that “naturally” the kids have to have the fathers name? It’s just a social convention in the States (and a lot of other places), but it’s not uncommon in some places overseas.
Try to make your husband understand that you want this *because* of family values, not *despite* them. It doesn’t make you less of a family or him less of a father or man.
I was in a similar situation: I kept my surname and wanted to have our kids have my surname because 1. I have a big family overseas, to keep the connection to my home country and family and 2. because my surname is easier to pronounce and spell in both countries/languages. It took my husband a while to get his head around the thought, but I gave him time, and in the end he was okay with it. (I probably also had an advantage because my husband knew that he was lucky that I agreed to having children at all…) I tried to sell it to him as the modern, european way to do things 😉
Somebody said to look at it from your husbands perspective. Well, what about all husbands looking at if from their wifes perspective for once? Why are women always expected to give up their name for themselves and their children without complaint? Why can’t the woman’s name be the family name?
If you can’t agree, maybe do what my brother did – his wife wanted her name for the kids, too, but they couldn’t agree. So they let fate decicide – if the first baby was going to be a girl, the kids were going to have his name, if it was a boy, they were going to have her name. Worked for them! My sister also kept her name and her kids have her surname. (This is in Germany)
Post # 13
Agree with both HisIrishPrincess: & peonyinparis: ideas about giving your Maiden Name as a First or Middle Name.
I have both Scottish & Irish heritage in my family… and have many relatives who are carrying names that were once family names… often from their Mothers, Grandmothers, Great Grammas lineage (not only guys, but gals as well… altho those tend to be middle names)
And ya, just because a Surname is “unusual” as a first name doesn’t mean it cannot work. I too have seen things like MacKenzie become… Mack or Kenzie, and Fitzpatrick become Fitz or Patrick / Patricia.
As for having a child who has JUST your Maiden Name as their Surname… altho not weird in North American Society (certainly more common in Canada where we are waaay more progressive about the whole name game… in that we can pick whatever name we please when we marry in most Provinces… Keep Your Own, Take His, Take Yours, Hyphenate Them, or Create a New One)… But in the USA it does “convey” the idea that perhaps…
(a) The child was born out of Wedlock
(b) The child is from another Marriage
(c) You and your man aren’t Married to one another
And well quite frankly that is a lot to hang on a kid if it ain’t true… and I can see where those ideas of that what people think (the child isn’t his) might ya upset him quite a bit.
Stuff to consider,
Hope this helps,
Post # 14
This is such an important topic for me and I really don’t know what to do about it! I can’t wrap my head around why it is automatically the man who gets all the credit, if you know what I mean. Why on earth, if I kept my name and my hubby kept his, should OUR kids get HIS name? I don’t understand how that is the default occurrence. I haven’t yet decided on changing my name, but having the same last name as my kids is very important to me, as is carrying on my family name.
I don’t really have an answer for you, but I promise you’re not alone! This issuch a tough thing to figure out and come to an agreement on.
As for people thinking the kids aren’t his, the same would be true for people thinking they aren’t yours. Which is equally ridiculous. Honestly though, I don’t think that others opinions should be considered here. (except your DHs)
Post # 16
@HisMoon: I kinda like the idea of alternating names, so that might work as a compromise – we’re planning on having a few kids, so that would hopefully leave at least one child with each surname! Not sure how I’d feel about the children having different surnames, though….
@oxygen20: @Dogsbody92: That’s exactly how I feel about it! I would like for us all to share a surname, but I don’t see why it has to be my husband’s name, as if his family connection is somehow more important than mine. Oxygen, I’m so glad it worked out for you! I hope my husband is open to the idea when I broach it with him – we could try your brother’s idea, but that feels too much like flipping a coin, and my husband likes to think everything through. Dogsbody – I’m so happy to hear I’m not alone! It feels like such a stupid thing to ask him for, because I haven’t known a married couple to do this before, but this is something I really would love to have.
@This Time Round: We really are not fans of first names that are overly unusual – we both work with homeless teenagers, and the number of Tamiekas, Dayzhas, Rylans, etc. we have come through the refuge… Besides, with that route, we would only be able to give they name to one child, anyway, whereas I would rather pass the name on further than just one child. I really don’t mind if people assume that we’re not married because of the surnames – I haven’t changed my name, so people can assume we’re not married from that! I guess the main issue would be people thinking he’s not the father, but if that’s the kind of thing people are going to speculate on, that’s their problem.