(Closed) Your kids will be fine if you keep your name. Trust me. I was!

posted 10 years ago in Names
Post # 3
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

My mother also kept her maiden name. I loved it then and I love it now. I think it really showed my younger sister and I from the very beginning that we were expected to be independent women. We had no problems with it at all growing up. 

Post # 4
2161 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Thank you for this.

My son has my ex’s last name (never married) and I still beat myself up for not giving him my maiden name.   I know this has nothing to do with marriage (I am adding FH’s name to my maiden name) but, it’s something I have thought about a lot.

Post # 5
1267 posts
Bumble bee

I totally agree!   A family isn’t a family because of a name and keeping your name if it’s important to you teaches your children equality and independence, which are ALWAYS great traits to learn from your parents!!

I had tons of friends with hypenated or only one parents last name and there was never any confusion.  Perhaps because I’m in a metro area and many women don’t change their names with marriage?

Post # 6
5089 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Preach it!  With all the non-traditional families out there these days, having different names shouldn’t make anyone bat an eye.  I’m keeping my name, I think my kids will get his name, and somehow they will all still know that I’m their mother. ๐Ÿ˜›

Post # 7
2154 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Thanks for this! My mom also didn’t change her name, and I have my dad’s name. We’re a pretty tight-knit family, and I have never felt any less like we were her kids because if it. In fact, I always admired her for it. Even at a young age, before I knew what feminism was, it made me think my mom was kind of a badass. I was proud of her! 

It always puzzles me when women have this concern. They never think to ask kids like us what it was like.

Post # 8
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Yes, thank you! I’m thinking about hyphenating mine (although it’d be pretty long) and was worried about the effect it may have on my future children. But now I feel a lot better about it! Smile

Post # 10
7365 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Amen. My sisutation is diffrent in that they were never married. But I hd my moms last name, my older sister had my fathers last name. It is what it is. There were other real issues to deal with than that.

My mother never had male children so I assumed that even when married I’d keep my own name, come to find out FH is very traditional and expects me take on his name. Bummer, I’m gonna hyphenate I refuse to give up my name.

Post # 11
1335 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My mother also kept her maiden name, and looking back on the signficance of that, I think it is awesome.

Although to throw in another angle at how kids handle it, my mom did say that I would change her last name to what mine was (my dad’s) on things like school forms when I was younger because I thought it would be “too difficult for other people to understand.” So (legally) that could make things a little tricky.

Still I think it’s great. She changed her last name to my father’s last name a few years ago because she wanted to, not because that was what was expected of her when she got married.  So I think that that is what is most important–that it is the woman’s choice, and hers alone, to change (or not to change) her name.

Post # 12
9 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

Great Post!

Post # 13
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

This is a great post! 

I think that my personal fear of not changing my name stems a lot from the area I grew up in and my own family experience. 

Basically, in my home town, and even with my immediate family, having different last names (or multiple different last names) usually means that you’re part of a blended family in some way. 

Out of my 4 siblings, I share a last name with my oldest and youngest sister, and my brother and other older sister had my mom’s maiden name, because she wasn’t married when she had them. 

On the flip side, my older sister gave her first son her maiden name (she wasn’t married), her second son her husbands last name, and then she got divorced and remarried, so now she has another new name entirely that isn’t the same as either of her son’s. 

So my thought was always that multiple last names would make outside people assume that there was some kind of family drama- divorce, kids before you were married, etc. 

However, this does show that, at least for the children, they can grow up to be normal, healthy adults even with different last names. Nobody in my family ever had a problem with picking their kids up from school or traveling with their kids. 

It’s really refreshing to know there are people out there with different last names by choice, and not just crazy drama! 

Post # 14
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I agree also! My mother actually wasn’t married to my father so she still went by her maiden name lol It’s a little different but not really..

I did have some issues with kids in school asking why my mom didn’t have my last name and I had to tell them that my parents weren’t married but that never really mattered to me. I grew up with that so it wasn’t abnormal to me.

I think it’s your choice ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 15
9815 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I kept my name legally, DD has DH’s last name.

Post # 16
1 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

I love how non-judgmental and kind your sweet commenting Bees are being! (Bee-ing? anyone? Bueller?) On a couple of the other name change boards here, there have been some bitchy buzzy bees, I’ll say that.

My mom changed her name when she married my dad, and my sister and I both have our dad’s last name. He isn’t very traditional, and really didn’t give a rat’s ass – he’s the kind of guy who would have just as happily changed his last name to her maiden name, except that Dadfirst Mommaiden happens to rhyme. They divorced when I was 4 and my sister was about 1, and she kept the same last name, partly because she *was* very worried about the whole different-last-name problems with school and traveling, and also because she had gotten into politics during their marriage, and wanted to maintain her same identity as “Firstname Exlastname”, versus the complications that she predicted if she switched back to “Firstname Maidenname” for any future campaigns (over ten years lapsed between then and her next campaign, by the way, and no. one. cared. – huge ego).

So we’ve always had our dad’s last name, and it does help to have the same last name as our mom.

In the meantime, she re-married a few years later, and never had any intentions of changing her name to First Stepdad’s. He knew that, and was European, and was very chill about the whole thing, given the common-ness of it overseas. Also, any thoughts about hyphenating were quickly squashed when considering the whole name – her first name (nickname) is four letters, and then both her (our) last name and First Stepdad’s are eleven letters each – so the hyphenated name would have been 23 characters, including the hyphen. Oofda.

She divorced him, and remarried Second Stepdad (her current husband) a couple years later. At that point, it’d been a year since her most recent political campaign, and she wants to get into it again, but probably not for another few years yet. She has built up her professional presence under her name, though, and *hates* the idea of changing it. However, Second Stepdad is *very* traditional, and absolutely hates that she didn’t change hers. She keeps saying that she’ll change it to his when she retires, although 1) that will never happen, she’s the energizer bunny of this city, and also 2) their marriage likely won’t last long – she’s halfway through her usual 8-year run with husbands. Cynical viewpoint, yes, but very valid, given her history.


My sister, who’s in her teens and won’t be needing to worry about this for years, is fairly traditional-ish, and has said that she’ll take her FH’s last name when the time comes. I, on the other hand, have always been *very* non-traditional, and always thought that I’d keep my last name. My last name, however, which is and alawys has been our dad’s, is not the last name that I intended to keep. I don’t have a relationship with our dad (my choice), and intended to change my name to my mom’s maiden name, but never got around to it, and just decided that when I moved to a different city and “started over”, I’d change my name then and make it a complete package.

I didn’t, and I haven’t, but now that I’m engaged, it kind of takes care of that whole dilemna for me. However, I’m not changing it to FI’s last name just because of that. He’s fairly traditional in that department, and told me that he’a always wanted Future Hiswife to be Firstname Hislastname. I asked him about hypothetical hyphenating (tongue twisteR?), and he said that he feels like it’s kind of a “cop-out”, which offended me. He comes from a very traditional family, though, and that’s just ‘what you do’ in that family. Fortunately, I like his last name, it flows with mine well, and is fairly easy, relatively speaking, to say and spell. Plus, BONUS, it’s only seven letters, compared to my eleven. That may not seem like a big difference, but it certainly is – in a world with limited space on forms, I often get letters addressed to me in the format of FIRSTNAME LASTNAM  – there isn’t room for the last letter, since many electronic sorters are limited to ten characters for the last name, apparently. Yuck. Whatever.

I’ve known that I’ll take his name, and there hasn’t been any weirdness about it. I’ve practiced saying and writing it for over a year, though it became more real after we got engaged. I can’t wait to take his name, and to have it. – We’re one of the families that will have the same last name for mom, dad, and kids, and while I certainly don’t think that that’s the best way to do things  or the only way it should be done, it’s the way we’re going, and we’re happy with the choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh! I should add, interestingly enough, that my mom is disappointed with my choice to take his name, and says that I should just keep my maiden name, and that she wishes she would have kept hers. This is, of course, in part because, if she changed her name each time she got married, she would now be on her fourth, count it, fourth last name, and doesn’t want me to go through that. But that’s her inherent cynicism, built on multiple divorces, and I have more faith than that in my choice of a permanent spouse.

Funny side note, I joke with her that she should have kept her maiden name and just kept hyphenating, because then everyone, from childhood friends to midlife business associates, would be able to recognize her based on her name. After all, Alexis Colby Dexter Carrington Colby Whatever did it just fine! With names the same length as her real names (this took more imagination and work than you might think), here’s an example of how long her name would be:

Mary Avalon-Worthington-Christopher-Dustin

and her real first name is more like Maryanne

Oyvey, no?

And mine’s going from something like Jane (real first name Janeanne) Worthington to Jane Martins. *big* improvement. ๐Ÿ˜€


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