“When I have a baby, I am going to name her X”, if only it was that easy….
I have heard many friends, along with my past self make a statement about what they were going to name their future offspring, but doesn’t it take two to tango? Now, I realize that many women may argue that they are the ones who carried the baby for 9 LONG months, pushed them out (or in my instance, cut them out), so they should have the right to name the baby. Well, it isn’t quite that easy.
When my husband and I started discussing names for our first baby, we were not on the same page what so ever. He really likes traditional names and I on the other hand, really like different names. I also was a school teacher and worked in daycare for many years, so I had a lot of names that I did not care for due to the fact that some names were ruined. He had it set in his mind that if we had a girl I would get final say and if the baby was a boy, he would. I didn’t really agree with this because I wanted us to agree on a name and truly like the name that we picked together.
We started the process of naming our first baby before we found out what the sex was (remember, I am super impatient). We decided to each write down 10 to 12 names for each gender. We swapped lists and crossed out 5 names of both gender that we did not care for, then gave the lists back to the owner. I was fine with the 5 names that he crossed out on the “girl” list, but a little disappointed on the “boy” list (but really, if it was a boy he was going to pick one of his names anyways!) We circled our top three names that we liked on each of our lists and swapped them again. Now Justin had a strategy that was quite interesting, he put names on both lists that he knew I would HATE, they were horrible names (I will not mention in case you really like these names). He played this game pretty smartly! Anyways, we then got to put each other’s top three in order from least to greatest. At the end, we had 6 girls names to pick from and 6 boy names (3 from each list). When we found out our first would be a girl, I was very excited, I got to name her! I had to pick from the 6 names and keep in mind the numbers that Justin had placed next to the names on my list. I went with my 2nd choice and his 1st, because I thought he should have some say too!
While keeping that baby name a secret, we rarely used it. This made it foreign when the baby was born, for both of our children. For about the first 3 months, we referred to each of or children as “the baby”, we just couldn’t get use to their given names yet. You could say our children were nameless for the first few months of their lives.
Another thing about naming your baby is others’ opinions. Who the heck cares what they think, right? People love to express their opinions, especially when it comes to babies. Justin and I decided not to share either of our children’s names until they were born for the mere fact that I didn’t want to sway our choice based on someone else’s opinion. Once the baby is born and has a name, people hold back opinions because first, the baby is just so darn cute and what’s done is done. We also wanted there to be a surprise when the baby was born. I know in many instances I have HATED names, but when I see that little bundle, I begin to love the name simply because I love the baby.
Naming a baby is hard! You have to think about nicknames, popularity of that name, and how it will look in the professional world. Justin was big on making sure the names that we picked would pass “the resume test”. This means that they could not be too out there and had to sound professional so that in the future, they not be over looked simply because of the name they were given. One other thing that we wanted in a name, was the ability to have a “nickname” or it to be shortened. I was that kid in school, that when the teacher called role on the first day of school and asked if there was something else that you wanted to be called, I would think super hard but with “Kelsey ” there was not much you could do with it.
I am happy to report that both of our kid’s names “fit” them. We still really like the names that we picked and I can only speak for myself, but if we had to name them again, I would pick the same names!
Ultimately, it’s your baby, you will have to repeat their name over and over again for many years, so pick a name that you like!
I love hearing stories of how a child’s name came about. If my parents would’ve left it up to my sister Kari, my name would be Brown Head! What did you do in order to agree on a baby name? Did you get the final say? How did you share the name with family and friends? Share some fun stories!