“How about Jefferson?” Hmmm…. Sounds like I’m trying too hard. “What do you think of Alex?” Yeah…sounds like I’m not trying hard enough. “Oooh! What about Aiden?!?” Well….I’m a little concerned he might get mixed up with the 4 other Aidens who will inevitably be born on our floor of the hospital the same day.
My husband and I are expecting a son in September. I don’t know if you’ve picked up on it yet, but this will be our 400th little bundle of joy. We have lots of kids, or so we’re told. We love it, they are all amazing kids, and despite the craziness that is our household, we wouldn’t change it for anything. But we seem to have hit a wall. We have chosen baby names up to this point that we feel have been perfect fits for our family. Our kids have names that are uncommon, but not complicated or strange. They won’t likely have other kids in their classes with the same names, but won’t feel like weird kids who have off-the-wall names, either. They also have middle names that might make them question our judgement one day. But that’s our prerogative. We stepped out and gave them middle names we thought were particularly awesome, and they will either agree or assume Mom and Dad just don’t get it, and we are comfortable with that. I say all this to make this point: we have named our children according to certain criteria, and they definitely all have a similar feel to them.
The problem is this: once you’ve painstakingly named 1000 babies (give or take) you can back yourself into a corner. At some point you run out of names that sound just right with your other names. We have girls with names like “Adeline Montgomery” and “Campbell Kennsington” and boys with names like “Anderson Magnum” and “Henley Ace” and we feel like our naming skills are spent.
But the naming game is not just a problem for parents of 3800 kids. People expecting their first or second go through the same turmoil over choosing just the right moniker for their baby-to-be. It’s a lot of pressure! Choosing the name your child will have for the rest of his/her life is a pretty big responsibility. And there are always so many factors to consider. “Do we pick a family name to honor a loved one?” “How does it sound with our last name?” “Are there any other children on either side of the family with the same name?” “Does this name conjure up negative feelings based on someone we know by the same name?” “Do OTHER PEOPLE like it???” “Can it easily be made into a bad nickname?” “Are we comfortable with the shortened versions of the name that people will likely try to use?” “Is it too popular?” “Is it too weird?” Certainly a lot to think about.
I’m not the only SmartyPants struggling with this issue. Mac and her husband are expecting their second baby in October and have yet to choose a name for their tyke. We pour over name ideas and ask each other’s opinions frequently. And Bectoria’s most recent addition to the family spent her first 4 days of life nameless due to indecision on Mom and Dad’s part.
The thing is, when you know, you know. You know? Eventually, we settle on a name, and before long, it seems like the perfect fit and we can’t imagine that child ever having a different name. Of course, they were meant to be named “______!” Opinions are great, and maybe an idea someone mentions is just the inspiration you were looking for, or at least points you in the right direction. BUT, what others think of the name you’re considering should have absolutely no bearing on whether or not you decide to go with it. This is YOUR baby, and YOU get to name him/her. I always think it’s a good idea to consider whether the pronunciation or spelling will make your child’s life difficult, but once again, that’s an opinion you aren’t required to heed.
So the pressure’s on at our house. We are in the last 10 weeks and have never been this far before without a name. It’s a race against the clock and we are trying not to pull a “Bectoria” and nearly leave the hospital without settling on a name.
If you have kids, what are some things people said to you about the names you considered? Or, have you ever experienced any regret over the names you chose? Are you currently trying to come up with the perfect name for a bun-in-the-oven? Most IMPORTANTLY, whether you have kids OR NOT, do you have any great name suggestions I can work with?