This is hands down one of the most difficult processes and decisions to make in life (along with choosing the right school for your child – but more on that another day!). It is a very BIG DEAL. Having been through this process three times now, I wanted to share a few of our tips and thoughts (and maybe get a little rant off my chest too!)
When MC and I start talking about different names for our children, we discussed and factored in the following:
Names we like.
This is an obvious one – we all have our favorite names or types of names (traditional, modern, American etc). We have been very lucky that MC and I have always liked very similar names and it hasn’t been too difficult getting a list of boys and girls names together from even before we got pregnant. In fact, before we even got married, MC and I both chatted about and decided on our one favorite girls name, Sophie and our favorite boys name, Luke. And that was it for the next few years.
Names we don’t like.
Again, this is an obvious one. We all have our names that we definitely don’t like and are not even mentioned. MC and I have never really taken to traditional, royal or English names – we definitely prefer more modern, American names. As a teacher, I had a long list of names that I didn’t’t like because I associated them with naughty children that I had taught previously… But these opinions and discussions were kept between us.
Full names and Family names.
Another thing to consider when naming your child is how their first name will sound with your surname (we’ve all heard the story of an Evan Evans or Michael Michaels) or any name that sounds too much like the surname. Our poor SJ has decided from day one that her baby sisters name should be Rosie, but Rosie Rosenberg just isn’t going to work, unfortunately. We also think about how a middle name might fit in with the full name – is it too long when added together or does it flow if you have two names with one syllable etc. Another consideration is the option to keep family names (of parents or grandparents) and their sentimental value. We don’t have many family names that have been passed down through generations on both sides of our family but we always wanted to keep my second name, Jade (for SJ) and we loved the second name, Nicole (for EN) which is MC’s late sisters name. We also loved the second name, Christopher for a boy (which is MC’s second name).
Initials, Abbreviations and Nicknames.
No child or adult wants the initials DUM, ODD or BUT. And especially not something with a sexual connotation (no need to type them out!) Just as no child wants a nickname that they are stuck with and will get bullied about through school – anything to do with their appearance etc. Sometimes these cannot be helped but at least try from the very beginning… I think we have been safe with SJR and ENR. Although the thought of our little EN being chubby and being nicknamed Ellie the Elephant has also crossed our mind (post her birth).
This is something we never considered when having our first child but now with our third princess on her way, many people have asked if baby girl will have a name that ends in “ie” like her big sisters. This was never a thought but Sophie and Ellie are very pretty, soft names so it would be rather strange to throw in a unisex or hard name. *but no, her name doesn’t end in ie for those that are wondering*
In saying the above, ONE thing we did not ever consider when naming our children is the following:
What other people think.
Yes, thats right. All opinions should be kept to themselves. The decision to name a child can be very difficult and is very personal – and it really is only between mother and father. We have sat for days and nights thinking of names and meanings and what sounds right – in fact, little EN was only named five days before she was born because it was such a tough decision for us. But hearing other peoples thoughts and opinions on the names makes it even tougher – especially when the name is met with great disapproval. Unfortunately, like any decision you make, people will have an opinion but I wish that with something as sensitive as this, people would keep their opinions to themselves.
I definitely haven’t liked some of the names my friends and family have chosen over the years. But I have respected their decisions and most of all, no matter how horrendous the name, I have still loved and adored the child – you always will. And within days, the name fits the little bundle so perfectly. I have to be honest, I have always hated my own name – I don’t like the name Caley and I have never really liked the spelling either but it’s my name, the name my parents chose for me and it is now who I am and always will be.
So I guess I am asking you to think before you speak next time – gush and coo over a name that you love and rather stay silent and change the subject on a name that you don’t particularly like. But please don’t give your opinion or tell a horror story why you hate the name, when a poor parent is trying to make this very difficult and personal decision. It isn’t nice, it isn’t fair and it can really hurt the parents.
And now wait a few more days/weeks to find out our baby girls name…