A horse by any other name.

The topic of names has been a recurring one in our household lately – sneaking into random dinner conversations when we least expect it. Probably the most common question we get after, “When are you due?” or “Is it a boy or girl?” is “What are you going to name her?”

What? You mean we can’t call her Nugget for the rest of our lives? This is coming as a bit of a shock to us. In fact, we’ve gotten so used to it, we haven’t explored many other options.

The other issue that comes up a lot is the fact that we don’t plan to announce our potential names to friends and family in advance. Yes, we have a front-runner and no, Grandma, it’s nothing terrible or “embarrassing” like Apple. Our goal is to narrow the list down to 2-3 and then wait until we meet the little Nug to make up our minds.

I never realized that not sharing the baby name would irritate so many people. I’ve been told I’m “one of those people” who like to keep secrets about their babies, (I guess?). But, that’s alright. We’re not taking it personally. I know that to some folks, it’s annoying. Why can’t we make up our minds already? Why wouldn’t we be calling her by name and giving her an identity while she’s in utero? Etc.

To all that, I say, to each his own. I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.

Which brings up another topic that comes up quite a bit…my name. I did not opt to take Mike’s last name when we got married. I flirted with the idea of hyphenating or adding it and having two last names but at the end of the day, I decided to just keep my birth name.

Again, this causes a lot of confusion for folks – even my own friends and family. Come to think of it, I bet the majority of my bridesmaids didn’t actually know what my legal name was until they read this post.

A question I’m frequently asked is, “What will I do after we have children?” Their last name will be different from their mother’s and surely they will equate that to the fact that I don’t love them very much. And since I’m due in a mere 8.5 weeks with no appointment at the Social Security Administration booked, we’re looking at a lifetime of therapy bills for the still nameless Baby Girl Winn.

In all seriousness though, my mom didn’t share my last name until I was a grown woman and she finally made the decision to take my father’s name. I don’t think I ever thought twice about it. At school, we didn’t sit around the sandbox comparing notes on our parents’ surnames. And frankly, in most personal or familial settings, she went as Mrs. (insert my dad’s last name) anyway.

She wasn’t a die hard feminist who went around correcting people for calling her the wrong name – and neither am I. When it comes down to it, my husband’s name is very nice and I may decide to add it to my driver’s license someday. But, I also really like my name. It’s been all mine for the past 32 years and when we got married, I wasn’t quite ready to part with it yet. Fortunately, I have a very liberal husband who when asked if he had a strong opinion one way or another, replied, “Changing your name seems like it requires an awful lot of paperwork to me. And, sharing a name with you won’t make me any more secure in our relationship – I’m good with whatever you choose to do.”

Now, to all the ladies who took their husband’s names and never thought twice about it – congratulations! I think that’s an awesome and very symbolic gesture and I know it means a lot to a most of those guys out there. I’m sure that changing your email address was a royal pain in the ass but I have no doubt it was worth it.

Because that’s the way it is with relationships and families. We all make different choices based on our individual and collective needs. What works in my household most certainly wouldn’t fly in another. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to.

Like I said, to each his own.



3 thoughts on “A horse by any other name.

  1. I couldn’t get rid of my maiden name fast enough, myself. It was one of the perks of getting married. But, like you said, that was what worked for me.

    Regarding baby names – we didn’t even trouble ourselves to find out the gender of our babes before birth, much less bother to name the little critters. We had no idea how much that decision would offend friends and relatives.

    Personally, I think Nugget is a fine name. We still call our third one Squish.

  2. my cousins are both expecting a month apart both having girls and have not revealed their baby names either…I am excited to find out when the babies are born, its more surprise like but my mom and the girls mom are dying to know..Also, I’m sure everyone has an opinion….or knew someone with that name etc…I cant wait to hear you beautiful name you use, I can’t wait to see pictures too.

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