You're Keeping Your Name? What About Your Kids?

I am still Mo Mylastname. He is still Boy Hislastname. There were no problems about keeping both our last names, and very little discussion, so three cheers for an easy decision and no drama!

But the problem arises when we talk about our future children.

Me: What if we switch off, the first kid gets my last name, and the second one gets yours.
Him: Whaaaaaat. No, I really want them to have my name.
Me: Why?
Him: Because the family name has to live on.
Me: Oh...well ok how about all the boys can get your name, but all the girls have mine.
Him: What?! What if we only have girls??
Me: Then the family name won't be passed on anyway!
Him: I really really want them to have my last name.
Me: Ok if they get your last name you have no say whatsoever in the first name.
Him: I get veto power.
Me: Uh, no. No veto power. If I want to name the kid Seven, the kid is going to be named Seven, no questions asked. Or I could just name them all Mo.
[Boy writhing in pain]
Me: Y'know the cat has my last name on the vet bill, and you didn't protest that.

The secret (that I already told the boy, and no, I won't name our kid after a name made up by George Costanza or my own name, I just like torturing him,) is that I like his name better. It's sweeter. Easier to say. Goes with a lot of first names. It comes earlier in the alphabet. It also sounds like the name of an animal, so, hello! toys and decorations of that animal galore. So here I am admitting on my blog that for purely shallow reasons and because my last name does not sound like a cute animal...I would not mind if my children had Hislastname.

(But we have time and things can change, so I'll keep you posted.)

Did you or your partner change (or plan to change) your name? If you have kids, whose last name do they have, or what do you plan on doing for your future children?


MayLove said...

I changed my name b/c I hated my maiden name, but if I had loved it and kept it I'd probably just hyphenate the kids' names. I found it really interesting that your hubby had no problem with you not changing your name, but played the "family name must be carried on" card. One liberal view v a very traditional one.

PDX Bride said...

I must say I have never heard this argument before. I think that most women that keep their last name give thier children their husbands last name . . . I think even people that aren't married do that . . . not sure why, but it just seems to go that way. Interesting.

PDX Bride said...

Ok I need to respond again to what MayLove said . . . please don't hyphenate your children's names, then what are they supposed to do when they get married?? Your son's wife may want to take her husband's name, but then it will look like she hyphenated with your last name and not hers. Just makes things too messy!

Natalie said...

I did change my name when I got married, but my mom didn't change hers when she got married, so I can give you my perspective as a child of parents with two different last names. And, don't worry, I didn't change my name because of anything having to do with growing up with parents who had different last names (truthfully, I changed my last name because my husband's is closer to the front of the alphabet, something I never thought I could have since my maiden name begins with a "B" - amazing, right?!). Honestly, I never remember being confused about the situation growing up - I had my dad's last name as my last name and my mom's last name as my middle name (no hyphen or anything). I always knew that my parents loved each other and that was all that mattered. I guess kids just accept that things are how they are, you know? I never thought it was strange that some of my friends had goldfish or brothers or blond hair (all things I didn't have), so I guess I just thought it was like anything else. Ok, I've rambled on waaay too long, but, point is, do what makes the most sense for you guys and your kids and whatever that is will be right for you guys!

Jessamyn Harris said...

We had this exact EXACT conversation! And I didn't change my name, and now the baby has his last name. I struggled with this because I am a big ole feminist, and I liked the idea of the girl having my last name, because I'm a girl. But...
the truth is, I don't really feel connected to my last name either, other than it's been my name for 32 years. His last name is a mouthful but seeing as we named our daughter "Symphony", obviously we're not too concerned about that. We thought about doing her first name, middle name, and then my last as a second middle name before his last name (no way we were hyphenating). But then I got the idea of giving her my middle name, which I liked better. It felt more personal, special, and like a female way to pass along a part of the family name. Plus, if she decides she hates Symphony as a name, she can use Susanna instead.
I really caved because I wanted my husband to feel included and connected, and because I thought society would be more judgmental of him as a father somehow if she didn't have his last name. But also, as my pregnancy went on, I realized that it didn't really matter to me, because since she was growing in my body, she was very clearly always going to be mine :)

OK, I'm almost almost almost done with your wedding photos!! Back to work while baby naps!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

You and your torturing are too funny (and we all do that). I changed my last name (not fully legally yet though) because I wanted to honor his last name and to have that tie us together when we start a family. My mom though didn't take my dad's last name so I'm actually being the unusual one but to each her own!

Gaynor said...

I love your idea of the girl gets your and the boy his, ha ha!

I have changed my name to his, something it did take me a long time to decide on, but ultimately if we have kids, I want us to be the same name and that was it really. My sis and best friend both had kids before they got married and they both said they wanted to be the same last name as their babies.

I did however keep my maiden name as a 2nd name so I now have 4 names! So i sort of get to keep my name without a hyphen.

The Less Than Domestic Goddess said...

I kept mine and added L's last name; so I have two last names. L added my maiden name as a middle name. We have agreed that our kids will bear his last name. It's short, common, and super easy to deal with. Also, I have two brothers to carry on my family name.

I know you have two sisters. My mom comes from a daughters only family, too. I think it made her a little sad that her last name did not pass on :( She did give my youngest brother her maiden name as a middle name. Maybe that is an option for you guys?

honey my heart said...

i'm still on the fence about changing my last name but know that by the time we have kids we will all share his lastname. for me right now, it is just so hard to give up mine.

ps you and your hubs are too cute!

buhdoop said...

I changed mine and I love the feeling I have. It was bittersweet to let my maiden name go, but it makes me feel like 'I made this decision, I am for real about this, there is no backing out now' type of feeling.

Also, my hubby likes saying my new name over and over again (which I love).

Bella said...

I'm changing my name to his (note changING - i'm taking ages about getting it done) but I have mixed feelings about it.
My name is very unusual and very long and difficult to spell.
His is very short, not at all unusual, and very easy to spell.
Hyphenating would look ridiculous.
Easy to spell won in the end. Farewell unique name....

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

lol. This post made me laugh! Especially the part when you said you would be naming all your children. hehe.

Mo said...

Thanks so much to everyone for your thoughtful comments! It's been really interesting to read what everyone decided to do and that each and every one of you has a different name story to tell. That's the beauty of this whole conversation, is that we have so many options. I love how some of you have adopted both last names, passed down middle names, made name decisions based on practicality, and chosen to take your partner's last name and relish sharing it together.

Until we have kids...the debate continues!

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