We as moms tend to take our baby naming privileges very seriously.
I mean, we’re the ones suffering for nine+ months feeling huge. We’re the ones with our heads in the toilet. We’re the ones pushing a pumpkin out of a key hole… is it too much to ask that we get to pick the baby name?
If you and your husband/SO agreed upon a name while you were still pregnant, I salute you. I envy you, really.
Sometimes, concessions need to be made…but sometimes, a girl has GOT to stand firm.
Here are some of the ways my husband and I
argued discussed our options, and what to do if you both can’t seem to agree.
What’s In a Name?
Well, a lot actually.
For us moms, it’s one of the few things we have control over with regard to our child’s identity.
Will he be a Henry (traditional, Old English) or a Chase (trendy, New Age) ?
Spoiler Alert: my son’s name is Evan, so neither one of us “won.”
When Evan was born, someone responded to hearing his full name with, “Fortune 500 Company.”
I have to say in that moment I congratulated myself.
That is to say, we want to give our kids the best shot in life. If it means giving them a boring traditional family name or steering clear of names with difficult pronunciations, then so be it.
An article published by Inc. Magazine highlighted the studies of Albert Mehrabian at UCLA, who found the most successful names for each gender. Here were his findings:
The highest-rated names for girls:
As much as I wanted to name my son Henry James (after the famous author), I knew it was going to take a lot of convincing to get my husband to agree. Now if only I could have quoted Albert Mehrabian saying that traditional names have better lasting power!
One more point. Remember all the backlash Raven Simone got for saying she wouldn’t hire someone with a “ghetto” name?
“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
Raven, normally I find you funny, but did you suddenly forget your name is RAVEN?
Thanks for making up a ridiculous name to prove your point. Also, there are plenty of people out there with really strange names who are wildly successful.
You be you, and your kids will follow suit.
My Technique for Convincing the Hubs
Tactic #1: Baby Books
So I bought a book with 100,000 baby names and purposely wrote down a lot of stuffy names that sounded far worse than Henry. Here I thought of course Ken would warm up to Henry, which looked far better in comparison.
My approach backfired.
He basically wrote off the entire list and said he didn’t want any “stuffy” British names.
This of course precipitated tears and a full on meltdown on my part. The tears were genuine, but Ken wasn’t budging.
Tactic #2: Guilt Tripping
Normally this is kind of a mean thing to do. But hey, desperate times here people.
There were a few times Ken genuinely expressed feeling bad about my predicament…usually as I was elevating my legs in bed or gagging while trying to brush my teeth.
I’d take it upon myself to sweetly say, “Well if you truly feel terrible…we could always name the baby Henry.”
He still wasn’t budging.
Tactic #3: The Waiting Game
So we reached an impasse. I wanted a Henry, and Ken wanted a Chase. Case closed.
So we “agreed to disagree” and just decide when the baby was born.
I’m thinking in the meantime, he’ll cave. He won’t be able to wait. He’ll want a name before the baby is born.
But no. He didn’t. Again, he stayed firm! The audacity!
(If you met my husband, you’d learn quickly that he’s the easiest going person alive and rarely takes a hard stance on anything once I’ve worked my magic on him for a while)
In the delivery room, our kiddo was born healthy (8 pounds!) after a long hard delivery, and I think right there winning the Name Battle just faded into the background.
I probably could have pushed for the name Henry. Had I expressed it was really important to me, Ken probably would have understood.
But here’s the thing. Deep down as much as I wanted to win, I also wanted this to be something we agreed on. This was going to be our shared genetics, our team effort of child-rearing, our joint time and energy and the whole shebang.
So in the end we agreed on a name that was on both of our Baby Name Lists, just not in the #1 spot. A good compromise.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about motherhood and marriage, it’s to pick your battles.
In the end your child “becomes” his or her name. Don’t worry if you’re gravitating to names like Rain or Joaquin Phoenix, those people still get hired places. It’s nice if you can agree with your spouse, but that’s not always the reality.
Maybe avoid picking a name that will lead to school teasing, or reminds you of an ex.
Anything else is fair game.
Good luck to you, Mama!
(A common name…but a good Irish one, in case you need ideas. Plus I can always find one of those personalized magnets with my name on it at the museum).