I was wondering what everyone opinions on this is. I have 2 dds from a previous marriage and we all have the same last name. DP and I are thinking about having a baby together and weve had some discussions about last names. She says there is no way our baby is going to have my current last name because its my exs name. I kind of agree with her and kind of don't. Yes, it is/was his last name, but its now legally my last name and my dds. I feel like its bad enough that future baby #3 will be the odd ball that is 1/2 related to dds and has 2 moms and no dad, but to top it off a different last name too. Has anyone dealt with this? How have you handled it? Oh, I also looked into changing my daughters last names back to my madien name and my state wont grant that unless their father is not involved and theres good reason (which there isn't besides I want to) so that isn't an option either.
Ex-s last name not DP's
- 3,238 Posts. Joined 10/2003
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You can't legally change your kids names, but your family might all be able to choose to go by your maiden name. I asked about it at my kids' school when they expressed an interest in changing to DH's name and they told me many families use a different last name (she said it might still be the legal last name on the report cards, but roll call and everything else would be the go-by name) The kids could legally change their own name when they're old enough to sign for themselves (here it's 16)
In our case, I think XH's parents said something to the kids, because they both abruptly changed their minds at the same time. We got married a week ago and MIL left on Saturday... I am undecided about changing my name without the kids doing it too. MIL has been pestering me a bit about it, and so I'm not sure if I'm deciding not to because I'm digging in my heels, or because I really do like my maiden name. I *think* it's the latter, but I'm giving myself time anyway.
- 374 Posts. Joined 12/2005
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Given that she doesn't want your mutual child to have your (and your children's, and your ex's) last name - your DP should be able to understand how much their father would be upset by his children's last name being changed. Names (as your post indicates) are a BIG deal to all involved.
I have a book called _Between Two Worlds_ that talks about how hard life is for children of divorce. One thing in that book that hit me like a ton of bricks is that in intact families certain things are a matter of pride: looking like Dad, singing like Mom, the family surname... When your parents divorce, those things that would have been a source of pride in an intact family become a source of irritation to the other parent - therefore something you have to hide in one of your homes. (It may now irritate Mom that Son looks like Dad...and it may irritate Dad that Daughter sings like Mom...and it may irritate everyone else with a last name that children have their father's surname.) It isn't fair to do that to children. They should be able to be proud of their last names (and who they resemble, and who they sing like). I don't think it would be traumatic either for your and DP's child to have your current last name - or an entirely different last name. It's not as if your children will believe that they and the new baby have the same genetics and, therefore, the same last name. Sadly, divorce is so common in our culture that (particularly if they go to public school) it is probably not something they'll even dwell on much.
I am expecting my 7th child. I have 3 children (22, 18 & 16) from my first marriage and this with be my 4th child from my second marriage. I have been divorced from my first husband for 11.5 years. So...while I'm still on the ex-spouse journey, I feel like a have a few years of experience under my belt to offer - "wisdom" mostly from mistakes I've made. It is so, SO tempting as mothers - especially custodial parents - to want to recreate a family in our home almost by replacing the parent whose no longer in the home - after all, we're just moving on with life, right? I remember a friend telling me that her kids couldn't wait for her to marry her 2nd husband because "they can't wait to be a family again." I know from listening to her kids that this was HER talking - not them. They were a family - the same family they'd always been...it was just that Dad lived in a different house with his new wife and they lived with Mom and her fiance. It is also tempting to try to placate the DP, new boyfriend/husband by trying to erase evidences of our prior lives. We are adults, though, and our children need the stability of our reinforcement that they belong to their parents - both parents. They need to know that we will protect that for them to the best of our ability. They need to know that we won't let the new adults that enter our lives interfere with what they have with both parents. All of that rambling to say, don't change your DD's last name - it's a very important tie to their father.