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Mothering › Groups ›  April 2012 DDC › Discussions › Baby Naming Obligations

Baby Naming Obligations

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are name struggling.  We have 3 girls.  DH and I each have one sibling.  His sister is mid-30's, not married, and most likely will not have kids.  So any name carrying on comes to us.  I have one brother.  He has 3 kids, one is a boy (carrying my maiden name).  Our 3 DDs each have a non-family first name we picked.  DD1 shares my mother's middle name.  DD2 shares my MILs middle name.  And DD3 shares my SILs middle name. 


This is our last baby, and likely the last grand child on either side.  We have a girl name.  But we are struggling with naming obligations if it is a boy.  Here is what we struggle with:


If we chose a name incorporating one of our father's names, do we then need to incorporate the other as well?  Or is that negated by the fact that he would automatically share my FILs last name?  Part of the issue is that we have a tough last name.  And our dad's names are not likable either...nor are there really any ways to morph them into something likable.  So we could pick one of their names for a middle, but then does that leave the other out in the cold? 


I feel a bit like FIL gets his stake because it will be his last name carried on, right?  DH says, well, your brother has one son that will carry on your dad's last name.  Which is true as well.  Which then makes me think....screw it, let's name it something totally not family related.


And if you have read this totally too lengthy for the topic post, my question is....

Is there some naming rules we should be following??

post #2 of 13

I think the naming rule that you should be following is to name the baby whatever the heck you want!

If neither your father or FIL has a name that you LOVE, I wouldn't use EITHER.


Plus, naming the baby something without incorporating any "obligations" takes away all possibility of offending one while honoring the other!

post #3 of 13

In your situation I might just avoid family names. It seems the easiest, least offensive way.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Bless you both for reading and deciphering what I wrote, lol.  I am thinking you are right.  Our father's first/middle names are Ronnie, Kent, Earl, and Wayne....and we just can't figure out how to mesh those with an already, um, challenging last name.  :-)


Back to the drawing board.

post #5 of 13

I specifically do not use family names for this reason.  I don't want to end up naming my kid a name that I just kind of like because it is someone else's name. I say, choose a name you love!

post #6 of 13

I love using family names, but would never use one that I don't love.  I'm also big on NOT having naming traditions.  I never want my daughter-in-laws to feel like they HAVE to name a kid something, or feel bad when they don't.  My parents and all of my siblings have given their first boys their fathers names as middle names.  I refuse to do that, because after three generations it becomes a tradition, and I agree that you should be able to name your kid whatever you want.  My point is, I would probably stay clear of both grandpas names all together, especially if you don't love any of the names. 

post #7 of 13

the question has already been answered how I would answer it. I have used some family names BUT I liked the names or how they flowed with the rest of the name and in no way feel obligated to represent everyone and I don't really care what  my family thinks of the name because I am the one that has to like it (and Hubs)

post #8 of 13

I like family names that are already in the graveyard, that way living people aren't offended.  DS middle name (Wayne) is the same as my husbands middle and his fathers middle which I didn't like but I went a long with it.  DD's name (Phoebe) is a great great great grandmother name I found in the cemetery.  If you don't like a name, especially a first name, don't use it.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Fern5Fern View Post

I like family names that are already in the graveyard, that way living people aren't offended.  DS middle name (Wayne) is the same as my husbands middle and his fathers middle which I didn't like but I went a long with it.  DD's name (Phoebe) is a great great great grandmother name I found in the cemetery.  If you don't like a name, especially a first name, don't use it.

I am completely neutral on middle names.  I would have problem naming after one dad's name, even if I was not a fan (like Wayne, Kent, etc)....BUT, then I feel like I have to give equal dibs to the other, and I can't do two names I dont love. 


I like your in the graveyard rule.  My grandfather was James, and DHs middle in James, so we have thought of that for a middle. 

post #10 of 13

I feel you on this. I am struggling similarly with a middle name for our expected DD. My DS was named a name we liked and then his middle is a variation of my FIL's first name. My own father has letters for a name, seriously, so it really wasn't much of a struggle to decide who's name to use. We also just liked the name we picked.


Now, deciding for DD seems a bit of a struggle. A long while ago, I thought how nice it would be to use my mother's middle name and my MIL's middle name combined into one to make DD's middle name. (Lee + Ann = Leeann), but now that we know baby is for sure a girl (or as for sure as you can be from u/s), I'm feeling a lot of pressure to make that name work.


The issue for me is that the spelling seems a little weird, but otherwise it doesn't seem as genuine a pairing/combo. The other side of it is that there are two names we like for the first name, and I kind of like the idea of using both of them (one for the first and one for the middle), but I already mentioned this "GREAT IDEA" of using the grandmothers' middle names to the family on both sides... so..... O.O


I think in the end, you just have to name the child whatever you love and want to have your child named for the rest of his/her life. Family will "get over it."


Also, I feel you in being left with the burden to bear. My husband is an only child and my only sibling, an older brother, shows no signs of getting married or starting a family anytime soon... if ever. But honestly, I don't think it's fair to have that pressure. It isn't your fault (or mine) that a sibling chooses not to have kids. So, drop that guilt right now!! ;-)

post #11 of 13

I'm thankful I didn't have any family naming traditions to live up to!  That being said, we used my paternal grandma's middle name for DD's middle name...she was the only grandmother I knew and we also loved the name.  Came to find out, she hated the name!!  That may be something to consider as well, not everyone likes their own name, so perhaps there would feel less obligation to pass one on (I hope none of my kids ever uses my name, I don't particularly like it!!) I am kind of superstitious (for no religious reason though there are some faiths that follow suit) about using a name for a baby from a living relative but I really like the names from a few generations ago anyway so the cemetery idea appeals to me too.


Really, it sounds like you have gone to great lengths to honor both your families already, perhaps use something you just love at this point and consider it to be celebrating your own new(ish) family!

post #12 of 13

 We love family names, but we use them only as middle names. I don't want to 'saddle' a poor kid with a grandfatherly name. All of our living relatives have felt very honored to have their names used as middle names. To me, it's a win/win situation.

post #13 of 13

Oh my goodness!  I empathize so much with all of these family name "obligations".  Every single person in my mom's family has a family name; there's no one who isn't named after at least one relative or important person.  I'm actually named after four relatives.  So, I feel strong pressure to give this baby some sort of family name.  Unfortunately, the relatives I'd like to honor don't have names I love, and the names I like aren't necessarily people I'd like to honor.  We decided to go the same route my sister did with her daughter and give this baby a name we like in the first name position and a family name in the middle.  I'm happy with that approach, though we also just considered using my dad's initials and giving the baby the same initials (P.A.), but we couldn't agree on a "P" first name. 


DP and I are also both the only sibling in our families who are carrying on the family surname.  We didn't have to worry too much about which to pass on since we are both happy with hyphenated last names, but I imagine that would have been a battle if we weren't planning to pass along both names :)

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