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Question for those who kept their maiden name

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Did anyone else keep their madien name? If so, what last name do you give your children? A hyphenated version of both, just your husband's or just your last name?

I didn't want to change my last name. For a number of reasons, really. My family is very small and our last name is uncommon. I am an established professional under my madien name. The house in my name (had it before I got married), as are all our vehicles, our insurances, my professional licenses, all our bank accounts, credit cards, loans, etc... Would be so much trouble to change all those things. And I just didn't feel like giving up a name I've been using for my entire life up until I got married. Something inside me still thinks it is odd that women should have to give up their names, part of their individuality, when they marry a man. I get annoyed when I cannot look up old friends because they have changed their name! On the other hand, I do always find it odd when people's kids have different last names than they do. So this results in a conflict for me. I'm not sure what to do about my child's last name. Do I just give in and change my name anyways to just be "normal"?

On a funny side note the phone company decided to list my phone number twice in the phone book....once with my first and last name and the second listing is my husband's first name and MY last name! He even gets junk mail addressed to that name. Maybe he ought to change his name...you think? :LOL
post #2 of 28
I kept my maiden name. Our children have my husband's last name--no hyphen.

Sometimes people mistake me for a single mother, but that's ok.
post #3 of 28
I kept mine for many of the reasons you did, lea,, and we gave Delia her dads, tho' we did discuss giving another child my name if one came along...
It is really useful for screening telemarketers (we have no fancy gadgets like call waiting or caller ID on our phone.), If they ask for Mr. D., we know they're strangers!
It has been a kinda fun thing between DH and DD. They sometimes "gang up" on me, and say I don't have their last name because I don't meet the high standards of their club. DD has actually been the best shield I have when people start questioning me and my devotion to DH because I didn't take his name. She gets all indignant if they still INSIST on calling me Mrs. L. My lil' feminist!
And the "single mom" thing was never an issue until we went to register her in kindergarten. In general, that whole experience has been eye-opening for me, crawling out of my 5 years in an AP womb to the real mainstream world. But he can be sitting right next to me, and the school district employees will ask, "oh, and are you together? do you live in the same house? " the irony is that we could be bitterly divorced and have the SAME last name.

But these are other people's problems and hang-ups. The little child always got it. That's interesting to me. (in a related issue, when she is referring to me or DH in a story to another person, she will say, "And then JOe said," rather than daddy. People act surprissed, and stage whisper to me, "Does she call you by your first names?" How hard is it to understand that this 5-y-old knows Joe is NOT the listener's daddy?)
post #4 of 28
We gave DS my last name. I was fine with using DH's (even liked it better, 'cause his is more interesting and fit better with all the names I liked), but he was insistent. He has issues with his father and did not want to carry on that name.

I like the idea of giving DH's last name to sons and the DW's last name to daughters. I also think hyphens are OK if the names aren't too awkward.

I am really concerned about the single mom thing in the future, but for DH. Not only that we aren't married -- which doesn't bother me all that much -- but also that people will think DS isn't his. He has talked about changing his name to mine (father issues again), but I am not sure if he will ever get around to it.
post #5 of 28
we hyphenated. it's a bit ridiculous, as my name is quite italian and his is a long, hard to pronounce german name, but there's no way i am giving up my name, and it's just too damn hard for a man to change his name, especially in the army, so hyphenating was the only solution. if she wants to drop one when she gets older, i understand. i hope it's her father's name, though!
sean even suggested naming all future kids with my last name, but i want the kiddos to share a name.
and darlindeliasmom, we use the last names as a screening tool too! it's so funny to hear sean called mr. d when we go to dr's offices, and of course, with the military i'm always mrs. f. i let it slide unless i'm going to have continual contact with that person.
post #6 of 28
After much deliberation and long discussions, I changed my name to my husbands last. Kailey has his last name as well, and that is the only reason I changed it.

ANyway, in the beginning I was going to keep my maiden name and then give Kailey a hyphenated name. I think hyphenated names are super cool, and that way your child can have both. I also LOVE the idea of given boys daddy's last name and girls mommy's.

I know in Sweden(or maybe Finland or somewhere around there) it is really cool too.

If you are Niel's son, your last name would be Nielsen. If you are Niel's daughter, you assu,ed your father's last name, althuogh I watched an interview where the daughter would become Nielsdeuter(sp?)(sp?)

-Or something like that. Now THAT is cool!

Just a tidbit of info I found:

The use of the suffix -sen (meaning son of) was the standard for determining the surnames of peasants and their children until the late 19th century, when surnames were no longer a privilege just for the aristocracy. A male peasant child who was named James and was the son of Christen, would thus have been called James Christensen. Daughters assumed the surname of their father.

For those starting Dutch research, a study of patronymics is a must. To many, this word "patronymics" is a strange one. I like to think of this word in two parts - "patro" = father, and "nymics" = naming. It refers to the way the Dutch people gave "surnames" to their children in the 1600s when they came to America. The Dutch did not have surnames per se, when they came to America. Instead, they were using a naming system in which the father's first name became the child's last name. When the father's first name was used as a last name, many times a suffix was added to the father's first name to indicate "son of" or "daughter of". (Ex. Jan, son of Hendrick would be written Jan Hendricks, Jan Hendrickse or Jan Hendricksen.) Note the suffixes "s", "se", and "sen". Women many times had a feminine form of suffix such as "s", "se", "sd", "sdr", and even "sen" which implied the full suffix of "sdochter", meaning "daughter of". (Ex. Jannetje Dirksdr would be Jane, daughter of Dirk [Richard].)

Sorry this is swaying OT, but thought this info was interesting

editted to correct information and add paragraph.
post #7 of 28
i don't like the idea of last names being awarded on gender lines. you could have all your children the same gender, or maybe you only want/are able to have one child. what then? and i didn't want my sons feeling as though they were less connected to me and my family than my daughters, KWIM?
we thought about alternating last names, first one would get my name, second his, etc. but i really want the kids to share a last name. it's ridiculous i know, but at least while they are kids they will be able to say, yes we are the d-f kids. and, while it's a minor issue, dealing with family is a consideration. it has taken a lot of explaining over the years to both families that I KEPT MY NAME, and at least they can somewhat understand hyphenating. alternating names or dividing by gender would just screw their minds up too badly.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses I'm still not sure what I want to do, but it really helps to see what you all have done, your reasons, and how its worked out for you.

Thats interesting about the names DiaperDiva. Things like that fascinate me.
post #9 of 28
I never considered changing my name for a second. We gave ds my last name as a middle name, and I'm strongly considering giving the child we're expecting dh's last name for a middle name, and my last name.

I don't worry at all about kids having different last names from each other or their parents. I was a teacher and saw it all the time - it's very common, and I learned never to make assumptions about who anyone's parents/sibs were or weren't.

Good luck figuring it all out. There is an incredible amount of societal pressure around this subject.
post #10 of 28
I too kept my maiden name. My surname is in both my mothers and fathers family (my mother's maternal grandmother's maiden name was the same as my last name) so I felt that I should carry it on. Especially since I was 17 before my great-grandma died and I knew her well, love her much and we both found we were kindered spirits.

We have decided to name our child with both our last names, no hyphen just a two word last name (like a two word first name). We both have definately ethnic names, mine very Irish, his very Eastern European and uncommon. Since the child is a product of both of us - so shall the last name be a product of the two.
post #11 of 28
I definitely think that kids should have the same last name. (if they are from the same bio-family)

When we decided to give our kids my dh's last name, I didn't feel that I was "losing" mine. It's still an ego issue to guys, I think, that they whole family have their name, so dh only has to deal with me having a different name, not me and kids, or not me and some kids.

See, as was mentioned above, I have an entire history with my name.......but my kids started out with a "blank slate" so to speak, name-wise, so it was really ok to give them either of our names, but it mattered so much more to dh.

It's kind of hard to explain to young children, though--my dd thinks that my last name (maiden) is actually my middle name, and that I share her last name, afterall.

P.S. Scribblerkate, it's interesting you mentioned the issues your dh has with his father.

My dh also has issues with his father, but he just dealt with it by changing how his last name is pronounced! (Going back to the original Italian instead of the Anglicized version.)
post #12 of 28
Maybe dh taking your name is worth a second thought. A male friend of mine did just that, so that the whole family would have the same name (including his new stepdaughter, it wouldn't have been very fair to change her name at age 5). His father was a little miffed, but times are' a changing... and it's a good thing.
post #13 of 28
When dh and I married, I hypenated. Cannot imagine giving up my NAME! But I did take his too - thought it was the perfect solution. But his redneck friends have given him no end of grief. When dd1 came along, I wanted to hyphenate her last name too but dh really didn't want to. So the kids have just his last name. I am OK with that. MHO is that the siblings in a bio family should have the same last name. It is a connection thing to me. And since I have both names, I feel connected and think they see that too.
It is sometimes a hassle as you are alphabetized in assorted systems under both of the two last name initials, depending on who does the input. Doesn't help that dh's first name is a common last name and his last name is a common first name!
Just wanted to mention to grammasgirl that the two name last name is a fine idea but it will not be recognized by many, many people. The computer will take the last name as the last name and the first last name as a middle. I would think you will constantly be fighting to get it right. Hyphenation does have its problems but at least some people recognize what you are trying to do.
Interesting thread.
post #14 of 28
I have retained my birth name as has my husband. (I pitched pretty hard for him to take mine but it was pretty much a non-starter.) Our daughter has a hyphenate. She will probably be annoyed with us for it later, but oh well. The funny thing is how many people in my family can't seem to comprehend that my name hasn't changed. Not one bit. They send mail with his last name in place of mine, the hyphenate me, hardly a one of them gets it right. I've thrown in the towel on that one.
post #15 of 28
hi- we're expecting our 1st & really havent discussing names in earnest yet. We are both pretty laid back, so I think we will just end up doing what is most common, and since I kept my name, that will be to hyphenate the baby's last name. Before getting pregnant, we did discuss the possiblity of girls getting my surname and boys getting his, but I now realize that if this is a boy, I won't like that idea anymore, so it's out. My sister already has 2 kids, and they hyphenated, so at least my family is already somewhat familiar.

One funny thing to mention as far as family acceptance: it is our father's side of the family that just refuses to use our "kept" name instead of married names. Theirs is the name we kept! Especially our paternal grandmother. It is so odd! They sure think we are rebels! My maternal grandma gets us keeping our names fine, but doesnt like the hyphenation part. She worries about what will happen when little Johnny Smith-Brown marries Suzy Jones-Williams. This will lead to a complete break-down of our entire society according to her, when they have to name their kid Leroy Smith-Brown-Jones-Williams. I kinda agree with her, but I say that's up for the kids to figure out, how else do new ways get started?

I do think that how we are chosing our kids last names says alot about our culture & the value of paternity vs maternity, gender, etc. DH & I had to go thru quite a bit while TTC & at one point we had to think very seriously about using donor insemination to get pregnant. It is quite a shock to really have to face the possibility of doing it. While we were going thru the emotional upheaval of it, I felt that I would very much want my DH's last name as at least part of the child's last name. Like the naming would somehow make up for this difficult biological loss. Thankfully, we didnt have to go that route, but it did open my eyes that assigning a last name is not just an academic exercise. It has very deep roots in our pysches. Well, at least for me it does. I really think it is time for children's maternal ties to be as recognized & validated by society as paternal ties, and time for men to start earning the title of father thru action, not the privelege of naming!

blessings, maria
post #16 of 28
Originally posted by kama'aina mama
The funny thing is how many people in my family can't seem to comprehend that my name hasn't changed. Not one bit. They send mail with his last name in place of mine, the hyphenate me, hardly a one of them gets it right. I've thrown in the towel on that one.
My OWN father sends me checks at Christmas made out to "Mrs. (dh's last name)". He is the only person who calls me *Mrs.* anything. I keep telling him that I did not change my last name, but it's like he doesn't hear me.

As far as naming children goes, dh and I have not been able to reach consensus on this issue, even now. One of our kids has dh's last name, one mine, and one has both, without a hyphen. Currently we're thinking that all of us will add in the name we don't have after our middle names (no hyphen). If my name wasn't so long and unusual we definitely would have hyphenated.
post #17 of 28
The boys both have my last name. As other mentioned DH doesn't like his name, but hasn't bothered to change it.

Other things we discussed:

giving everyone different last names!
giving them the last name davidson (no girls so far anyway)

One problem we've had. The kids go to dh's old dentist, so there, they're listed under his last name. Everywhere else they're under my name. Also at the photo studio, for some reason it's under his last name, my first name-- so when ever I call and give my name, They can't find us, so I have to remember give them his name.

Freinds and family do all kinds of things with it. Often we get things address to the "myname-hisname family." But I'm not that particular about it really.
post #18 of 28
Does anyone else find it fascinating how caught up in this society is and how resistant some people are to changes in the status quo? I recently observed the following saga:

my dear friend John Doe had a son with a woman named Mary Smith, to whom he is not married but with whom he co-habitates. Ms Smith has a daughter from a prior marriage, during which she did not change her name; daughter is Jane Brown. Mary told John that she would maintain a veto but that essentially he could name the baby. He decided on a lovely set of names and chose as a surname his mothers birth name since none of her brothers had ever had children and he has many cousins with his last name carrying it forward. He wanted very much to continue his mother's unusual birth name, in particular because she died just around the his son was concieved. He also figured that since they were already a family of three with all different surnames, why not just continue in that vein?

Well, all hell broke loose! I was the only person he knew who supported him. He finally caved to pressure and his son has his last name. But what I couldn't get over was how adamant everyone was that they had a right to tell him what to do in that situation. I guess I'll never really understand how nervy some people can be.
post #19 of 28
We gave our son dh's name, although I use my own (we're actually not married, technically). We had a feminist friend who criticized us for it. But it was me who thought of his other two names. It wasn't an easy decision, and we almost made up a name and considered changing the whole fam. I later had a friend who made up a name for her daughter and I kind-of wished I'd done it, but that's life. My son's name sounds good, and that is what convinced me. I wouldn't have given him my last name, which I don't like. Also, I never was very close with my Dad's fam, so have few attachements to the name. But I still couldn't take on my partners.
post #20 of 28
No kids yet, but when we got married, I did end up changing my name. I like the idea of the family having the same name and I hate hyphenations (just personal preference). DH offered to take my name, but that seemed like a huge hassle. So I took my maiden name as my middle name. It's a custom in his family to give the mother's maiden name as the kids' middle name. So we'll do that. We also agreed that if we have a daughter, her first name will be my middle name (before I changed it to my maiden name). Were you all able to follow that?: I liked this solution because all the names are still there, they are just rearranged.

I actually had to laugh....when we got married, I got a lot of grief from people FOR changing my name! I guess I am the traditionalist amongst feminists!

Oh and one other reason I changed my name...DH is a minority and his last name is clearly not anglo...I like it that I get phone calls and mail in spanish....I'm blonde and blue eyed! So that's my way at getting back at people who make assumptions based on your name!
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