Should we have named him that? Perspective appreciated... - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-01-2011, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So...DS is now 8 months old, and I am embarrassed to say I am still having baby name anxiety.  Our son's name is Hayes, which is a name that I have liked for a very long time (well before becoming pregnant or getting married), and is also a family name (it was my Grandmother's maiden name).  While I was pregnant with our son, my husband and I decided not to discuss names we were thinking about with anyone including ALL friends and family members.  We have a DD who is now 4 and we realized with her pregnancy that discussing name choices was not a good idea with our very opinionated loved ones.  My husband and I talked a lot about names throughout the 9 months, and literally could not find even one that we both agreed on besides Hayes.  We wanted something somewhat unusual, but not something too odd, and preferably with familial ties.  My husband liked it too because his Grandmother's name was Hazel, which is similar.

 

When our son was born, his name got mixed reviews.  I honestly thought that everyone would love the name, but that was not exactly how it turned out.  Both of my parents loved/love his name- I think that was because they had both heard the name quite a bit since it was from my side of the family.  My MIL, who has always been extremely opinionated and outspoken, made it quite clear that Hayes would not have been her 1st choice.  My Father in law (who is very Italian, complete with accent) had trouble even saying it and it came out more like "ace" which now other family members jokingly call our son. To make matters more complicated, upon telling other people his name, many people thought we named him "Haze" not "Hayes" as in Purple Haze (haha!) which for whatever reason we were not expecting at all.  I honestly thought more people would have heard of and/or known how to spell what I thought was a fairly common (last) name- I mean we had a President Hayes at one point!

 

Anyway, I feel ridiculous that I am even still agonizing over this at all, so much so that I do not even want to talk about it with my husband or any family members or friends.  I still love his name and I know I always will and more importantly I hope he always will too.  I just want to feel proud of it when someone says "Your son is so cute, what's his name?"  When that happens I find myself quickly explaining that it's a family name and telling them it's spelled H-A-Y-E-S.  Sometimes I feel like I'm justifying our naming decision to everyone who asks and sometimes wondering if our lives would have been easier had we named him something like Mike. This is just not how I want it to happen anymore or how I want to feel about it but I can't seem to move on.  I love my DS so so much and I just do not want to have to even think about this anymore (or at least a lot less often).  I know it's silly, and maybe it's partially still my postpartum hormones taking over, but I really need help to find some perspective in all of this. 

 

Thanks for reading and any advice, perspective, whatever! you might be able to tell me would be very much appreciated.


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Old 02-01-2011, 11:27 PM
 
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Who cares what anyone thinks? It only matters what you and your DH think. I think Hayes is a great and original name...

 

My DD is two months old and her name is Avalon. My mother was calling my DD by other names when I was pregnant and refused to call her Avalon... She calls her Avalon now, though. We got so many Toyota remarks but we love the name and we think about the Avalon of Celtic Mythology... King Arthur... Morgaine, etc. I've loved the name since I read the Mists of Avalon. I still get the occasional mention of Toyotas and probably still will but we don't care one bit. It is our daughter and we love her name.

 

And besides... have you heard some of the names kids are getting these days? They are all unique and different. No one will think twice about an Avalon or a Hayes when they get to school.

 

Oh and also... you don't have to justify the name to anyone. Tell people it and if they get a weird look on their face like they don't know what to say, let them. DH and I notice how people react to her name. They don't know what to think sometimes. We don't mind. And be happy you didn't name him Mike. Who the heck needs more Mikes? There are too many already in the world!

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Old 02-02-2011, 04:16 AM
 
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Honestly, I think "Ace" is also kind of cute, so I personally wouldn't object if that became one of his nicknames. And I find Haze a witty interpretation, so I don't know if it would really bother me that much.

 

But clearly it bothers you.

 

We are a multicultural family and choosing a name that was pronounced the same in both languages was very hard; it eliminated more than half of the names we liked. Some people wouldn't mind, but I was clear I didn't want to spend my son's entire childhood correcting and spelling his name. So I hear ya....we avoided many names just to avoid your scenario.

 

So, if you really feel like you are so uncomfortable and do not want to continue on like this, you have two choices: decide it doesn't matter what others think and stop feeling the need to correct and explain. OR, if it really bothers you that much and you don't think you can live with it, then consider changing his name.

 

It sounds to me like you really love the name and want to find a way to live with it. But only you can feel that for yourself. GL!


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Old 02-02-2011, 05:03 AM
 
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I can relate somewhat. The name we chose for DD hasn't got quite the reaction I was hoping for either. DH & I come from different cultures, and the name is common in mine but uncommon in his. Still, I honestly thought we'd chosen something really easy to say & spell, but oddly enough a lot of people seem to have trouble with it. (I don't want to say what it is, but it's really short & simple, like Nina or Lia.)

 

On top of that, DH's parents were tactless enough to be vocal in their dislike of the name. I suspect that my mother wasn't crazy about it either, but at least she was polite enough to say it was nice and feign some enthusiasm. winky.gif

 

For what it's worth, I think Hayes is a really good, solid name - uncommon without being weird or kooky. I think the price of calling your child something unusual is that you have to deal with people not quite getting it at first. Yes, you could have called your son something uber-popular like Ethan or Jacob, but the trade-off is that he will be one of 5 other kids at his school called that. Either way, there are upsides and downsides.

 

Also, try to remember that just because people are a bit confused by the name at first, doesn't mean they're reacting negatively. It just means they've never heard it before. I've had to ask people for clarifications on their names, and then thought shortly afterward "Hey, great name!". Some names just need a moment to grow on people. :)

 

Try not to worry about your in-laws too much. Whatever name you choose, there will be people who don't love it.


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Old 02-02-2011, 05:31 AM
 
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I agree with Snowflake.

 

I like Ace as a nick-name, it's just not quite right for an infant (in my mind), but better for one a little bit older. It might grow on you. And I can see classmates in the future either using Ace or Haze.

 

If you're getting defensive, can you dial it back a little? Rather than tell the spelling, you could say, "Hayes - like President Hayes. It's a family name." Still a tad defensive, I guess, and maybe a little passive aggressive (assumes they know President Hayes and if they don't, they should look into it), but for some reason, it's a notch off of actually spelling it. (Unless they ask for spelling, of course.)

 

And to Avalon's mama - I worked at a Camp Avalon, and the name reminds me of a beautiful summer on Cape Cod. Pine trees, beautiful breezes, sailing...


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Old 02-02-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ASusan View Post

I agree with Snowflake.

 

I like Ace as a nick-name, it's just not quite right for an infant (in my mind), but better for one a little bit older. It might grow on you. And I can see classmates in the future either using Ace or Haze.

 

If you're getting defensive, can you dial it back a little? Rather than tell the spelling, you could say, "Hayes - like President Hayes. It's a family name." Still a tad defensive, I guess, and maybe a little passive aggressive (assumes they know President Hayes and if they don't, they should look into it), but for some reason, it's a notch off of actually spelling it. (Unless they ask for spelling, of course.)

 

And to Avalon's mama - I worked at a Camp Avalon, and the name reminds me of a beautiful summer on Cape Cod. Pine trees, beautiful breezes, sailing...



Cool ;)

My parents thought they were being clever (and rude, too) by leaving a coozy in my room that said Avalon, NJ on it, too. Haha. There is a seaside town with my name, too, in Maryland, and my mom still named me what she did. I am glad it reminds you of fond memories. I love the name and we decided if for any reason Avalon disliked her name, she could always go with the super popular "Ava" for short. We think she will love her name and be proud of it, though. I always wanted an original name, but I didn't get one!

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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I agree with PPs that you are putting too much stress on what other people might think. Screw 'em. He is your kid and you named him something that you love and that has meaning to you. That is so powerful! How wonderful that some day you will be able to tell him about the story of his name and the people in the past he has shared it with.

My mom gave me my name simply because she liked the way it sounded and this has always bummed me out. My name basically has no meaning...but people never mess it up eyesroll.gif.

My kid has an unusual name too and nobody ever understands it on the first try. But I figure that the fact that they ask you to repeat is not a judgment but a way of showing respect to your kid...because they want to get his name right.

FWIW my mom grew up on Hayes street (in an area of San Francisco full of beautiful old victorians) so I have wonderful connotations associated with the name wink1.gif.
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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Ace is my DH's name. His real, legal name. So to me its totally normal. I like Hayes, and Ace. Good names. :) 


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Old 02-02-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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I love the name Hayes. I think it's beautiful, especially with the special family connection. My middle child's name is not popular in my extended family, but I've had to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to appreciate, like or even respect my choices. But they are mine to make. I have one family member who still intentionally calls my son the wrong name....so whatever. I know a lot of people who have family names as first names, and I adore this practice. We're only here for such a short period of time in the big picture---what an amazing way to honor our past every day. For me, part of separating and growing up was to take other people's personal opinions (esp. family) a little less seriously and not concern myself with trying to hard to please others. I respect their opinions but learned the importance of making my own decisions and being true to myself. Everyone carries around intricate parameters of what makes a "good" name, and honestly, that's on them. It's rude, imo, to criticize anyone's name. It's nice to have their approval, but certainly not required! Gosh, I love the nickname Hazy....so much that I wish I had a Hayes myself. Your son's name is beautiful, strong and meaningful that I would never, not even for a second, regret. Hope you can find some peace with this--it sounds like it's really bothering youhug.gif


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Old 02-02-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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My kid's middle name is Anansi. Yep. Anansi, like the spider/man/trickster.

 

And now everyone thinks we are major Neil Gaiman fans. I mean, we like the guy's work, but our son is NOT named after Anansi Boys. But...oh well. We like it. It has meaning for us. As to everyone else...well, heck with them.

 

Also, your kid shares a name with one of my favorite musicians, Hayes Carll. :) So *I* had heard it before.


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Old 02-02-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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I agree with a PP-people might not be reacting negatively, just with curiosity.  I know that I LOVE hearing how people came up with somewhat original/different names, so I would probably be someone asking you about it, just out of my own curiousty-and actually I think Hayes is a great, solid name that is different without being "weird."  

 

Everyobody will have their own connotations for names, so try not to let it worry you.  Dd's name always gets a less than flattering reference which I had never even thought about when naming her, but oh well..  I love her name and its meaning and that it is that :)


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Old 02-02-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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I can relate too.  My name is beautiful but hard to pronounce (I absolutely love my name), and very uncommon.  It's a great conversation starter, and has a kind of funny story behind it.  It's from my mom's side of the family, so all of them LOVE it.  My dad loves it too, but his family (especially his mom) HATED it.  My grandma wanted me to be named Tiffany (which would never have fit my personality, ever in a million years), but I much prefer my name which fits my personality perfectly.

 

Let people have their opinions.  If you like the name, and think it fits your ds, go with it.

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Old 02-02-2011, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ALL so much for your amazing thoughtful responses- it really means a lot, especially since I have found it hard to disclose to anyone how I was feeling about it, mostly because I didn't want anyone I knew to think I was "second guessing" his name or that I wished I had chosen something else.  When I look at my beautiful baby boy I know that Hayes is the perfect name for him and I love that it has special family significance.  You are all right that when you chose a name, especially an unusual one, you are bound to have some people who do not particularly like it (as well as some who love its uniqueness!).  However, you are also probably right that I may be reading too much into some people's facial expressions, etc. when I tell them his name. I just need to say it proudly and sometimes spell it if they ask about it, but mostly just love it.

 

One of the other reasons we chose the name is that I have a very common name, and I always wished I wasn't one of the 20 others in my class.  My husband's name is more unusual and is also a family name and he always liked being able to explain his name. As for the "ace" nickname- I agree it is kinda cute and if it does stick, I might as well embrace it.  I guess what I was feeling was what any mom wants for their child is to have the very best life possible and for people close to you to accept and love every part of your child- so I think maybe it was natural for me to be a bit disappointed when the beautiful name we chose for our son was not embraced by all in quite the way we would have liked or expected.  However, I still know for certain that we chose the right name and like many of you said I just need to forget about what others opinions may or may not be on it.  Besides like the last poster said, it is a good conversation starter anyway :) 

 

I love all of your stories and all the beautiful names you have mentioned and chosen for your children.  Really, thank you for reading and sharing!


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Old 02-03-2011, 12:06 AM
 
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I can relate. With twins we knew we didn't want gimmicky names. I knew I'd want one to be Vincent since our last name starts with V. But there wasn't another V name that we loved. We ended up picking Anthony about 2 hours before they were born. Good names, right?! Little did we know that everybody in the world would think we gave them mafia names! Jeez, people! They're good, strong, masculine names! Every single time I tell someone their names I get "oh are you Italian?" Well even though I have some Italian ancestry it has nothing to do with our naming choices! There's non-Italian anthonys and vincents left and right, but no, nobody thinks about them, huh.

Plus, his family is Latin and have thick accents too. I let them call them Antonio and Vicente if they want too, I don't really care. I mean, accents come along with having a multicultural family, and I don't see the big deal.

Hayes is a wonderful name. I also thought of the street in SF. Hayes Valley is the neighborhood. So cute!

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Old 02-03-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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My cousin is an Anthony and my Nephew is a Vincent we are an Itailan family and those are both family names, so I LOVE THEM. My cousins full name is actually Anthony Salvatore Polizzi. WAY Italian. :) Sorry that was slightly off topic, just want to let PP know those are great names too. 


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Old 02-03-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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I love the name Hayes so much that it just got added to the boy's name list. Our first was a girl, and thank goodness because we couldn't think of a SINGLE boy name we agreed on. If the second is a boy, Hayes is definitely a possibility.  I like the suggestion about "Hayes, like the president, it's a family name." If people don't know how to spell the president's name, they are the idiots, not you lol!  If you like the name, don't second guess yourself.  If anyone in your family complains or slights you for naming your DS Hayes, you may want to just ask them point blank what they are hoping to accomplish by criticizing the name - it's not like you are going to change it, so why exactly are they still talking about it? I would legitimately like to hear the answer. 


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Old 02-03-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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I think it's a beautiful name. What about making him a little knit cap with Hayes written on it so people don't think you named him after the smog? Lol. Haze.

This happens. We had our first child in Europe, and we had to pick a name that would be pronounceable in French German and English. I picked Sam. It seemed to work perfectly, I thought. Then he was born, and everywhere I went with my new baby, people asked me what his name was. When I said Sam, they all laughed uproariously and said "Of course!! Uncle Sam!! Ha ha ha ha!". Aw, shoot, I totally forgot that they all call the USA "uncle sam." greensad.gif

Oh well!!!

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Old 02-03-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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I still love his name and I know I always will and more importantly I hope he always will too. 

That's the most important thing, right there.  I followed the thread in the post you wrote earlier to another poster who had similar issues and enjoyed reading about Hayes.  I love it, by the way.  I do get why you feel like you might want to point out that it is spelled the way it is, but you don't have to justify, of course.  And a quick follow-up to my previous post about MIL not liking the name...sometime after he was born, she asked if the name we chose was to honor her & FIL's Irish heritage...I looked her straight in the eye and said "Well, of course it was!" (I had no idea the name was considered Irish).  I think that is the only lie I have ever told in which I felt that lying was absolutely the right thing to do.  It made her feel honored.  The truth about how we came up with our son's name?  I saw it on a license plate and fell in love with it.  I'd never heard it before.  That's my story!
 


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Old 02-04-2011, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone- and thanks 1stTimeMomma for saying you're actually considering the name! :)  I still love our DS's name and feel so much better after just getting out my feelings on this forum.  I may still spell it if I think someone thinks it's "Haze", but oh well!  I actually recently contacted a semi-famous Hayes on Facebook and asked how he liked the name growing up (I wasn't really expecting a response) but he took the time to write back and told me that he thought it was the best name in the world and has always loved it.  Can't get better than that!  I can only hope my little Hayes loves it as much :)

 

BTW- I love all the names you have mentioned- LOVE Avalon, so pretty, as well as Caeden.  Thanks everyone who responded, your thoughts and perspectives have really helped


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Old 02-04-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by norasmommy View Post

Thanks everyone- and thanks 1stTimeMomma for saying you're actually considering the name! :)  I still love our DS's name and feel so much better after just getting out my feelings on this forum.  I may still spell it if I think someone thinks it's "Haze", but oh well!  I actually recently contacted a semi-famous Hayes on Facebook and asked how he liked the name growing up (I wasn't really expecting a response) but he took the time to write back and told me that he thought it was the best name in the world and has always loved it.  Can't get better than that!  I can only hope my little Hayes loves it as much :)

 

BTW- I love all the names you have mentioned- LOVE Avalon, so pretty, as well as Caeden.  Thanks everyone who responded, your thoughts and perspectives have really helped



 Thank you! smile.gif

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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FWIW... I agree that people asking about it isn't necessarily negative.  I LOVE the name Hayes--it seems like a perfect boys name, especially if it's a family name.   Even so, if I ran into you and Hayes at the park I probably would have asked you about it since I hadn't thought about the name before reading your post.  

 

When people ask, try to explain the name with pride and assume their curiosity is a complement :)  


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