What do you think of this Surname Debate? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 111 Old 08-12-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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I have only read the initial post, so apologies if this is out of sync.

Given the new information, I would encourage you to divide it by gender. Girls get your name, boys get his.

Partly basing it on a very old "miss manners" type column that suggested exactly this.

EDIT after reading:
I took my husband's name because I didn't have any fondness for my birth name. A combination of my relationship with my parents, and the little bit I did know about my grandmother's ex-husband.

I have known at least one family that divided their names by gender, and I think that worked okay for them. I may have known another that gave each of their five children a different combination of last names, but I only ever knew them by the father's surname. (I think one child had her name, one had his name, one had hers-his, one had his-hers, or something like that.)

To me, the gender part makes genetic sense. Only girls can pass on the mitochondrial DNA. Only boys can pass on the Y-chromosome.

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#92 of 111 Old 08-12-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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I don't know, thats tough. I changed my last name to DH's after my DS was born (DS got DH's last name), and have kind of regretted it ever since. This is as much because I dislike his dad's family as because of anything else... His mom's family (who we see a LOT more than his dads, thankfully) is wonderful, but of course he has his dad's last name. With DS2, we gave him my last name as his second and still gave him DH's last name. So, I definetly understand the issue...

I think I'd seriously consider changing all of your last name's to a composite of both (hislastname-yourlastname), or else give all the kiddos his last name as a second middle name?
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#93 of 111 Old 08-12-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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I like the idea of gender split. Especially as you have an equal number of kids getting each. DH can have his sons carry on his family name. You can teach you daughters your femenist values.
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#94 of 111 Old 08-12-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
.

The only time it gets annoying is when signing greeting cards. We can't sign anything "The Lastname Family." So we sign everything "Ruth, DD1, DD2, and DS".
In this case they could easily sign the Smith/Brown Family since there really are only two names involved.
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#95 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
In this case they could easily sign the Smith/Brown Family since there really are only two names involved.
Or hyphenate for this particular situation. I think hyphenating is what the family I knew that did the gender-split did when signing things "The ... Family".

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#96 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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Eh, I'm probably the dissenter (and will freely admit I didn't read all 5 pages) but I might feel inclined to change to his last name. It sounds like that's the extended family you are closest to and identify with the most, and that would count for a lot with me. Plus the spelling thing.... my maiden name was easy and spellable, and after 12 years I am still annoyed how often I have to spell my married name (or tell people how to pronounce it...and honestly... it's a simple enough name, very phonetic, it's just unusual). Patriarchy aside, I think using names to honor those you love is a wonderful thing to do.

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#97 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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I haven't read, the rest of the thread, just the OP, so as not to influence my answer.

I would go with dividing by gender. All the girls get your surname with DH's as a middle name, and all the boys get DH's surname with yours as a middle name.

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#98 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 02:00 AM
 
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Haven't read the replies.

As much as I don't love hyphenated names, I think this would be a good situation for hyphenation.

Or else come up with a third name that is somehow a combination of them both.

My third choice would be to change your dd's last name and have all your kids have dh's last name.

I would personally not want my kids having different last names, so that would be my last choice.
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#99 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 03:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ~pi View Post
We did this in a way, though a little further in advance. We flipped for last name at our wedding ceremony. (DH's idea.) I "won," so DH took my name. DH, I and DS all have DH's bachelor name as a middle name.
That is totally awesome! I love it!

In the OP situation though, I think I would make the boys have mom's last name as a middle name and then dad's last name and the girls have dad's last name as middle and then mom's last name.

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#100 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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If doing a gender split, why not girls get dad's boys get mom's? That way, when they get married, the mom's name gets passed down. Assuming the boys' wives change their names. That would mean changing dd1's name, but that seems to be inevitable anyway.
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#101 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
If doing a gender split, why not girls get dad's boys get mom's? That way, when they get married, the mom's name gets passed down. Assuming the boys' wives change their names. That would mean changing dd1's name, but that seems to be inevitable anyway.
Hmmm... I think adding a middle name is different than a new last name though. If DD1 is old enough to know her last name, I wouldn't want to change it, personally. Otherwise though, it is a nice idea to give girls Dad's name and boys Mom's.

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#102 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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hmm... as it stands we all have different surnames. we arent married and we gave ds the name we decided we would have once getting married which is hyphenated and a combination of both (my name is already hyphenated so i had to pick one name which was hard enough)
but ive got to say it is tricky and often confusing when telling people our different names. booking flights, booking in to soft play areas, or other events,...
so im looking forward to us all having the same name.
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#103 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Have you considered a new last name that combines both of your names? No hyphinated, but a mix that would just be both of your names smooched together.

I do know someone, him and his sister both have different last names but the same parents. Neither of them really had much of an issue with it beyond explaining to others why.

ooh, I really like that idea.
FWIW I would have to have all the children the same, but that's my opinion...
cool idea!

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#104 of 111 Old 08-17-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frontierpsych View Post
My aunt and uncle married circa 83, and she didn't change her name. She just didn't like the way they sounded together. I took DH's last name because it sounded better to me, and was shorter. No in-depth thought involved.
I took my DH's last name because it was less "teasable" than my maiden name... so I went from Payne to a mostly unpronounceable, not terribly common Japanese surname with the same amount of letters.

One of my aunts kept her married name after her divorce just because she didn't want to go back to Payne.
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#105 of 111 Old 08-18-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread ...

Kind of a different situation, but my mum went through this after she remarried when I was 6 (my bio dad died). When I started school, I wrote my name on my schoolbooks with stepdad's surname, which, at that time, wasn't my name at all. My mum sat me down and said that she wanted me and all my sisters to have the same last name, so I needed to think very carefully about which name I wanted. In the end, she left it up to me to decide for myself and my sisters (since I was the oldest). I eventually chose stepdad's surname. I now feel very proud that my mum trusted me to make such an important decision, even though I was so young. So that might be something else to consider in your case - let your DD decide, after you have explained all the pros and cons to her.

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#106 of 111 Old 08-18-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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i like the thought of one poster upthread who liked the idea of children getting their mother's last name, whether it's her maiden name or married name.

i also like the idea of a previous poster who suggested asking what the oldest child thought about the whole name thing.

if i were in your situation, i would be inclined to continue naming the children the same way i had named the first child, though possibly using dh's new last name as the only middle name, in order to give it more prominence. i say this because the reason you gave for your children to have your last name is compelling enough for me; i agree with it, to some extent.

however, i'm not particularly attached to the idea of my own children sharing my name, or even sharing the same name among themselves. my best friend has four children, and they all have different last names that she and her partner at the time (the first fathered the first three children, the second fathered the last child) picked individually for them. they are all quality names (eg, love, truth, peace, etc), and i *love* that idea. both men feel that they know who their kids are, the kids know they're related to each other, so matching names is a formality that has little meaning for them.

in my family of origin, my mother married three times, and her two children (my brother and i) have different fathers. so i have her first husband's name, my brother has her second husband's name, and she continues to use her third husband's name (she's a widow, so i completely understand her attachment to that name). i don't have any problems with it at all. and most people don't bat an eye.

in my own family, i didn't have any intention of changing my name when i married, but it meant a lot to my husband that we had the same name. when he didn't want to change his name to mine for the same reasons i didn't want to change my name to his, we picked out a name we would both change to. when my husband backed out of that, he suggested that we both hyphenate. and that's what we did. our new name is an ungainly 14 letters and 4 syllables long, but my husband got the "unity" he was looking for, and neither one of us was "discarding" an identity to be "subsumed" in the other's. our children share the same name. overall, we like being "team hislastname-mylastname". :-)

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#107 of 111 Old 08-19-2009, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to thank everyone for their input and their stories. I have read all the replies and really enjoyed them.

We have pretty much decided to split the kids, he gets 1 boy, 1 girl. I get 1 boy, 1 girl. Which ever kid we don't get, get's the other's last name as a second middle name (what we have done for DD1). We both love nature-inspired middle names (which DD1 has) and don't want to give up that tradition.

If honesty is to speak, I'm a bit disappointed that not all my children will have my last name; I am also sort of happy that 2 of my children won't have to deal with pains of having a difficult to pronounce, spell, etc type of name.

Compromise is compromise. Still waiting to see what happens with the countertops. . . . .
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#108 of 111 Old 08-19-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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I'm glad you found a solution you can live with!

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#109 of 111 Old 08-19-2009, 03:42 AM
 
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awesome. that's pretty much as fair as it gets, given the circumstances. :-) glad you can both work with it!

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#110 of 111 Old 08-19-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Barefoot Farmer View Post
Just wanted to thank everyone for their input and their stories. I have read all the replies and really enjoyed them.

We have pretty much decided to split the kids, he gets 1 boy, 1 girl. I get 1 boy, 1 girl. Which ever kid we don't get, get's the other's last name as a second middle name (what we have done for DD1). We both love nature-inspired middle names (which DD1 has) and don't want to give up that tradition.

If honesty is to speak, I'm a bit disappointed that not all my children will have my last name; I am also sort of happy that 2 of my children won't have to deal with pains of having a difficult to pronounce, spell, etc type of name.

Compromise is compromise. Still waiting to see what happens with the countertops. . . . .
Congratulations on working things out. I think compromise is an important ingredient in a successful, healthy relationship. I haven't read all the posts - my first thought was to reach a similar compromise. These days, at least where I live, it's pretty common for family members to have several different surnames in the same household. As for tradition - that's cultural. There are some cultures where one son will be given the mother's surname, if there have been no other males to continue that family name - so it isn't uncommon in those cultures for one nuclear family to have different surnames.

I have a different last name than dh and dk's. I've heard the arguments that it doesn't demonstrate family unity and that it could be confusing to the children. I always said that our behaviour and attitude would demonstrate family unity - and if my children were confused about who their parents are and what family they belonged to, then we had bigger problems than what we were called.

Lastly, I wouldn't forget that at some point in the future, when they are older, your children may decide to change their surnames themselves - to use the "other" name in your family, or to their partner's name, or just to re-invent themselves. It isn't a permanent choice...
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#111 of 111 Old 08-21-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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Compromise is compromise. Still waiting to see what happens with the countertops. . . . .
Hmmm... Any chance you have a set up with an island and a breakfast bar so one can get the countertops themselves to choose a material and the other get the island and bar?

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