Heated discussion with DH over naming baby - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so I will preface this by saying I'm not trying to offend anyone if my views are not shared by others on this board when it comes to naming babies.

I really like it when babies have their own name that is unique to them and then honouring a family name as the middle name. For example, my name is Andrea Beth - Andrea was chosen by my parents and Beth was a shortened form of Elizabeth, a name that runs in both my parents' families.

My husband's family however has recycled the same two names over and over again in the immediate family so many times that its confusing at family get-togethers. Thomas and John.

My husband's name is Thomas as is his father's, maternal uncle's, and cousin's. His middle name is John which is also the name of his father, brother-in-law, nephew, two cousins, and one uncle. His mother calls him by that name (John) and he calls his mom by the name John as well (don't ask, I can't figure it out for the life of me...) Oh, and this just isn't a "male" thing - they've recylced three female names as well and name the first daughters after the moms or aunts, etc.

Here are the challenges I have with this:

1. At family gatherings, if you call out the name "John" or "Tom", you get eight or so people who respond.

2. We get his father's mail (even though we live two towns away from him)

3. My DH's nephew (who has the same name as his father, John) is called by his middle name (not one that runs in the family) b/c it is already confusing at that household for there to be two John's....and our nephew is only 15 months old.

I just think that kids should have their own name, their own identity. I think its wonderful to honour a family member by using it as a middle name. I also think that a child should be called by their name, not their middle name for the sake of lack of confusion (I mean, it wasn't hard to see that coming, why not just call him by a unique name and then have the middle name honoured?).

ANYHOW, long story short, my husband wants our child, if its a boy, to be named after him with the exact same name. He's willing to waiver on the middle name b/c (to quote) "if it does get confusing, then we can call him by his middle name", which just totally irritates me. I have asked that we honour his name as the middle name instead and he goes on and on about tradition in his family. He is completely oblivious to the fact that there are so many Tom's and John's in his family.

And when I bring up how its tradition in my family to honour a name as the middle name, he thinks that's not good enough.

This has become an ongoing debate in our household over since week one when he exclaimed that if its a boy, he can't wait to meet "Thomas John". I was shocked at this and we decided we'd sit on it until later months b/c we didn't want to argue. Well, now its later months and we're still frustrated with one another's points of view.

Does anyone (on either side of the debate) have a good suggestion as to how to calm the waters over this baby name? I'm at the point where I'm praying its a girl b/c I don't even want to have to deal with the onslaught of "why WOULDN'T you name is Thomas John" questions that will come our way....

Help! (Sorry this turned out into such a long drawn-out post....I'm just so frustrated!)
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#2 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 10:00 AM
 
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I don't have any advice, but I can say that we are having similar problems with naming the baby and have actually stopped talking about it - we get nowhere. Mostly because we refuse one another's choices. People can't believe we don't have a name yet (and of course all give us their opinions on what we should be naming this baby). I am praying it all falls into place when the baby comes. I am also hoping we have a girl to ease some of the naming strain. Good luck, and know you're not alone in the baby naming drama!
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#3 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 10:02 AM
 
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Lol, I would be frustrated too! I totally agree with you. However, it's not up to you and me, it's up to you and him, soooo . . . gosh, I don't know if I have any advice.

Here's a weird idea: you could get a third party mediator (a mutual friend perhaps)-- you both write down options you would be happy with, give them to the mediator, and then the mediator looks at both and tells you if you have reached an agreement. You would probably have to go back and forth for a while until ou had reached an agreement. The mediator might also be able to see who is compromising the least and maybe give them a nudge.

It would be helpful if the mediator were not a member of his family, lol!

And one other idea: you could give the baby four names: [first name] Thomas John [surname]

Good luck!

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#4 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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((((((((hug))))))))) I wish I had some advice!!! Only hugs and support though as I have no idea how to deal with something like that. I am too darn stubburn, I can imagine how hard it would be to be flexible when it comes to names. (Names are a huge deal to me and take sooo much time and consideration) DH and I have to agree but if something means more to one of us then the other we usually come up with a compromise.

Good luck!!!
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#5 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 01:30 PM
 
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Well, my boyfriend's name is Thomas John... :

My brother is a fourth, so my dad, g-dad, and gg-dad all had the exact same name. It's very confusing. And, as they got older, mail, and stuff got mixed up, banks got them confused, etc. We'd refer to them as "Big Sam" (my mom still refers to my dad like this, even though they are divorced.) and "Little Sam", although he's just Sam or Sammy now.

Some friends of my parents where the son and dad had the same name were referred to as "Dane" for the dad, and "Dane Dane" for the son.

There there's my dad's sister's family - Dad and first son have the same name, Mom and daughter have the same name, 3rd son has his own name. :

I agree with you, but I'm not sure how to solve it.

What if you made up a chart of his family with all the people named Thomas or John, to show that you really aren't making it up.
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#6 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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i'm sorry y'all are having a tough time with this! while i don't have any advice, here's how our tought process with boy names went down.

my dh's father and grandfather were both john lloyd. his grandfather went by lloyd and his father went by john. my MIL refused to name her son lloyd, and decided on john scott for my dh. since her dh went by john, they decided that my dh would go by scott. (whew, that's confusing just typing it!)

so, when we were deciding on boy names, i knew that we wanted to use bryce somewhere in the mix, and i thought that we could honor the "john" tradition and name the baby john bryce and call him bryce. when i brought that up i found out for the first time how much my dh hates going by his middle name. evidently it's pretty confusing for folks, and he said he hated it so much that he would not do that to a son of his. until this time i had no idea how much it bothered him!! we ended up going with bryce david (david being a family name on my side) and i really like what we've ended up with!

maybe you can talk to your dh about how confusing it is for people to go by their middle name and continue talking about how important it is for your little one to have his own identity, because i have to say, i agree with you on that.

good luck!
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#7 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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Wow, sounds like a difficult situation! I second the recommendation to use your dh's name as the middle name, meaning "first name" Thomas-John.

Best of luck to you!!

Mama to Ainsley (7/01) , Finley (10/06) and Jade (10/06)
 

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#8 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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that would be upsetting. i like more original names myself - not necessarily too original, but different than the rest of the family. my dh is a jr, and he's so opposed to a III - thank heavens.

what if the middle name was thomas and the first name was the more original name he would let you use as a middle name?

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
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#9 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appifanie View Post

what if the middle name was thomas and the first name was the more original name he would let you use as a middle name?
That is EXACTLY what I would like! And when I proposed that option he doesn't think its good enough, he wants it to be the same name. ARrrgh! I'm sure the conversation will continue this evening....stay posted for updates!
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#10 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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well, here's a little ammo for you ...in a book I was reading about baby names some time ago (it was a very funny book about the history of names and trends) it had a statistic about male jr's....something like 15% (may have been more) of people in psychiatric institutions are jr's! And, only one president has been a jr. Oh, there were other things...it was really kind of funny but it did make my dh think twice about the same name!! We're having a girl, so it turned out not to be an issue anyway.

FWIW my dh is John Christopher and goes by Chris...sooooooo annoying for any paperwork, forms, etc. The only time it's good is when a telemarketer calls they always ask for "John"!!

Maybe your dh would use one of his names and a variation of the other--like Thomas Jack or Jack Thomas? Or maybe just something with the same initials? Or, you could always just call him Junior : ! Ha,ha!

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#11 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 03:33 PM
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Why not throw out both traditions and give your baby a completely 'new' name that is not in either of your families?

FWIW-In my family, we have naming ceremonies and one person names all the children, so, parents have no say.
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#12 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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Hey, I'm due Nov 4th (expecting the baby in October, though), and we STILL haven't come up with a name either. I'm starting to get stressed out about it. We just haven't been able to agree on anything.

I'm totally with you on honoring family names with the middle name. We named my son after my husband and my dad, but we used my husband's middle name as a first name and my dad's first name as a middle name, so we still only have one Jacob, one David, and one Ethan in the family. Or we did. My brother went and named his newest son after our dad, and now we have a "baby David." I guess as he gets older, he'll be "little David." I don't like that so much.

My first name was to honor a family member, but the family member being honored was my great grandmother, so there's been no confusion caused by that.

Oh, here's a thought. I had a cousin named John Thomas, and we always called him JT. Any chance you'd feel okay with a TJ? If not, I hope your husband becomes more willing to compromise soon!

Mother of three and strong advocate of being KIND to each other. (No one is going to learn how to be a better mother by your telling her she makes you want to throw up.)
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#13 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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I hear you on the heated discussion about names, we are avoiding the subject right now. I completely understand about wanting a different name, I feel the same way. All the boys in my family get named William A, I don't have a large family so there aren't too many running around, but more then enough. My grandfather has awful credit and my dad has been hounded for years from collection agencies who don't seem to understand that my dad and my grandfather are two different peope who live 2 thousand miles apart. And my dad who has excellent credit has been turned down several times while trying to buy things because he was confused for my grandfather. I always swore that I would never give my children the same name as a relative. DH has his mother's maiden name as a first name and his father's name as a middle name, even that has caused issues. When we used to live in the same town as them, we always got FIL's mail, and he got DH's.

Our big issue with names is last names. I took DH's name when we got married 5 years, but am in the process of changing back to my maiden. DD has Dh's last name, and DH wants this baby to have his last name as well. I want a child with MY last name, I'm at the end of my family line, I'd like my last name to continue on. DH is not happy about it, but does not want to hypenate. We have first names almost picked out but have avoided discussing last names for the past couple months. I know what I'm doing to do, but I don't know if he does.

I think using the name as a middle name is great, but I know trying to get the other person to agree to that is another story. Or maybe finding a name that means Thomas or John in a different language. My first pick for a boy's name for this babe is actually Liam, which is an Irish variant of William. Go figure, I always swore I wouldn't carry on the tradition and I might in some form.

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#14 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 05:23 PM
 
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I'm sorry that you are having troubles with the baby's name. It seems that you are compromising and he just isn't willing because of 'family tradition'. You should tell him, "this is the begining of OUR family and we can make our own traditions". It seems more than fair to me that you are willing to honor his name as a middle name, it would be unfair for him to bully you into naming your baby a name that you aren't comfortable with. You want to refer to your child by their name and you deserve to do that without getting a response from 8 people when you call out for your child, especially at a family gathering. DH and I are naming our DS after him, DH is Jacob Ryan and our DS will be Ryan Jacob. It doesn't help your situation at all to reverse the name though, does it? : DH has asked me what I am going to call him...?? I'm going to call him by his name, Ryan...do you plan on calling him by Frank or something? Anyways, I hope you guys can agree on a name you both like Good Luck!
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#15 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
Why not throw out both traditions and give your baby a completely 'new' name that is not in either of your families?

.

Well this is what happened in my family. There was such a controversy over MY name (first child and first grandchild) that my mother threw in the towel and I was named something not even remotely connected to the rest of the family. SOmehow that happened with ALL of the girls. I have 2 Jewish names (Jody Leah) and my cousins are Nicole Renee and Alexandria. Meanwhile all the boys have Irish names, at least one being a saint's name, even my Bro.

Andrea, if this were me, I would insist on waiting until after the dellivery to name the baby. You haven't even met him. He may not be a Thomas or John.
Anothe suggestion is using TJ as the nickname. That's what our friend Thomas John goes by. I just reallized, that TONS of us personally know Thomas Johnsor John Thomas's.... you should tell DH that too.

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#16 of 16 Old 09-25-2006, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL...I didn't expect so many people to either be in the same situation or have such great advice! Thanks!

I think on the whole initial thing (JT or TJ), I'm somewhat hesitant. They call our nephew JC (his initials) and between his name (John), his middle name (Cooper), calling him by both names (John Cooper) and calling him by initials, this child (who again is only 15 months) has FOUR variations of his name that he has to get used to. : I just think its so so silly.

I thought about throwing both traditions out - I don't want DH to feel as though his compromise is my family tradition (honouring his name as the middle name) - but I know he'll kick up a fuss.

I like the idea of a varation though, maybe he'll be good with that? I guess we'll see how the discussions progress over the next few days. Not looking forward to this....
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