Surnames

(140 Posts)
Rollermum Sun 28-Jul-13 13:41:05

Hey all

The post below about joint accounts, and a batch of particularly annoying post got me thinking about surnames and my baby (due 6th Sep).

I am married and haven't changed my name. My title is Dr and before that was Ms. I registered our move w various utilities and got post to us both w DH name first (as in the joint accounts thread). Same post brought some lovely cards from family members but all calling me variously wrong names: Mrs DHSurname, Miss MySurname etc.

I had been planning that the baby will have our joint surnames (diuble barrelled) whilst we both just keep our own names. But lately I've been thinking this will complicate the name situation in our house even more. I can envisage years of bday cards from well meaning relatives with just my husband's surname.

Any thoughts on how to deal with this? I have never wanted to change my name but lately I've just been fed up of it. I'd like us to feel like a family unit. My sister didn't change her name and is constantly correcting people that they are married. Also I just can't imagine my child not having my name (at least in part).

Finally I'd happily double barrel but DH isn't prepared to do the same - so I won't either!

I guess my name feeling vague is ok but want the baby to have a clearer one!

NotAnotherPackedLunch Sun 28-Jul-13 13:51:44

There are four surname options for your baby.
1.DH surname
2. Your surname
3. Double barrelled
4. An entirely new surname.

If you have doubts about a double barrelled name then options 1 and 2 should be considered as equally reasonable.

If your baby has your name then you will have the family unit name and it will up to your DH to choose to adapt his surname or retain his individual name. This is the situation many women face in your position, but there is no good reason that it shouldn't be the male partner who faces this choice instead.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Sun 28-Jul-13 14:21:57

Would your DH mind if the baby had your name? It seems to me the most sensible option, since he's the one who doesn't want to double-barrell and since it does make a nice gesture along the same lines as you keeping your name.

ThoraNomiki Sun 28-Jul-13 14:49:03

Can you merge a part of each of your surnames to create a new surname, honouring both your families?

sonlypuppyfat Sun 28-Jul-13 14:54:02

I always thought I had my Dads name and now I've got my husbands name. My maiden name was lovely really traditionally British and I swapped it for a really common name but what does it matter.

Treagues Sun 28-Jul-13 14:54:52

I have not changed my name and to be honest, years on, I don't get any official grief about it at all. If people need correcting then I do it, but it's maybe once a year at most, and nobody really bats an eyelid, schools and airports included.

Older relatives do find it hard, but, really, fuck 'em. grin

DC has DH's surname for aesthetic reasons but truth be told I wish I'd double barrelled just to make the point. I'd just go ahead and don't worry too much when people get it wrong, unless you suspect they're doing it because they think you are inferior. In which case start a thread on here and watch it reach 500 posts within the hour grin

Rollermum Sun 28-Jul-13 15:08:06

Thanks for all the thoughts everyone. It matters to me and DH respects that and doesn't want me to take his surname because he knows deep down it isn't what I want.

Thora - I love that idea and we were going to do that but a few people took the piss.

I will talk to him about it again. I think we both need to stop caring what ancient relatives think as Treagues says!

slug Sun 28-Jul-13 15:34:36

While I kept my name DD has DH's surname. We did it this way because I am one of many siblings whereas DH is an only child. My parents have plenty of grandchildren but DD is the in Laws only grandchild. I love my in Laws. They are truly lovely people who wouldn't have made a fuss but their surname for their only grandchild was my gift to them.

tribpot Sun 28-Jul-13 15:38:48

I can envisage years of bday cards from well meaning relatives with just my husband's surname.

Basically this is going to happen regardless of what option you choose. I wouldn't allow this to influence you - your child certainly won't care!

It's interesting that your DH is so anti changing his name. Most (but not all) of the guys I've ever spoken to about this have said the same. Yet have found it bizarre that I haven't changed mine when I got married. Why should I feel different? They all have their father's surnames too, yet feel (quite rightly) that it is theirs to keep or change as they wish.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 28-Jul-13 15:39:57

I think you should both keep your names and double barrel the dcs as this seems to be what you want to do. People will get it wrong sometimes but not often enough or with enough impact to make it unfeasible.

AdoraBell Sun 28-Jul-13 15:48:51

We double barreled our DDs, much to the annoyance of PILs but that wasn't the reason.

So we have

Mrs Adora Bell- OH's name
Mr His Name (he's spent 15 yrs handwringing over weather to use my name but that's his choice)
DDs Bell-OH's name.

I'm not a Dr though and have no other title to use. It hase taken ILs years to manage to write both names on a card for DDs, but they are slowly coming round to idea that winding DDs up by using the wrong name is not winning them any browny points.

Me and DH have a new name that is unique to our family. And even though we are now planning on divorcing I'm keeping the surname because it is as much mine as his.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 28-Jul-13 15:53:07

Another option is for the children to have your surname or DH's surname and the other partner's surname for a middle name (not double barrelled).

What Treagues said pretty much applies to my situation. It does not come up often now because we have been married 25+ years, but I have no problem correcting people, especially family, who really ought to know better once they have been told. Getting someone's name right is a very basic matter of respect.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 28-Jul-13 18:54:11

Sonly, did your DH consider taking your father's name rather than you taking his father's name?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 28-Jul-13 19:24:31

I always thought I had my Dads name and now I've got my husbands name.

And yet your husband got to keep his 'father's name', while you gave yours up.

Do you have any brothers? They get to keep their 'father's name' but yet any daughters are expected to give it up.

How does that make any logical sense? Why are men's surnames deemed their own enough to keep forever, but women's surnames are 'their father's' and therefore easily relinquished?

Sorry, but I think the 'I always had my father's name, so I might as well take my husband's name' argument is the worst sort of let's-ensure-the-patriarchy-endures-into-eternity argument ever.

Bue Sun 28-Jul-13 19:35:25

DonDrapers beat me to it.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 28-Jul-13 19:46:18

DonDrapers and Bue beat me to it. Well said, Don.

Rollermum Sun 28-Jul-13 20:02:55

Yep, as DonDrapers said - that is my view. DH gets it, he's not being awkward.

He understands for me to double barrel he would need to as well, but isn't sure about it. Partly because he is a journalist and his name is known. And has always thought of it as a bit wanky - no offence to anyone with one! He's fine with double barreling for the mini-one as a compromise, its just me feeling a bit exhausted by all the corrections. I can see why women give in and change their names to make it easier - but I wont be doing so.

My (other) sister once said 'don't bring politics into your marriage' which surprised me because where else would I do it?! The personal really is political (dimly remembered feminism lecture from uni - not that it got a whole lecture it was shared with some other 'wacky' schools of political thought, but that's another post!)

scottishmummy Sun 28-Jul-13 20:12:26

What's troubling you,minor social irritation on cards or the surname of baby?
What about you both maintain,respective names and double barrel baby
I don't understand your pov that family unit has same name,it's old fashioned

Re the double barrel name,when I habitually got cards for the kids addressed to dad surname I eventually sent them back marked not at this address. That soon got the message through and sharpened failing memory

I don't think you need to make any change to your surname, or his and just double barrel for baby

scottishmummy Sun 28-Jul-13 20:16:19

We have our respective surnames, and kids are double barrelled surname
Slight harrumph from some folk,wee hiccup with names on cards
Overall not problematic to have double barrelled surname for the kids

burberryqueen Sun 28-Jul-13 20:19:03

my brother actually told me I had 'no right' to call myself ms. dadsname after marriage! and he was serious! it really pissed him off!

CMOTDibbler Sun 28-Jul-13 20:23:49

We've been married 16 years, and are Ms CMOT, Mr Hisname, and DS CMOT-Hisname. The animals are the same as ds.

People get it wrong - some as they don't know, some just can't get the hang of it (cos they is silly). But I only have to correct people every few months, and dh is just as likely to do so. We both have taken family members to task on the subject.

GP, school etc least likely to get it wrong ime.

Nonsensical Sun 28-Jul-13 20:39:50

We are not married - tho even if we were I wouldn't change my name - but I was happy for the children to have my partner's surname. Partly because I am already double barrelled and he has a long surname so to combine the 2 names would have been fairly monstrous. But also, and I know this is a bit odd, I felt somehow that I had the most incredible experience of growing and giving birth to our babies, and it seemed right somehow that my partner should give them his name as a consolation prize. Interestingly though my eldest who is a girl has started saying she wants my name instead... Glad to see her feminist education is paying off at the tender age of 6!

JulesJules Sun 28-Jul-13 20:48:59

Me and DH kept our own surnames (and yes, although my surname is the same as my Dad's, it is also my name - the only surname I have ever had). The dds have my surname with DH's surname as a 2nd middle name. The two surnames weren't double barrable (? sp)

Inlaws and various elderly rellies didn't like it/ couldn't get the hang of it/ wouldn't get the hang of it. But so what grin

sonlypuppyfat Sun 28-Jul-13 22:00:41

I'm quite tradional so while I did love my maiden name I didn't mourn its passing I was quite proud to take my DH name I wouldn't expect a man to change his name for me and I wouldn't want a double barrel name.

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