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To have kept my maiden name?

(30 Posts)
MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 08:58:48

Not the biggest issue in the world I know. So when I got married I kept my surname, I had always intended to, my husband was completely fine with it and if anything encouraged it. However our 6 year old son has told us he's been getting comments at school about it since it came to light, has been told it means either we're not really married or I'm not his real mum by other kids and even a teacher told him it was "strange" (which I think is out of order). It is upsetting him, though, and he asked me why I don't have the same surname as him, and when I explained he asked if it was too late for me to change it.

I always wanted to keep my surname as it's part of who I am and I always found it a bit of a sexist tradition, but if it's upsetting my son is it horrible of me to keep it just for my own pride? I already get called "Mrs hisname" at some functions and on some letters anyway!

Coastalcommand Sat 28-Jan-17 09:03:48

I don't know if this helps, but I go by both - maiden name professionally and husband's name at home. My colleagues do the same.
Official documents are still in my maiden name and if needs be I produce my marriage certificate.

Lottapianos Sat 28-Jan-17 09:05:17

It's your name. Of course you're not unreasonable to keep it. Why on earth would you change it? You got married, that doesn't mean you need to change your identity. There will always be muppets who can't get their head around people doing things differently. Feminism has such a long way to go

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:06:01

That's an option as I'd quite like to keep my maiden name at work, that was part of my reasoning for keeping it in the first place as well - I'm known by it and it was easier for my career (although I did keep it for "feminist" reasons too)! That's definitely an option though. It seems to mean a lot to my son.

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:08:00

Lottapianos I agree with that but my son seems quite upset I don't have the same surname as him, and it seems to have caused him some issues. Plus I already get addressed as "Mrs" sometimes which admittedly does my head in.

sphinxster Sat 28-Jan-17 09:09:15

What? Where do you live? Why do other people/children even care if you're married?

Talk to your son about why you haven't changed your name and reassure him that different surnames have no bearing on what makes a family.

Don't teach him that you give into small minded bullies.

KateTheShrew Sat 28-Jan-17 09:09:53

Not unreasonable at all. It's totally up to you what name you take (or keep) when you marry. I've done the same as you as have lots of my friends. If the teacher said it was strange that's out of order and just not true: IME it's incredibly common! In fact I'd be very surprised if your DC is the only one in his class who has married parents with different surnames. Just tell your child they're talking rubbish.

Sugarlightly Sat 28-Jan-17 09:10:24

Just explain to your son that not everyone changes their names when they get married, you are married and you are his real mum. Tell him you're not going to change your name but you understand that it's not nice to hear rumours about other people.

sphinxster Sat 28-Jan-17 09:11:06

If you kept it feminist reasons, teach your son. Raise him to be a human who supports equal rights.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sat 28-Jan-17 09:12:31

No defo not unreasonable! I have DD1 from a previous relationship and 2 DC with my DP. Whwb we marry I shall be keeping my maiden name so I remain the same as DD- this is because the other two have DPs surname and if I do too, she'd be the only one without it.DP is totally fine with it.

Explain to your son why you have different names and not to let the others upset him.

Lottapianos Sat 28-Jan-17 09:12:59

'Talk to your son about why you haven't changed your name and reassure him that different surnames have no bearing on what makes a family. '


I'm amazed that anyone knows or cares whether you're married or not.

And it's not your maiden name, it's YOUR name. Just as your husband's name is his name. Don't be apologetic about keeping it

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:13:05

Live in Oxford. I did tell him why but he still wants to have the same surname, it's difficult to get through to a 6 year old exactly why it matters to me, or maybe I explained poorly.

I think the teacher was completely out of order to say it was strange to him, it was in the context of my signature on a form about a school trip and I think from what he said a few other children overheard. He seems to think everyone else has the same surname as each of their parents but I'd also be surprised, I know of two friends for a start who kept their surnames when they married. I should be stronger about it but it's upsetting it's getting to him.

justme12345 Sat 28-Jan-17 09:14:04

I agree, it's totally up to you what name you wish to use. As others said I would explain why you wanted to and that it makes no difference.

I would be very annoyed if that was happening to my son though (I wanted to take my husbands name so I did, but still if I hadn't..)

LetThereBePeace Sat 28-Jan-17 09:15:44

Can you talk to your son about your feminist reasons for keeping it? I had 'unconventional' interest as a child due to my hippy family's interests (did yoga and mediation) which are totally mainstream now. I got some weird comments from classmates but it made me strike my own path, not be too much of a follower, and not be shy about it. I'd rather educate my child to have an open, non-judgemental mind on issues like this, rather than conform to what are only the norms right now. You're just ahead of the curve.

Lottapianos Sat 28-Jan-17 09:16:20

OP, I know you don't want your son to be upset but he's 6. He doesn't get to decide your name. Explain to him why you are keeping your name. Ask him to think how silly it would be if you suddenly decided to change his name. Everybody's name is staying the same and that's that

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:16:39

I'm most annoyed about the teacher. Children will say things, although hearing I'm not his real mum can't be nice (I've of course told him this is complete rubbish). When I talked to him about it it seemed to really matter to him though, I know children will have fleeting things and forget them soon enough but this seems to have got to him.

rosy71 Sat 28-Jan-17 09:18:51

It's a bit strange that all these people are commenting on it. Is there no one else at your son's school who doesn't fit into the category of married parents , all the same name?

We are not married. Ds1 went through a phase of wanting me to change my name; he also went through a phase of wanting a double barrelled name himself because a friend did. Ds2 has never mentioned anything. Neither of them bother now and, to my knowledge, no one has ever said anything. They have friends whose parents are married & unmarried, he same name, different names, one or both parents double barrelled - it doesn't really matter.

zippey Sat 28-Jan-17 09:20:32

Is there a reason why HE doesn't have YOUR name? Maybe you can get his surname changed? And maybe your husbands if he is up for it?

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:21:53

I agree it's strange and it probably will pass but he's fixated on it for a while now. My name does mean a lot to me but he's my priority and I already get called "Mrs" as I said, and sometimes having my own name gives its own issues with others who can't get their head around it including banks. Though also agree it doesn't send him a good message if I change it because of a few comments, basically teaching him to give in and change to please people.

HeCantBeSerious Sat 28-Jan-17 09:22:39

I'd go a bit nuts (nicely) with the teacher. How dare she.

I kept my maiden name. Don't use or respond to my husband's surname at all. Been married 13 years and have an 8 and a 6 year old. Both have my surname as a second middle name and both love having a strong connection to both sides of their family. Rather than bowing down to the patriarcy, could you add your name to your son's?

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:23:28

zippey that's a nice idea! I think my husband would have been open to changing his name to mine when we got married, shamefully it never even crossed my mind as an option despite feeling I was a feminist. Seems a lot of hassle now though sad

MsDF Sat 28-Jan-17 09:25:40

HeCantBeSerious I should have said something to the teacher really. She's quite young although already married herself, not that it should make a difference. She's entitled to think it's strange if she wants but saying it and making him feel bad about it is out of order. I'd love my name to be part of my son's and sort of wish he'd had my surname from the start! Good on you for not responding if you ever get called your husband's smile

LetThereBePeace Sat 28-Jan-17 09:27:43

Can you talk to the school/teacher about it if that part is really bothering you?

KateTheShrew Sat 28-Jan-17 09:33:02

If your husband really wants to change his surname, of course it"s an option to hover the whole family your name. But, while I totally understand how much you want to reassure your child, wouldn't that perhaps be confirming in his mind that his classmates and teacher are 'right' and your 'strange' situation has now been rectified? I'd be wary of that myself. All I'm saying is, if that is the decision you come to, try to make sure you separate it from what's been said to him at school.

Also yes, a lot of hassle which is the main reason I never changed my name on the first page, but I am notoriously lazy

ems137 Sat 28-Jan-17 09:33:55

I haven't changed my name since we got married in august.

2 of my kids have exH's name and my toddler has DH name. They've never had any issues with anyone regarding surnames.

When I booked in with the midwife a few weeks ago she asked my marital status, I said "married". Then she asked my husbands name, she was really confused by it all. She kept saying oh well you'll have to get around to changing it won't you? I said I'm not sure that I'll ever bother, it's just not a big deal to us, we are married and that's all that mattered really.

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