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Baby name regret - I think I'm going mad.......!(37 Posts)
Sorry in advance for the very long post but I really need some advice as I think I'm going mad. My gorgeous baby girl is now over a year old. When she was born I was convinced I was having a boy. After her birth I felt pressured into naming her quickly - we had a few short listed girls names, but hadn't really given it a lot of thought. We promptly decided on a name which was on our shortlist and I felt v happy with, although I did mention to my dh that I felt slightly concerned had pronunciation variations. After a few months I became a bit obsessed about her name and felt that we had given her the "wrong" one after a few people had mispronounced it or misheard it. After many tearful discussions with DH, we finally decided to insert a new 1st name on her birth certificate which I thought I felt happier with.
Having decided on this new name and officially adding it to her birth certificate, I kept hearing the new chosen name EVERYWHERE (the original name we had chosen is quite unusual - although not unheard of). I find there are often other babies with the same name in the classes that we attend and whilst I do think the new name is lovely, I feel I have done her a real disservice choosing such a popular name in place of a rather beautiful and very much less used name. In retrospect, I feel I acted in haste in changing her name initially - I think I was consumed with "baby blues" and put all my angst into her name choice. Not a day goes by (a year on now) that I don't think about her original name - I wake up at night and obsess about it and I think I am going completely mad. I often call her by both names together (ie new 1st name and old 1st name) so her original name is certainly not alien to her. I am however increasingly thinking that we should have kept her original name and I feel really very upset about it.
So, would it be completely bonkers to revert to the old name now?? It is officially now her middle name so is still on her birth certificate. My dh could probably be persuaded to change back as he loved our original choice, but I am keen to hear other peoples' thoughts on this matter. I know people may think I am crazy, but I would rather get this sorted while she is too little to remember!
I know lots of people who are known by their middle name rather than their first name. You don't necessarily need to change it.
I'd start using her old name again and just keep it as-is on her birth certificate. I know loads of people who go by their middle name! If she and your family are familiar with it, I doubt the switch will be difficult. I'm dying to know what both names are now, though!
I also have name regret with my nearly one year old, for what it's worth. It's just her middle name (seems a bit out there and hippie-ish now, whereas it felt fresh and sophisticated at the time), so not really worth changing, but it does keep me up at night kicking myself sometimes!
I didn't and my ds still has the wrong name :-(
It's too late now he's 3. But it still doesn't feel right. I'm full of regret.
If your dh is fine with it, then I think you should call your dd by your preferred name. That's the benefit of having more than one forename! If she is used to hearing it, then I wouldn't even give it a second thought. You can always say to people that you've decided to use her middle name, as it suits her personality better!
For what it's worth looking back a few of us realise we had various anxious "obsessions" when our kids were small - 5 and younger. Whether it's hormones or the huge responsibility of a new little life (or two, three or more) you are not going mad. It seems to be par for the course when being a mum. Do what you need to do to feel sane and don't feel guilt at waking up at night obsessing. Everyone I know has done it over something or other when our kids were young.
Thank you so much for the replies and support. I know we don't have to change it officially as fortunately we kept it as one of her middle names, but we would have to announce the change to everyone again which I'm sure would be met with much surprise having already changed it once! I'm sure people would think we were truly bonkers for our indecision over a year down the line don't you think??
Basically, it's nobody else's business but yours and your dh's. If it gets queried, just brazen it out in a 'well, that's what we've decided' sort of way! It's not as though it's a completely new name.
I'd just go for it and not worry about what other people might think.
I know quite a few people known by their middle name, and children too. It's fine.
My advice would be to revert back to her original name now, whilst you still can. There's no need to change anything officially again - as others have said, lots of people are known by their middle name & schools etc. will generally ask for the child's 'full name' and 'name known as' (or words to that effect) on registration forms nowadays.
As for people thinking you're bonkers - they'll get over it. Better that than a lifetime of regret over your DD's name.
FWIW, I have slight name regret over two out of three of my DCs names! I do still like their first names, but just have this feeling that we could have done better for them IYSWIM. With DD, she has a name I have loved since I was a child. Now that I have to use it multiple times a day I've gone off it a little & find myself wishing that one of her middle names was her first name . She knows her name too well now though for it to be possible to change it (3).
Use her middle name.
Have you read this board and seen the amount of effort that goes into choosing middle names? The reason is for situations like this.
p.s. I have name regret too but in my case its both first and middle names.....if I could choose again, I'd call my daughter Tabitha!
Love to know what these names are!!!
Are the names really the issue?
Years ago I was extremely anxious in my life generally and it manifested itself in this kind of obsessional indecision.
Imagine you revert to name 1. Are you now completely happy? Or does something else take its place?
Btw, if you do revert back, you could just do it quietly. Just call her old name, say Beatrice. And whenever you meet anyone and call her Beatrice, and they look at you quizzically, quietly say "oh, her first name is still <Ellie> but we think she is much more of a Beatrice." No big announcements needed!
I like both those names BTW, I am just using as examples....
Hi, not to be harsh but I do feel a bit concerned reading your posts and hearing the huge effect this is having on your life . I think you are right that you are struggling/baby blues and this name thing is an expression of that problem. Except a year and a bit in, it's not ' baby blues ' it's depression or anxiety or something ???
I think maybe leave the name thing for a bit (being known as middle name is normal - people in my family have named kids with intention on using middle name). Instead concentrate a bit on how you are, speak to dp, gp etc.
OK... Completely get where you are coming from. My mother chose Dd1 s name. Everyone loves it. People say, oh it will be hard naming your second...
It was. Dd2 is five months old. Named her one thing but due to constant mispronounciations ( think Ellen/Helen etc) I changed her name again!
I prefer second choice but I also still cycle through other names! Each week I have a different name obsession. I am going to ride mine out though as practically there's nothing wrong her current name. Its not overly popular and its easy to say.
Dd2 simply hasn't grown into name yet.
So for you id say change the name! Its no biggy, really it isn't. It does sound like post natal obsession over names which is also what I'm suffering from. Yes, I feel like I'm going mad too and boring people in RL when I say 'what do you think about Queenie, Nimou, Tamar...'
However agree with above that your mind might start on something else. Perhaps look into CBT?
Luckily you kept her old name as second name.
Perhaps you need or want everything to be perfect though and feel angry that you didn't get it right the first time. Perhaps obsessing about names allows you not to worry about the magnitude of looking after a child!
If you need to chat to someone who is in a similar boat feel free to PM me.
Thank you everyone for you advice, very much appreciated. I will try and discuss the matter with dh later - he is aware that I am fairly obsessive about her current name, but I haven't broached the subject of reverting back.
I do hear what you're saying Roonerspism and munchkinmaster, but FWIW I really don't feel depressed or anxious about anything else in my life. I am someone with a fairly sunny disposition (generally!) I have a v busy life, older DC and a loving DH. I thought this feeling of letting her down would pass, but each time I hear another child with her "new" name, or similar variant, I just feel very sad, particularly as I am yet to come across another DC with her original name (and as I say, I also have older dc so have been around lots of children for a number of years!) I am thoroughly enjoying every other aspect of my youngest DD - she is very easy and has a wonderfully engaging personality - she is much adored by everyone! I just wish I could stop obsessing about her name!
What is the current name? If its popular I doubt you will be outing yourself...?
Thank you for your kind words burgatroyd. It's really good to hear from someone who has been through the name changing process. I may well PM you later.
I think the current name along with my OP might well "out" me so I'd rather not say! FWIW I still think her new name is lovely (and doesn't have the pronunciation issues of her original) it's just so blooming popular and I keep hearing it everywhere!
Ohh i'd love to know the names in question!!
Start using her original name again, when she us used to it and you are sure thats her name change it back, dont regret the change again.
My 2 year old has a first and middle name but we always call her both, i regret not adding a - to it as both names are her name. Like sarah-jane or jayne-anne.... We didnt as we i didnt like - in names but now when shes just called 'sarah' i'm like no shes called 'sarah jane'.. Still thinking i mite change it.
Well it doesn't need to be full blown depression. Its just being stuck in a rut.
You just need to make a decision.
Look at it this way. You are using her middle name as her first. When she goes to school you'll fill out her known as name as this name. When all this is settled you might want to go down deed poll route. Again its just a form and once used to get a passport (passport will be used for 95% of I'd purposes) who's going to know? Also people do this all the time when changing children's surnames. However you might not want to go down deed poll route as lots of peeps are known BT mn. It just might be handy to change before she gets her certs.
Also how popular is this new name? If she's likely to be known as let's say Evie x then completely get it. But if she's known as Evangeline say, then don't use shortening.
Also once its done don't need to keep explaining decision. For awhile anyone who asked dds name would have to hear her name change story as well. The worst phase to be in is the indecisive bit. Once you make the decision just say This is her name and move on. It will get easier the more you do it.
Honestly, I think people would think you were a bit bonkers for changing her name again. But I don't think that should stop you from doing it. I'm sure people often think I'm bonkers but it doesn't really matter. For other people it's a passing thought but for you it is affecting your life.
But if you do change the name back surely people will continue to mishear or mispronounce it as they did before you changed it. I am just concerned that you seem to need it to be perfect and hearing the name repeatedly said incorrectly is far from perfect.
Just call her the name you want, everyone will fall in. If anyone questions it, say that you decided X original name fits her better after all now she's grown into it a bit so you'll be using that. Say it with eye contact and a smile!
If people think you are bonkers so what? People like to raise their eyebrows over other people's lives and decisions, but you know what, it is your life and your decision so do what makes you happy.
Everyone obsesses about things that others outside the situation might think are daft, especially when your baby is under a year, I know I have. When my first born was a baby I insisted everyone called him his full name, rather than a fairly popular shortening. Oh I could hear their eyes rolling in their sockets. Now he's 3 and he insists that everyone calls him his full name. It's just who he is. In another ten years he'll insist everyone calls him Laser and the joke will be on me. But I had enough things to be anxious and unhappy about in his first year, people calling my son a name I wasn't keen on wasn't going to be one of them!
When your dd is fourteen, what name would you like her to have? If you start calling her it now, by then that is all she or anyone will remember.
Yes, I need to make sure that if we make the change back, we are 100% sure. I know I found it frustrating correcting people if they misheard dd's name before the change, but I now realise that people generally can pretty much mishear any name (there was a thread about this a couple of weeks ago). I would certainly say that I find it infinitely more frustrating finding other little girls with the same name everywhere we go!
Sootgremlin, you make a very valid point - dd's original name is very "grown up" and I think I really did struggle to "bond" with the name when she was tiny. Now she has developed into a very engaging and determined young toddler, it is much more suitable for her.
Seems that I have a lot to discuss with DH later! Many thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to reply. Any further thoughts on the matter gratefully received!