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Working myself into a state over being asked to use a family name... need advice!

(22 Posts)
hopefully Wed 03-Sep-08 11:37:24

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether I am being a mad unreasonable pregnant lady, or relatively normal?

I'm a little over 39 weeks with my first, don't know if it's a girl or a boy. Today I received a letter from DP's granny, who is very sweet and about 3,000 years old. She came straight out in the letter and asked us to use a family name (DP's great great great grandfather or somesuch), or a feminine version of it if it's a girl. I'm actually not averse to the name, it's v normal, but obviously we've been having name conversations for a really really long time, and this isn't one that has ever come up, or particularly appeals. My problems with using it are:

1) I have already agreed to give the baby DP's surname (we are unmarried and likely to stay that way for the forseeable future)
2) We agreed to use his surname on the basis that we would use a name from my side of the family (repeatedly used, coincidentally on both my mum and dad's side) for either first or middle name - haven't decided yet, but most likely middle name
3) I feel that if we gave it DP's granny's choice of name for either first or middle name, I would be losing the sense of my family's identity within my child's name (2 of DP's family names to one of mine) and besides which it would then have a name composed entirely of old family names, not a single one of actually our choosing (reason for putting my family name as middle name is to allow us a 'new' name for the first name).

Have texted DP and told him about the letter, but he hasn't replied, and I'm so worried he's going to want me to use this name. AIBU to refuse? What can I say in my favour?

bellabelly Wed 03-Sep-08 11:40:57

YANBU - just stick to your chosen names. You COULD always say that you didn't receive the letter until after the birth? BUT no reason for you to be sneaky - it's YOUR baby, so you and DH get to choose a name!!!

MatNanPlus Wed 03-Sep-08 11:43:16

Give the baby this name as another middle name? i know several children / babies with 4 names for this very reason.

kitsmummy Wed 03-Sep-08 11:44:28

YANBU, it's your baby, you decide what you call it. If she's a v sweet old lady just explain to her why you want to choose your own name, she should understand.

elliott Wed 03-Sep-08 11:45:51

two middle names?
I have to say I would react very badly to being asked to use a family name, and would probably not do so out of principle! Luckily I think our family knows that and no-one tried...
But you and dp may feel differently.
I guess at least shows she is cool about having a great grandchild 'out of wedlock'!

Chequers Wed 03-Sep-08 11:48:36

I wouldn't do it - wou;d just politely explain the reasins as yiu have stated here.

franke Wed 03-Sep-08 11:49:09

Your baby, your decision. If you start caving in to family demands now it sets a precedent. I don't think you are being mad and unreasonable at all. You say the name granny suggests doesn't particularly appeal then end of. This does not have to cause a family rift but you doo need to stand firm. Good luck smile

hopefully Wed 03-Sep-08 11:51:24

Thank you! Good to know I am not completely mad.

Don't want to go down 2 middle names route, as I wanted my family name to be the only middle name (I appreciate I am now beginning to sound like mad pregnant lady).

Will stand firm to nice 3,000 year old granny, and hope she understands. Maybe will get DP to mention that they are lucky that at least the surname is continuing if she gets offended!

Anna8888 Wed 03-Sep-08 11:51:39

Oh dear. Granny is being very very unreasonable but because she is sweet and very old you think you might have to defer to her?

If I were you I would compose a letter to Granny before your DP gets home saying that you were very touched by her kind thoughts about your baby's name but that you have been thinking about names for months and have already come to a decision that you are both happy with.

Say that you greatly look forward to introducing your baby to her great-grandmother and hope that that will be very soon.

TheNaughtiestGirlIsaMonitor Wed 03-Sep-08 11:55:48

Hmm, I'd just send her a letter saying that her name is lovely and if you have another daughter it will be her MIDDLE name.

(She may or may not live long enough to put you on the spot!)

But basically, you have to choose the name yourself! What happens if your Granny writes a similar letter tomorrow?

Tinkerisdead Wed 03-Sep-08 11:56:22

Ohh this exact same thing has happened to me... ive been asked to use the name John (dh's paternal grandfather). Im not adverse to the name but I want a name of my own choosing and ive told them so... whats actually happened is that the names we have chosen are our maternal grandfathers names (coincidence, Dh chose not knowing my grandads name) so now im in for holy hell when we have two grandads names and no argument is that he will get his surname from "john". thank god they havent pushed for a feminine version and we dont even know what flavour we're having!!!

this is your baby, name is whatever you want or you'll be looking at it wishing you'd gone with the name you wanted. sod anyone else, they've all had and named their babies. its your turn.

LazyLinePainterJane Wed 03-Sep-08 12:02:37

I would write a very polite letter back (you don't need to offend her) saying that her name is lovely but you have already chosen a name that is very dear to you and you would be devastated if you could not use it. Say "Maybe next time"?...(and then dont)

AbbeyA Wed 03-Sep-08 12:06:42

Don't do it.I think the best idea is to do as already suggested, tell her it is lovely but you have already chosen a name.

MamaMiaImADiva Wed 03-Sep-08 12:14:31

My DP's family went off on one for alost a month becuase we didn't use his name, there is 4 generations of James-horrid middle name and then last name, but I didn't want to use this so we decided on our DS's name and used James as his middle name and now they keep telling us we've broke tradition etc but I couldn't care less I'm not usng a name that I don't bloody like because some old woman hundreds of years ago liked it

Getting annoyed thinking about it now LOL.

buttercreamfrosting Wed 03-Sep-08 12:23:05

What you can say in your favour is that your way is the fairest way. DH and I didn't have any interference from anyone but this is what we decided on for all three ds:
First Name - Our Choice
Middle Name - Name from my family/significant to me
Surname - DH's Surname

That way everyone wins....

Pinkglow Wed 03-Sep-08 12:37:25

I wouldnt pander to it, since when do relatives choose what ppl call their own babies.

We are expecting this with my DHs granny wanting us to call our son after her late husband. There is no way we will but I can just see her mumbling about it to other family members about it.

My friend married an american and it is tradition in their family to name the first son the name then the title. So Adam III etc
they refused and gave their son the middle name as they didnt want the father and sone and grandad with the same first name!!

hopefully Wed 03-Sep-08 12:38:58

Thank you so much for the thoughts! I have been working myself up so much about this (hormonal? Moi?).

Just spoke to DP (was in such a state I had to phone him at work to discuss!) and fortunately he agrees with me. We've decided to send mad granny a nice card saying thanks very much for thinking of us etc etc, but we picked names a long time ago, and we will of course keep this one in mind for next child (hollow laugh).

HonoriaGlossop Wed 03-Sep-08 12:45:39

Funnily enough my reaction would have been the same as yours but in the last couple of years my mum has done some fascinating family research into both her and my dad's 'sides' of the family....some lovely, poignant stories have come to light and if I was having a child now I certainly would consider a first or middle name from the family history because a) I'm aware of them now b) they have an emotional 'meaning' and resonance to me now and c) I like the idea of links to your family's past as it's so easily lost....

To your DP's gran I guess these things are more near and real to her...she was being a tad presumptuous to ask you though but I can see why she did TBH.

AngelDog Thu 04-Sep-08 09:34:26

Politics make things complicated. My husband has 2 middle names because the middle name my in-laws liked (James) happened to be the name of one of his uncles - so they had to give him a second middle name which was the same as his other uncle, so "he wouldn't be offended" (even though he is one of the least likely people in the world to take offence.) We like James too and if we have a boy, we'll probably call him that - because we like the name, not because we want to name him after his great uncle. But I forsee arguments with stressed in-laws demanding that we also give him the other uncle's name...

Hopefully, hope DP's granny takes it well! Well done for sticking to your guns. There's a place for listening to family, but you can't make all your decisions based on what other people want.

Miaou Thu 04-Sep-08 09:52:03

We had family names on both sides - fortunately though, we had the opposite experience grin. My parents were put under a huge amount of pressure from my dad's parents to use the family name for my brother, and my mum's parents to give him her dad's name too, so my poor brother ended up with two middle names (one of which is Ralph, and I noticed both times he got married it wasn't mentioned, so he must REALLY hate it!! grin). I was told very emphatically by my mum that I must NOT give my children any family names (not that I was intending to anyway!).

My SIL took it to another level though IMO - she gave her daughter the shortened version of my MIL name (my MIL had died a few years earlier) even though my MIL had hated it. I think my FIL was quite upset about it at the time (though he got over it).

Weegiemum Thu 04-Sep-08 09:54:58

I think it was a bit presumptious to ask but that is the sort of thing that sweet 3,000 year old grannies do, isn't it.

I think it is different you choosing to use a family name from it being asked or even demanded of you.

Our dd1 has 2 names we liked. No family connection

Our ds has first name we chose, 2nd name is dh's Grandad, 3rd name my dad as born on my Dad's b'day

dd2 is named after 2 of her great grannies - but we chose that, no-one suggested it to us. We had chosen the names and then, 3 weeks before she was born, dh's Grandma died, so it became even more special. And when dd2 was 3, my Gran also died. Its nice - it feels like there is a connection there.

But I would never expect someone to have to do it. It's presumptious and even a little rude!

bikerunski Thu 04-Sep-08 10:15:24

I don't think YABU at all, especially not at this late stage!

Ooohh family politics! I have changed my surname (have been married for 8 years and nvere did before) so that I have a names that is 1 - spellable! and 2 - the same as DC's (due in 2 weeks). It was NEVER negotiabel that DC wouldn't have DH's surname. Anyway, in the light of that DH has given my free rein on first and middle names smile. Luckily for him I havn't gone completely off the wall! Luckily for me, I have uncles on both my mmum's and dad's sides of the family with the same first name, which scans really well with FIL's first name, so likley boy's name is

My favorite all time ever boys name
Uncles' name
Alliterative FIL name
DH (and now my) surname

We have a tradition of 2 middle names.

I think it is lovely. So does DH ! I am keen to get FIL name in there as my PIL have been lovely to me since I have known them (baby likely to be born aroudn FIL b'day too). My own dad died in the early 90s and since then I have had several nephews named after him. Even my mum agrees that dad's name as a middle name for boys in our family is a bit "over"!

Nobody asked me to use any of those names, and I would be very hmm and shock if anybody were too ask me to use a particular name. It is our baby, our choice of names, but I do like reasons behind names. I am one of 4 and Dad always made a big thing of the reason's for all our names.

Despite much heated discussion can not agree on a single girl's name, so if 20 week scan was wrong, then we'll have to start again!

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