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Baby name dispute with partner

(56 Posts)
MsP0b Fri 27-Oct-17 10:31:07

I am nearly 6 months pregnant with our first child, a daughter. My partner, her father, is a committed feminist and our relationship is fantastic. We are not married and even if we ever were (unlikely) I would not change my name, which he supports.

However naming the baby is causing row after row and stress. At first he was determined she should take his surname. I feel strongly that this would mean I was betraying her and women in general by making the first thing I do for her- naming her- a reinforcement of patriarchal bullshit! I thought we’d agreed on a cumbersome but fair double barrel but he says he can’t stand to double barrel and she should just take my surname, with his as a middle name (which is reality would be rarely used).

His condition is, he gets TOTAL control of the first name as I have got my “choice” for the surname. (I don’t see it as a choice really as it’s a deeply help principle not a “choice” to me.) The first problem is he hates all names except one that he’s fixated on from the start, that I don’t really like. I’ve given him a list of about 10 suggestions, he’s dismissed them all. Anytime I mention a possible first name, he shouts “oh no!”. This started even before the surname debate!

I hate this method of making the name decision- surely we need to choose together, not chop the decision in half?
Last night there was another heated debate. Getting exhausted by it and stressed.

What do you think?

MsP0b Fri 27-Oct-17 15:19:40

@AnotherEmma I hope we will come to a decision in the same way you and your partner did. After more discussion today that’s what we’ve agreed we want to do.

The only other time we’ve disagreed like this has been over naming the dog! Everything else like political views, work dilemmas, house buying, holidays, family dramas, discussing parenting etc etc we are really aligned in our views. Bizarre.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 15:20:24

Oh and I hate the idea of taking it in turns to choose names for children - that means one parent could hate their child's name, and what it you are hoping for more children but can't have them? It should be a joint decision, and if a couple isn't capable of making joint decisions I would question the wisdom of having children together.

What's his position on shared parental leave? How much paternity/parental leave does he plan to take and how much maternity leave does he expect you to take?

MsP0b Fri 27-Oct-17 15:22:16

I totally agree about sharing all decision making. I hate the idea of taking it in turns to choose of whatever.

We are going to share parental leave and longer term considering him going part time while I carry on full time.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 15:22:37

Cross post. I'm glad you've had another discussion and decided to do it that way, sounds sensible - fingers crossed you can find a name you both really like!

Also relieved to hear that other important decisions have be less fraught. Names are pretty emotive to be fair.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 15:23:30

have been less fraught

BenLui Fri 27-Oct-17 15:25:52

You’ve made a child together. He (or you) don’t get total control of anything, you have to decide together - that’s what parenting is about.

Get this sorted now, it’s the first of about a million decisions you’ll have to make.

MsP0b Fri 27-Oct-17 15:25:59

Thank you.
My surname is pretty unusual and complicated so only quite plain names go with it... surely he won’t come up with anything too offensive! Giving him some space for a few weeks to come up with his shortlist.

AshleySilver Fri 27-Oct-17 15:30:28

You have until 42 days after the baby is born to register the birth (sssuming you are in England) so no hurry. Giving him some space for a few weeks sounds like a good idea.

loobybear Fri 27-Oct-17 15:41:19

Has he given you a reason why he feels the need to either decide the first name or else have his name as surname?

I ask as I have had exactly these discussions/debates with my DH. Only difference is I'm not pregnant yet. When we got married I refused to give up my name and I wouldn't go double-barrelled unless he did too (I didn't see the point in me changing my surname to double-barrelled if he didn't). Initially we were going to both go double-barrelled but have never really got round to it so have just kept our own names.

He has said that he would be happy for a baby to have my surname (or double-barrelled) as long as he can choose the first name. It took a while for him to explain why but when he eventually did I could see where he was coming from- I'm from another country and so my surname is foreign. If our child were to have my surname then he knows I would choose a name from my homecountry (I probably would) but he would rather choose a name from his country (where we live) so that the child doesn't end up feeling more of a connection to my country than his own. He's said that he's worried a child might see my name and country as cool and exotic and try to ignore the history on his side of the family. When he explained that, although I don't agree because the child would be growing up here, I kind of see where he is coming from. He says the same about wanting to choose the name even if we double-barrelled because he thinks the child could drop his surname as they get older, again because he thinks it could seem cooler to them.

If you say your surname is unusual, maybe your partner could be thinking along the same lines?

MsP0b Fri 27-Oct-17 15:46:39

@loobybear That’s really interesting. I can see where your husband is coming from too.

Our situation is a bit different, my surname isn’t foreign just a tricky one to spell and pronounce if you’re not familiar. I fully admit it’s annoying to have to constantly spell and explain your name to people! However the principle and all that.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 16:27:13

Are there no names that work in both languages/cultures? Some names work in more than one European language, for example.

loobybear Fri 27-Oct-17 19:06:20

There are a couple. There's one girls name I love that's Scottish (we live in scotland). But it means something in my language which could be weird but may still be passable. I dont want to ask family and friends what they think yet as they'll just assume im pregnant so going to at least wait until i actually am and ask. Boys are easier though as we've agreed to call them our dads' names put together.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:55:12

Good that you have options smile
If you don't mind a bit of unsolicited advice... discussing names with family and friends can be a bit of a minefield. DH and I decided to keep quiet and it was hard but I'm glad we did. People are more inclined to be polite about the name once the baby is born and you're announcing it wink
We did of course canvas the opinions of anonymous strangers on the internet grin (on forums for both languages/countries).

greendale17 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:56:46

Blended surnames are naff

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:58:57

What a thoughtful and constructive contribution hmm

loobybear Fri 27-Oct-17 20:20:41

I know exactly where you're coming from. SIL didn't share any of the baby names she had in her list with family or friends before the baby was born and names so that people didn't give opinions based on personal preferences, "oh don't call them that, I knew someone called that 20 years ago and they were an asshole". I always thought that was a good idea.
Just not sure with this particular name how else I would guage if it would 'pass' when I get back home. The versions of mumsnet there are full of parents who don't like anything except typical names from that country and can be far more scathing that the wider public there. I wouldn't mention to everyone, just a couple of close family members or friends who I know wouldn't be judgemental but would know whether my child would be judged over there for having this word as a name.

Ttbb Fri 27-Oct-17 20:27:35

Really? Giving a child her father's name is bow by down to the patriarchy? Does he see giving her your name as pandering to the feminazis? It is just a name, it may be symbolic of inequality to you but that is all it is sybomlic and subjective. If you are truest concerned about being a good feminist and doing the right thing for your baby maybe don't let petty gender politics ruin your relationship.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:30:54

Oh dear, I think you got lost, this is "Feminist support" - AIBU is that way >>>>

MMcanny Fri 27-Oct-17 20:35:18

Honestly, just let him choose forename. You really are choosing surname quite unusually for our culture. My doh chose our kids' forenames and they took his surname with my surname as a second middle name which I like. The forenames I didn't love immediately but do now. Kids can pick their genders nowadays when they're old enough to decide so don't see the point in making a decision about names which are obviously the easiest thing to change if you don't get it right.

loobybear Fri 27-Oct-17 20:37:22

"It is just a name, it may be symbolic of inequality to you but that is all it is sybomlic and subjective."
I've read this sentence a few times and can't work out what it's supposed to mean.

NameChange30 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:38:47

What a load of bollocks.

loobybear Fri 27-Oct-17 20:39:15

What was the reason for your DOH choosing all your children's first names?

MMcanny Sat 28-Oct-17 06:03:29

Loobybear I couldn't think of any good ones. Another Emma thank you.

Leilaniii Sat 28-Oct-17 06:15:54

Another alternative... do you or your DH have surnames that you could use as a first name? Our friends did this:

Her: Lynette Harper
Him: Greg Harrison.

They called their DD... Harper Harrison. Harper being her first name and Harrison her surname.

(I've altered the names slightly, but you get the idea).

BertrandRussell Sat 28-Oct-17 06:20:02

In what ways is he a committed feminist?

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