How to Avoid Baby Name Remorse
Sitting down to write about Owen’s birth day today brought memories of my pregnancy rushing back. Choosing names for our children has always been a BIG deal. We now have six children, four boys and two girls, and I can happily say that I like all of their names and they fit each of them to a “T” (as in Thompson).
I was a little sad when this post on baby name remorse showed up in my reader today. I was sad because this is not the first time that the phrase “baby name remorse” has been bandied about in the past few weeks. Apparently, more and more parents are regretting the names that they carefully (or not) selected for their children.
I’d like to say that naming our children was easy as pie. But, that would be a lie. People close to me know that the naming process in our household lasts about 41 weeks, give or take a week or two. The fact that we did not find out the genders of the first four children before they were born complicated things a bit, as we had to hash out and argue over two possible names. This last pregnancy, we decided to find out gender ahead of time, but were thrown for a loop when we found out that our one baby was really two baby girls.
But, we don’t regret any of their names. Why? We set up three simple rules at the outset for naming our children.
Rule 1. It has to be a recognizable name.
- That means that we were not open to made up names, place names, food names, or music names. We scoured the Social Security top 100 names lists for as far back as they go, and pretty much only chose names that consistently appeared on those lists.
Rule 2. No androgynous names.
- Even though my favorite Aunt is named Pat, and I have a good friend named Jamie, and a favorite co-worker named Chris (all women), we decided to steer clear of names that would lead to confusion on something like a class list or camp cabin roster. (True story, I knew a girl in college named Jamie and she was assigned to the boys’ cabin at camp.) Our babies are born with so little hair AND long eyelashes, that it is hard to tell at first glance if they are a boy or a girl, I wanted the name to make it ABUNDANTLY clear.
Rule 3. No non-traditonal spellings.
- I’m not a fan of creative name spelling. While it may be cute to have a kid named Syntheeah, she is not going to appreciate spelling it out to people as an adult and pointing out that her name is really Cynthia spelled funny. Remember, the baby you name today has to live with that name, and its spelling forever.
So, these may not be your rules, but a good way to avoid baby name remorse is to set up SOME rules early on in your child bearing career.
And what are the names we chose, that we’ve never regretted? Andrew, William, Owen, Ethan, Elizabeth and Emily.
Chime in! What did you name your children? Do you have name remorse? Do you have naming rules? I’d love to hear from you!