Before I had children, I thought naming a baby would be the best thing ever. I had several names with matching middle monikers picked out.
However, when I got pregnant with my first, none of those names seemed to work. Either it didn’t sound good with my married last name or my husband didn’t like it or it just didn’t seem right.
Naming a baby is such a responsibility it can be overwhelming. You have to think about nicknames and whether or not you’ll care if anyone is offended and, most importantly, what the baby will think when he or she grows up. I’d be so upset if one of my daughters wanted to change her name.
And it doesn’t get any easier the second time around, now you also have to factor in the first child’s name. They can’t be too similar but they have to sound good together because you will be yelling at them both at the same time at some point.
My best friend is due to have her baby any day now and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what she will name him. I’m glad I don’t know, I like the surprise. My husband and I also chose to keep our picks secret while we were expecting. Plus, we wanted to see our baby and make sure the name fit before making anything permanent.
There are so many names out there, how do you choose?
According to Nameberry, a website dedicated to helping parents-to-be pick a name, unique names are on the rise, along with classic and vintage names coming back in style. Their site has Olivia, Aurora, Luna, Evelyn and Charlotte for top girl names in 2019 and Oliver, Milo, Asher, Silas and Jasper for most popular boy names. Their predications for 2020 include names that went virtually unused a generation ago, rediscovered antiques and names from around the world. Girl names likely to trend next year are Adah, Mika, Nova, Paisley, and Pearl. The website is predicting Tate, Austin, Easton, Alva and Acacius to gain popularity for boys.
I like the idea of unique names gaining popularity.
If you are going to pick a unique name, you’ll have to be prepared to stand up for it. I remember reading about a mother who called out an airline employee for making fun of her daughter’s name. Bullying is never right, especially when an adult teases a child. But if you chose to give your daughter a different name, you have to be prepared that not everyone will understand and you’ll have to get used to pronouncing it for people all the time.
My name has a slight twist to it and I have to correct people constantly. I also have to spell out my name to people. I think it has made me a more confident person. I get compliments on my name all the time but I can’t take credit for it.
The other part of the naming equation is tradition. With our first girl, we didn’t name her after anyone. I wanted her to be her own person and not have to follow anyone’s legacy. I forgot how much I love being named after someone.
My parents named me after my grandma, the kindest, strongest, most wonderful trailblazer of a woman. Someone ahead of her time and so wise. She’s the kind of person you always want to be around. And I love that I share a name with her. I aspire to be like her.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I knew I wanted her to have a connection like that with a strong woman, which is why her middle name is my mom’s name. Hopefully she likes it but I guess only time will tell.
Thom Barker’s Barking at the Big Dog will return to this space next week.