Names names names, or You Can’t Please Everyone!

At the beginning of my pregnancy, whenever we talked about names, somehow we would always jokingly bring up silly names… Cinderella, Princess Belle, Joe Schmo… it was very hard to talk about names without feeling silly.  It’s one thing to talk abstractly about names you like than to actually imagine your child having this name for the rest of their life.  Ken mentioned to me at one point that it’s a really big responsibility to give someone their name, and though I had never really thought about it that way, it’s really true.  With a few exceptions, they are going to have to live with it for the rest of their life.  You also want to pick something that is cute while they’re a little kid but will sound professional and grown-up enough when they are grownup.  Ex: to me, the name Ethel sounds like an old lady, and would not be cute for a little girl.  I immediately picture someone with a head full of gray/silver hair, whereas the name Lucy would be cute for a little girl but I just can’t picture a professional-looking Lucy walking down the street in a suit and heels on her way to a job interview.  You need to find a balance and pick a name that works no matter how old you are.

Once we got to a point where talking about names became a more necessary thing, we decided that what we would do is to come up with a list of about 3-4 names that we liked and once the baby is born we would pick from those.  That way we’re not totally settled on a name and there is a little bit of wriggle room in case we change our minds at the last minute.  So of course, we went about it in a very methodical way… I looked through online lists of baby names and I put stars next to all of the ones that I liked, then Ken looked through the list I had come up with and put stars next to the ones he liked.  That narrowed it down to about 10.  Then the more we thought about certain names, the more we were able to narrow it down and now we have it narrowed down to 4. 

But, we are NOT going to tell anyone what our four names are because, well, frankly, we don’t care what anyone’s opinion is and we don’t want feedback or suggestions from anyone.  Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that the names are A, B, C and D.  If we tell someone, “yeah, we’re thinking of either A, B, C or D,” they are bound to tell us something like “Oh! I like C the best!  I knew a girl named B when I was little and she was such a B****!”  Or even if they don’t say anything they’ll make a face… some sort of facial expression that says “Oh! I like that!” or “Oh! That’s a weird name!”  Now don’t even get me started about telling family… the problem with telling family the names we’re considering is that EVERYONE has an opinion and wants you to name the child after so-and-so or such-and-such.  When we came up with our list of names, we considered for ourselves the relatives we felt strongly about and the ones that we really wanted to name the baby after.  I’m not going to share that list either because that might give away the names we’re considering, but suffice it to say that we have put a lot of thought into this process and our baby is going to have a very well thought-out and meaningful name when the time comes. 

Another thing I have come to realize (maybe even in just the last 20 minutes or so) is that in life, you can’t please everyone… no matter what the situation is, somebody is going to be disapointed.  We can’t give the baby 20 names to name her after 20 relatives, and maybe we might just want to pick a name we like that has no meaning behind it!  That’s our prerogative and we can’t be so concerned with pleasing everybody.  What matters is that we choose a name or names that we love and that we come to the decision together.  So maybe this should be my new motto, “I can’t please everyone!”


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