When is your due date?
Are you finding out the gender?
Have you thought of any names?
Ahh. The name game. Long before my pregnancy, I brainstormed over baby names and kept a secret list on my computer for years.
A name book with over 100,000 options was one of the first things I bought after our ultrasound confirmed my pregnancy.
And, since I am a HUGE over-sharer of all details regarding my life, I couldn’t wait to volunteer my name possibilities with anyone and everyone.
It didn’t matter who asked – our neighbors, friends, coworkers or the barista at our neighborhood coffee shop, I revealed our long list of potential names.
But, it wasn’t until we were halfway through the pregnancy that I realized maybe we had made a mistake, as all the names on our list received negative feedback by at least one person. . .
Isn’t that a boy’s name?
Huh, that’s different.
That sounds like an old lady’s name.
And my favorite response of all:
Please don’t name your child that.
Even when I prefaced it with “Well, this is one of our top names so don’t tell me if you don’t like it”. . . it wouldn’t matter.
Now, in all fairness, we do prefer “unique” and “androgynous” names so it seemed inevitable that the names were not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
The real problem came after our daughter’s birth and we picked a name. It felt impossible to forget the negative comments we heard about our selections and in my postpartum emotional state I needed reassurance we chose the right name.
Luckily, 8 months later, I loved our daughter’s name and everyone agrees it suits her. When I think of the other names we had on our list, that were more conventional and well-received, they didn’t fit her personality.
However, the hubby and I have already promised each other that the next time around we are not sharing any name possibilities with anyone. No matter what!
So, my advice for future parents – although it seems like it would be so much fun to share your name list, unless you are strong enough to hear the negative feedback without letting it influence you, don’t share.
Enjoy the “secret” that you and your partner share in choosing a name together, and once it is on the birth certificate no one can say anything negative about it (at least not to your face!)
Oh, and in case you’re wondering we named our daughter Emerson Rose, which had all four of the above responses at one point or another.
What do you think? To share or not to share? That is the question!