Author Topic: Baby's last name dilemma  (Read 31269 times)

sis

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 140
  • Location: NYC
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2016, 12:14:22 PM »
As someone who got to answer questions about his name his whole life, please don't do that to your child.  They will never forgive you for it.  It is a stumbling block every time they meet a new person.  The most obvious choice is the right choice for the last name.  The first name can be any random bullshit and then you can call them any random bullshit.  The last name is going into a zillion different databases and there will be extra paperwork at every stage of their life, extra questions asked, extra hassle, all for *literally* nothing.

Actually, I have an unusual pronunciation for a first name.  Every 3-4 years someone foreign pronounces it correctly on the first try (it's never an American).  I've even had to argue with people over it (it's MY name, you would think I'd know.)  It's not that it's so weird, it actually makes sense to pronounce it this way, it's just that everyone's been conditioned here to say it differently.  So I get the effects of "different" name.  You know what?  I actually LIKE having a slightly different and unique name.  It's the first minute of an ice breaker for an interview.  It means unlike my sister, I didn't share the same name as five (yes 5!) people in my class.  So I hear this argument - and with full knowledge and personal experience - I reject it.  It's not that big of a deal and there are compensatory benefits. 

I would also like to say that this make no sense to me: "The last name is going into a zillion different databases and there will be extra paperwork at every stage of their life, extra questions asked, extra hassle, all for *literally* nothing."  I mean this seriously - what difference does using a different parent name mean for the paperwork/questions/hassle?  First, there are many blended families these days, so most teachers would just likely make the erroneous assumption that that's the case, and they can be quickly educated if needed.  As already pointed out above, traveling internationally with kids already likely requires bringing a passport if traveling with just one parent.  And later in life, no one's even going to know or care - everyone just knows you as Smith and never knew you might have been Johnson.

We'll also need to agree to disagree over your assertion that it's over nothing.  In part, the arguments raised here about there being such as stigma associated with it makes that something I would want to combat.  In part I feel both parent names are deserving of equal respect and should be treated as equally valid choices. In part, I dislike living in a world where this equality of consideration of both parents is considered such a radical change and inspires such negativity.  (And if the last name is "nothing" then it shouldn't be such an issue that both names be considered.  It's easy enough to think of it as nothing if it's maintaining a status quo you support.  For an extreme example, most whites considered segregated schools "nothing" at one point and not harmful.)

That all said, thank you for the rest of your post, I found it interesting reading.

Captain FIRE - you'd love my older brother.  He took his wife's last name when they got married.  Anyway, I'd say continue on with the good fight if it is worth it to you but at some point you have to pick and choose your battles.  I've certainly had many conversations with my husband about this already.  He was okay with me not taking his last name upon marriage but I think he does want our kids to have his last name.  I have leverage in that he wants kids way more than I do, so I could always condition having children with getting naming rights ;-)  (Is that insane?)

Yes, it is insane and wrong to use children as leverage and pawns in your marriage.

Oh yeah I know - I was mostly joking on this front :-)

But the woman is the one who has to deal with being pregnant for 9 months and has to endure the pains of labor - so really she should get naming rights.

tobitonic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #101 on: June 10, 2016, 12:24:54 PM »
And actually, although I posted previously to a thread on this topic, this issue for hasn't "bothered" me personally previously as you suggest.  By that, I mean it was just a view I held rather than something that affected my life, with which I wrestled...

With all due respect...you're not going to get the answer you're looking for here, which seems to be some way of getting your husband to not automatically assume your child should take his name based on advice from the Internet. This really comes down to how much you're willing to fight him on this. If you think it's worth it, keep working on it. If you don't, let it go. Using this thread as a proxy argument with your husband isn't going to solve anything in your real life.

And for the record, I do think your husband is being ridiculous, as I noted in my previous post, and I completely get why that frustrates you. But only you can decide how important this is to your marriage. Unless you're planning on getting a divorce, this isn't the last time one of you isn't going to get your way.

klystomane

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #102 on: June 10, 2016, 12:38:58 PM »
Following.

tobitonic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #103 on: June 10, 2016, 12:44:44 PM »
Ah, right, so I don't enjoy any forced interactions.  So there are many forced interactions.  One of the ways I conduct myself is that I want to get through the exchange as quickly as possible.

So where you see "quickly educating the teacher" as a non-thing, to me it's a lifetime tax on my time.  Instead of a given conversation being over (which is always my goal) it just goes on, and on, and on.

You might not mind correcting people's pronunciation, I just endure people saying it incorrectly.  I don't want the interaction, it doesn't have any value to me.

I don't know what percentage of people are like me, but I do see how many eyes roll whenever someone has a weird name.

These sorts of conversations usually end up with a "it shouldn't matter" vs. "well in the world you actually live in it does matter."

I'll agree with you wholeheartedly that it shouldn't matter, and just say that fighting it your whole life to make it the world you want is all well and good, forcibly conscripting your child into that fight is a choice.  It is absolutely yours to make, I pass no judgement either way.

But if your child is born with my temperament, they will roll their eyes at you when you explain how not following the status-quo here was important.

Likely they were going to roll their eyes at something.  So avoiding that probably isn't a worthwhile goal either.  Ultimately, names don't affect their outcomes, at least according to freakonomics.

The good thing is the kid has basically no rights so you can do whatever you want.  I also see the value in giving a kid a terrible name, because dad trolling.

Agree with everything here. I'm a preschool teacher--preschool, not the shark tank that's middle school or the drug haven that's high school or the panic-attack-inducing madness that's elementary school--and assistant teachers and even other lead teachers frequently make fun of kids' names.

Is it right? Absolutely not. But there's no doubt that kids are still getting picked on regarding their names, and if you're making FIGHTING THE PATRIARCHY or AVOIDING THE STATUS QUO or WOMEN USED TO BE CHATTLE your reasoning behind your naming scheme, it will likely make life more difficult than necessary for your children.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 01:01:25 PM by tobitonic »

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 426
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #104 on: June 10, 2016, 12:48:41 PM »
And actually, although I posted previously to a thread on this topic, this issue for hasn't "bothered" me personally previously as you suggest.  By that, I mean it was just a view I held rather than something that affected my life, with which I wrestled...

With all due respect...you're not going to get the answer you're looking for here, which seems to be some way of getting your husband to not automatically assume your child should take his name based on advice from the Internet. This really comes down to how much you're willing to fight him on this. If you think it's worth it, keep working on it. If you don't, let it go. Using this thread as a proxy argument with your husband isn't going to solve anything in your real life.

And for the record, I do think your husband is being ridiculous, as I noted in my previous post, and I completely get why that frustrates you. But only you can decide how important this is to your marriage. Unless you're planning on getting a divorce, this isn't the last time one of you isn't going to get your way.

Oh this isn't intended as a proxy fight.  For the most part, I've been trying to ignore ridiculous statements like the "your kid will be teased on the playground".  While I've responded sometimes, more than I should given I'm likely not going to change minds & I'm wasting my time, it's also been intended as explanatory at times as well, so that might better refine the advice people are giving.  And I've also found this helps me better understand why it matters to ME, so I can clearly articulate it in a conversation with him.

But, it has been helpful to hear how other people approached the conversations (e.g. the "you can choose the baby's last name - anything but yours" was an interesting approach), hear other ideas for neutral approaches I can propose that may be acceptable (e.g. can we find a mutual last name in our ancestry?), hear what people agreed to if giving the last name rights to another person, and it's even been helpful to see what approaches & ideas triggers the hot buttons in people to try to avoid that in a conversation.  So while the usefulness has waned at times, overall it has been helpful.  It's nearing the end of that though, so I've been tapering off my responses.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3004
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #105 on: June 10, 2016, 12:54:57 PM »
Take some insight from game theory and the fair cake cutting problem

You pick n names for our child
I pick the order they are applied
or vice versa

Doesn't work for n = 1, but can be applied for firstname lastname, first middle lastname, and up

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3485
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #106 on: June 10, 2016, 01:02:44 PM »
I don't understand why people think hyphenating is a one-generation solution. It's not. If two people with hyphenated names have a child, they can each pick one of the two elements of their last name and combine them to create a new hyphenated version for the child(ren). That's what each of their own parents did, so why not do it again?

This is exactly what the Spanish do.

like this famous Spanish artist: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano María de los Remedios de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso.  On second thought...

Since I never took my husband's name, there is always this tiptoeing around with teachers with our kids, oh do you live with your mother or your father (both etc), where assumption that we are divorced, not living together. So people DO make assumptions about different names. There is a cultural/social/status reason for the shared last names even if people on here want to reject it. Ironically after 20 years together and at least 6, 7 years of dealing with the confusion, we are now separated. At least I don't need to get my name changed.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 01:12:43 PM by partgypsy »

Taran Wanderer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 569
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #107 on: June 10, 2016, 01:24:47 PM »
DW kept her name. Our kids have DW's last name as their middle name and my last name as their last name. Had made things pretty easy. International travel as a family with different last names tends to confuse immigration officials.  But when they see DW's last name as the kids' middle names on their passports, they relax. When they have asked questions about why DW does not have my last name, we answer, "because she is a strong, stubborn woman."  Always accepted so far...

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #108 on: June 10, 2016, 01:33:11 PM »
Assuming that most of us have our father's last name or perhaps our mother's last name (but whose name was probably her father's last name), AND all these last names (unless completely made up) were passed down before us well back into history certainly through men's names, can you ever really escape carrying someone's father's name? You'll rebut that you want to fight patriarchy in this generation, no matter what happened in the past. But taking the mother's last name is still some man's name, so I can see how that argument isn't very compelling to a husband who wants his kids to take his name.

I see this argument a lot, and it is not a good one. We can't control how people were named in previous generations. We can control how people are named in future generations.

My name has been my name since I was born. It's my name, not "some man's name."

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3004
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #109 on: June 10, 2016, 01:36:07 PM »
If anyone wants to push "tradition" on OP, you might have to first figure out where they live and their ethnic/cultural background, which they didn't provide.
It really does vary a lot, e.g.:

Quote
In Spanish-speaking countries, the person will have at least three names: the given or first name (which might actually be two names), the middle name, which is what North Americans consider the “last name,” and the mother's maiden name...

In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cultures, the family surname comes first, the "middle" name is what we consider the “first name, and if there is a third name it refers to the mother's family

In Iceland and parts of South Asia, members of the same family might all have different surnames, or they may not use them at all
etc. etc.

For similar reasons as above, I grew up with a different "last name" from my father.. It never came up once in school
Though I grew up in a school that had children from all different cultures.

Perhaps the push-back would be different in more homogenous areas.. in which case teach your kid if they are teased to punch the student/teacher in the nose and say "shut the fuck up and mind your own business", or something less violent but equally effective...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #110 on: June 10, 2016, 01:41:36 PM »
I have a bonkers assortment of names:

1. Desired first name
2. Father's first name
3. Paternal grandmother's maiden name
4. Mother's maiden name
5. Father's last name

Or something like that. I'm actually named after my grandfather, who was named according to this system, which apparently is some kind of Northern European tradition. But since these were all based on people's relationship to my grandfather, I never knew a single one of the people who were the sources for these names.

TheOldestYoungMan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 751
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #111 on: June 10, 2016, 01:58:25 PM »
Assuming that most of us have our father's last name or perhaps our mother's last name (but whose name was probably her father's last name), AND all these last names (unless completely made up) were passed down before us well back into history certainly through men's names, can you ever really escape carrying someone's father's name? You'll rebut that you want to fight patriarchy in this generation, no matter what happened in the past. But taking the mother's last name is still some man's name, so I can see how that argument isn't very compelling to a husband who wants his kids to take his name.

I see this argument a lot, and it is not a good one. We can't control how people were named in previous generations. We can control how people are named in future generations.

My name has been my name since I was born. It's my name, not "some man's name."

Exactly.  It wasn't patriarchal to name you that, it was just a name.  Rejecting the name wouldn't have changed anything regarding the patriarchy, the name was yours, it was given to you, it belongs to you now.  In your own words, it isn't "some man's name."  Even if it happened to be the same name as your father (which you didn't say, and I'm not assuming), it would still be yours.

If I married a guy named Jones McFuckface I'd reject that as a last name for myself or my child.

If I really want to name my kid McLuvin, like it was a deal breaker, absolutely my first born will be named this, for some weird reason, but was marrying a guy with the last name Sdick, then I'd look ahead and say, hmmm, McLuvin can't have that last name.

These are reasons to not pick one name or the other, and truly any reason is fine.  Except rejecting the patriarchy, because that's not what you're doing and it's dumb.  Attempting nonconformity is conformity.

If the custom was to name the first born after the father, and only the first could inherit, and all others got some other name which meant they couldn't inherit, that would represent a rejection of the patriarchy to reject a name  because it belongs to the husband.

This is rejection for some other reason.  Would be my perspective, and with how little I know about the OP that perspective isn't worth much.

"Lets not name the kid [yourlastname] just because.  Lets name the kid Butterfly, because it's so pretty."  -There will be eye rolling.  Is what I'm saying.  The "just because" needs to have a real reason.  Lets not use your last name, I wanted my first born to be named Timothy and your last name is McVeigh.  Vs. saying to a spouse "no MAN is going to dictate to me!"

Sometimes having the choice to do something also means choosing not to do it.  Otherwise it wasn't really a choice.

yag96

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2016, 02:27:18 PM »
Ah, right, so I don't enjoy any forced interactions.  So there are many forced interactions.  One of the ways I conduct myself is that I want to get through the exchange as quickly as possible.

So where you see "quickly educating the teacher" as a non-thing, to me it's a lifetime tax on my time.  Instead of a given conversation being over (which is always my goal) it just goes on, and on, and on.

You might not mind correcting people's pronunciation, I just endure people saying it incorrectly.  I don't want the interaction, it doesn't have any value to me.

I don't know what percentage of people are like me, but I do see how many eyes roll whenever someone has a weird name.

These sorts of conversations usually end up with a "it shouldn't matter" vs. "well in the world you actually live in it does matter."

I'll agree with you wholeheartedly that it shouldn't matter, and just say that fighting it your whole life to make it the world you want is all well and good, forcibly conscripting your child into that fight is a choice.  It is absolutely yours to make, I pass no judgement either way.

But if your child is born with my temperament, they will roll their eyes at you when you explain how not following the status-quo here was important.

Likely they were going to roll their eyes at something.  So avoiding that probably isn't a worthwhile goal either.  Ultimately, names don't affect their outcomes, at least according to freakonomics.

The good thing is the kid has basically no rights so you can do whatever you want.  I also see the value in giving a kid a terrible name, because dad trolling.

Agree with everything here. I'm a preschool teacher--preschool, not the shark tank that's middle school or the drug haven that's high school or the panic-attack-inducing madness that's elementary school--and assistant teachers and even other lead teachers frequently make fun of kids' names.

Is it right? Absolutely not. But there's no doubt that kids are still getting picked on regarding their names, and if you're making FIGHTING THE PATRIARCHY or AVOIDING THE STATUS QUO or WOMEN USED TO BE CHATTLE your reasoning behind your naming scheme, it will likely make life more difficult than necessary for your children.

I was a preschool teacher, and I think maybe 5% of the children lived in homes where mom, dad, siblings, and themselves all shared a last name. Many lived in single-parent homes and some had mom's last name, some had dad's last name, and there were plenty of siblings with different last names. The teachers never made fun of this, nor did the children. Maybe it's because it was so normal there...

I kept my last name (as a woman) and my husband kept his, and while kids are only in the future for now, we have had very similar discussions. So I am enjoying hearing all the responses. We have no solution as it frustrates me to no end, that giving future children my last name doesn't even seem to be an option. Maybe we would do 2 last names or the dreaded hyphenation. I'd really love to find a permutation, but the natural one is kind of like..... Mozzarella + White= Mozzarelite without so much cheesiness.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6976
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #113 on: June 10, 2016, 02:40:10 PM »
I think everyone should have the same last name in a family, it's going to make everything much less confusing. Since I'm a traditional type person, that would be the husband's name.  When people want to be non-traditional about last name stuff, they run into issues and drama like this.  Not worth it in my opinion.

Yay for paternalism?  I'm glad to see that you contributed some meaningful insight to the author's question.
Hey well one of my Danish friends actually gave the kids the mom's last name because she was the last of the line, so to speak.

What do gay couples do?  Probably varies. Some of my friends changed their name, some didn't. 

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #114 on: June 10, 2016, 03:11:09 PM »
Assuming that most of us have our father's last name or perhaps our mother's last name (but whose name was probably her father's last name), AND all these last names (unless completely made up) were passed down before us well back into history certainly through men's names, can you ever really escape carrying someone's father's name? You'll rebut that you want to fight patriarchy in this generation, no matter what happened in the past. But taking the mother's last name is still some man's name, so I can see how that argument isn't very compelling to a husband who wants his kids to take his name.

I see this argument a lot, and it is not a good one. We can't control how people were named in previous generations. We can control how people are named in future generations.

My name has been my name since I was born. It's my name, not "some man's name."

Exactly.  It wasn't patriarchal to name you that, it was just a name. 

Wrong. It certainly was patriarchal to name me that.

The argument I'm calling "not a good one" is that it's somehow equally "patriarchal" to pass on either the mother's or the father's name to the child because both names were the parent's father's name. But this is totally bogus reasoning. Both names are the *parent's* name, not the *parent's father's* name. The choice is between passing on the male parent's name or the female parent's name. Passing on the male parent's name reinforces patriarchal norms. Passing on the female parent's name does not.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1625
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2016, 03:39:40 PM »
Here's my last name story. I had a hyphenated last name. Not because my parents decided to merge their names, but because once upon a time, one of my British female ancestors had a more prestigious name than her husband.

My grandfather decided: This is too much. He dropped the ancestral hyphen and chose one.

My dad was into it though: He picked up the ancestral hyphen and passed it on to his unsuspecting children and two wives.

Oh ho, but our name drama is not yet finished. When my mother divorced him, she didn't want the hyphen, so she chose one of the names, but not her maiden name. Ahhh! She decided on Ancestral Prestigious Bride's name.

I grew up with the last name: Yxxxxxxx-Xxxxxxx.

It was always cut off by computers due to character limits. Even though both names were easily pronounced, people would see the hyphen and be rendered speechless.

People would ask me to explain the hyphen. I know they were trying to make curious, polite conversation, but as you can see, I need a powerpoint presentation to explain this BS.

When I got married to a man with a six letter name that's somewhat difficult to pronounce, I just said, "OH MY GOD GIVE ME YOUR NAME AND END MY HYPHENATED PAIN!!" People struggle to pronounce it, because it's a bit ethnic, but they actually try, because six letters are less intimating than 15+hyphen.

I wish, sincerely, that my parents had chosen to make the first hyphen my middle name, so that I could choose whether or not to embrace the full length of my name. I probably wouldn't have ever changed from my maiden name if they had chosen that.

My advice is to put pride aside: Choose the last name that flows best and is easiest to spell. Make the other name their middle name. If both are equal, test them out - say the name both ways. Spell it out. Take a poll on Facebook.

If you really need a tie breaker, then I would have preferred (and eventually changed my school records this way, by cutting off the second part of my name) to share my mother's last name (which hadn't been anyone's actual last name for several generations), because she was most often the parent involved with my school, and it cut down questions and confusion about not sharing her name (see the comment from someone above who mentions being separated from her mom on airplanes).

As a child, all I wanted was for my name to be simple and require the least amount of correction or explanation. As an adult, I would absolutely prefer that be the case, too. Currently, clients are sometimes afraid to call me and ask for me, because they're embarrassed to mispronounce my last name.

And after reading every comment on this thread, I want to second the fact that I have noticed that moving up from the end of the alphabet to the beginning of the alphabet is frequently convenient. Kind of a weird fact - but definitely true since I moved from the last 5 letters of the alphabet to the first 5.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 03:58:42 PM by Cpa Cat »

Cyaphas

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 495
  • Age: 37
  • Location: DFW, TX
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #116 on: June 10, 2016, 06:50:08 PM »
Kiefer Sutherland's given name:

Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland

Margie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Location: SW Ontario
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2016, 07:09:17 PM »
CPA Cat is entirely right!  Make it easy to spell and say!

My married last name is ethnic so we chose "Canadian" names that were a slight play on ethnic family's names...made it easier for teachers, job prospects, etc...

Having worked in health card it is frustrating to have a child with different last names than the parents and then have parents freaking out because no one can easily tell the relationship.  It's annoying at school functions too. 

I can assure you - your child isn't going to be thrilled with bizarre spelling, a girl's name if he's a boy or vice versa...

make it flow and less than 12 characters! 

shelivesthedream

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4855
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #118 on: June 11, 2016, 04:57:08 AM »
My mother kept her maiden name and me and my brother had our father's last name. My school used to send them separate copies of our reports at the end of term... to the same address. They always thought my parents were divorced. It was a PITA and my mother got really pissy about it.

I've kept my maiden name for work because I started my career before marriage but people can call me whatever they want and I get Mrs Husbandsname all the time socially.

If we have children they are DEFINITELY all having the same name. I think my husband cares more than I do, so I'm happy for them to have his name. There's a male middle name in my family that I'd like to pass on, which seems like a fair deal. However, both of our names are moderately unusual but have two syllables and are fairly easy to spell (mine slightly harder but has the advantage of being a "B" while his is much further down in the alphabet. It's a real advantage, I promise!) If he had a horrendous name (either hard to spell or pronounce or that sounded like something funny or rude) I would push HARD for the children to have my name. As it is they're about equal. I hate hyphenating, though, because the next generation has to sort the problem out all over again and I have seen grandparents get offended when their half of the hyphenated name is dropped for the grandchild.

Basically, please make life easy for your child. If you're choosing, spelling, length, pronunciation, recognition, heritage, etc etc, should all weigh in. Don't burden your child with a sucky name if you can help it. I know a couple, let's call them "Mr Smith" and "Ms Stupid" who have hyphenated on marriage to "Mr and Mrs Stupid-Smith". I get she must be attached to it and all, but why hang onto a name like that??

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #119 on: June 11, 2016, 05:29:43 AM »
Do not hyphenate. It is a lot and tedious process. I am talking from experience here, though I had no choice, mine is an old and rare family name. I kept mine after marriage but the kids have their fathers  family name.

Having different surnames will create lots of problems and explanations down the lane. Like when travelling to Europe without the husband I have to take a copy of marriage/birth certificate to prove that I am their mother. Once they wanted some document on a border signed by my husband saying that we are not divorced and he consented to me taking them there.

Just chiming in to agree that different last names can be confusing for the people you need to interact with.  Most people will get the hang of it if you interact with them regularly (teachers, etc.), but in other situations you will lack the convenience of being easily relatable to one another through a common family name.

Good luck with it.  My only other offbeat suggestion is to let the baby choose for himself/herself later on.  I know a family where the Dad's first name is used as the last name for the family.  You can pretty much do anything you want. 

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #120 on: June 11, 2016, 05:33:39 AM »


make it flow and less than 12 characters!

LOL, we have a very unique 4-syllable ethnic family name that is 10 characters long and there is hardly anyone in the USA with our family surname, except, well... us and our children's cousins, grandma and grandpa.  Grandpa was the last male with the name, had two sons, and now 5 grandsons all with the name so it may survive a while longer in the USA.  We chose very short 4 letter first names for our 3 boys.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #121 on: June 11, 2016, 05:48:31 AM »
My only other suggestion is -- do you actively object to your spouse's last name, and if so, why?   If this is something that would give your spouse joy, is it something that you can gift to them?

Be careful not to think of it as competition.  Most importantly, as a family, you are family, a united force in the world.  The names don't really matter all that much, but the attitude and spirit of working together does.

tobitonic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #122 on: June 11, 2016, 06:23:51 AM »
My only other suggestion is -- do you actively object to your spouse's last name, and if so, why?   If this is something that would give your spouse joy, is it something that you can gift to them?

Be careful not to think of it as competition.  Most importantly, as a family, you are family, a united force in the world.  The names don't really matter all that much, but the attitude and spirit of working together does.

This is something else that stands out to me. OP has said multiple times that she's not trying to make her name the one they go with, but it's obvious that this is at least part of her motivation.

Quote
I'm actually not pushing my last name, rather I want an equitable way of deciding...

Quote
Unfortunately, this (hyphenation) still doesn't resolve the issue of whose name is last of the two (as the first is often dropped).

Quote
I'm the only one that pops up on a google search for my name! (when asked if one has a last name more worth preserving than the other)

Quote
Any decision would need to be based on the idea of possibly only having one kid.  I'd offer mine for this one, and my spouse's for the next (as I'm not the holdout there [regarding whether or not to have additional children])

OP is clearly competing with husband on some level for wanting either her name or a name that's not her husband's to go with the child, because patriarchy, etc. But it's not honest to imply that this is just a neutral discussion; she actively doesn't want her husband's name to be passed on to her child.

Except that it's not just her child. And as you noted, the family is supposed to be more important than the individual here, and is supposed to put on a united face. My wife put it very wisely when I shared the thread with her, that the last name didn't matter in terms of whose it was, if either's, but that the entire family should use the same surname, whatever it is, as it's a reflection of your shared goals and unity against the world. This argument, to me, seems like the logical extension of the spouses fighting to keep separate surnames after marriage (before children were involved), and how some spouses go on to keep separate houses, and how many maintain fully separate finances. To me, if you're not willing to combine at least part of your identity with another human being, you shouldn't get married; just have a room-mate you're intimate with.

And for the record, we have a shared surname as a family, which is mine. However, we did talk about my taking my wife's name when we got married, and looking back, that would have made far more sense than both of us keeping separate names, and then giving a third name to our children or one of our already-used names, for all the reasons already discussed.

Finally, good luck with the decisions and diffusions of responsibility that come with actually raising an infant into a child, as those are going to make this argument pale in comparison.

Lmoot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
    • Journal
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #123 on: June 11, 2016, 07:16:06 AM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

And yes, I understand the argument that well why should the woman just accept it or else be called out, but the man doesn't. It's not a gender thing in my eyes. I am making a lot of assumptions so I apologize if I'm wrong, but if you are American (or your familial culture  follows the American norm of using the husband's last name) then I am putting the onus on you because you are the "dissenter" in this discussion. That's not a bad thing, but because you are the one proposing a "change in the cultural rules" you better come with a damn good reason (not my rule, but anytime you go against popularity, you need a strong argument) only you can decide how far it goes, and how important it is to you. And it's best the importance should be tied to what you want, instead of what you don't want.

If I were your partner and your rule was my name or a different....but not your name, I would feel like you didn't value my feelings at all. Because at least I could understand why using your name would be important to you, but you forfeit that argument when you propose to use a different name altogether. What I hear is not "It's important that this be the name" but rather "It's most important it's not your name". And I would question if maybe another reason is that you don't intend this to be a permanent relationship. It's a bit petty IMO. It's like knocking someone else's icecream out of their hands because you didn't get the flavor you wanted. And you prefer that you both eat liverwurst, instead of at least one of you getting to eat icecream.

As your partner I would also greatly question your ability to compromise (which involves skills in reasoning). Again, had you stuck to your crowing about the importance of your own last name, I would suspect none of this. You screwed up when you revealed that the driving issue is you don't want him to use his name because he has a penis. Which isn't that the kind of sexism feminist have always fought against?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 07:18:18 AM by Lmoot »

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1294
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #124 on: June 11, 2016, 08:33:48 AM »

OP is clearly competing with husband on some level for wanting either her name or a name that's not her husband's to go with the child, because patriarchy, etc. But it's not honest to imply that this is just a neutral discussion; she actively doesn't want her husband's name to be passed on to her child.

Except that it's not just her child. And as you noted, the family is supposed to be more important than the individual here, and is supposed to put on a united face. My wife put it very wisely when I shared the thread with her, that the last name didn't matter in terms of whose it was, if either's, but that the entire family should use the same surname, whatever it is, as it's a reflection of your shared goals and unity against the world. This argument, to me, seems like the logical extension of the spouses fighting to keep separate surnames after marriage (before children were involved), and how some spouses go on to keep separate houses, and how many maintain fully separate finances. To me, if you're not willing to combine at least part of your identity with another human being, you shouldn't get married; just have a room-mate you're intimate with.

And for the record, we have a shared surname as a family, which is mine. However, we did talk about my taking my wife's name when we got married, and looking back, that would have made far more sense than both of us keeping separate names, and then giving a third name to our children or one of our already-used names, for all the reasons already discussed.

Finally, good luck with the decisions and diffusions of responsibility that come with actually raising an infant into a child, as those are going to make this argument pale in comparison.

I can fully accept that this might feel true in your culture and tradition, but I do hope you realise it is not true in other traditions. Or do you think that marriages between Icelanders are less strong and meaningful than marriages between Americans, since Icelandic naming traditions are different than yours? The only way an Icelandic family can share surnames, is if they choose to take the name of their farm, or if they are a homosexual couple where at least one of them is named the same as his/her parent, both of their parents have the same name, and they have children of the same sex as themselves (Thor Thorson marries Bjørn Thorson, and they have the sons Bjørn Thorson and Grimm Thorson, or Thora Thoradaughter marries Brita Thoradottir, and they have the daughters Greta Thoradaughter and Sølva Thoradaughter).

And since having different last names in the same family in some cultures is just a fact of life; could it be that it really doesn't matter in your culture too? That this is just something you and your wife personally like, based on what is considered "normal" in your culture?

tobitonic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #125 on: June 11, 2016, 08:57:35 AM »

I can fully accept that this might feel true in your culture and tradition, but I do hope you realise it is not true in other traditions.


I absolutely do; as a quick example, as a bilingual preschool teacher, with 99% of my parents from Mexico, almost all of them have hyphenated surnames, with the mother's name following the father's name. These kinds of things vary from culture to culture. But the OP is presumably in the US and plans to raise her child in the US, which is why I and the majority of people in this thread are arguing about customs in the US.

If this discussion were taking place in Mexico or Iceland and the OP were in one of those countries and wanting to do things the way they're done elsewhere, the majority of people would be arguing for the surnames to be structured differently, based on what's normal in the dominant culture in which the children will be raised.

Quote
And since having different last names in the same family in some cultures is just a fact of life; could it be that it really doesn't matter in your culture too? That this is just something you and your wife personally like, based on what is considered "normal" in your culture?

By this standard of relativism, nothing matters in any culture. But in reality, things do matter. I don't get to sleep with multiple partners while married in my culture (i.e., the US), because that's not "normal." I could argue that it doesn't really matter, and that remaining faithful to each other is just a personal preference of my wife's and mine, but I don't subscribe to the idea that things don't matter just because we don't want to do them. It's your choice of whether to follow local social norms or not, but you're going to get questioned and eventually shunned if you choose to ignore enough of them.

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 426
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #126 on: June 11, 2016, 09:03:32 AM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy".  against?

Do you people actually read the thread before commenting and making claims like this?  Try it and you'll see I have given reasons - I just didn't want to share personal details early on.  (I was uncomfortable sharing as #1 below is pretty personal, but also something I feel very strongly about).  Here's what I've previously said:

1) His name comes from his dad, who is an asshole who abused his mom and she divorced him when he started hitting the kids too.  He has a very poor relationship with his dad - awkward, infrequent, arms-length, etc., which is in such contrast to the warm and close one he has with his mom it makes the gulf seem especially wide.  (On the other hand, my name comes from my dad, who has been recognized as a national hero.  Not just decorated with medals, he's one of a small number of people officially labeled as a hero.  I have a great relationship with my dad.  Also he's not an abuser.)
2) His last name was made up when that part of his family immigrated over to the US.  If they had kept the original name, he would have had a strong argument in favor of using his name, however, he has no desire to return to the original name.  His current one holds no historical value.  Mine dates back much longer as a result.
3) My name is in the first few letters of the alphabet.  His is not (middle of alphabet).  (I know some people consider this a stupid reason, but I've heard this from a lot of people buried in the middle/back who hated it.  We also both have published papers and while our fields don't hold by the alphabetical naming convention, it's not totally unlikely our kid could go into such a field and thus gain this advantage.)

(Note: The sole reason he's articulated for his name is "that's how it's done", which is why the discussion of patriarchy arose.)

Not relevant factors: In regards to ease of pronunciation and how they sound, they are both fine.  While his sibling is passing the name down and mine are not, I do have extended family that are so I don't feel that's a particularly compelling argument.  Neither name is more likely to get the child into college or a job.

My ideal solution would be to create a new name from a combination of our current names, as it would be acknowledging we come together as a new family.  I have always liked the idea behind this, ever since I first heard it about 10 years ago.  Unfortunately, he's opposed to this idea and flatly rejected it, hence why I've tried compromising by suggesting a random approach - gender based or flip a coin.

This all said, I find it amazing the number of people who tell me to swallow my pride and move on, when *I'm* not the bully in this situation.  Apparently it's ok to be an intransigent bully if you have history on your side, even in this off-beat forum!   Anyways, I'm finding this thread less than helpful now, so I am going to see about closing it now.  Thanks for all of the ideas and suggestions.

Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2016, 09:03:44 AM »
My wife struggled with changing her unique last name to mine. Some may judge it as a fault on my part, but I felt uncomfortable if she didn't change it and then wanted our kids to have her name. Honestly I didn't want to always think people assumed I was our child's step father.

In the OPs case, someone is going to "lose" and will have to suck it up. Hyphenating is annoying for the kid and feels like it would be a constant burden leading them to change it. How many adults do you know who have a hyphenated name given to them by their parents?

 

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6728
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #128 on: June 11, 2016, 09:26:26 AM »
1. Pick a new last name you can both agree upon.
2. Change your last names legally to the new name.
3. Use new name for kids.

FrugalToque

  • Global Moderator
  • Pencil Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 595
  • Location: Canada
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #129 on: June 11, 2016, 09:50:16 AM »
5 pm est, so I grabbed a beer...

Did anyone suggest if the baby is a girl she gets mom's last name and if a boy, he gets dad's?

ETA: yep, naners did way back at the start.

I'm pretty sure that was an episode of Little House on the Prairie.  Nellie Oleson's kids, wasn't it, deciding if
the kids would be raised Jewish (like their dad) or Christian (like their mom)?

Yeah, here it is http://www.tv.com/shows/little-house-on-the-prairie/come-let-us-reason-together-64148/.

Honestly, the dumb-ass shit I have stored in my brain.

Toque


onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #130 on: June 11, 2016, 10:32:02 AM »
1. Pick a new last name you can both agree upon.
2. Change your last names legally to the new name.
3. Use new name for kids.

Yeah, that's what we're doing.  I think my husband wants to wait until his father passes away to erase that name (his dad as a young man gave up his abusive stepfather's last name and took his late mother's, so it's important to him, but my husband doesn't know that family), so it'll be a bit staggered, but that's the plan.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3030
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #131 on: June 11, 2016, 10:49:34 AM »
Quote
1. Pick a new last name you can both agree upon.
2. Change your last names legally to the new name.
3. Use new name for kids.

It would be really cool if my future spouse would be willing to take my middle name as their last name, I would change my last name to my middle name, and future kids would have my previous middle name.

teen persuasion

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1062
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #132 on: June 11, 2016, 11:19:47 AM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy".  against?

Do you people actually read the thread before commenting and making claims like this?  Try it and you'll see I have given reasons - I just didn't want to share personal details early on.  (I was uncomfortable sharing as #1 below is pretty personal, but also something I feel very strongly about).  Here's what I've previously said:

1) His name comes from his dad, who is an asshole who abused his mom and she divorced him when he started hitting the kids too.  He has a very poor relationship with his dad - awkward, infrequent, arms-length, etc., which is in such contrast to the warm and close one he has with his mom it makes the gulf seem especially wide.  (On the other hand, my name comes from my dad, who has been recognized as a national hero.  Not just decorated with medals, he's one of a small number of people officially labeled as a hero.  I have a great relationship with my dad.  Also he's not an abuser.)
2) His last name was made up when that part of his family immigrated over to the US.  If they had kept the original name, he would have had a strong argument in favor of using his name, however, he has no desire to return to the original name.  His current one holds no historical value.  Mine dates back much longer as a result.
3) My name is in the first few letters of the alphabet.  His is not (middle of alphabet).  (I know some people consider this a stupid reason, but I've heard this from a lot of people buried in the middle/back who hated it.  We also both have published papers and while our fields don't hold by the alphabetical naming convention, it's not totally unlikely our kid could go into such a field and thus gain this advantage.)

(Note: The sole reason he's articulated for his name is "that's how it's done", which is why the discussion of patriarchy arose.)

Not relevant factors: In regards to ease of pronunciation and how they sound, they are both fine.  While his sibling is passing the name down and mine are not, I do have extended family that are so I don't feel that's a particularly compelling argument.  Neither name is more likely to get the child into college or a job.

My ideal solution would be to create a new name from a combination of our current names, as it would be acknowledging we come together as a new family.  I have always liked the idea behind this, ever since I first heard it about 10 years ago.  Unfortunately, he's opposed to this idea and flatly rejected it, hence why I've tried compromising by suggesting a random approach - gender based or flip a coin.

This all said, I find it amazing the number of people who tell me to swallow my pride and move on, when *I'm* not the bully in this situation.  Apparently it's ok to be an intransigent bully if you have history on your side, even in this off-beat forum!   Anyways, I'm finding this thread less than helpful now, so I am going to see about closing it now.  Thanks for all of the ideas and suggestions.

Ok, so OP is rejecting her husband's FATHER's name, not directly her husband's name, or directly for patriarchy reasons.  But since (father's name) = (husband's name), I'll bet her husband feels that she is rejecting HIS name.  A fine distinction on the part of the OP, but effectively she IS rejecting her husband's name.

Girls/women while growing up learn that their name may change at some point (I am assuming US culture here).  They may take their spouse's name, combine names, or keep their maiden name.  The point is that we recognize that our name is not fixed, and that we have a choice in the name we end up with.  However, boys/men generally keep the name that was given to them at birth.  They likely view it as an intrinsic, fixed part of themselves.  So rejecting her husband's name could be, by extension, rejecting HIM.

Since you say that your husband has no interest in returning to the historical version of his name, and given his experiences with his father, I'd guess that your husband exists very much in the here-and-now.  His focus is on himself and his chosen family, not ancestors.  HIS name is what he has to give.  You seem to have an interest in historical family name, if you approve of the ancestors who passed on the name.  Maybe a change in perspective is in order: view yourselves (you and your husband) as the ancestors passing your names down to your progeny.  Do you view yourselves as worthy of that honor?  Your husband may wish to see himself as passing HIS name down, not his father's, not earlier generations. 

Your suggestion that your father's name is more worthy (he was a hero) may rankle.  Creating an entirely new name is just not something within your husband's possible POV, if his name = HIM, and his name is fixed, unchangeable.


Compromise is in order here, listen to each other's ideas and reasons.  Try to find common ground, hopefully the common purpose is selecting the best name for your child, together.  You may have to redefine what your family's goals and values are in the process, and use that to come up with a framework going forward.  Hostile naming negotiations just strike me as less than ideal - no one will be happy with the end result.  Approach it from the positive side, not negative.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #133 on: June 11, 2016, 11:37:01 AM »
I wouldn't call your husband or you a bully in this situation. You just want different things.  That's okay.  Maybe you have more talk behind your reason of why you want it, but his reason of tradition is not invalid and it's not mean-spirited.  He just wants what he wants and you want something else and that's OK.   

Well, except that your child needs a name you can both live with! :)

You are both being stubborn about it.  You want him to bend to you and it's not happening, and you're both stuck for now.

I don't spend that much time thinking of my father in law when I think of our family name.  However I do think of the longer family history and because we have a unique name.  My husband wanted me to take his name and I didn't really care that much although I added a few syllables.  I am still 100% me, I am not diminished in the least!

Your child will relate to your husband, obviously not the loser grandpa.  I can totally understand never using your father in law's first name!  (Is that what's on the table? -- your FIL's complete name?)  I don't know how your father in law owns the whole last name when it is not all about him, and your child will bring a lot of joy into that last name if it ends up as your agreed upon choice.

Best wishes on coming to a calm decision for the both of you.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 11:41:28 AM by KBecks »

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #134 on: June 11, 2016, 02:19:33 PM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

Yeah! If you're living under structural inequality, just pretend you're not. That'll make it go away.

SilveradoBojangles

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #135 on: June 11, 2016, 03:10:44 PM »
My wife struggled with changing her unique last name to mine. Some may judge it as a fault on my part, but I felt uncomfortable if she didn't change it and then wanted our kids to have her name. Honestly I didn't want to always think people assumed I was our child's step father.

In the OPs case, someone is going to "lose" and will have to suck it up. Hyphenating is annoying for the kid and feels like it would be a constant burden leading them to change it. How many adults do you know who have a hyphenated name given to them by their parents?

Why did your wife's discomfort with changing her name matter less than your discomfort with her not changing it? Women are just as entitled to strong feelings about this difficult topic as men are, but they are almost universally told to get over it, to compromise, to do what's best for the family. No one tells men to just "get over" the complicated feelings they have surrounding identity, paternity, family, etc. I bet if OPs husband was willing to compromise a tiny bit she would too.


Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #136 on: June 11, 2016, 05:02:15 PM »
Not sure why you read that her discomfort was less important than mine. She also wanted the have the same last name as our child, understood why I did as well and decided that was more important than retaining her last name. Could she have argued that she should keep her last name AND give the kid her last name? Yes... But I'm glad she didn't as there is no way to resolve that dispute happily (neither of us wanted to hyphen or make up a name). We also discussed this when we were dating so we knew each other's opinions

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #137 on: June 11, 2016, 06:27:36 PM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

Yeah! If you're living under structural inequality, just pretend you're not. That'll make it go away.

I don't know if most people view it as "anything but your name".  For us it was "a new name that's ours".

Lmoot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
    • Journal
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #138 on: June 11, 2016, 09:16:35 PM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

Yeah! If you're living under structural inequality, just pretend you're not. That'll make it go away.
And pretending that not naming your kid something has any impact on real women's issues is any less delusional?

Lmoot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
    • Journal
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #139 on: June 11, 2016, 09:22:39 PM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy".  against?

Do you people actually read the thread before commenting and making claims like this?  Try it and you'll see I have given reasons - I just didn't want to share personal details early on.  (I was uncomfortable sharing as #1 below is pretty personal, but also something I feel very strongly about).  Here's what I've previously said:

1) His name comes from his dad, who is an asshole who abused his mom and she divorced him when he started hitting the kids too.  He has a very poor relationship with his dad - awkward, infrequent, arms-length, etc., which is in such contrast to the warm and close one he has with his mom it makes the gulf seem especially wide.  (On the other hand, my name comes from my dad, who has been recognized as a national hero.  Not just decorated with medals, he's one of a small number of people officially labeled as a hero.  I have a great relationship with my dad.  Also he's not an abuser.)
2) His last name was made up when that part of his family immigrated over to the US.  If they had kept the original name, he would have had a strong argument in favor of using his name, however, he has no desire to return to the original name.  His current one holds no historical value.  Mine dates back much longer as a result.
3) My name is in the first few letters of the alphabet.  His is not (middle of alphabet).  (I know some people consider this a stupid reason, but I've heard this from a lot of people buried in the middle/back who hated it.  We also both have published papers and while our fields don't hold by the alphabetical naming convention, it's not totally unlikely our kid could go into such a field and thus gain this advantage.)

(Note: The sole reason he's articulated for his name is "that's how it's done", which is why the discussion of patriarchy arose.)

Not relevant factors: In regards to ease of pronunciation and how they sound, they are both fine.  While his sibling is passing the name down and mine are not, I do have extended family that are so I don't feel that's a particularly compelling argument.  Neither name is more likely to get the child into college or a job.

My ideal solution would be to create a new name from a combination of our current names, as it would be acknowledging we come together as a new family.  I have always liked the idea behind this, ever since I first heard it about 10 years ago.  Unfortunately, he's opposed to this idea and flatly rejected it, hence why I've tried compromising by suggesting a random approach - gender based or flip a coin.

This all said, I find it amazing the number of people who tell me to swallow my pride and move on, when *I'm* not the bully in this situation.  Apparently it's ok to be an intransigent bully if you have history on your side, even in this off-beat forum!   Anyways, I'm finding this thread less than helpful now, so I am going to see about closing it now.  Thanks for all of the ideas and suggestions.
I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your intention so thank you for clarifying/reiterating. Either way you both decide won't matter when the little one is here. I hope you find a solution which will work for your family. If anything it will be an interesting story for the kid to hear one day, how they got their name, and we all have at least one of those stories in our family. Good luck with the naming and the pregnancy and congratulations.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3004
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #140 on: June 11, 2016, 09:54:38 PM »
But the OP is presumably in the US and plans to raise her child in the US, which is why I and the majority of people in this thread are arguing about customs in the US.
Do we know anything about where the OP lives and their cultural background? I didn't see them disclose anything.

Quote
I don't get to sleep with multiple partners while married in my culture (i.e., the US), because that's not "normal." I could argue that it doesn't really matter, and that remaining faithful to each other is just a personal preference of my wife's and mine

That sounds like a choice between your wife and you. Other people make different decisions.
See Polyamorous and Mustachian for example

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3004
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #141 on: June 11, 2016, 10:12:59 PM »
OP, you might like this article: What Happened When We Gave Our Daughter My Last Name

Unfortunately doesn't help with your dilemma, but I thought it was a nice read

There is one part that stood out:
Quote
At four months pregnant, when people asked if we’d chosen a first name, we shared our last name choice instead. Neither of us expected any drama. Our far flung and nearby communities had always been open-minded. That’s why the shockwave shocked us.
My younger brother started it off by asking me how Chris felt about being emasculated. He was joking, and he did apologize about it later, but I couldn’t help wonder if he somehow represented all the men who might feel emasculated by our choice. My mother, always a supporter, just sighed. “Well,” she said, “Just be ready for the responses. Your child might have some trouble on the playground.”

Cultural forces run deep, and while I may not agree, I can understand and empathize with those responses unfortunately

FWIW, if you are in the US, there may be nothing that forces you to choose any last name at all: Naming in the United States
Though going that route might be an administrative headache

TVRodriguez

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #142 on: June 11, 2016, 10:44:36 PM »
My experience : I let the kids get DH's last name, so I got to choose first and middle names for our three kids. Neither of us changed our last names at marriage bc we were fine the way we were (and we're both licensed professionals, so changing seemed like a hassle; plus feminism). Only online do I have his last name. (I'm not Rodriguez in real life.)

Since we live in a heavily Hispanic area, lots of moms kept their names, so it's not an issue (at school or anywhere) that my kids don't share my last name. One of the few moms I know who changed her last name to make things easier now regrets it. Anyhow, because Rodriguez is such a common name, whenever I label something that might get lost (eg, a jacket or a book that one of the kids brings to school), I put Rodriguez Mylastname on the label so it gets back to the right Rodriguez.  And our holiday cards come from The Mylastname Rodriguez Family. So my kids see my name as part of their names, just not on their passports.

Good luck with your decision, OP.  I can understand where you are coming from and your frustration. If my DH had insisted on his last name, it would have rankled. He left it up to me. I decided to use his name for our kids since I carried them and grew them in my body and knew for sure that they were mine, and he just had to take my word for it. (Kind of kidding, kind of not)

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #143 on: June 12, 2016, 12:23:51 AM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

Yeah! If you're living under structural inequality, just pretend you're not. That'll make it go away.

And pretending that not naming your kid something has any impact on real women's issues is any less delusional?

jesus, I can't believe I have to spell this out.

By "pretend," I meant "ignore." Which was your own suggestion. I was pointing out how nonsensical that suggestion is.

christ.

Lmoot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
    • Journal
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #144 on: June 12, 2016, 03:44:22 AM »
The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

Yeah! If you're living under structural inequality, just pretend you're not. That'll make it go away.

And pretending that not naming your kid something has any impact on real women's issues is any less delusional?

jesus, I can't believe I have to spell this out.

By "pretend," I meant "ignore." Which was your own suggestion. I was pointing out how nonsensical that suggestion is.

christ.
I like spelling bees, so I'll spell back. The idea that you think being complacent about what to name a child is akin to ignoring larger issues affecting women, is nonsensical. It's nonsensical because in your sarcasm you imply that doing so will make structural inequality "go away".
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 03:53:08 AM by Lmoot »

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1294
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #145 on: June 12, 2016, 04:05:55 AM »

I can fully accept that this might feel true in your culture and tradition, but I do hope you realise it is not true in other traditions.


I absolutely do; as a quick example, as a bilingual preschool teacher, with 99% of my parents from Mexico, almost all of them have hyphenated surnames, with the mother's name following the father's name. These kinds of things vary from culture to culture. But the OP is presumably in the US and plans to raise her child in the US, which is why I and the majority of people in this thread are arguing about customs in the US.

If this discussion were taking place in Mexico or Iceland and the OP were in one of those countries and wanting to do things the way they're done elsewhere, the majority of people would be arguing for the surnames to be structured differently, based on what's normal in the dominant culture in which the children will be raised.

Quote
And since having different last names in the same family in some cultures is just a fact of life; could it be that it really doesn't matter in your culture too? That this is just something you and your wife personally like, based on what is considered "normal" in your culture?

By this standard of relativism, nothing matters in any culture. But in reality, things do matter. I don't get to sleep with multiple partners while married in my culture (i.e., the US), because that's not "normal." I could argue that it doesn't really matter, and that remaining faithful to each other is just a personal preference of my wife's and mine, but I don't subscribe to the idea that things don't matter just because we don't want to do them. It's your choice of whether to follow local social norms or not, but you're going to get questioned and eventually shunned if you choose to ignore enough of them.

Yes, in reality, things do matter. Some old customs and traditions have value and should be kept, others are stupid or downright damaging (e.g. FGM). It is not like the naming customs in the US are written in stone - for a lot of families they have only been this way since they arrived in the US a few hundred years ago. Anyone with an inherited surname ending with -sen, or -son comes from a family that has changed from one naming tradition to another one, not that long ago. I'm sure the first women taking the last name Olsson (son of Ole) were laughed at, but I doubt they were shunned. And claiming to be a female son of your father-in-law is in my eyes a larger break with traditions (and logic) than for each individual in the family to have a different name.

rae

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #146 on: June 12, 2016, 06:01:10 AM »
When I was a kid playing sports, my last name could barely fit across my back shoulders and with the folds in the jersey, no one could read it. Thus, our kid will get DH's name, as it's only four letters. :)

LadyStache in Baja

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 698
    • My Casa Caoba: Making meaning in Mexico
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #147 on: June 12, 2016, 07:19:26 AM »
Whoa, there's four pages of this!  Didn't read them all, but just wanted to chime in that I think the Mexican way is pretty awesome.  Each parent keeps their own name, and then the kid gets one last name from each, Father's first, then Mother's. 

But I also like the idea of combining the names into a new last name like Ellismoore mentioned above.  That avoids the issue of them dropping a name.

 

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2615
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #148 on: June 12, 2016, 08:15:10 AM »
If my SO ever said to me "I demand that you do this because I'm (fe)male", that would be the end of the relationship.

I don't care if you call it patriarchy, tradition, chivalry or whatever. Making demands of your partner on the sole basis of your gender is the behaviour of an asshole. Where does it end?

I'm dubious that a person can be so demanding about a child's surname and be reasonable able everything else in the relationship. Maybe they have the potential to be reasonable but have grown up only seeing gendered behaviour and don't realise that this isn't the only way relationships can work, but this is a problem that needs to be fixed before you have a child together.

historienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
Re: Baby's last name dilemma
« Reply #149 on: June 12, 2016, 10:42:46 AM »

The whole "anything but your last name" theme from the OP and others in here leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You'll accept your name, and a different name, but not his name, and still haven't given a reason other than "because patriarchy". You might think you are executing feminist strength but because of your mindset going into this, any decision you make now will be driven by patriarchy; patriarchy is driving your decision even if in an opposing direction, it's still the underlying force steering your decision...which means it's controlling your actions. Oh the irony. At this point you are operating on form over function. Choose your battles.

Since this refers most directly to my statement earlier, I'll chime in here.  There are many, many options for last names.  I vetoed exactly one of those options.  That doesn't strike me as particularly demanding - it still left my husband with much more say in the choice.  He also didn't want to use just my last name - which was fine with me!  Frankly, my husband's not an asshole, so I don't have to "choose my battles" with him in the way you're implying.  He takes my feelings and opinions seriously, and vice versa.   If you really have to choose your battles to that degree with your partner...maybe find a different partner. 

On the subject of the patriarchy - of course it's still an underlying force in our decision.  It's an underlying force that structures almost everything about the society we live in.  But ignoring it doesn't make it go away.