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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 01:31:27 PM

Title: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 01:31:27 PM
How did you resolve the issue if you and your spouse did not change your/their last name on marriage, and you both wanted your own last name for your baby?

I'm actually not pushing my last name, rather I want an equitable way of deciding, such as flipping a coin, basing the last name on the baby gender, or creating a new one.  But my usually fair-minded spouse broached the topic last night by "insisting" on it rather than discussing it.  I can see this going downhill rapidly and I'm trying to avoid that.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: slappy on June 09, 2016, 01:33:15 PM
Hyphenate or use one person's last name as the middle name?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 01:35:01 PM
Hyphenate or use one person's last name as the middle name?

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

Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: onlykelsey on June 09, 2016, 01:37:39 PM
We kept our own names at marriage.  I'm pregnant now and planning on taking my mother's maiden name (in part because they weren't married and my father is an abusive criminal, and in part because we wanted a neutral-ish third name).  We went back as far as we could in our family trees to find out if we had a name in common we could take (we're both half irish catholic so we thought it could happen), but no dice.  My husband plans on taking this same last name when his father passes away because he is afraid of offending him, which doesn't quite make sense to me, but is obviously his call.  Future baby will have my last name.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 01:42:33 PM
We went back as far as we could in our family trees to find out if we had a name in common we could take (we're both half irish catholic so we thought it could happen), but no dice. 

Interesting idea.  The create a new last name idea didn't gain traction, but I'll try tossing this one out there to see if it sticks instead.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: south of 61 on June 09, 2016, 01:44:04 PM
We each kept our names when we married. I insisted our kids get my husband's name, but that was for reasons of taste (my last name is amazingly terrible and I wouldn't inflict it on anyone!). Had I not had a terrible name, I'm not sure how we would have resolved it - sorry this isn't a very helpful response is it!
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: onlykelsey on June 09, 2016, 01:47:29 PM
We went back as far as we could in our family trees to find out if we had a name in common we could take (we're both half irish catholic so we thought it could happen), but no dice. 

Interesting idea.  The create a new last name idea didn't gain traction, but I'll try tossing this one out there to see if it sticks instead.

A variation on that idea might be to take a name related to something common to you, which is maybe not "creating a new last name".  i.e. if you're both from the same region of Germany, using the name of a river there, or something like that.  My mentor/father figure seriously tried to get his wife to take a new common name with him that was super advantageous like Rockefeller or Rothschild.  I think the fact that my mom's name has an old money sound to it and flows well with DH's name is part of why he's okay with it.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mamagoose on June 09, 2016, 01:54:36 PM
How about one of you picks the first name, one of you picks the last name, and leave the middle name blank for the kid to choose when they're older? I got to pick my own middle name, it was fun.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 01:57:00 PM
We went back as far as we could in our family trees to find out if we had a name in common we could take (we're both half irish catholic so we thought it could happen), but no dice. 

Interesting idea.  The create a new last name idea didn't gain traction, but I'll try tossing this one out there to see if it sticks instead.

A variation on that idea might be to take a name related to something common to you, which is maybe not "creating a new last name".  i.e. if you're both from the same region of Germany, using the name of a river there, or something like that.  My mentor/father figure seriously tried to get his wife to take a new common name with him that was super advantageous like Rockefeller or Rothschild.  I think the fact that my mom's name has an old money sound to it and flows well with DH's name is part of why he's okay with it.

Yeah my idea of creating a new last name is to something from both names to create a new one.  For example, taking two random names from my current work inbox, Maynard & Powell could be Mayell.  I don't know that we would find anything in common like that, but I can try.

Oddly for all of the opposition to creating something...my spouse's last name itself is fairly new, because the family changed it on entering the US to Americanize it.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mozar on June 09, 2016, 01:57:32 PM
How about the kid gets their own last name? My mom had my dad's last name for awhile and then changed it back to her maiden name after they got divorced. Every time my mom and I flew together they would seperate my mom and I. After she had chosen the seats the staff would literally change my seat and put me (a child) on the other side of the plane with some stranger who had my last name. Fortunately now there's southwest and we can sit where we want. But that's the only reason I could think of that people should have the same last name.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Peacefulwarrior on June 09, 2016, 02:01:07 PM
Any of you have a last name worth preserving more than the other? My last name is only used by around 12 people in this country and is not allowed to be used by other families. Because of that my son has my last name. His mother has a generic last name used by a very very large percentage of families here. For that reason he got mine. Had it been the other way around I would have accepted her last name for him in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: sis on June 09, 2016, 02:02:32 PM
We both kept our last names at marriage.  We are thinking of giving the kid a non-hyphenated combo of our last names.  Other possibilities are using his or using mine so our kids aren't discriminated against due to affirmative action in college admissions.  This is all theoretical as there is no child on the way, but we've discussed it at the very least.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CanuckExpat on June 09, 2016, 02:04:18 PM
Neither wife nor I changed our last names when we got married.
Our son has a different last name from both of us.

We had talked about naming him after a relative we wanted to honor, but didn't want to make it his first name, so it became his last name instead.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: naners on June 09, 2016, 02:04:47 PM
Our agreement was that girls would get my last name, boys would get DH's last name. Not sure how I'll feel about that if we have two boys :)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:08:16 PM
Any of you have a last name worth preserving more than the other? My last name is only used by around 12 people in this country and is not allowed to be used by other families. Because of that my son has my last name. His mother has a generic last name used by a very very large percentage of families here. For that reason he got mine. Had it been the other way around I would have accepted her last name for him in a heartbeat.

I'm the only one that pops up on a google search for my name!  Most definitely not so for my spouse (whose  mom divorced due to dad abusing the mom).  The first Google page reveals an art forger with the same name actually.

Spouse is not swayed, however.  And in fairness, in reality there are other people on both sides who can pass the name down so it's not a terrifically compelling argument on either side.

Not allowed to be used though?  Can you elaborate, I'm super curious!
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mm1970 on June 09, 2016, 02:08:50 PM
I've got friends who gave their kids a last name that combined the two (but it's not hyphenated).

John Ellis
Jane More

Katie, Karl, and Kimmy Ellismore

Many many children at our elementary school are Latino, and they have two last names.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:11:21 PM
How about one of you picks the first name, one of you picks the last name, and leave the middle name blank for the kid to choose when they're older? I got to pick my own middle name, it was fun.

I'd offer this as a last resort - I'm wary about how this would work in practice (if the one parent doesn't really like the chosen first name).
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:13:46 PM
We both kept our last names at marriage.  We are thinking of giving the kid a non-hyphenated combo of our last names.  Other possibilities are using his or using mine so our kids aren't discriminated against due to affirmative action in college admissions.  This is all theoretical as there is no child on the way, but we've discussed it at the very least.

This used to be a theoretical discussion for us too, but we're now on a deadline, albeit 34 weeks away.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: v8rx7guy on June 09, 2016, 02:14:37 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 for us was 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: DMoney on June 09, 2016, 02:17:52 PM
I'm a professional woman so didn't change my name with marriage (really it's a pain, all the paperwork.  I told my husband I'd do it if he did all the paperwork...still have my maiden name many years later.)  Our kids have my husband's last name I guess because it's convention. 

He jokes that I'm not their mom because I have a different last name.  I joke that we'll never really know if he's the father without a DNA test.  (I swear it's all in good fun!)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mm1970 on June 09, 2016, 02:19:15 PM
Quote
Not allowed to be used though?  Can you elaborate, I'm super curious!
Yes this is interesting.

My husband's family (some of them) are from Denmark.  One of his grandparents or great grandparents was a decorated Naval Officer, so he was granted his own last name.

That's a big deal.  There are very few people with this last name left.

Otherwise, the family tree was Niels Petersen, Peter Nielsen, Niels Petersen, Peter Nielsen, Peter Petersen...ad nauseum.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: sis on June 09, 2016, 02:20:39 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: ketchup on June 09, 2016, 02:24:03 PM
I knew a guy with a crazy, difficult-to-spell Scandinavian last name that he had no emotional attachment to (he was raised by his step-grandfather).  His main dilemma was picking what he would change it to.  I suggested Bond.  Dave Bond.  He ended up not doing it.

But that's my suggestion.  [First_Name] Bond.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:26:06 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.

I almost put a disclaimer in my initial post that I wanted to focus on the topic at hand, and not discuss traditional approaches to naming as that would be off topic, but I thought it wouldn't be necessary.

Yes, we were non-traditional as we got married later in life and both had prior careers, degrees and published articles.  We both spent 30+ years with our own last names, and both fully agreed and thought it right we keep our own last names.  (Consider also the "traditional" approach - which mind you, is first, a fallacious argument to make for why to do something, called appeal to tradition, and second, it's only tradition in some cultures - is based off women being treated as property, which is shall we say politely, a less than desirable reason to provide support for a "tradition".)

Anyway.  Let's get back to the original question?

Quote
Not allowed to be used though?  Can you elaborate, I'm super curious!
Yes this is interesting.

My husband's family (some of them) are from Denmark.  One of his grandparents or great grandparents was a decorated Naval Officer, so he was granted his own last name.

That's a big deal.  There are very few people with this last name left.

Otherwise, the family tree was Niels Petersen, Peter Nielsen, Niels Petersen, Peter Nielsen, Peter Petersen...ad nauseum.

Interesting (and a compelling reason)!  Sadly, nothing distinguishing like that for us.  One side has a father whose actions saving people was part of a best-selling novel & movie.  The other has a father who has published important scientific papers.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:26:33 PM
I knew a guy with a crazy, difficult-to-spell Scandinavian last name that he had no emotional attachment to (he was raised by his step-grandfather).  His main dilemma was picking what he would change it to.  I suggested Bond.  Dave Bond.  He ended up not doing it.

But that's my suggestion.  [First_Name] Bond.

HAHA!  I'm totally going to go home and suggest this.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: catccc on June 09, 2016, 02:26:55 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.

Obviously OP doesn't follow this tradition, so a different option is worth it for her family.

I didn't take my husband's name (mine is indicative of my ethnicity, which is important to me.)  Our kids have his last name, and mine as one of their two middle names.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have left it out because of college admissions issues, but college is 4 years of life, and the names they have are for longer than that...  I personally don't like hyphenated names because it is a one generation solution, just because I'm not a fan of hyphenated names in triplicate or more.  My sister also didn't take her husband's name, and their two kids have different last names (one has mom's, one has dad's).  Are you planning on having more than one?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: v8rx7guy on June 09, 2016, 02:28:11 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.

What's your meaningful insight with this comment?  I actually gave insight, choose the same last name for everyone.  I don't care if it's husband's, wife's, new last name, hyphen, etc... I am traditional we chose husband's in my family.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Peacefulwarrior on June 09, 2016, 02:28:29 PM
Any of you have a last name worth preserving more than the other? My last name is only used by around 12 people in this country and is not allowed to be used by other families. Because of that my son has my last name. His mother has a generic last name used by a very very large percentage of families here. For that reason he got mine. Had it been the other way around I would have accepted her last name for him in a heartbeat.

I'm the only one that pops up on a google search for my name!  Most definitely not so for my spouse (whose  mom divorced due to dad abusing the mom).  The first Google page reveals an art forger with the same name actually.

Spouse is not swayed, however.  And in fairness, in reality there are other people on both sides who can pass the name down so it's not a terrifically compelling argument on either side.

Not allowed to be used though?  Can you elaborate, I'm super curious!

Haha no royal bloodline or anything. It's just that where I live if a last name is only used by a few people other people can not use that name unless the ones who hold the name approves it first (or they get married into the name).
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:33:57 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.

Obviously OP doesn't follow this tradition, so a different option is worth it for her family.

I didn't take my husband's name (mine is indicative of my ethnicity, which is important to me.)  Our kids have his last name, and mine as one of their two middle names.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have left it out because of college admissions issues, but college is 4 years of life, and the names they have are for longer than that...  I personally don't like hyphenated names because it is a one generation solution, just because I'm not a fan of hyphenated names in triplicate or more.  My sister also didn't take her husband's name, and their two kids have different last names (one has mom's, one has dad's).  Are you planning on having more than one?

I agree with the hyphenation issue (in addition to still leaving the question of whose name is last, because that tends to be considered the last name, with the other often dropped).

I would like to have two, my spouse is not so keen on it.  (Not a definite no, but quite wary.)  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), but I doubt that would be acceptable.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: ZiziPB on June 09, 2016, 02:37:09 PM
If your names are traditional English surnames, I would definitely hyphenate so so that you end with a very posh and elite sounding one ;-)  Something like Legge-Bourke or Glynne-Percy or Egerton-Jones.  Bonus points for incorporating as many silent "e"s as possible...
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mozar on June 09, 2016, 02:39:12 PM
@sis that's not how affirmative action works. What they do is group genders and races. So white men are compared to white men, white women are compared to white women, black people are compared to black people, asian people get compared to asian, Hispanics, native people etc. So what ends up happening is that white men with lower scores than white women are more likely to get in, because white men are less likely to have good grades and extracurricular activities. And asian people end up having less of a chance to get in because the pool of asian people usually have high grades and extracurriculars and it's hard to stand out. The only way to opt out of this is to not put your gender or race on your application. They might just assume that the kid is a white woman which could be annoying if you're not. So I'd be curious to see how that goes for you!
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: MrMoogle on June 09, 2016, 02:39:48 PM
Quote
Not allowed to be used though?  Can you elaborate, I'm super curious!
Yes this is interesting.
I wonder if his name is copywritten/trademarked.  Are you allowed to change your name to something like Pepsi?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: historienne on June 09, 2016, 02:44:10 PM

Yeah my idea of creating a new last name is to something from both names to create a new one.  For example, taking two random names from my current work inbox, Maynard & Powell could be Mayell.  I don't know that we would find anything in common like that, but I can try.


We did this.  Something like Stone + Farewell --> Stonewell.  Much easier if you have (as we do) names from similar linguistic backgrounds, so the syllables flow together naturally.  I really love it as a solution, though, and we get lots of nice comments on our daughter's last name when people figure it out.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 02:46:19 PM
If your names are traditional English surnames, I would definitely hyphenate so so that you end with a very posh and elite sounding one ;-)  Something like Legge-Bourke or Glynne-Percy or Egerton-Jones.  Bonus points for incorporating as many silent "e"s as possible...

German & Polish, sorry!
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CheapskateWife on June 09, 2016, 02:47:08 PM
We both kept our names at marriage, and went with kidname hislast herlast. 

There are other members of our family with hislast....

My generation is all female and gave their children their respective husband's last names.  Ours was the last baby expected and so I asked my husband to consider allowing my family name to continue.  He graciously agreed, much to the pleasure of my dad and grandpa.

However, if Cheapskate kid decides down the road he wants to be kidname herlast hislast; I'll help make that happen.

Hoping you get to a point where you and your spouse can agree and both be satisfied.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Bee21 on June 09, 2016, 03:41:34 PM
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.




Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CanuckExpat on June 09, 2016, 03:48:11 PM
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.

Having the same last name doesn't get you out of all those difficulties. The stated rule of many countries is they want to see birth certificate and signed letter from other parent when you are travelling alone with child. Not necessarily enforced every time, but a good idea to have it, regardless of last name.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Dicey on June 09, 2016, 03:50:50 PM
Another vote for first name + parent's last name + other parent's last name with no hyphens. Kid can use both names or not as best suits his/her needs and temperament.

Edited to maintain complete gender neutrality. I don't care what gender(s) the parents are, I stand by my formula.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Frugal D on June 09, 2016, 03:57:04 PM
Hyphenate or use one person's last name as the middle name?

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

Also, hyphenating is stupid. If you take it to its logical end, a person's last name might be something like Johnson-Smith-Jones-Walters-Wilson-Cone-etc-etc-etc...

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: lifejoy on June 09, 2016, 04:09:35 PM
Commenting to follow.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cyaphas on June 09, 2016, 04:29:45 PM
I'd pick the one that is most likely to benefit the kid financially or socially. May it be inheritance, job interviews or maybe as a news anchor. Possibly association through notoriety of a relative or ancestor. Some names are worth more than others.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: MrsPete on June 09, 2016, 04:37:22 PM
Any of you have a last name worth preserving more than the other? My last name is only used by around 12 people in this country and is not allowed to be used by other families.
How can you prevent people from using your last name? 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 09, 2016, 04:38:16 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?

I also don't understand the fetish for everyone in a family having the same name. As OP already pointed out, the idea comes straight out of patriarchy. And if people weren't so caught up with it, this entire problem would go away.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: lizzzi on June 09, 2016, 04:41:02 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.

This. It just seemed easier.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Goldielocks on June 09, 2016, 04:54:05 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.

The question was "How do you choose a last name?"

The answer "We like tradition and the reduction of confusion, and therefore chose to go with the paternal name"  is a valid straight answer to the OP's question.  Equally valid to any other posting here, and a more common answer to boot.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Goldielocks on June 09, 2016, 04:55:45 PM
If your names are traditional English surnames, I would definitely hyphenate so so that you end with a very posh and elite sounding one ;-)  Something like Legge-Bourke or Glynne-Percy or Egerton-Jones.  Bonus points for incorporating as many silent "e"s as possible...

German & Polish, sorry!
Just add "ski" to the german name...  ??
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Frugal D on June 09, 2016, 04:58:50 PM
I'd pick the one that is most likely to benefit the kid financially or socially. May it be inheritance, job interviews or maybe as a news anchor. Possibly association through notoriety of a relative or ancestor. Some names are worth more than others.

Booyah! I'm taking my wife's last name and passing it down to our child for this reason!
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Bee21 on June 09, 2016, 05:06:45 PM
Apart from the philosophical problems here, think of the practicalities. Is your chosen name going to make the kid's life easier or harder? Does it sound good? Is it going to be pain to spell? I love my unique name, but is a pain to spell. It is a pain to complete forms. It is a pain to introduce myself because people never get it immediately.It always get misspelled and mispronounced and I am not allowed to get irritated. Yeah, it is my great great great grandfather's fault.

Just something to consider.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Quince on June 09, 2016, 05:25:55 PM
Step 1 was to resolve the issue BEFORE anyone was pregnant. It's easier if you can say that if you don't agree and it is your hill to die on, you can walk away and make a partnership where you CAN agree.

We ended up hyphenating. I sometimes regret being "nice" and caring about what he wanted instead of pushing through for my last name ONLY. I had some leverage as he had pulled a relationship foul that he owed(and still owes) me for.  The whole tit for tat thing left a bad taste in my mouth so hyphenation it was. We decided the order by what made an amusing acronym when the kid's initials were used, and though the second child doesn't have an amusing acronym, we kept the sequence.

I am irritated a bit by hyphenation, as I'm already at a disadvantage on the tradition aspect as the kids are more likely to drop my (mother's) name if they decide to shorten.

I will say if someone is being unreasonable, the mother does have the advantage, as she is the patient in the hospital and gets to fill out the paperwork.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Mrs. PoP on June 09, 2016, 05:29:53 PM
Disagree that the last name in a hyphenated situation is considered primary.   I grew up with a fair number of hyphenated peers and some emphasized first, some last.  One scenario I especially liked was for a pair of siblings (brother and sister) who were in sports - their last names were hypehnated, but too long to go on sports jerseys.  So her jersey always had mom's name and his always had dad's. 

Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Frugal D on June 09, 2016, 05:42:19 PM
Hyphenating is a good indication of how horrible a parent you will be because you couldn't swallow your own pride and do what's best for your child. You'll probably also live through your child and do other things outlined in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLLP5eWeJIA
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Bucksandreds on June 09, 2016, 05:49:22 PM
Is this a joke? Society dictates 'normal' is to have the father's last name.  If you want, use the mother's maiden name as the middle name. Don't get your kids picked on. It's hard enough as it is on the school's playground. Don't make your kid an easy target.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 05:56:21 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.

The question was "How do you choose a last name?"

The answer "We like tradition and the reduction of confusion, and therefore chose to go with the paternal name"  is a valid straight answer to the OP's question.  Equally valid to any other posting here, and a more common answer to boot.

Actually no that was NOT the question.  The question is (emphasis added): How did you resolve the issue if you and your spouse did not change your/their last name on marriage, and you both wanted your own last name for your baby?  This very clearly should take off the table any discussion of what should have been done in the past regarding parent names (which was not something either of us wanted anyways). 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 06:04:16 PM
Hyphenating is a good indication of how horrible a parent you will be because you couldn't swallow your own pride and do what's best for your child. You'll probably also live through your child and do other things outlined in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLLP5eWeJIA

Err, well if you go back and read the post, one of us "insisting" on a name.  The other wants to either discuss so we come to agreement, compromise (merge names), or decide randomly.  It rather seems to me you ought to be lecturing the other one in this partnership...

(I'm also totally unclear as to how a debate over names equals not doing what's best for a child.  That a completely illogical leap there.)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Frugal D on June 09, 2016, 06:26:39 PM
Hyphenating is a good indication of how horrible a parent you will be because you couldn't swallow your own pride and do what's best for your child. You'll probably also live through your child and do other things outlined in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLLP5eWeJIA

Err, well if you go back and read the post, one of us "insisting" on a name.  The other wants to either discuss so we come to agreement, compromise (merge names), or decide randomly.  It rather seems to me you ought to be lecturing the other one in this partnership...

(I'm also totally unclear as to how a debate over names equals not doing what's best for a child.  That a completely illogical leap there.)

Sorry - wasn't aimed at you as I didn't even think you were suggesting hyphenating. More aimed at anyone who was suggesting hyphenating.

That said, I don't think it's terribly illogical to jump from name debates to what's best for a child. Naming your child is the first opportunity you have to impact them in a pretty meaningful way so it does tend to have at least a little "best for the child" component. 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 09, 2016, 06:46:21 PM
We agreed on this (prior to marriage) using logic: one last name has already been 'passed down' to a sibling's children, and the other hasn't, so we'll use the one that is yet to be 'passed down'*. Seems fair to us.

Otherwise, we would have flipped a coin.

I know people who flipped a coin with their spouse to decide who would take whose last name. I like that approach if you want to have the same name as each other and your kids, but aren't into the traditional/patrilineal side of things. We didn't care about all having the same name, so no coin flipping was needed.

*It has since been passed down, but in an altered form, so we agree that our logic still holds.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: SilveradoBojangles on June 09, 2016, 06:47:40 PM
Almost all of my female friends have kept their name after marriage, but as they have begun to have children their kids universally get the dad's name, which I have found interesting. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that unrecognized paternity/single motherhood still carries a social stigma, even for highly educated women who have bucked tradition in other ways.

I don't know what we'll do if we have kids. On the one hand, my name is interesting and melodious (people always compliment me on it) while still providing some level of anonymity (unlike others, I don't see the value in having a name that can be fruitfully googled). His name has more consonants than is optimal, but he likes it because it ties him to a grandfather who did something cool once. Our friends jokingly refer to us by combo names, and it sounds like someone hiccuped and sneezed at the same time, so that's probably out for us. I think we may have to flip a coin.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: tobitonic on June 09, 2016, 06:54:40 PM
How did you resolve the issue if you and your spouse did not change your/their last name on marriage, and you both wanted your own last name for your baby?

I'm actually not pushing my last name, rather I want an equitable way of deciding, such as flipping a coin, basing the last name on the baby gender, or creating a new one.  But my usually fair-minded spouse broached the topic last night by "insisting" on it rather than discussing it.  I can see this going downhill rapidly and I'm trying to avoid that.

If you can't agree with each other because your husband doesn't want to compromise, you're unlikely to convince him by bringing in suggestions from a thread you started on the Internet. I'd go back to talking in person, or perhaps try a counselor.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: tobitonic on June 09, 2016, 07:33:11 PM
How did you resolve the issue if you and your spouse did not change your/their last name on marriage, and you both wanted your own last name for your baby?

I'm actually not pushing my last name, rather I want an equitable way of deciding, such as flipping a coin, basing the last name on the baby gender, or creating a new one.  But my usually fair-minded spouse broached the topic last night by "insisting" on it rather than discussing it.  I can see this going downhill rapidly and I'm trying to avoid that.

If you can't agree with each other because your husband doesn't want to compromise, you're unlikely to convince him by bringing in suggestions from a thread you started on the Internet. I'd go back to talking in person, or perhaps try a counselor.
Funny to me how everyone assumed the OP was female (I personally thought male) and part of a heterosexual couple (personally thought it could be either).

It's a pretty safe bet in most of these discussions that the man is the one insisting on having his name being passed down, and is the one who is less likely to compromise and listen to his spouse, because those are both stereotypical male behaviors.

Also, a quick trip through the OP's posting history makes it clear that this is an issue that has bothered her for a while, and while she attempted to hide gender in this thread, has been quite open about it in the past.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Ladychips on June 09, 2016, 08:03:08 PM
It pisses me off when I make gender assumptions...I was shocked (SHOCKED) when I realized the OP is female.  Oops.

I had a friend who gave her child her birth name as a first name...and it's lovely.  But that doesn't really solve the issue.  I'm sorry that I don't have a better contribution.  Would it be possible to go to some kind of mediation?  Is that a thing?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot on June 09, 2016, 08:16:35 PM
End the relationship and you both marry someone who already has your same last name. The baby does make things a bit difficult though.

I always wondered what hyphenated-last-name people did if they wanted to keep their name. Do they triple hyphenate? Is the baby's triple hyphenated? What if the baby also wants to do the same. Does it become an infinite string of hyphens? Could one just make their last name into a hyphen? Or a family symbol, like Prince?

Fun Fact: Siamangs have a song between mates, which they teach to their young. When the babies grow up, they combine their song with their mate's family song, and teach the new song to their young. And so it goes. Do that.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: terran on June 09, 2016, 08:18:03 PM
My wife took my last and we're not having kids anyway, but something she has found is that there are some real advantages to moving "up" in the alphabet such as being listed first on co-authored papers and conference panels (in a field where people try to be nice/democratic -- if she was a hardcore academic my understanding is that first author privileges are very prescribed), having an easier time finding her name tag at things that have name tags, etc. Growing up I know I also ended up first for all kinds of things based on a name early in the alphabet. So you might make the decision alphabetically, especially if one of you is in the first 2 or 3 letters.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 08:23:10 PM
Funny to me how everyone assumed the OP was female (I personally thought male) and part of a heterosexual couple (personally thought it could be either).

It's a pretty safe bet in most of these discussions that the man is the one insisting on having his name being passed down, and is the one who is less likely to compromise and listen to his spouse, because those are both stereotypical male behaviors.

Also, a quick trip through the OP's posting history makes it clear that this is an issue that has bothered her for a while, and while she attempted to hide gender in this thread, has been quite open about it in the past.
ah but what if it's 2 men in a relationship and both insist on their last name? Or 2 women? I didn't read the OP's past posts so didn't know their gender or partners gender so didn't want to make assumptions. However I did think male because of their forum name which was bad and very gender biased on my part (smacks self upside the head and stands in corner shamed faced ;-))

ETA I do think many women hold just as strong of a desire to pass on their name as men do.

I too found it interesting at the assumptions that were made and almost pointed it out, particularly with tobitonic's post, but decided to ignore it.

I deliberately posted using gender-free language, so as not to bias the discussion, because in my opinion, that shouldn't matter in the discussion.  (That's the crux of the issue, actually.)  I contemplated deleting a few prior posts that give away gender, but decided not to "hide" it that way.  If someone cared to dig, they could find out.  <shrug>  But at least my introduction would be as neutral as possible.

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.  Frankly, it came out of the blue to discover last night that my husband is acting as a bully and a neanderthal on this topic rather than the open and fair-minded person he's always been, so much such that I actually thought he was joking for much of the conversation.  I just didn't thinking posting that particular slant would aid a fruitful discussion.  You're probably seeing it as significant because the topic crops up as a post or two out of only a few I've made under this username, but I'm actually a long-time poster (~1000+ posts) that changed user names for personal reasons.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 08:34:41 PM
My wife took my last and we're not having kids anyway, but something she has found is that there are some real advantages to moving "up" in the alphabet such as being listed first on co-authored papers and conference panels (in a field where people try to be nice/democratic -- if she was a hardcore academic my understanding is that first author privileges are very prescribed), having an easier time finding her name tag at things that have name tags, etc. Growing up I know I also ended up first for all kinds of things based on a name early in the alphabet. So you might make the decision alphabetically, especially if one of you is in the first 2 or 3 letters.

I made that argument last night (it favors my last name).  It was rejected.

Let's see, reasons I've given for my last name having a fair shake:
- Alphabetical benefits
- My last name is more historical given that his was created when that part of the family immigrated to the US
- He doesn't like his dad all that much, given his dad abused his mom prior to the divorce and there are questions as to whether he has abused his stepmom.  My last name comes through my father's side, and he, on the other hand, is a good person and is officially recognized as a hero.
- My last name is much less common so we'd be sure to get the gmail address for it :)

I have not pointed out this one (suggested by this thread):
- His brother has passed on their last name.  My brother isn't having kids.  (There are others outside of immediate family though that would be passing it on.)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 09, 2016, 08:36:50 PM
It pisses me off when I make gender assumptions...I was shocked (SHOCKED) when I realized the OP is female.  Oops.

:) I like sailing.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Dicey on June 09, 2016, 08:46:45 PM
My wife took my last and we're not having kids anyway, but something she has found is that there are some real advantages to moving "up" in the alphabet such as being listed first on co-authored papers and conference panels (in a field where people try to be nice/democratic -- if she was a hardcore academic my understanding is that first author privileges are very prescribed), having an easier time finding her name tag at things that have name tags, etc. Growing up I know I also ended up first for all kinds of things based on a name early in the alphabet. So you might make the decision alphabetically, especially if one of you is in the first 2 or 3 letters.
Oh, this hits close to home. "C" is the initial of my maiden name, which I carried for 54 years. DH (established 10-11-12) has a last name very, very close to the end of the alphabet. I never had a middle name, so I tacked his on to the end of my two. Half my crap has my birth name, half my married name. I joke if I want what they're passing out, I use my maiden name. If I don't, I use my married name. So far, so good.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: teen persuasion on June 09, 2016, 09:04:08 PM
Interesting discussion.  I may not be of much help, but I'd try to step back and consider picking the best name for your child, before prioritizing whose name gets top billing.

My maiden name is fairly unique, which I liked, but beginning with a "Z" seems to scramble people's ability to pronounce or spell it, and has the disadvantage of always placing you at the end of the list.  Even my very traditional parents sometimes used mom's common maiden name for convenience (ordering pizza for takeout, for example).  So I was content to take my DH's last name - earlier in the alphabet, fewer letters = easier to spell, but still a bit unique for English speakers.  A drawback was pronunciation - DH's parents had butchered the pronunciation by trying to follow English sound rules.  We decided to use the proper French pronunciation.  It throws people who've never seen it before, but our community all know how to pronounce/spell it now, given our 5 kids' progress thru public school.

When choosing names for each of the kids, we obviously tried out the combos of first/middle/last, and examined initials, too.  We paid attention to nicknames.  Some names that one of us liked, the other vetoed.  We kept thinking.  We incorporated family member names at times, often altered: MIL passed away just before DD3 was born, so we used one of her names (she used both her first and middle names interchangeably) as DD3's middle name.  Another relative's William became Liam in another middle name.

Sometimes traditions are more trouble than they are worth.  DH's family had a tradition that at least the eldest male's first name was Joseph, but middle names varied.  His grandfather's generation were ALL Joseph, and each used his middle name instead.  His father used Joe, and an elder sibling that died in infancy was referred to as "little Joe", so DH became known by his middle name, different from his father's.  His school records only had J. (middle name).  In college, and job hunting later, it became tiresome to explain legal vs preferred name, and he has since reverted to using his first name with everyone new he met.  Family still call him by his middle name, that's how I think of "him", so I have to sometimes think about which name to call him depending on context.  Of course, we followed this tradition with our oldest son, and use his (different) middle name.  He's finding it also a hassle, especially with computer records of all types.  And, of course, people call for "Joe", and it could be either one they want, but neither is truly Jr or Sr.  So we've come to appreciate fairly unique names.

I also tried to choose first names that had multiple nickname possibilities, so the kids could put their own stamp on their name.  My sister did the exact opposite - she dislikes nicknames, so she chose names that couldn't be changed.  I also tried to pick names that would age well - no cutesy kiddie names that wouldn't suit an adult as they matured.

If your last names are not English, what about translating them to their meaning in English, or something else for that matter?  I'm always tickled by Dickensian last names, but I think it is because so many names don't register as words having meaning to us anymore, since they derive from another language.  They are "just names".

I know a family with theme names; mom is a geologist, so the boys are Slate, Stone, Clayton, etc.


What is meaningful to you?  Both of you.  Let that guide you.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: teen persuasion on June 09, 2016, 09:13:06 PM
Forgot to add: when we married and I took DH's last name, I dropped my boring middle name in favor of my maiden name.  I just couldn't let that "Z" initial go, it's useful.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: BlueHouse on June 09, 2016, 10:30:56 PM
If your names are traditional English surnames, I would definitely hyphenate so so that you end with a very posh and elite sounding one ;-)  Something like Legge-Bourke or Glynne-Percy or Egerton-Jones.  Bonus points for incorporating as many silent "e"s as possible...
I always liked John Smith-Smythe (pronounced the same).
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 10, 2016, 12:03:03 AM
My wife took my last and we're not having kids anyway, but something she has found is that there are some real advantages to moving "up" in the alphabet such as being listed first on co-authored papers and conference panels (in a field where people try to be nice/democratic -- if she was a hardcore academic my understanding is that first author privileges are very prescribed), having an easier time finding her name tag at things that have name tags, etc. Growing up I know I also ended up first for all kinds of things based on a name early in the alphabet. So you might make the decision alphabetically, especially if one of you is in the first 2 or 3 letters.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

I don't mean to diss terran or his wife - perhaps there's more to this story - but this has to be one of the hands-down stupidest reasons I've ever heard to keep/change a name, and I've heard some dumb ones.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: jac941 on June 10, 2016, 12:24:59 AM
My husband and I debated which last name to use. Finally decided to pick a first name first and then chose the last name that went better with it -- which ended up being his last name. We wanted both kids to have the same last name, so our second automatically got his last name too. Both kids have my last name as a middle name.

My husband made a huge mistake during this process and mentioned to his parents that we were still deciding if our kids would have my or his last name. They flipped out. So don't make that mistake and add another layer of stress to the naming decision. That little "fight" ended up being first time my husband stood up to his parents on a parenting issue (this was his son not theirs and therefore his decision to make -- and he didn't want their opinion thank you very much). Turns out starting that boundary setting nice and early was a good thing to do. But I guess that's straying off topic ...

I also had a woman at work tell me that she who delivers the baby names the baby. Not a bad way to do it either. Of course she was one of the moms in a two mom household so there wasn't a naming tradition that needed to be overcome in that situation.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Beriberi on June 10, 2016, 02:42:00 AM
We have three kids - Daughter Dadsname, Daughter Momsname, Son Momsname.  We thought we would have two and would alternate names.  All the kids have a middle name that is the other parent's last name. 

When #3 came along, we didn't talk much about naming - I said it mattered to me. He said it didn't really matter to him. Thus, Son Momsname.  Also, I have no family that will hand down my last name (other than my children) - he has 40+ first cousins, many with his last name.

I'm not sure what people perceive as the difficulties of having different last names in one family.  Neither of us have ever had difficulty with school or activities because we have a child that doesn't have the same last name. My kids aren't so very old, but I have traveled outside of the country with them, without any concerns about legality.  I take them to the physician and dentist's offices. I can't imagine a situation (in this century) where there is difficulty because a parent has a different last name than a child.

People who don't know us well probably think we are some kind of divorce/blended family - we each brought our own kids to the table.  I can't see how it matters what those people think of the whole thing. If I wanted to spend energy impressing people who don't know me well, I should start by getting nicer cars. And a bigger house. And nicer clothes.

Also, my name is really difficult (think McKeon). His is fairly simple (like Romney).  What I have found, after a decade of marriage, is that the simple name still needs to be spelled every single time it is given.  So, easy names are not really that much easier.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Butterfingers on June 10, 2016, 03:10:00 AM
If you marry across cultures (especially when one doesn't use the latin alphabet) this problem becomes easier. My kids have my last name in English, and Mrs Butterfingers' family name in her native tongue. So Jane Butterfingers and John Butterfingers in English, but Lin Nü'er and Lin Erzi in Mandarin.

So in summary, ditch Mr Captain and find yourself a Chinese husband.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 10, 2016, 05:57:08 AM
Your situation is standard in Quebec, where women keep their maiden names.  The norm is children get the father's last name, but it is not mandatory.

The old tradition was that children had the mother's maiden name as a middle name, so her last name was not lost.  My father's middle name was his mother's maiden name.

One comment I haven't seen, and that is about the first name.  Please pick the first name as the name you actually use, since modern society ignores middle names.  I use my middle name, but anything official uses my first name - I have finally learned to respond to it in places like the doctor's office or the car license bureau.  Unfortunately I don't think of myself as a "first name" so just switching isn't an option.  Don't do that to your kid.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: jac941 on June 10, 2016, 06:04:14 AM
I'm not sure what people perceive as the difficulties of having different last names in one family.

I agree that there aren't really any difficulties with having different last names. Had we really thought that one through, we may have alternated our kids names. But, I didn't really care that much because I have siblings that are 26 yrs younger than me so I figure my family name will probably be passed down through them anyway. Plus there are other cousins and such.

If it had been really important to me, my husband would have definitely supported naming one or both of our kids with my last name. Our kids having his last name wasn't especially important to him. I think the issue for the op is they both want the kid to have their last name. If they're planning to have multiple, alternating is a great compromise. But how do you decide who gets to name first? Just because there's a plan for multiple doesn't mean it'll happen... That first could be the one and only.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: ketchup on June 10, 2016, 06:10:49 AM
My wife took my last and we're not having kids anyway, but something she has found is that there are some real advantages to moving "up" in the alphabet such as being listed first on co-authored papers and conference panels (in a field where people try to be nice/democratic -- if she was a hardcore academic my understanding is that first author privileges are very prescribed), having an easier time finding her name tag at things that have name tags, etc. Growing up I know I also ended up first for all kinds of things based on a name early in the alphabet. So you might make the decision alphabetically, especially if one of you is in the first 2 or 3 letters.
Wow.  I never thought of this. 


....and my girlfriend's name is literally "A**** Aa******"
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: claire.harris on June 10, 2016, 06:17:34 AM
Finding this all really interesting, especially as we are unmarried and expecting our first in November.
The route we have chosen to go down is his surname and I get to pick the first names.
The main reason behind our decision is that my dad uses his step-dad's name (and so do I), so I don't feel any affinity/connection to it. My name is much more common (12th in the UK last time I checked), whereas his is much more unusual (though harder to pick names to go with it), so it has the unique gmail factor mentioned above, I love that!
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: HappyHoya on June 10, 2016, 06:24:37 AM
Is this a joke? Society dictates 'normal' is to have the father's last name.  If you want, use the mother's maiden name as the middle name. Don't get your kids picked on. It's hard enough as it is on the school's playground. Don't make your kid an easy target.

Since when is this board about going along with what society dictates?
::facepalm::
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: acorn on June 10, 2016, 06:29:49 AM
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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_naming_customs#Generational_transmission).
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: historienne on June 10, 2016, 07:02:32 AM
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.  Frankly, it came out of the blue to discover last night that my husband is acting as a bully and a neanderthal on this topic rather than the open and fair-minded person he's always been, so much such that I actually thought he was joking for much of the conversation. 

I posted our solution (a portmanteau name) earlier, but it might help you to know our decision process as well.  I told my husband that he could pick the last name, on one condition - it could not be just his last name.  So, it could be just my last name, hyphenation, a portmanteau, or an entirely new name.  I did not care, as long as it wasn't just his name.  Giving him so much decision power made it obvious how unreasonable he would have to be to insist on using his name. 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: gaja on June 10, 2016, 07:20:06 AM
My mother kept her name, while the rest of the family had my father's name. It was never any issue while travelling, or in other settings where we needed to be grouped as a family. I kept my name when I got married, considered adding my mother's name, but it is a hassle to spell and type (can't find the correct Nordic letters half the time I try). My kids have "my name" "father's name", and of course they end up using only the last one. We tried sounding them out in both orders before we decided, but it almost became a tongue teezer if my name was last.

Switching to the man's name hasn't been common in Norway for more than a 100 years or so, and it didn't really reach much outside the cities. The norm was to have your first name, your father's or mother's name with a -son or -daughter, and often the name of the farm or place you lived. My grandfather was Martin Hansson [placename]. My great-great-grandfather changed his name when he married, because he moved to the great-great-grandmother's farm. They still do this in Iceland, and a decent amount of people do it in Norway too. My father adds "Martinsson" or the initial M. to his name when he wants to be separated from other people with the same first and last name. I'm not sure whether he has officially registered Martinsson as a middle name or if he just uses it on and off.

If you are a traditional Sami (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia), your name is more a description of your lineage, sometimes stretching 4-5 generations back. Niljasaš-Jovnna Mággá would be Magga; daughter of Jon, granddaugther of Nils. Today, it is often adapted to having a lot of first and middle names, and the name of your main "clan" as a last name. On example that often gets cited is Ante Ante Ante Ante Hætta, also known as 4-Ante.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: FLBiker on June 10, 2016, 07:26:32 AM
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 for us was 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.

This was our rationale, too.  I (husband) didn't have a strong feeling at the time, but now that we have a kid I like that our family all has the same name.

That said, I love the idea of combining both last names to make a new "family" last name.  I wouldn't hyphenate (for the reasons mentioned above) but I like the "Ellismore" example a lot.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: partgypsy on June 10, 2016, 07:36:46 AM
We agreed on this (prior to marriage) using logic: one last name has already been 'passed down' to a sibling's children, and the other hasn't, so we'll use the one that is yet to be 'passed down'*. Seems fair to us.

Otherwise, we would have flipped a coin.

I know people who flipped a coin with their spouse to decide who would take whose last name. I like that approach if you want to have the same name as each other and your kids, but aren't into the traditional/patrilineal side of things. We didn't care about all having the same name, so no coin flipping was needed.

*It has since been passed down, but in an altered form, so we agree that our logic still holds.
I like this idea, of choosing the name that is most likely to die out, because there are no other relatives naming male children that last name. I kept my last name, and my children took my husband's name, out of convention (though my last name is cooler ; ))
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: zhelud on June 10, 2016, 07:44:51 AM
Is this a joke? Society dictates 'normal' is to have the father's last name.  If you want, use the mother's maiden name as the middle name. Don't get your kids picked on. It's hard enough as it is on the school's playground. Don't make your kid an easy target.

Since when is this board about going along with what society dictates?
::facepalm::
+1
It's 2016, nobody gets picked on at the playground for not having their father's last name. 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: gaja on June 10, 2016, 07:51:08 AM
Regarding the "last male" argument: My grandmother was married twice. She got two boys with the first husband before he died, and 6 girls with the next one (my grandfather). He was the only one with his last name, and the two boys decided that the one of them who first got kids would take their stepfather's name. So far so good. But then the girls started marrying: only two of them took their husband's name, the other four kept their own. And nearly all the grandchildren got my grandfather's name. A few of those grandkids who got their father's name at birth have changed it as adults. My grandfather has been dead for 30 years, and his name is now carried by at least 40 people, more every year. Less than 20 percent of those decend through the male line.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: TheOldestYoungMan on June 10, 2016, 08:08:00 AM
Let us assume for a moment that the opinion of society as a whole, doesn't matter.
Let us also assume that there is no standard solution.  Imagine a world where this is the first time this has come up.

Two people are tasked with picking their baby's name.

One says, "I know, we'll name the baby after me!"

The other says, "Hmmm....I would rather we name the baby after me!"

This is an impasse.  To move past it, there are many options.  Literally any decision they come to is a compromise, and so this is ultimately a negotiation.

So I have this advice for the OP, based on the question as asked.

The following are all reasonable pieces to include in a compromise:

1.  Alternative compensation.
2.  Future compensation.
3.  Debt forgiveness.

If it were me, and I had the option to be forgiven for anything in the future, regardless of what it was, I'd pick that, and let the spouse pick the name.

Then go change the name and cash in the forgiveness chit.

Joke!

"You name this one, I name the next one"
"You name this one, You fill out all the paperwork forever"
"You name this one, you have to take them if we ever get divorced"
"You name this one, I never wash dishes again"
"I name this one, you get to pick our vacation destinations from now on"
"I name this one, you don't have to be nice to my mother anymore"

I don't know your situation, but there's probably something they want that you don't want as much as you want this.

And then there's the idea of an elaborate contest with independent judges.  Maybe you both tackle a new skill or see who can do the most pushups after 6 weeks or something.  To the victor goes the naming rights.  Beware the strength of pregnant women though.

Maybe put the naming rights on ebay.  This child brought to you by Mr. Clean!

As far as my personal opinion goes, there is a default way to do that, and it is name after the father (in the US anyways).  Not naming it after the father isn't "rejecting the patriarchy" it is just "causing a lot of confusion in the future for no purpose."

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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Jessamine on June 10, 2016, 09:02:35 AM
For what it's worth, a former colleague of mine kept her maiden name at marriage, but then had to go through the process of changing it after the birth of their child because the company would not allow her to add the child to her health insurance policy because they had different last names.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 10, 2016, 09:03:18 AM
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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE on June 10, 2016, 09:04:34 AM
For what it's worth, a former colleague of mine kept her maiden name at marriage, but then had to go through the process of changing it after the birth of their child because the company would not allow her to add the child to her health insurance policy because they had different last names.

Interesting.  I'd be very surprised that they can legally deny her an employment benefit like that.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: sis on June 10, 2016, 09:04:54 AM
If you marry across cultures (especially when one doesn't use the latin alphabet) this problem becomes easier. My kids have my last name in English, and Mrs Butterfingers' family name in her native tongue. So Jane Butterfingers and John Butterfingers in English, but Lin Nü'er and Lin Erzi in Mandarin.

So in summary, ditch Mr Captain and find yourself a Chinese husband.

I'm not the OP, but I sent this idea to my Chinese husband and he likes it.  We were thinking of using my last name for college admissions purposes in any case. :-)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Bucksandreds on June 10, 2016, 10:01:42 AM
Is this a joke? Society dictates 'normal' is to have the father's last name.  If you want, use the mother's maiden name as the middle name. Don't get your kids picked on. It's hard enough as it is on the school's playground. Don't make your kid an easy target.

Since when is this board about going along with what society dictates?
::facepalm::
+1
It's 2016, nobody gets picked on at the playground for not having their father's last name.

I guess it depends on your socioeconomic status/that of the school you're at.  I can promise you, people still do get picked on for that in places where the vast majority of kids come from 2 parent houses.  Out of my 15-20 nearest neighbors, 2 of them are houses without a husband and wife living together.  I would also wager that those children have their father's last name.  I didn't say it should be the law.  If your kids are going to schools where the vast majority of the other kids have their father's last name, consider the implications.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: TheOldestYoungMan on June 10, 2016, 10:29:12 AM
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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Quince on June 10, 2016, 10:33:07 AM
Our hyphenated kid has gotten all kinds of questions about his admittedly unusual first name, and none at all about his hyphenated last name. I had a hyphenate friend in high school and no-one cared that his name was hyphenated.  I changed my name when young due to remarriage of my mom and never got crap for it, or for having a single parent, or...anything. Trying to figure out what throwback region of the western world a person lives in to have kids being teased because of not carrying ONLY THEIR FATHER'S LAST NAME.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CheapskateWife on June 10, 2016, 10:39:29 AM
As far as explaining your family name differences to teachers and other folks you interact with; I simply retort with "I let him keep his maiden name when we got married."

:P
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: notactiveanymore on June 10, 2016, 10:50:33 AM
In this scenario, I prefer the options of either 1) hyphenating or 2) both with no hyphen.

I think from a sibling perspective, I'd definitely want to have the same last name(s) as my full siblings. I also think it really helps with any of the above described confusion when you say, I'm J Smith, this is my partner K Jones, and this is our child L Smith-Jones. That's pretty easy and it's clear the child belongs (legally at least) to both of you.

As for whose name should be first/last, I fully support your coin flipping idea. So long as it's not a tongue twister in either order, that really seems like the fairest suggestion.

Also, kids can decide when they grow up what they want to do with their last name if they get married and/or have kids. None of us picked our last names either, so it's not like the decision is all that different with a hyphen thrown in.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: sis on June 10, 2016, 11:16:16 AM
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.


I grew up with a different last name than my mother and than two of my siblings.  Literally I can remember only one time in my entire life where it was an issue - when my mom had to pick me up from the nurses office in first grade because I was sick and they gave her issues because her last name was different than mine.  I calmly explained to the nurse that was indeed my mother and to calm down.  There's no need for everyone in the family to have the same last name.  I think in modern times really mixed families are kind of normal and most people don't care at all.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: sis on June 10, 2016, 11:22:28 AM
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?)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Frugal D on June 10, 2016, 11:35:17 AM
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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: dividendman on June 10, 2016, 11:42:31 AM
Just make the last name "Temporary" and then have the kid choose once they are old enough.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 10, 2016, 11:49:42 AM
As far as my personal opinion goes, there is a default way to do that, and it is name after the father (in the US anyways).  Not naming it after the father isn't "rejecting the patriarchy" it is just "causing a lot of confusion in the future for no purpose."

(1) Not naming a child after the father is absolutely rejecting the patriarchy.

(2) Lots of people think that rejecting the patriarchy is a purpose in itself. This thread alone demonstrates that this is hardly some fringe position.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: sis 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: tobitonic 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: klystomane on June 10, 2016, 12:38:58 PM
Following.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: tobitonic 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CanuckExpat on June 10, 2016, 12:54:57 PM
Take some insight from game theory and the fair cake cutting problem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_cake-cutting)

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
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: partgypsy 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_naming_customs#Generational_transmission).

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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Taran Wanderer 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...
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida 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."
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CanuckExpat 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 (https://books.google.com/books?id=F5-HCHWkW1IC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=worldwide+last+name+convention&source=bl&ots=3tkl9yUQ5y&sig=ezBA9ifmisEoXpmTF1aERlFsRn8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPmeyDl57NAhUL-mMKHeqbCyEQ6AEIeTAR#v=onepage&q=worldwide%20last%20name%20convention&f=false), 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...
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: TheOldestYoungMan 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: yag96 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mm1970 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. 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cpa Cat 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cyaphas on June 10, 2016, 06:50:08 PM
Kiefer Sutherland's given name:

Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Margie 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! 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: shelivesthedream 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??
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: KBecks 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. 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: KBecks 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: KBecks 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: tobitonic 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot 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?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: gaja 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?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: tobitonic 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Captain FIRE 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Tjat 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?

 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Retire-Canada 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: FrugalToque 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/ (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

Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: onlykelsey 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: mozar 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: teen persuasion 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: KBecks 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: SilveradoBojangles 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.

Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Tjat 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
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: onlykelsey 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".
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot 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?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CanuckExpat 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 (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/personals/polyamorous-and-mustachian) for example
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: CanuckExpat on June 11, 2016, 10:12:59 PM
OP, you might like this article: What Happened When We Gave Our Daughter My Last Name (https://thehairpin.com/what-happened-when-we-gave-our-daughter-my-last-name-aec04b8ab149#.cmmu8kjfx)

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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_law#United_States)
Though going that route might be an administrative headache
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: TVRodriguez 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)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot 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".
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: gaja 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: rae 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. :)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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.

 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Playing with Fire UK 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.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: historienne 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. 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 12, 2016, 01:37:49 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?

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".

Dude. "Don't bother doing anything to resist structural inequality unless it's going to *solve* structural inequality" is not a workable life philosophy. We have to start somewhere. You might be OK taking the world as you find it, but most of us are not.

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

What I've been saying.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Sandia on June 13, 2016, 12:38:22 AM
OP, I'm sorry you have gotten some weird responses from people who didn't read your statements carefully.

I hope that you can find a solution with your partner; it sounds like you have to gather a bit more info about where he's coming from. His response sounds like he has a hang-up that's not actually related to baby names.
Did he recently "lose"/compromise on some other battle he regrets? Does this topic remind him of bad memories? Has anyone ever teased him for not being "manly enough" or some other patriarchy bullshit that might be impacting his thoughts now? 


I'm grateful you brought this up though, because I was able to send my partner a link to the thread as a very casual, non-confrontational way of introducing the idea for ourselves. I've seen some great suggestions in this thread, but I'm at a loss for how to resolve my own situation:
- both partner and I have 8+ characters in our surnames (I already can't fit my name on some forms, hyphenating just isn't realistic)
- both names are in the middle of the alphabet (also, I don't really buy that argument)
- both names are rare/historic (very rare in our countries of birth, reasonably rare in our countries of name origin)
- we both think it's neat to have interesting names (we've never complained about spelling or pronunciation difficulties and I don't understand why anyone else would)
- squashing the two (different central European languages) names together just ends up making wordsoup. It sounds about the same weirdness as our original names, but then loses all meaning. In other words, we can't make something that's already a name like Ellismore.

I am particularly attached to my suname due to its meaning and to my parents emphasising the coolness/family history thing when I was growing up. My parents kept their own surnames but gave all kids dad's surname because they felt it was important to establish dad as the father clearly (or something like that). I'm pretty into the idea of having a family name with my partner though; it seems like a good way to emphasize our little baby family, especially since we have been/are probably going to be living very far away from the rest of our relatives for the foreseeable future.

Has anyone with non-English names managed to come up with a creative solution?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Mrs. S on June 13, 2016, 05:41:27 AM
This thread got us into discussing the same issue. Here it is just not done that a girl continues her family name after marriage. I was pretty sure I wanted to and DH was pretty sure he did not want me to change my name- something on the lines of I like you the way you are name included.
Our names just don't work hyphenated or combined to form a new one so we are still thinking what we would eventually do. Parents on either side will probably be ticked off if we choose a third last name. A friend suggested to let the gender of the child decide whose name she/he gets. We might have a kid in next 2 years so we still have some time to think about it.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: catccc on June 13, 2016, 09:13:17 AM
If you marry across cultures (especially when one doesn't use the latin alphabet) this problem becomes easier. My kids have my last name in English, and Mrs Butterfingers' family name in her native tongue. So Jane Butterfingers and John Butterfingers in English, but Lin Nü'er and Lin Erzi in Mandarin.

So in summary, ditch Mr Captain and find yourself a Chinese husband.

I just wanted to note that I learned relatively recently that in traditional Chinese culture, women keep their last name upon marriage, and father's name is passed on to child.  It is western influence that dictates otherwise.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Ceridwen on June 13, 2016, 10:57:36 AM
We live in Quebec where spouses are not entitled to change their name upon marriage (since 1982).  Everyone keeps the last name they were born with, so all families with kids (whether married or not) have different last names within them. 

We gave the kids DH's last name.  No real debate about it.  It's a nice enough name, and I got to pick Welsh middle names to honour my heritage :)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Butterfingers on June 14, 2016, 02:44:34 AM
If you marry across cultures (especially when one doesn't use the latin alphabet) this problem becomes easier. My kids have my last name in English, and Mrs Butterfingers' family name in her native tongue. So Jane Butterfingers and John Butterfingers in English, but Lin Nü'er and Lin Erzi in Mandarin.

So in summary, ditch Mr Captain and find yourself a Chinese husband.

I just wanted to note that I learned relatively recently that in traditional Chinese culture, women keep their last name upon marriage, and father's name is passed on to child.  It is western influence that dictates otherwise.

In modern-day China it's still that way. Western influence hasn't changed that at all.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: FLBiker on June 14, 2016, 07:33:30 AM
If you marry across cultures (especially when one doesn't use the latin alphabet) this problem becomes easier. My kids have my last name in English, and Mrs Butterfingers' family name in her native tongue. So Jane Butterfingers and John Butterfingers in English, but Lin Nü'er and Lin Erzi in Mandarin.

So in summary, ditch Mr Captain and find yourself a Chinese husband.

I just wanted to note that I learned relatively recently that in traditional Chinese culture, women keep their last name upon marriage, and father's name is passed on to child.  It is western influence that dictates otherwise.

In modern-day China it's still that way. Western influence hasn't changed that at all.

True.  Taiwan is like that, too.  Some of my Taiwan / Western couple friends tweaked this, with the Westerner taking the Taiwanese person's last name for their Chinese name, and vice versa for the English name.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: GPendragon on June 14, 2016, 07:59:53 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'm surprised people are being so harsh on the OP here. Particularly in responses like this one, which I see as being incredibly patronising. Kbecks, how do you if he's not being a bully about it or it's just her being stubborn? You're not there with them.

OP has actually said at least three times in this thread that her husband has been escalating his attitude over this, and one of those descriptions was him already being 'caveman' about it. She also brought it up in the original post. I think OP was genuine about wanting alternative options in the beginning, but has become more defensive over her name in reaction to his behaviour and possibly to some of the unnecessary insinuations made in this thread.

If he is becoming unusually aggressively defensive about it, and becoming increasingly sexist as 'caveman' implies, it would certainly make me hold onto the issue, because otherwise I'd feel like I was rewarding his bad behaviour. Or that escalating arguments gets results.

OP, have you talked to your husband and asked to put a pin in the actual name discussion so that you can talk about how you're not happy with how he's being about it?
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Kouhri on June 18, 2016, 06:17:14 PM
I certainly think that this discussion matters, simply because names have so much power in determinig how we see things. Child/ren's names are always going to influence how others perceive them. Will people automatically make assumptions about the family dynamics?  Will people think they have a 'stupid' 'roll eyes' name.?They might be teased on the playground  if the name lends itself to it phonetically. Is it easy to spell, pronounce or remember? Will people make negative or positive assumptions based on the name, maybe for example on a college application ? Does the name allow the child to have a link with their heritage or culture?
I do think that as parents who force a name on a child you have to think about all these things. I'm not saying that pandering to society should ever be the determining factor in choosing a name, but no family exits in a vacuum, and to pretend otherwise forces all the consequences of whatever name choice on the child.
Ultimately, it needs to be something that the parents agree on and like.  If each parent has their own reasons for their child to have this name or that name, those reasons are important because they matter to them. Hopefully this leads to a name the family lkke and has meaning to them that will be one that the child can grow up being fond of and (as a secondary consideration) not be a source of difficulty for them.
 I really feel for the OP. It really sounds like both you and your spouse really care about what your child will be named , and it's unfortunate that your views on what the right name may be is so different. I don't have anything to add to the many great answers already on this thread beyond what my fiance and I have decided:

Superficially from societies point of view it would look like we are just following in tradition, but it's actually something that we've worked out is the right fit for us as a couple.
I (and also future husband ) have always wanted to have a single last name, so as to have a family name, because to us it signify a unified front, being a team, and that's just what we wanted for ourselves.
We both like our last names, so it's not a case of one of us desperately wanting to change it to something, anything! Lol.
We both have pretty normal last names, not hard to spell or pronounce, not common but not super rare either.
Both of our last names are in the middle of the alphabet, in fact both start with the same letter so no preference alphabetically.
There is no particularly strong heritage or cultural link for either of our names, not sure exactly where they came from so aside from the fact that they symbolise our respective families, there is no special meaning.
So pretty much even so far.
We both dislike the sounds of our last names hyphenated together, and fusion names end up pretty unpronouncable, so not an option for us.
So we know that we wanted to pick one or the other of our last names to be our family name. We both agreed on future husband's last name for a number of reasons...
1. Future husband is actually the LAST person in his family to have his original last name since his grandfather died. Of his many aunties and uncles they have all either taken their spouses name, hyphenated, or died before they had any kids of their own. Future father in law changed his name to be hyphenated, and my three future brothers in law have either the hyphenated name or in practice use their mother's maiden name. So this was kind of a big deal to us that this name was otherwise going to die out completely.
2. I feel like I have a really strong link to my family and family traditions through my first and middle name (welsh name for mum's side and middle initial A. From dad's), whereas future husband's link is through his last name. His first and middle name were named because his parents liked them, not for any family link. So effectively I have the good luck that I will always feel that link to my wider family no matter what my last name is.
3. I really really love future husband's last name. When we first met as teens I initially knew him by his last name so it has a lot of positive association for me , I love the way it sounds, and I really feel like it is a strong part of my identity of him (if that even makes sence) I equally think of my fiancee as "lastname "  and "firstname "
4. My name sounds great with myfirstname hislastname, but hisfirstname mylastname sounds meh.

So basically it was definitely the right decision for us and our particular circumstance.


Best of luck with the discussions and I really hope you can come to an answer you are both happy with.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: firelight on June 19, 2016, 09:53:43 AM
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 (https://books.google.com/books?id=F5-HCHWkW1IC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=worldwide+last+name+convention&source=bl&ots=3tkl9yUQ5y&sig=ezBA9ifmisEoXpmTF1aERlFsRn8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPmeyDl57NAhUL-mMKHeqbCyEQ6AEIeTAR#v=onepage&q=worldwide%20last%20name%20convention&f=false), 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...
This! My husband's last name is his dad's name, my last name is my dad's name and my kid's last name is her dad's name. So all of us have different last names and none of us are attached to our last names - it's just a way to track lineage :) we named my kid's first name to sound like my name.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 19, 2016, 01:12:37 PM
This! My husband's last name is his dad's name, my last name is my dad's name and my kid's last name is her dad's name. So all of us have different last names and none of us are attached to our last names - it's just a way to track lineage :) we named my kid's first name to sound like my name.

Message to thread followers:

This = sexism. It would not happen in a society that wasn't sexist. If you can't call it what it is, you're denying reality.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: firelight on June 19, 2016, 03:17:04 PM
Umm.... I never thought of it as sexist... it's more a way to link the father to the kid. Since the mom gives birth, there is no doubt who the mom is. I guess this was a way for showing beyond doubt who the dad is.

Also the explanation I gave was not to say that the OP should keep the dads name as last name. Just that, different cultures have different traditions and insisting that everyone in the family have the same last name wouldn't work for everyone and is not necessary for a happy family life.

ETA: follow what works for your situation. I don't think keeping the dad's name is due to sexism in my tradition. It was more a way to know how people are linked. I don't see sexism here. If there was a way for the kid to be linked without doubt (without using DNA tests, etc) - like say my husband gave birth and I didn't - then the kid would have my name (not my last name) as his/her last name. I just think it was a good way to track family trees in olden days. Also we do have clan names and location names which used to be added in olden days but have been dropped now for modern naming system. But even now, for traditional festivals, we add our clan and origin names to our names. Does that mean I'm promoting any other -ism? Nope, it's just that I'm proud of my history and trace back to more than hundred years and still be able to locate all the cousins and second and third cousins. I think it's cool to be able to do so.

Again I'm not against people naming in whatever system they like.... but please don't say that just because someone follows a system, they are sexist. They can have other reasons for following it. Also I do find everyone having same last name to be funny but I don't mind because it's the American system. As long as others don't force me to change mine, I don't expect others to change theirs. It's a free world - just name in whatever system you like and leave things like sexism out of it.

I don't think the OP asked about fighting against sexism in her original question. It was more about how to have different options when choosing last names. I just said what worked for us as an example. Let's not deviate the thread from the topic by adding sexism discussions in it.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 19, 2016, 04:07:13 PM
Let's not deviate the thread from the topic by adding sexism discussions in it.

LOL
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot on June 19, 2016, 09:03:24 PM
This! My husband's last name is his dad's name, my last name is my dad's name and my kid's last name is her dad's name. So all of us have different last names and none of us are attached to our last names - it's just a way to track lineage :) we named my kid's first name to sound like my name.

Message to thread followers:

This = sexism. It would not happen in a society that wasn't sexist. If you can't call it what it is, you're denying reality.

Funny. According to the dictionary, this - prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex - equals sexism.

My culture is the same. The children take their father's 1st name as their last. The children are already considered undeniably linked to the mother, and therefore the mother's family through birth. It streamlines the family tree and makes it easier to recognize family. Especially in places where word of mouth is the main form of passing down information and history. Not everyone in the world has access to a system such as a census or a plethora of scanned documents. Many countries don't even track the birth dates of their citizens, and neither do the citizens. My mom and her siblings do not know their birthday and their papers are off by at least several years because that's how long it took to report their birth.

One can construe your intolerance and judgement of a culture, a form of bigotry or xenophobia, or elitism. Or at the very least, cultural insensitivity and ignorance.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 19, 2016, 10:47:48 PM
One can construe your intolerance and judgement of a culture, a form of bigotry or xenophobia, or elitism. Or at the very least, cultural insensitivity and ignorance.

Leaving your weird and unsupported accusation aside, you're stating that we must overlook sexism in other cultures or else we're "intolerant." Really? What about FGM? Honor killings?

I'm guessing that you don't actually believe we should give FGM a pass out of cultural sensitivity, so your generalization about respecting other cultures falls down. Nice try, though.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Lmoot on June 20, 2016, 04:18:58 AM
One can construe your intolerance and judgement of a culture, a form of bigotry or xenophobia, or elitism. Or at the very least, cultural insensitivity and ignorance.

Leaving your weird and unsupported accusation aside, you're stating that we must overlook sexism in other cultures or else we're "intolerant." Really? What about FGM? Honor killings?

I'm guessing that you don't actually believe we should give FGM a pass out of cultural sensitivity, so your generalization about respecting other cultures falls down. Nice try, though.


Nice. You've compared a naming process to FGM. You are an individual who clearly is checked out of reality and incapable of having a discussion since you can only cry out the same tired argument. Just an internet picketer who has one thing written on a sign, because they have nothing else to respond with. That's boring to me, so I'm not gonna waste anymore of my time with you on this subject, after this post. Some people like to wallow in their own soup of ignorance and have no desire to add additional ingredients by attempting to see anything from any other perspective. And from my experience you cannot say anything that will get through that mindset; which is sad because one of the most glorious things about life, is the opportunity to grow. I can only hope that your obstinance is just a showing of pride, and that your subconscious is open enough to take in any of what some of us are saying, even if you consciously try to block it out. Enjoy sticking to your own strict definitions of the world (and slandering those who don't agree) and not attempting to learn even when people have given you very good lessons.

Quote
Leaving your weird and unsupported accusation aside

LOL! Dayam. If that aint the rooster calling the hen a chicken. I thought that was the game you were playing. My bad.

What is your background Cressida? If you Google your family's name, or research through Ancestory historian websites, will you find information about your family? If so, then you are one of the lucky few. Many other countries do not have this information and what they know is based on organizational methods created within their culture. It's common across the board for names to actually mean something, to tell others about them, their family and background...things that we take for granted because we have other ways to unlock information about people (DNA, historical documents) Do you seriously not see that?

You certainly have the right to stand apart from any participation of tradition, but it's sad that you don't have the confidence to stand alone in the individualism you seek, and feel the need to tear down those who don't choose to stand with you. For what it's worth my culture does not participate in FGM or honor killings, now or in it's history, and the fact that you assume it does because of naming practices is beyond bigotry and judgement.

I'm guessing that you aren't actually a racist, so your generalization about respecting other cultures falls down. Nice try, though.

Good day ma'am (sir?). I don't want to assume, because even though "Cressida" is traditionally a female name (oh the sexist horror of naming based on gender!), I don't want to support glass ceilings, female genital mutilation and honor killings by relying on social, traditional, and cultural cues that might clue me in to someone because in an ideal world, nothing will mean anything, culture would be non-existent (so as not to offend those with none), and everyone will be blessingly individual at all times, thinking they can save the world by naming their daughters Bob.

Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on June 20, 2016, 10:46:07 AM
This! My husband's last name is his dad's name, my last name is my dad's name and my kid's last name is her dad's name. So all of us have different last names and none of us are attached to our last names - it's just a way to track lineage :) we named my kid's first name to sound like my name.

Message to thread followers:

This = sexism. It would not happen in a society that wasn't sexist. If you can't call it what it is, you're denying reality.

Agreed, it's founded on a sexist tradition. How do you believe family names ought to be treated, though?

I'm not going to get real worked up about how last names work while incarcerated women are giving birth with handcuffs on.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 20, 2016, 10:52:46 AM
[excessively long and bizarrely defensive word salad]

I have nothing to say about any of that, except this:

You've compared a naming process to FGM.

No, you were the one who did that, by stating that it's intolerant to disapprove of other cultures' practices. You lumped the two together by implication; I merely pointed out that you had done so.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Cressida on June 20, 2016, 10:57:12 AM
This! My husband's last name is his dad's name, my last name is my dad's name and my kid's last name is her dad's name. So all of us have different last names and none of us are attached to our last names - it's just a way to track lineage :) we named my kid's first name to sound like my name.

Message to thread followers:

This = sexism. It would not happen in a society that wasn't sexist. If you can't call it what it is, you're denying reality.

Agreed, it's founded on a sexist tradition. How do you believe family names ought to be treated, though?

It would have to be something like the Spanish system. That system is still sexist, because it treats the mother's name as an afterthought, but that problem could be fixed by hyphenation.

I'm not going to get real worked up about how last names work while incarcerated women are giving birth with handcuffs on.

As I stated earlier in the thread, I disagree with this approach. If we prioritize the hardest problems, nothing will ever be solved.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: MrsDinero on June 20, 2016, 12:00:13 PM
One thing I would like to point out to OP is that coming to an agreement might not necessarily matter depending on which state you live in.  It varies from state to state, but in some cases the legal father has the final say on the name on the birth certificate in some states it is the mother.  As far as I know only Florida will automatically hyphenate if the parents cannot come to an agreement.

Of course coming to an agreement is the best solution, however it sounds like both sides are digging in their heels because they feel they are "right". 
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: screwit on June 20, 2016, 12:30:51 PM
Just thought I'd add in what we did.

My husband and I are from different countries with different languages but the same patriarchal-style naming system. Before we got married we had long discussions on this and decided that the name of the foreign parent will be passed onto the kids, so that they have a connection to the other culture.  At the time it wasn't clear where we would eventually settle. As it turned out they now have my name and we're all happy with that. If we'd settled in a third country it probably would have been the parent whose culture/language was furthest removed.

ETA: in my husbands country where we are, you are not allowed to hyphenate the names of the children and all children to the same parents must share the same surname.

Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: begood on June 20, 2016, 12:37:58 PM
On a slightly lighter note, here's what friends-of-friends did. Names changed to protect them, but the structure is the same.

Lisa Shepherd married John Taylor.

1st born son's name: Taylor Shepherd

2nd born son's name: Shepherd Taylor.

Please don't do that to your kid.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on June 20, 2016, 01:22:14 PM
This! My husband's last name is his dad's name, my last name is my dad's name and my kid's last name is her dad's name. So all of us have different last names and none of us are attached to our last names - it's just a way to track lineage :) we named my kid's first name to sound like my name.

Message to thread followers:

This = sexism. It would not happen in a society that wasn't sexist. If you can't call it what it is, you're denying reality.

Agreed, it's founded on a sexist tradition. How do you believe family names ought to be treated, though?

It would have to be something like the Spanish system. That system is still sexist, because it treats the mother's name as an afterthought, but that problem could be fixed by hyphenation.

Okay, but one parent's name would come first, right? And which of the names gets preserved when the hyphenated children have children? I could see an argument that the mother's name should come first or even go to the children as the mother is the one that gives birth, usually, but either way you're going to end up favoring one parent's last name over the other's.

Quote
I'm not going to get real worked up about how last names work while incarcerated women are giving birth with handcuffs on.

As I stated earlier in the thread, I disagree with this approach. If we prioritize the hardest problems, nothing will ever be solved.

I wish some social media outrage could be focused on shaming governors of the states where prisoners give birth shackled to hospital beds. I think it would honestly be a much easier problem to solve, and there's only fifty-six or so people whose actions are needed to eliminate it from the country entirely. (Probably fewer as I hope not all states and territories have that barbaric rule.)
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Montana Socrates on June 22, 2016, 03:51:11 PM
We had a similar situation: each adult kept his/her surname when we married. This has become a relatively common phenomenon among many of our peers. What has not changed nearly so much, however, is the common practice of children being given their father's surname. I've never heard a good argument for continuing this practice. We opted to name our daughter First_name Middle_name Middle_name#2 (Father's surname) Mother's_surname. So far, so good. Now I couldn't imagine it any other way.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Miss Piggy on June 22, 2016, 04:05:14 PM
On a slightly lighter note, here's what friends-of-friends did. Names changed to protect them, but the structure is the same.

Lisa Shepherd married John Taylor.

1st born son's name: Taylor Shepherd

2nd born son's name: Shepherd Taylor.

Please don't do that to your kid.

Some people's parents...ugh.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Kitsunegari on June 23, 2016, 12:39:02 PM
We're not married, but if we were, each would have kept their (dad's) surnames.
We're expecting our first and having the same discussion, with opposite positions: my DH wants to give our baby both our surnames, to honour both families, while I really, really don't want my children to have my surname, because it's very ethnic, long and difficult to spell (think Papanastasioulis). If I could give my grandma surname, which is short and nice-sounding, I totally would, but unfortunately it's not possible here.
In any case, I understand the feminist POV about 'your' surname, but I still see it as my dad's surname, so I'm not all that sentimental about it, while my DH's surname is HIS to me, so I'm glad my children will have it.
Title: Re: Baby's last name dilemma
Post by: Kitsune on June 23, 2016, 12:50:11 PM
So: when my parents had me and my siblings, they gave us hyphenated names (we are the mom-dad family)

I got married. I am Ms Mom-Dad, my husband is Mr Husband.

Our kid is Child Mom-Husband.

I thought it was only fair that, if the father was passing down his father's name, the mother should pass down her mother's. *shrugs* Works.

The only people who had an issue with it was my father (a 10-minute conversation solved THAT), and some busybody twerps in my husband's extended family who were upset that we were 'breaking the continuity of the line' (... on naming a daughter, who, based on their rules, would then marry and change her name and not carry down the line ANYWAY, so why would they care... ?)