Am I being to harsh on my oh? — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

Am I being to harsh on my oh?

Me and my oh can't decide on baby's last name she's wants double barreled I just want the baby to have my last name but she's adment do u think I'm being unfair on her

Re: Am I being to harsh on my oh?

  • I guess the question that comes to mind is why do you want baby to just have your name?

    If it's just traditions, have you always been super traditional? Did you live apart before marriage? Does your wife have your name, did you get married in a super traditional marriage ceremony? If yes then I think you have an argument for, "tradition matters to me."

    If, on the other hand, you're not married, or your wife never took your name, or double-barelled your names, and you were fine with all of that then why does this tradition matter to you so much?

    What does the surname signify to you?

    For me the surname identifies us as a family unit. I want me, my kids and my husband to easily be identifiable as belonging together. The actual name itself is irrelevant to me. 

    I can see immediately why your OH would want to keep her name in the mix. I can't see an immediate reason beyond, "it's tradition." why you would want to cut her name out. Do you have another reason?

    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • This is tricky. Almost everyone accepts that the guys name will be used, but when it's questioned it's hard to come up with a good response: because everyone else does it or because that's the way it's always been done is the best I can come up with. I was lucky and my wife took my name and my kids have my name. It just feels right because that's what everyone else does.

    The same questioning can be done in reverse. Why does your wife feel this way? Does your wife think "unique" is cute? My son is in pre-school and when I go down the name list every kid has one first name and one last name. Do you want your kid to unnecessarily stick out? What is your kid going to say when some kid asks why they has two last names? Ummmm, because my mom wasn't willing to let go of her identity and my dad's a pushover? They sure won't have a cultural response to it like that's the way it's done in my country. It'll just be awkward. Don't make your kid awkward.

    Sorry that was all ramble with nothing helpful. It's a hard question.



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  • Why can't you use both last names? If this is very important to your SO I think you should have more than you just want the baby to have only your last name and not hers for a reasons not to. You made this baby together and should name your baby together as well and preferably in agreement. My husband actually wanted to use only my last name for our son and I could not get him to add his as well, so he got only my last name. Never been any trouble with it, nobody asked why (not even his family as far as I know) and I don't think children look that much into if you have one or two last names. Maybe you can put one of the last names(hers) as another middle name so you still have "only one" last name, but have used both last names. If that could be a solution to keep both of you happy? Anyway, I think it is very imported to talk openly to each other and remember that you two need to be a on the same team working with each other and not against each other's as parents.
  • While I do agree with all of the above posts, I'm going to play devil's advocate here and give a reason why you wouldn't want to saddle a child with a double barreled name. Now, this may not apply in your situation, but it certainly did in mine - I had a long, impossible to spell or pronounce Italian last name and my husband has a simple but not terribly short last name. Together our names take up 15 spaces (including the hyphen), which puts them over for many forms and makes for a mouthful for roll call and a heck of a signature. I initially wanted to hyphenate my name. I held off for a month on the paperwork while I decided and considered everything - me taking his name, him taking mine and hyphenating, and finally dropped my middle name, made my maiden name my middle and my married name my last. Family is important to me, but to impose that logistical nightmare on myself for decades was too much for me. Having spent 22 years before my marriage correcting people on how to spell and pronounce my name, I didn't want to impose that on him either. Obviously I agree with Synnovus that doing the middle name hers/last name yours is an option, but since that's something often done by married women in my situation, it could be a little odd for her as she gets into early adulthood and her name appears to be that of a divorcee. Now, I'm 100% pro-equality - I'm a female diesel mechanic, the only one anyone I know has ever met - but this isn't about equality, it's about simplicity. Nobody likes to be that kid with the name everyone makes fun of or everyone stumbles over. As important as it is that both of you feel represented, the most important thing is the child and whether it's going to make life easier or harder for them. 
  • If she wants her last name represented, and is suggesting both your names be represented, it just seems very fair to me.  If you're completely shutting down her idea (or think you have the right or ability to), then I do think you're being unfair.  If you're telling her you only want your last name, how is that any different from her saying she only wants her last name (something to think about that may give the situation some perspective)?  

    For some people, their last name isn't as important to them as it is for others (men and women).  I just feel regardless of what happens in the end, it should be a discussion and conscious decision with both perspectives/feelings taken into account.  Everyone has their own opinions on dual last names, etc, but this is a choice for you and the mother (neither opinion should be discounted).

    P.S. Families are so diverse, more so now then ever, so I seriously doubt a kid would stick out, etc or whatever with two last names (if that's the route that you and your partner end up taking).
  • Thanks for the advice and opinions guys me and my oh have had a good talk about this and have decided to use both of our last names thanks again
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