I have pretty much always loved my name, but my entire life has been devoted to correcting people’s attempted spelling and pronunciation of it. In fact, when my mom told me that they had been considering naming me "Victoria," I spent a brief time dreaming of how nobody would ever ask me how to spell it. Choosing your baby’s name is no small thing, after all. It's weird, when you think about it, that we are (through no earned due on our part) given the huge responsibility of choosing something that will come to define so much about another person; another person who, for the record, did not choose us for the job.
My aunt hated her name for her whole life. So much, in fact, that she finally changed it officially in her 30s. She just did not feel that she was the name my grandparents gave her. Interestingly, my mom (her sister) felt the same way about her middle name, although she never changed it. I have another friend who modified her name as an adult as well.
My partner and I were not exactly at odds on either of our children’s names. We just couldn’t commit. In fact, our daughter’s name was decided on the drive home from the hospital, when I turned to my husband and said, “So what do we tell people her name is? Our parents will ask.” We had an entire booklet of potential names that my stepdaughter had come up with and given us, complete with meanings. Thankfully, one of the names we had in mind to begin with was on the list, so that was what decided it.
If you're having more problems than we did, though, here are some suggestions:
Make A List Of All The Names Of Your Exes
You can just strike every single one of those names off your list right now. This includes ex-friends as well. See? You're already narrowing the list way down!
Make A List Of The Names Of All Your Bosses
That’s right. The last thing you want to think of when you call your son’s name is how your boss at Burger King used to make you mop the floors twice a day.
Make A List Of "No Way In Hell" Names
These don’t necessarily have any personal connection, they’re just names that you’ve always hated. No offense to anyone who chooses those names, of course. To each their own. (Come to think of it, my daughter has classmates with each of those names...) Also, it's just fun to make a list of names you hate. It'll be a silly exercise in the middle of all the weirdly stressful naming brainstorms.
Celebrity Baby Names
Going to all lengths to avoid naming your child the same as someone famous, or feeling inspired by those names. You’re either in one camp or the other. Either way, we’re talking about a good opportunity for list-building. For a long time, I imagined naming my daughter "Arya" after the character in Game of Thrones. Then the series premiered on HBO the spring I was pregnant, and we could tell by the success of the series that this might become a rather infamous name. I am so very glad we changed our minds!
When Your Partner Suggests A Name You Hate, Smile And Nod
You have to keep a secret list of all the names your partner suggests that you secretly hate. When they suggest one of these names, you smile, nod, and mentally add the name to your hate-list. Then, you research each one and figure out reasons why you couldn’t possibly name your baby that name.
Make A List Of Names You Don't Love, But Feel Obligated To Use
This is what middle names are for.
Play A Drinking Game With Your Partner While Watching Your Favorite TV Show
Wait, never mind. You’re pregnant. Ugh. THIS IS HARD.
Make A List Of The Various Identities You'd Like Represented
We are a mixed-race family. Our first child was going to have an Indian name; That was a no-brainer. For our second child, however, I wanted to have some of my Irish heritage represented. Mostly because German boy names are not my cup of tea. Searching for only Irish names was far easier than “cool boy names” on the interwebs.
When In Doubt, Choose Your Favorite City, Neighborhoo, Or Direction
Isn’t that why there are so many girls named "Brooklyn" now?
When In Doubt, Put A New Name Together
Perhaps you can use the first part of a name you love and your partner hates, and the last part of a name your partner loves and you hate? Like Madison + Brooklyn = Madilyn. Or something. The possibilities are endless!