I took great pride in naming my dolls when I was a kid. It might have said “Barbie” on the packaging, but I could see deep into their synthetic souls and come up with the perfect name that represented their unique non-personality. Besides, you couldn’t possibly play Barbies when they’re all named “Barbie.” Which is why, when it came time to name my babies, I was very surprised that I experienced the normal worries you'll have when picking a baby name. I mean, why was I sweating something I was naturally good at? Parenthood is weird, you guys.
I've carefully chosen character names for my teen, angst-riddled short fiction and, in film school, my un-produced screenplays. I even consulted baby name books long before I thought about having kids, studying the origins and meanings of certain names and curating lists for my future family. Still, none of that saved me from worrying if what I was naming my babies was, in fact, the "right" name. When it came time to actually name our offspring, my husband and I shared our top choices and whittled down the options to the ones we could agree on. I wanted to name our kids after my deceased grandmother. He, after video game characters. We both won, with my children’s names beginning with “C,” after my grandmother Carolyn, and their middle names taken from Final Fantasy and Metal Gear.
I wouldn’t have agreed to these options if I didn’t think they each sounded beautiful. Still, I was nervous because, well, names are permanent. Once we get those birth certificates, there is no going back (well, not without an ungodly amount of paperwork). No matter what, you’ll worry about something when you’re picking out a baby name. Here are a few of those doubts, and why you shouldn’t sweat any of them too hard: