Hi there, pregnant lady. Congrats, and welcome to the land of unsolicited advice.
Your baby’s name is kind of a big deal. You may have had your heart set on a name since your childhood when you convinced yourself you were adopted (most likely from a royal family), and your real name was Clarissa … OK, maybe that was just me. Or perhaps you’ve spent hours scouring and scrutinizing books and websites, creating and scratching names off a massive list. But no matter how you came up with it or what stage of fetal development your little one is in, you’re going to get that question. Mine always took place in the office, but be prepared, because it can happen anytime, anywhere.
Somewhere between trying to fend off questions about your baby’s nourishment after birth (here’s a hint: don’t mention bottles) and the awkward acknowledgement that your looming belly may have just bumped into their cup of coffee, you’ll get the question:
Do you have any names picked out?
If you’re brave enough to share, it will only take a split second to know their true feelings on your little one’s potential name, and odds are pretty high that they’re not going to like it. If they hate the name, they will let you know with a passive-aggressive “OOooOH…” Their voice will trill, trail off, and most likely be followed by any (or all) of the following:
“Well… that’s nice.”
“Is that a family name?”
“Are you considering any other names?”
“Are you naming them after the singer/celeb/literary character/politician/author/mutual friend/mutual friend’s child/mutual friend’s pet/mutual friend’s child’s imaginary friend?”
“Have you considered [insert some random hideous name here]?”
“Wasn’t there a serial killer with that name?”
But before you bury your favorite name in a pile of hormones and snotty tear-filled tissues, put down the Sharpie and the baby name book, and let me tell you why you shouldn’t ditch the moniker just yet. Here are seven reasons why your baby name (probably) rocks:
1. You like it. ‘Nuff said.
2. Your partner likes it. If you’re lucky (unlucky?) enough to have a partner who has an opinion on the name of your baby, then you know that the moons must all align in the fourth house of Jupiter in order to come up with a name that you both like. If you’re lucky enough to have that happen, it’s best not to anger the gods.
3. It hasn’t already been used by one of the little buggers born in the last 10 years to your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, or that Facebook acquaintance you met one time at a cousin’s bridal shower.
4. It hasn’t already been used for one of the dogs, cats, hamsters, goldfish, pot-bellied pigs, hermit crabs, horses, tarantulas, ferrets, or imaginary playmates adopted in the last 10 years by your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, or Facebook acquaintance you went to high school with, but never actually spoke to in real life.
5. It means something. Maybe it’s a family name (Frances, Henry), a favorite literary character (Holden, Katniss), location of conception (Brooklyn, London), your favorite food (Cookie, Pickle), or just some letters you’ve put together to make a sound of some sort (no example available at this time). Whatever the case, the name is special to you.
6. It makes you happy. You dream of a nursery and playroom filled with personalized Pottery Barn … everything! You’ll smile wistfully to yourself as you imagine the times you’ll yell their full name in utter frustration through the halls of your home, which is only endearing many years before and many years after you’re actually doing all this oh-so-charming full-name screaming.
7. Your child will hate it regardless. Someday, they will use it against you as one of the gazillion ways you’ve ruined their life (that’d be you, little Pickle Katniss). They’ll also probably be sure to inform you that they were adopted from a royal family, and their real name is Clarissa. So you might as well just go for what you want.
Everybody has an opinion when it comes to baby names. Or, in other words – everyone has an opinion on your baby’s name. You won’t be able to choose a name that everyone loves, because it doesn’t exist. So you might as well pick the name that you like, and take their opinion with a big pinch of salt.
Unless you are inadvertently naming your child after a serial killer. You should probably reconsider that one.