What's In A (Family) Name?Sierra Black
My kids have beautiful first names. Names that I’m proud of, that I delight in saying aloud and seeing written.
But their last names. Ow. They’re hobbled with a big, clunky feminist compromise of a last name.
I have my own name. Their dad has his. The kids got both. Which means not only do they have clunky last names, but we don’t share a family name. I can’t imagine having taken my husband’s name at marriage, but there are times when I wish my whole family shared one simple last name.
Sarah at Reproductive Rites is feeling none of that pain. She’s contending with people who call her “Mrs. Partner’s-Last-Name” when she’s not a Mrs. and that isn’t her name. I’ve bristled at being called Mrs. Partner’s-Last-Name myself, and I love the power of her words on this.
At the same time, being Mrs. Partner’s-Last-Name would offer us a kind of united front in all the paperwork of the world. As it is we’re spread out through the alphabet. On paper, it’s not obvious that my kids and I are even related. My husband and I have no name in common at all. This hasn’t caused any practical problems for us. I sometimes worry that I’ll be challenged when I call the utility company and claim to be his wife but no one ever has. It just feels a little weird when I fill out forms, as I’ve done a hundred times this week for summer camp.
I’m proud to have my own name, but sometimes I wish I shared it with my family.
Did you take your husband’s name? Do you and your kids share a last name? Do you have any regrets about your decision?
Worldwide Exposure: Picking a Facebook and Google-friendly baby name!