What's In A (Family) Name?

Does your family share a last name?

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?

Photo: cacophonyx

Worldwide Exposure: Picking a Facebook and Google-friendly baby name!

Article Posted 5 years Ago
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
what do you think?
close comments
Subscribe to the
Welcome to
Sign Out
Follow us on