The Name Game

People are excited about baby girl, I know. And I thank all of you who are along for the ride with us. But aside from dodging people’s hands going for my belly (seriously, it’s odd, but if you ask I won’t deny you that weird satisfaction), my latest annoyance is the name conversation.

Photo on 2013-09-18 at 18.08I get it, it’s a cool topic of conversation. Hell, I’m sure I asked people what they were naming their kids before I was pregnant. But being pregnant and getting asked what we’re thinking of naming the kid is a lot of pressure.

But let’s put that aside for now.

Half the people who ask do so because they think they are super good at naming things and have the best idea for your baby’s name. OK. Sure, whatever, not really interested but go ahead and share.

Then there’s those who want to know so they can criticize you for choosing such a common, uncommon, weird, old, unique, ethnic, you-name-it name even though they didn’t necessarily think they were setting out to do so. I live in fear of these people, not because of being afraid of being criticized but fear for our relationship after I tear them a new one.

There’s a small contingent of people who will think that whatever name you choose is just perfect because it’s your choice and you are just happy for them. Bless them!

The thing is, how the hell can I tell them apart before that? Thing is, I can’t. So for now, I tend to look a little like a deer caught in the headlights when I get asked that question. Right now, we’re 90% sure of a first name. Not even close on a middle. So we’re holding onto the little secret for a while longer until I feel fortified enough to handle the pressure of labeling a living breathing human being for, at the very least, their formative years. It’s a daunting task. Maybe it gets easier with the more kids you have (even the furry ones, probably). This also might have something to do with the fact that we were so wishy-washy on the concept of even having kids until recently, I never bothered to dream up of names for my future offspring.

I think it all stems from the fact that pregnancy is both extremely common and an incredibly unique journey that you undertake. Our entire existence is based on the fact that this is pretty common. But somehow, when you are going through it, there are so many changes that you feel like this can’t possibly be normal. But it is.

And all of a sudden your choices seem to really matter. A lot can be attributed to hormones, but even without that, there are a lot of decisions to make when you are expecting. That leaves room for a lot of research and then second-guessing yourself. The fact that you have months to make certain decisions means that you can change your mind about things a million times. For someone as indecisive as me (what can I say, I like to weigh all the options), it can be torture. But with each new decision comes the sweet relief of checking off an item from the list. I really look forward to that.

So if I look a little stunned or maybe not that interested in talking baby names, that’s kinda why. And it isn’t that I am calling out one person in particular, it is just this cumulative effect from questions that come at you from all sides (even our Preparing for Childbirth class!) when a baby is on the way so please don’t think this is personally directed at you. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time and writing it down will help me let go of the stress of it instead of letting it bounce around in my head.

What do you think about the baby name conversation? Is it a fun topic? Do you happen to be expecting (or were recently expecting)? How did the process for naming your kid go?  

I can’t wait to read these pregnant entries years from now. I’ll probably roll my eyes at my crazy pregnant self. But hey, I’m in the trenches now, can’t see that far ahead!


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