The one where there are a few too many letters

I’m not big on theΒ your child should be doing such and such by this age type of rules it has to be said. I’m a big believer in little people doing things when they are good and ready. I don’t think that it’s always a good thing to compare as in my experience, they all do different things at different times – the time that is right for them of course. But I can’t help but think that my youngest daughter was always going to be at a disadvantage when it came to the being able to write her name before she started school rule. Twenty six letters. Oh, and a hyphen thrown in for good measure. The poor child didn’t stand a chance really, did she? But she’s getting there with lots of help bless her.

You see when I was pregnant with our first child, I wrongly or rightly made the decision that he would take both of our surnames as we weren’t married. I couldn’t stand the thought of my own child not having the same surname as me. Unfortunately for my children this means that they are left with quite a mouthful of a surname. (Not helped by the fact that my name is spelt in such a way that you have to spell it out to people every single time and then they still question if that is really how it’s spelt. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that think that I don’t know how to spell my own name. Seriously.) And I know that the double barrelled thing can seem crass. But it felt so important to me at the time. I know it’s just a name. But it was my name. And it really mattered that they shared it with me.

As time has gone on, it has to be said that I have questioned if I did the right thing digging my heels in and going down the double barrelled route. I have always said to the children as they have got older that if they wanted to drop either of the surnames then that would be absolutely fine. But to my secret delight, they are horrified at the thought. They are fiercely protective of their far too long surname that nobody can spell. And this makes me think that maybe I have done the right thing after all. Their name is as important to them now as it was to me when I first made that decision almost fifteen years ago. I’m starting to believe that a name really is so much more than a few too many letters and crass hyphen. It’s actually a big part of where we came from and who we are.

22 thoughts on “The one where there are a few too many letters

  1. butwhymummywhy says:

    My girls are double barrelled aswell – with one of the surnames being unusual too. Add to that a first name that can’t be spelt by sounding it out equals a confused little Noo! However, I wouldn’t change it either! Xx

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  2. TheMadHouse says:

    Names are such a big part of us. My maiden name was really unusual and we actually tossed a coin as to whether I keep it and MadDad took it as his! Although now I have nearly been a MRs for as long as I wasn’t!

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  3. Icklebabe says:

    I agree, names are so important .
    I still have my married name ( even tho I’ve been divorced for yrs) as its the same as my two eldest. But now I have Milly and she has J’s last name things have got somewhat confusing :/ I’m thinking of changing mine now so I have the same as Milly’s and Jays, as its more ‘in keeping’ with my life now .. but the I won’t be the same as my eldest two, oh it’s hard ;D
    U have got it right from the start I say πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘x

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  4. mamacrow says:

    at a complete tangent, seeing as how children commonly start full time school as young as 4 these days I’m not sure being able to write their name before they go to school is realistic for all anyway!

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  5. Susan Mann (@susankmann) says:

    I agree. I loved my maiden name but it didn’t go with my oh’s name so double barrel wasn’t an option. I made sure there were bits of my history in their middle names though. But I fully understand where you are coming from x

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  6. bubbablue says:

    I pity my son too – easy surname as it’s spelt as it’s said (if people say it properly), but we chose (well, I chose!) a long first name. Plus he’ll also have a nickname – probably makes it confusing as to which name to learn.

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  7. Carolin says:

    I think poor Amy will have the same problem when she goes to school. Including her middle name and a double-barrelled surname, her name has got 20 letters. I found it important that she has my name too, so so far I am happy with it πŸ˜‰

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  8. Stitches and Stretchmarks says:

    I’ve been thinking about this too. When we got married my husband and I decided to hyphenate our names as we wanted to become something new together rather than one of us having to give something up. Also, Brien Friel’s play Translations always stuck in my head and the importance of names has never left me.
    But now I’m worried. Ted’s my first child so I’ve never really thought about it before, and he’s only 15mths so I have a while before it matters, but as his name’s Edward and then he’s got a six letter middle name, a seven letter name, a hyphen and then a six letter name I feel like I’ve done something terribly cruel!
    A couple of weeks ago I tearfully asked my husband if he thought we should both just take his name now and change Ted’s name. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn’t compromising what was important to me to make it easier for Ted to learn to write his name. In the long term it won’t matter how long it is (apart from filling in forms!) and in the short term he can write the three-letter “Ted” instead. We made our name together and we gave that name to Ted when we made him.
    I love that he reassured me like that (and that I won’t have to take his name!) but I do still have a lot of guilt as I feel like I forced him to hyphenate in the first place.
    Wow, I didn’t realise this was going to be so long – like my surname!

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    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      I understand completely! I have to agree with your husband though, you shouldn’t compromise for the sake of making it easier for Ted to learn how to spell the name. I think we have to remember why we chose to go down the double barrelled route in the first place and it was for all the right reasons (I think!)

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  9. HonestMum.com says:

    I think good on you-names are important. I’ve kept my maiden one for career and use a double barrelled on FB etc but felt two extremely long (one hard to pronouce and spell) might have been a bit much with the kids but hats off, so fab x

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    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      So many women keep their maiden names for their career now and I think the double barrelled thing is becoming more popular than ever. I’m really not sure what I’d do if we ever got married – whether I’d just keep my maiden name or also be double barrelled. You’ve made me think now πŸ™‚

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