As little girls grow up they dream about being an adult and doing adult things. They dream about staying up late and watching whatever television show they want and grocery shopping for whatever food they want to eat. They dream about accomplishing big things and changing the world. And, at least in my case, they dream about having a family. I planned out my wedding a number of times as I grew up (at one point in my life, I envisioned a white dress with black platform sneakers underneath). And, in preparation for my life after marrying Prince Charming, I had a list of baby names all ready to go.
Adulthood is never as fun as it appeared to be as a child. Surprisingly, despite having it all planned out at 13, I still found myself stressing over wedding plans. And unfortunately, choosing a baby name is a little more daunting when there is an actual life that will be defined by that name. Needing to come up with a name in collaboration with someone else makes the task infinitely more difficult.
I expected to have a hard time coming up with names for this baby. When I was pregnant with Cameron, I came to the realization that my husband is the absolute worst person to name a child with. Don’t get me wrong, he is an amazing husband and an excellent father. But a baby namer? He is the worst. Before naming a baby with him, I envisioned that we would get a positive pregnancy test and would start discussing names right away. In my imagination, we would pour over baby name books and dream about our lives as parents to Charlotte or Jonah or Taylor until eventually we would decide on the perfect name, the one that we knew would fit our baby, our family.
My first pregnancy was nothing like that. I started to talk with Dan about baby names early on in the pregnancy and we would get no where. I would ask for name suggestions, and my husband would helpfully offer whatever noun was sitting at the tip of his tongue – usually whatever object he was currently looking at or activity he was engaging in. “Lamp”. “Couch”. “Zelda”.
Really helpful, dear.
To make matters worse, he disliked nearly every suggestion I brought to him. Sometimes he gave me a reason, but many times all I got was a simple “No”. In fact, even Cameron was turned down a few times. I found myself frustrated for most of the pregnancy about baby names. Naming a baby was not at all as fun or romantic as I had imagined it to be.
At least this time around, I approached naming a child with my husband differently. I came to it with very little expectations, and decided not to let his antics get to me. So what if my husband suggested names like Rory and Aurora (which become tongue-twisters against our last name) or threaten to name our child “Bubba” after a golf game? Who cares that my husband’s list of suggested names include “Mouldy”, “Kameron with a K”, “Camron” and “Harry Potter”? So what if he rejected every single name idea I brought to him (apparently Nicholas reminds him of St. Nicholas and that is just simply unacceptable)? Who cares that I am now less than a week away from my due date and we still have not a single name option for a boy?
Bestowing a name on someone is a huge responsibility. Even though I loved the name Cameron before my baby was born, I still second-guessed myself weeks after his birth. Did we choose the right name for him? Did the name fit into our family? Was this boy really a Cameron? (The answer is YES! I now think the name is perfect). Needless to say, even when you love a name, it is hard to know if you are choosing the right one.
And right now, I am pretty sure I’d agree to any name if my husband liked it.
I refused to stress about naming early on in my pregnancy. When people asked if we had names picked out I would smoothly answer that naming for us was a slow process and our baby would eventually have a name. But now we are weeks if not days away from bringing a new little life into this world and I am concerned that he* will henceforth be known as Nameless.
Stay tuned to find out what our baby will be named, because I promise that just naming our new child will be an adventure unto itself. It already has been.
*We have a girl’s name picked out, which is why I am not as concerned if this baby is a girl. My husband suggested a name for a girl and I decided to embrace it! And I absolutely refuse to spill the girl baby name that we have picked out because the last thing I need is criticism that will bring us back to square one. In this family, any baby name idea we have is fragile!
Do you have an easy time choosing names with your spouse? How early on in your pregnancy do you have names chosen? Do you go into the delivery room with one name or a list of name options?