I’m 2-4 weeks away from giving birth to a baby girl (depending on how high my blood pressure decides to be at any given appointment) and she has no name. Right now she is just “baby girl” when I talk to her, though my twin 3-year-old boys sometimes call her Boba Fett . . . We don’t even have a solid top 5. We’re struggling to figure out a name this time around and it’s driving me crazy . . .
Our boys were fairly easy to name, and we had to pick two at the same time! Our goal was to pick names that were easy to pronounce/spell, weren’t too popular, and were “classic” names.
The “not too popular” aspect was particularly important. My name is Sara and it was the #1 baby girl name the year I was born. As a result, there was always at least one other Sara(h) in every class I had growing up. I was always “Sara B” or “brown haired Sara” or “tall Sara” etc. etc. My husband’s name is Mark and he experienced the same issue (and still does – there are currently 3 other Mark’s on his team at work). It was (and is) frustrating to regularly hear your name at Starbucks or some sandwich shop and for someone else to walk up to the pickup counter with you. “Oh! Um, let’s see… this is a salted caramel latte, this must be yours.” We didn’t want our boys to have to experience this same frustration and I think we were successful. I haven’t heard their names called out at parks, museums, libraries, etc.
Along with the criteria above, I feel like a good name also has to pass some other tests, like:
How can the name be used against her as she starts school and has to deal with bullying . . . I love the name “Astrid,” but is someone going to say to her “you put the a$$ in Astrid?” Kids are cruel and I feel like I have to channel my best 12-year-old-brat-self to think of the terrible things kids might make up.
Initials and what they might spell can also be a problem and a target for bullying. PEW. BUT. DUM. You get the picture.
Terrible people in history
It’s pretty clear these days that names like Adolf are just off the table. Any name related to notorious mass murders just doesn’t seem like a good pick. Murderers in general. For example, “Casey” is off the table for me because it brings to mind Casey Anthony. Will this always be the case, no, but that’s what stands out in my head right now.
Then there’s celebrities and all of their antics . . . Miley? Nope. Katy? Nope. Taylor? Nope. These people may be very talented, but there’s just too much drama associated with names like these at the moment.
I’ve had many people start to sing me “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates upon meeting me . . . I would get into how awkward and uncomfortable this has been, but we don’t have time for that. If I named her “Lucy” (another adorable name!), will people start serenading her? Probably. Will this get awkward? Probably.
There are some super cute names that we love, but we wonder how they will be perceived when she’s an adult. For example, my husband and I had been talking about “Riley” a little bit, which we really liked for a number of reasons, but would the name be taken seriously when she’s an adult entering a professional work place? Perhaps. But with all of the uphill battles women have to face to be taken seriously and be respected in the work place, would a cute name like this hold her back? I’d certainly hope not, but I’m not confident.
Origin of a name
My husband and I have primarily Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh, and French heritage, with some Native American and other regions mixed in. I’ll look through the baby books and find a cute name, but it says it’s Asian or Hebrew or Arabic and I think, I can’t name her that, I have no claim over that name. We aren’t any of those cultures.
How it sounds with her last name
Our kids have my husband’s last name, which starts with an H. I usually avoid H names in my searches, which is a bummer, because there are some really cute H first names for girls. I don’t want anything too alliterative. Maybe I read too much or watch too many super hero movies, but I don’t want to raise a super hero (too much pressure) and I really don’t want to raise a super villain.
Personal name “ruiners”
How about the people in your life that ruin names for you? Perfectly nice, normal, great names. Ex-boyfriends/girlfriends. People that weren’t very nice to you in school. Former colleagues that turned out to be terrible people (like a former colleague who lied about having cancer . . . yeah . . . not using her name!). These are the people that when you hear their name, your only response is “uhg.”
Friends having babies
I don’t know about you, but we’ve got a lot of friends who are having babies right now. First time babies, second time babies . . . Do you also hold your breath when they have their babies, hoping that they don’t steal one of your top contenders? And if they do . . . damn it!
Maybe I’m making this too hard for myself. No. Correction. I am definitely making this too hard for myself, but naming this one baby girl has been way harder than naming my two boys and every time I tell people I’m struggling, I hear “really? I think girls names are much easier than boy names.” Thank you. That was helpful . . .
We’ll figure it out. Even if it’s at the 11th hour and the nurses are shaking the Social Security form in front of our faces, saying “you have to fill this out before you can take her home.” Okay! The name is . . .