I’m The Mom Who Wanted To Change My Daughter’s Middle Name To ‘Awesome’ – And You Won’t Believe The Backlash I’ve Received
Monday was a rough day. First, some background.
On Valentineâ€™s Day this year, after a bit of saving and a little help from a friend, I managed to scrape together enough money to file a petition to change my daughterâ€™s middle name from ConteÃ¡ to Awesome. It cost $150 to file the petition, and $194.36 to post legal notice in the paper, once a week for four consecutive weeks.
Spending almost $350 on anything that doesnâ€™t involve putting a roof over our heads, maintaining my 1998 Honda Accord, or feeding and clothing kids who never seem to stop growing is not something I can afford to do lightly. It is something, however, that I felt needed to be done to correct an error I made when it came to naming my daughter.
When I was pregnant with Viviana, I didnâ€™t want to find out the gender in advance. Frankly, I was so shocked by the pregnancy (the result of a contraception failure so unexpected that I was not even remotely concerned that I had conceived) that I was in denial for a good chunk of my pregnancy. People would ask if I was having a boy or girl and it was all I could do to tamp down the hope that I was having a puppy instead of a baby. Puppies are easier. Theyâ€™re infinitely cheaper. And no one bats an eye if you keep them cordoned off in the kitchen while you are at work, and they are still potty training. I was in a committed relationship at the time, but having another baby, nearly 12 years after the first was simply not part of â€œThe Plan.â€
After a lot of soul searching, praying, talking to close friends, etc. I decided to continue with the pregnancy, even though it wasnâ€™t part of â€œThe Planâ€ and even though I knew the huge financial burden we would face as a family by welcoming a new member. The committed relationship I was in? It didnâ€™t survive the pregnancy and by month two of gestation, I ended things romantically with the father.
I wasnâ€™t completely alone, as some single moms unfortunately are. I was surrounded by support. Friends made me lunches, gifted me much needed maternity wear, and even watched the baby overnight on Fridays, while I was finishing up my degree, so that I could get at least one full night of sleep a week. Coworkers threw me a huge baby shower, and in addition to many wonderful gifts, they chipped in for a much-needed car sear. My roommate made the heated garage their new digs so that I would have more room in the rest of the house for my progeny – and didnâ€™t charge me a single dollar more in rent.