Sharing Your Unborn Babyâ€™s Name Is A Really Bad Idea
I become very hesitant when people ask if Iâ€™ve chosen a baby name. In fact, sometimes Iâ€™m downright scared. This is because of other peopleâ€™s reactions. Iâ€™m not sure why people, including friends, feel the need to throw in their two cents when it comes to my choice for my baby. But they do.
I had always wondered why people kept their baby name a secret before they give birth, but now I understand why. Itâ€™s so much easier to tell people the baby name you have chosen after the baby is born. No one says, â€œWhy did you pick that name?â€ or, â€œReally? Thatâ€™s the name?â€
I think if you announce the baby name after the baby is born, people know itâ€™s a done deal â€“ with an actual baby to prove it â€“ so thereâ€™s no point in saying anything other than that you love it. But if you say what the name is before, they think they can change your mind, or that itâ€™s fair game to suggest other names or tell you, sometimes point blank, that you canâ€™t possibly name your baby that.
Years ago, I wanted to name my daughter Apple. The jokes were immediate and fast. â€œIt sounds like a dessert!â€ some would exclaim. â€œYou canâ€™t do that to your child. Have you ever met a lawyer named Apple?â€ others would say (and my daughter hadnâ€™t even been born yet). This was six months before Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple, mind you, so it turns out to be a blessing in disguise. (I didnâ€™t want people to think that I copied Gwyneth!)
In Britain, names like Apple, Peaches, Poppy and Clover â€“ all names I really like â€“ are pretty common. Itâ€™s just in North America we canâ€™t seem to wrap our heads around these names. (Ironically, the only person who didnâ€™t mind the name Apple was my father, who was in his 60s!) But my ex didnâ€™t like the name Apple and, quite frankly, I was such a bitch during my first pregnancy that I let him pick out the name for our daughter (Rowan.) The name took three years to grow on me after she was born. (When she was a baby, Iâ€™d sometimes whisper â€˜Appleâ€™ to her.)
I recently spoke to a â€œbaby naming consultantâ€ for an interview I was doing and she mentioned that a lot of people come to her after their baby is born because they think they made a mistake with their name. I can completely understand that. And why should you feel bad if you think youâ€™ve made a mistake in naming your baby? You have to call your child that for the rest of their lives. So if you think youâ€™ve made a mistake, own it, and pick another name you think is more suitable.
In any case, if I was having a girl this time around, I had a great name picked out: Blu. Thankfully, Iâ€™m having a boy, because Beyonce ruined that name for me (again, I canâ€™t follow a celebrity!). I donâ€™t know why people were so shocked at the name Beyonce chose. Itâ€™s been on my baby roster for years. I also had a boy baby named picked out: Holt. And I didnâ€™t want to tell anyone because this name really meant a lot to me.
When my grandfather came over to Canada from Poland, he couldnâ€™t get a job, because of his Jewish sounding last name, Burnholtz. So I wanted to bring back his last name. But I was terrified of the reaction from people, especially since this name was so personal to me. So I didnâ€™t tell people for a while. But now I have been. And when people ask, â€œSo do you have a name?â€ I say, â€œYes, but itâ€™s a done deal so you have to like it.â€ And then I tell them the name.
Once you tell people itâ€™s a done deal, they know there is no point in giving their opinion, except to say, â€œI like it!â€ Itâ€™s strange to me that people would have anything negative to say when you tell them the name you choose for your baby. But whatâ€™s that saying? â€œYou canâ€™t please everyone all of the time?â€ But, really, why do we need to worry about what other people are going to say about our baby names? People do seem to like the name Holt better once I tell them the story behind it. But I donâ€™t want to spend the rest of my life having to explain the reasoning behind my baby name choice. So now I just say â€œItâ€™s a family name,â€ and that seems to satiate people.
Did you share your babyâ€™s name before birth? If so, did you sometimes feel like you were being judged?
(P.S. I also really like the name Jupiter for a girl. Could you imagine the reaction to that?)