I Let My Partner Pick My Baby’s Name and Never Looked Back
I knew early on what I could handle when it came to motherhood – and what I couldn’t. Staying up all hours of the night to calm an irrationally difficult baby? Easy, I went to university. Find pees in places where no one should pee? No problem. Again, i went to university.
But choose a name for my child? Difficult pass. I just knew I couldn’t handle it, with the pressure and the countless options, and did I mention the pressure? My mind was more focused on the pressure that my womb would soon experience as I pushed a human being out of my body.
Moms like me “do it all” – literally. We do more housework although we work more outside the home. We also take care of the education of children, even if dads are more involved than ever. So I’m saying we just want to, you know, draw the line somewhere.
For me, this line was the baby’s name. Want a perfect name? Ask your partner to choose it. It’s an easy, stress-free choice when it’s not yours.
Of course, it was relatively easy to put this one aside as someone who didn’t put too much stock in the names in the first place. You won’t find me browsing the internet to find names with the meaning behind them (honest Google Autofill) or asking my Puerto Rican grandparents to release the names of prominent family members in the hope that attributing my future children, the same nicknames would give them generations of Puterotiqueno magic.
Not that I regret anyone who chooses baby names with very specific meanings – namely my partner. He believes in the power of names, is the kind of person who says things like “it’s a strong name” and is proud of the theological meaning of his own namesake.
However, when the mother’s inevitable guilt crept in and I felt that I should have been more actively involved in the naming process, I remembered everything I was doing for our future child in which my partner couldn’t get involved by design. . I was developing limbs, undergoing cervical checks, breathing through Braxton-Hicks contractions and swelling until I looked like the Michelin man. My partner observed all of this through. Yes, he was there every time he went to the doctor, he was going to get me water and anything that could soothe my pregnancy symptoms and time these false labor contractions, but he was not in as I was.
And part of me thought that in response to the pressure on all the moms, I would leave my partner out of so many parental decisions after the baby arrived. I would organize schedules, make appointments with the pediatrician and find the best methods of discipline, because sometimes being the person responsible for all this is less scary than trusting someone else to take the relay.
But to name our child? This is something I could help my partner do – for him, for me and for our baby. Before choosing our son’s name, my partner legally changed his last name to that of his stepfather, who has been his father since the age of 7. Our son would have the same surname as the man who raised his father – a type of birth for which I was not to be responsible. My work would come later, in the form of 23 hours of work and three hours of active pushing.
And this work was made even sweeter when our son was placed in my arms and my partner looked at him directly, tears in his eyes, and spoke his name for the very first time. I did it, my partner named him and together we were going to raise him. I may have been alone during pregnancy, but I was not alone in parenting.