There are few things that define us like our names.
It's the first thing we get to know about a person and, depending on how fortunate (or unfortunate) you were, we all carry some deep nickname scars from school days.
But is it just me, or has the baby name game changed completely?
We could probably peg it down to oddly named celebrity children, books and television character obsession and those evergreen obligatory family monikers for the truly unique names we've been seeing these days.
According to a survey by the popular UK parenting website Mumsnet, 18% of parents regret the name they've chosen for their babies. Some were even saying they actually lost sleep over it and others confessing that they struggled with the feeling well into preschool years!
This mom’s post stands out – she wrote:
"Baby name regret – I think I'm going mad!"
“Sorry in advance for the very long post but I really need some advice as I think I'm going mad. My gorgeous baby girl is now over a year old. When she was born I was convinced I was having a boy. After her birth I felt pressured into naming her quickly – we had a few short-listed girls names, but hadn't really given it a lot of thought.
“We promptly decided on a name which was on our shortlist and I felt very happy with, although I did mention to my DH [dear husband] that I felt slightly concerned about the pronunciation variations.
“After a few months I became a bit obsessed about her name and felt that we had given her the 'wrong' one after a few people had mispronounced it or misheard it. After many tearful discussions with DH, we finally decided to insert a new 1st name on her birth certificate which I thought I felt happier with.
“Having decided on this new name and officially adding it to her birth certificate, I kept hearing the new chosen name EVERYWHERE (the original name we had chosen is quite unusual – although not unheard of). I find there are often other babies with the same name in the classes that we attend and whilst I do think the new name is lovely, I feel I have done her a real disservice choosing such a popular name in place of a rather beautiful and very much less used name.
“In retrospect, I feel I acted in haste in changing her name initially – I think I was consumed with "baby blues" and put all my angst into her name choice. Not a day goes by (a year on now) that I don't think about her original name – I wake up at night and obsess about it and I think I am going completely mad.
“I often call her by both names together (i.e. new 1st name and old 1st name) so her original name is certainly not alien to her. I am however increasingly thinking that we should have kept her original name and I feel really very upset about it.
“So, would it be completely bonkers to revert to the old name now?? It is officially now her middle name so is still on her birth certificate. My DH could probably be persuaded to change back as he loved our original choice, but I am keen to hear other peoples' thoughts on this matter.
“I know people may think I am crazy, but I would rather get this sorted while she is too little to remember!”
The big 3 regrets:
1. Too popular
Like the mom in the above post, the survey found that the number one reason parents (around 25% of them) came to regret their name choice was over-popularity. One parent mentioned unknowingly naming her daughter after a certain Disney character prior to its release and subsequent popularity – yikes.
2. Just not well suited
21% of parents felt the name they chose just didn't suit their child after birth. One mom noted that facing a deadline having to register her child's name, she last minute settled on a 'fashionable' name which she now feels is totally unsuited to her son.
3. Giving in to pressure
Around 20% said their baby name regret was due to being pressured into choosing a name they never liked to begin with. One parent shared that while she loved a certain name that her husband totally hated, the feelings were mutual about a name he loved. And while she compromised on the name they finally settled on, she really didn't like that name either.
Do you have baby name regret? Do any of these reasons sound familiar or did you have a different reason altogether? Do you still wish you could change the name? Tell us by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.