Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Trouble With Baby Names

My wife and I are not expecting a baby anytime soon. In fact, we plan to wait at least a few years before we have a baby at all. This is a good thing.

But, for reasons I will never understand, my wife and I get into one specific baby-related argument on an almost-weekly basis. You may be wondering how, as two people who are both in agreement on the baby status of this marriage, my wife and I have baby-related arguments so often.

The answer lies in a name.

Or rather, the lack of a name. You see, my wife (the woman I’ve committed my life to and would die for without a second thought), seems to think it’s important that we not only discuss baby names for our minimum-of-two-to-three-years-away-from-being-born baby, but also that we decide on a baby name for our minimum-of-two-to-three-years-away-from-being-born baby.
Unfortunately, the names she prefers are names that I have NO desire to name my son or daughter. At all. Not because I dislike the names by themselves, but because most of the time I have weird connections with the names that leave me not wanting them for a baby name.

As a result, we fight about baby names. A lot. To the extent that I believe I’ve committed to at least 3-4 baby names I will never allow simply because I’m hoping that, two and a half years from now, my wife will have forgotten that name and moved on to the next name I don’t really care for.

My point is this: If you’re reading this Sir Jude Jonah Billeter or Amelia Ramona Eleanora Billeter, I’m sorry. Your mother won. I got tired of fighting her on the names and just let her pick all of them at once. Just remember, I was ready to name you something cool like Malachi or Xavier.

Of course, there’s no reason I can’t call you that anyway. Isn’t that right, Malachi?

Have any of you had this… “discussion”… with your husband or wife before? Did you come to an agreement, or are you still duking it out for naming rights? Let me know so I don’t feel like I’m alone on this island of bickering. And love. Bickering and love.

Photo by Alan O'Rourke. Thanks Alan!


Holli said...

A month after we got married (we dated the piece of paper) we both made a list of boys/girls names for our future kids. We didn't have a plan for when we'd get pregnant, but I (much like your wife, I assume) liked to think about those things...I like to "plan" things.

Several names on our lists overlapped. Not our first choices, but several. I felt proud of ourselves for coming up with some sort of agreement on names we both liked. (We both have aversions to some of each other's names, much like you.) --BTW, Malachi was one of the agreed-upon names for boys.

Then we got pregnant a few months later and miscarried. We named our baby/pregnancy Grace, so it was easier to talk about. Grace was not on our list.

Several months after that, we got pregnant again and referred to our list. We have a girl's name picked out (though, we're not as 100% about it anymore) but we didn't have a top boys name decided. Eventually, we decided on Ian -- a name that was not on our original list.

Long story short, if you guys are like us, the list-making (though sincere when made) ends up being just something to do for couples who plan to eventually have kids.

Mike Billeter said...

Hahaha. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comment, Holli (both for the sincerity and for making me laugh at the end). It's reassuring to know we're not the only ones who do this.

I'm sincerely hoping we get to that "agreeing on a name that isn't on our original list" stage when the time is right.

Or I'll just take the typical husband route and let my wife win to avoid drama. We'll see which ends up happening.

Either way, if she picks a name I don't like, it'll be tough not to come up with (and use regularly) her least-preferred nickname as a result.

Thanks again, Holli!

Colville Clan of TN said...

I realize this is a bit late considering when you posted, but if you're still interested... My husband & I talked about baby names long before getting pregnant. When we finally did get pregnant and started in earnest every name I came up with he would shoot down with what the name would be turned into by kids at school. Sooo, we went with naming our first after our Granpa's and the second after my dad with. My hubs chose our seconds middle name and it was Xavier. :-) I didn't really like it, but he really did, so I let him have it. If he hadn't played the teasing name game we probably would have had some verrrrry different names. Maybe you should try that for the ones you absolutely hate!

Mike Billeter said...

Colville Clan -

Definitely not late at all. My wife and I are (thankfully and hopefully at this point) far from having kids, so I appreciate your thoughts/advice.

Unfortunately, it usually seems like my wife thinks I'm making fun of her when I make fun of the names she likes, so I try to avoid doing that to mostly to avoid her wrath. But it is sound advice that I'm sure I would love to put into action if I knew the consequences wouldn't be so dire.

I have a feeling family members (parents/grandparents) will eventually have their names put to good use when it's all said and done, but we'll have to see. I am jealous of your husband for getting to use Xavier in some form or fashion though.

Thanks for sharing your insight, friend. Maybe it'll help me convince my wife that making fun of potential names is the best way to pick the "right" name. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

Thanks again!

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