Will and I have been working hard to come up with an official name for Magpie. We have a short list of first names, mostly based on family names across the generations. We have two runners up, either of which would make a fine first name, we think. I expect we will decide soon(ish) on it. And I think we are in close agreement.
The bigger problem is with her LAST name(s).
Will and I do not share a last name. I was in my mid-thirties when we married and already extensively published under my maiden name, and beyond that, my name felt, well, like mine, and I didn't want to give it up or feel any need to do so. And so I kept it. And now I have twice as many publications and my psychology license all in my original name.
Will has his own name, of course. Which he is rather attached to. And he has also published and has his medical license under his name.
And now awesomely, unbelievably, here comes Magpie.
And we have to figure out what her last name will be.
Will has apparently always assumed that our child's last name would be his last name. And I assumed we would do something more egalitarian.
The three "more egalitarian" options are:
(1) Magpie Mo'slastname Will'slastname (with Mo as one of, or the only, middle names)
(2) Magpie Mo'slastname Will'slastname (both as last names, but no hyphen)
(3) Magpie Mo'slastname-Will'slastname (hyphenated)
or (less egalitarian)
(4) Magpie gets Will's last name and my last name is left off entirely.
We briefly considered all three of us hyphenating and having the same last name, but I don't think Will is willing to do this, so it's a no go. It would be a major hassle anyway, honestly.
Some of the practical considerations are:
(1) What name combo will make traveling (especially internationally) easier? Will having my last name as a middle name or as one of the last names help, especially if Magpie and I ever travel alone?
(2) What name combo will make education easier? Will having my last name as a middle or last make it clearer to teachers who I am, what role I play for Magpie, etc.?
Emotional considerations include:
(1) Is a hyphenated name or compound last name weird or burdensome for a kid to have to carry around? (Will thinks so.) Will my kid be the only NYC kid with a hyphenated or compound name? Our last names, by the way, are two syllables each, and 13 characters in total (including a hyphen if we used one, so not so long)
(2) Would a hyphenated or compound name, on the other hand, help convey to our daughter her heritage that stems from both of us and our extended families?
We are somewhat at an impasse on this, with Will wanting to go the conventional route, and me not so sure.
So we are curious, what do you guys think? Those who are parents and have a different last name from your spouse/partner, how did you make your decision on your child's last name? And what about your kid's friends? How many of them have a dual last name (either hyphenated or not?)
Really trying to be thoughtful here and welcome your thought process on this (whether you're a mom yet or not!)
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