Monday, April 29, 2019

Motherhood Monday: On Picking a Name

How did you pick a baby name? Are you one of those people who has had names picked out since you were a kid?

I knew from elementary school which names would be off limits because my friends had already picked them - definitely wasn't having a Lilly over here! I actually had my heart set on Charlie for years if we had a boy, which actually got kaboshed because of Jeff's veto. But I never had a girl name settled on, and since Jeff didn't like my boy name we were basically starting from zero.

I've said before that I didn't know I was going to be a mother growing up, so names weren't something I thought about too much. After Jeff and I got engaged, I started a running list on my phone whenever I heard a name I liked. I'm pretty sure that's actually where Mia came from, I remember seeing it in a Pinterest post of all places!

Jeff and I are both pretty type-A people (although messy ones... is that a thing?) so we both decided to make separate lists of our own for boy and girl names. I did lots of perusing lists online and researching popularity and origin and whatnot. Then we literally had a meeting over dinner where we each read through our lists and got to favorite or veto each other's names. Jeff vetoed any of mine that were his coworkers names (sadly, there went Natalie and Molly!), which is kind of hilarious because my boss ended up having a baby a couple months before me named Mia, and her middle name (Lynne) is the head of my department's name - looks like I did some really weird sucking up, huh?!

After that process, we were actually completely settled on a boy name, but had a list of about 10 girl names we liked. So when we found out we were having a girl, we made one combined list and starred our four favorites, and then talked through them a couple of times a month to see where the other was leaning. Jeff ultimately vetoed one of my favorites, Emma, saying it was way too popular. But we couldn't decide between our top three (which I'll keep a secret in case we have another baby). Every time we talked, the ranking was slightly different and we were never fully in agreement. Jeff said probably what would happen, was that I would eventually tell him what the baby's name was, and that's exactly what I ended up doing. One night I had a really hard time sleeping, and spent the whole time going through names. By the time I woke up (err, morning came and it was time to pretend I was ever going to fall asleep), it was decided - Mia it was!

Middle names were a little easier for us. Lynne is my middle name after my aunt, and Lynn is Jeff's mom and stepmom's middle names. We briefly entertained a few other ideas, but really, it was so cool to be able to honor all three of our families in one fell swoop. Plus, naming Mia after myself felt like a little feminist victory, like Lorelai Gilmore. As Rory said, "It's my mother's name, too. She named me after herself. She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time, you know, so why couldn't women? She says her feminism just kind of took over."

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