Choosing Your Baby's Name: The Most Daunting First Assignment of Parenthood

Family Matters on 07.12.11
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Photo Credit: Monica Rodgers

Choosing a name for your child can be one of the most daunting first assignments of parenthood.  

If you are like me you’ve circled in your mind endlessly- rolling a name on your tongue, trying to decide if your choice had any playground teasing potential in it’s future or practicing the name using the variety of voices: stern parental voice, calling in for dinner voice, proud parent talking to friend voice....Then there are the endless discussions with your partner, husband, friends, or family- ugh! everyone has an opinion!

I actually remember bargaining with my then husband:

“Tell you what- we’ll have two children and I’ll choose the name of the first and I’ll let you choose the name the second time around- deal?”
“Ok- how bout this, I choose the name if it’s a girl and you choose if it’s a boy.”

and on and on it went until we had a plan A and a plan B for the day he or she arrived complete with first choice as well as a “back up” name in case the little being we delivered just did not fit with the name we had deliberated on for months. 


Photo Credit: Monica Rodgers 

In our case we finally settled on a French name for a girl  “Manon” meant “little Mary” (so we thought) and both of our mothers were named “Mary.” When our Son “Shaw” was born we decided to use his paternal grandmothers maiden name as a first name.  Aside from the fact that my daughter is continuously correcting people on the correct pronunciation of her name and the spelling, and that people mistake Shaw for “Sean” on any given day - I am completely in love with our choices and love that my children have different names that hold special meaning for us as a family.

I’d love to hear any special stories or interesting naming rituals parents out there have used in their quest for the perfect namesake.... please share them in the comments below!


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