Family's negative reaction. I am not alone!

Have any of you berries known that your name choices are perfectly okay, until being criticized, causing you to second guess yourself??

I’ve been following NameBerry for years, and now I am actually pregnant (and due in about 2 months). From what I have seen, a lot of you berries have gone through this same situation, so I am reaching out! I would really appreciate for those who can relate to give me some insight.

My Husband and I are both the “black sheep” of our families. I’ve always been the eccentric cross-between-Buddhist-and-pagan-esque-type wild child. And my Husband, well, he’s just a unique soul and talented musician. We joined forces to come up with the perfect list, with potential middles, and a variety of imagery. (Because you just don’t know until you meet your little one!) The sex is a surprise, so we had a great time creating and balancing “the list”.

Over a family gathering during dinner, we shared our list. (I KNOW, I know, big mistake). A few distasteful comments were made, and I’m just feeling very emotional about it.

DISCLAIMER: Our names are not crazy, or will hold back our child in a professional career. The middle name spot was placed for the more out there type names that are symbolic for my husband and I. The themes or our names were nature, alchemy, gems and stones, flowers, astrology/astronomy, and mythology. Also name with a righteous meaning that spoke to us.

They are simply, just not my family’s “style”, and is essentially, a little off beat. I don’t want to post the names up, so please don’t ask. My family has always been critical of me, and this pregnancy has been very stressful due to some of their words. And this was another disappointment.

So my question is, how did you let go of second guessing yourself (hormones, you are NOT helping.)

Thank you for those who took the time to read this!

I’m sorry you had such a negative experience. First, it sounds like your families are just not quite the same - lifestyle, taste, etc. - that you and your husband are. So the first question should be how much credence you would give their opinions about your decisions if we were talking about anything else. If the answer is none or not much, just try to remember that this situation isn’t really any different. Second, ask yourself whether they have taste/opinions that you generally respect and/or agree with. If the answer is yes, consider their criticisms, but with a grain of salt! But if the answer is anything less than yes, then this is just one more way in which you and your families have different tastes.

Out of curiosity, have you shared your names with anyone else - trusted friends, etc. - perhaps someone who has tastes that are closer to yours? That might help (if you have such a person you can ask who will be kind and respectful toward you). Sometimes balancing a negative experience with a positive one makes all the difference.

When I receive a negative criticism of a name I love, I chalk it up to different tastes. Only if I get the same criticism from several different people do I worry about it. In this case, it sounds like you aren’t necessarily surprised by the reaction and that harsh comments about the names you’re considering haven’t been an occurrence outside these family members. It also sounds like you’re confident that the names are not only ones you and your husband love but also names that will serve your child(ren) well throughout their lifetimes. Take a few deep breaths and let that be enough.

That was very leveled advice, and is much appreciated. You are absolutely right!
I have indeed gotten many positive responses to our name ideas. But there is something different when it comes from the family. I sense that I still seek their approval for the feeling of acceptance. I need to let go and shine brightly embracing my own family now.

Has anyone else gone through this…?

The hubby and I had a similar experience. However, I’m glad my mom talked us out of our #1 girl pick, which I’ve grown to dislike. We ended up picking something with a similar sound, which mom, dad, and some extended family approved of. It worked out well for us, and we love the name we chose. But I’m kinda upset we didn’t go with something more distinctly [name_m]Pagan[/name_m]-ish (nature names like [name_m]Jasper[/name_m], [name_f]Zinnia[/name_f], [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f], [name_u]Sage[/name_u] tickled our fancy, as well as God and [name_f]Goddess[/name_f] names such as Cerridwen, [name_f]Diana[/name_f], [name_m]Odin[/name_m], or [name_f]Freya[/name_f]) or something from our UU faith heritage (for example: [name_f]Clara[/name_f], [name_u]Emerson[/name_u]-- for a boy, [name_m]Walden[/name_m], [name_f]Olympia[/name_f]). The middle name is the perfect place for something a little more unusual. Contrary to what some nameberries think, a truly unusual name can hold a person back in life-- I’ve posted about it in the forums before, and there is the scientific research to back it up.

With future children, we have agreed not to discuss with our family or friends any of our name ideas. I don’t need the stress of second-guessing myself while coping with raging hormones! I also don’t want to deal with name regret. I love my daughter’s name, but I would have loved to have given her a slightly more exotic name.

As long as your kid isn’t being named [name_f]Moon[/name_f] Unit, [name_m]Audio[/name_m] [name_m]Science[/name_m], [name_u]North[/name_u] [name_u]West[/name_u], Marlboro, or Feenyxx, don’t let other’s opinions sway you.

Best wishes, congrats, and don’t listen to their opinions. My parents, myself, and extended family strongly dislike my nephew’s name, but once they met him, they can’t help but adore him :slight_smile:

Also thought it is important to add that my parents are devout Christians, and we obviously are not. So as @freya_1983 said, you can assume much of their feelings about names can be attributed to their background. For example, my hubby and I are generally against using Biblical names, unless in the mn position as an honor name. We feel that because we’re not [name_m]Christian[/name_m], it’s not OK to use names from that faith tradition, unless we have a very meaningful reason for it.

Oh the family disdain is the worst. I was really upset for a while, that my family was so judgmental of the name WE chose for OUR baby (of course now that they are used to it they love it). For some, it just takes time to get used to something new.

Of course, it helps when there’s a lovely little baby attached to the name. Most people will be critical of your name choices before the baby is born because to them its theoretical… they haven’t spent the last however many months being totally surrounded by this pregnancy & dwelling over what this little person’s name should be. Once the baby is here and you can say “her name is __________” someone would have to be a real dick to kibosh that sweet baby’s name.

I understand what you are saying and though I am not pregnant nor expecting, my mom has voiced an opinion against the names I casually suggest I will name her grandchild. For me, I listen to the criticisms and separate then into constructive versus different taste in names. If she has a legitimate point about name and I can clearly see other people coming to that opinion in terms of bad connotation or a bad nickname, I will take it into consideration. On the other hand, if the concern is that “it isn’t a bible name or not a classic common name” with no legitimate merit to the complaint other than personal taste, I will ignore what they say.
Once it doen’t go into the realm of wacky, outlandish, prevent child from getting a job (and you assured us it wasn’t) then I think the name should be usable.

I think it is less about letting go of the thoughts than actively challenging them. If you can see that there is no legitimate merit to the complaint other than personal taste, just keep reassuring yourself this to get piece of mind. They had their chance to name there own children, now it is your turn to name yours.

Honestly, I would just try to gather the confidence to know that your taste is better than theirs. I knew my family might not be on board with our names, so we didn’t give any clues to names before the baby was born (and I have three babies). After we had our first, my mother-in-law came to the hospital, held the beautiful infant and said “So, what is her name?”. We told her and she said simply sighed “Oh”. She was the first person we had announced the name to, so yes, it took the wind out of my sails for a moment (and it’s a moment I’ll never forget) but it did nothing to diminish the beauty of her name.

Take consolation in the fact that you know you are different from the rest of the family, embrace it, and just proudly and confidently announce the name after the child is born. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t get into even one more name conversation with them, as it won’t do you any good.

I’m sure your names are beautiful and strong and lovely. Best of luck!

Spot on. My mother especially is good at this. She came up with criticisms about certain names being a great opportunity for teasing, or made it clear a few of my choices were a little too “out there.”

I really wanted to name my daughter after my grandmother. My hubby hated the name (“That name reeks of a nursing home!”) and mom said my daughter deserved her own name. My mom was really uncomfortable with the idea of my daughter’s fn being her mother’s name, and persuaded me to use it as a mn. I told the hubby that he got more sway on her fn, because I wasn’t budging on my grandmother’s name as a middle.

He and I settled on this: I got to pick the middle. He got to pick her first, and I just had to pick one of his top 10 that I approved of. For any subsequent children, we’re doing the opposite. He gets to pick the middle (honor name) and I get to pick the first, and he gets to approve. I think having my husband disapprove of my choices stung more than my mom’s criticisms!

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Hey, who knows, maybe one day we will too hate our children’s name choices :wink:

My mom did manage to scare me off a few name with my last pregnancy. It’s hard not to let the negative reviews sour my own opinion.

One thing that might help. Look up the number of babies given that name in the past year or if it’s a rare name add up the number of babies given that name over the past 10 years and when your critics mock your taste think of all those other parents who like you recognize how awesome that name was.

One of the names my mom thought was ridiculous has actually never left the top 1000 for boys and is my dad’s middle name!

Yeah my mom is the same way. She tells me which of my vintage names are too old lady-ish and banned me from using names with strong connotations. Its good advice if it is constructive.

I actually was planning on doing the same thing in terms of 1st child- hubby picks first name I pick middle and vice versa for subsequent children. I have a distinct taste in names and if he likes overly classic or trendy names, we may have a problem. OF course he’ll get sway in which name gets chosen, but it has to be to my taste.