For all you Pretty Woman fans out there, I will quote Kit De Luca who said, “Oh the pressure of a name!!” (If you’ve seen this movie 200 times like I have, you will know exactly what I am talking about).
Yes, there is a lot of pressure to come up with the right name for your child when you are expecting. When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I were so on top of everything, including the name thing. I’m pretty sure we had at least a top 3 list by the final trimester of my pregnancy. Granted, after he was born it took us two days to commit to the actual name that would go on his birth certificate, but that had more to do with our unwavering indecisiveness as a couple, rather than our inability to plan. And with everything else during that first pregnancy, we were totally on top of it: the nursery, crib, stroller, clothes – everything completely ready by the eighth month.
Now here I am in the eighth month of my second pregnancy, and I don’t have a second crib for baby number 2, I don’t have a double stroller, I have the bare minimum in clothes, and don’t even ask me about the nursery. My son will be sharing his nursery with his soon-to-arrive baby sister, and I have not done a thing to make it more girl friendly. So you can probably guess that we haven’t come up with a proper name for our daughter yet either. Every time my husband and I decide to sit down and talk about a possible name, it’s 10:30 at night and we are exhausted: I, from running around after a crazy toddler all day, and my husband from working all day. So by the time we get said crazy toddler to bed, eat dinner, and decompress, it is inevitably bedtime for us, and thus not a time of day that is conducive to determining the name your child will possess for the rest of her life.
Our goal is to name her something unique, but pretty; classy, but not pretentious; interesting, but not weird. I have a book with over 100,000 baby names, but somehow I cannot find even one that I am truly excited about. We have one name that we keep going back to, but we recently found out that it was number 15 on the top 100 baby names last year. Ugh! I’m not really sure how I feel about that. Growing up as a Jennifer, I was one of at least three who possessed that name in nearly every class. I always longed for a more unique name, and that is why I hope to name my daughter something that allows her to be known by her first name only…because God knows our last name is not easy to say. But short of naming her Beyonce or Madonna, how do you strike a balance so that your child will love their name but not be made fun of for it?
My search continues, and in all likelihood, we will probably end up giving her the name we keep going back to, in part because we genuinely like it (despite its ever-growing popularity), but perhaps also because we don’t have the time or energy to research anything else. Sad as that may be, I wonder how many adults of our generation have names that were decided upon in that exact same manner.