"People hate my baby's name"
Choosing a unique name is great — people, however, are the worst.
Have you ever heard about a new baby's name and thought, 'hmm, not for me'? I'm sure we all have.
Seconds later, we've usually moved on with our day, never to think about it again. Why then, does it feel so icky when you know by someone's face that they're really not feeling your child's name? Or worse, they've decided to tell you, as people are inclined to do.
These are our top tips for dealing with people's sometimes weird behavior around baby names.
Don't tell them before the birth
Don't want opinions? Don't tell them your names. If you've made up your mind, you don't want to be put off by someone's stupid reaction. When asked, be prepared with a stock answer about leaving the decision until they're born.
Be prepared for word vomit
There are a few very common bad responses to hearing a baby's name. They seem to fly from people's mouths before they even think. Tell yourself now that you're probably going to hear some or all of the bellow, so they don't take you by surprise and you're prepared to brush them off without getting defensive. Things like:
"That was my first dog's name."
"Oh like [insert character from famous movie who was a murderer and or psychopath]"
"Plane Jane Super Brain" / "Timayyyyyy" / "What's the story, Rory?"... or the equivalent stupid expression with your child's name in it
"That was on my list but it's John's aunt's name and she's a right bitch"
And so on — you get the idea. It's running commentary that you could do without and should surely have been replaced with 'lovely name, well done you', but people can't help themselves.
Ask yourself, are people's reactions tapping into your own misgivings? If you love the name and it means something special to you, remind yourself that's more important than it being a popular choice. Fully embrace the name yourself, so you feel strong in the face of subtle criticism.
Thinking back to that baby name you heard that you weren't a fan of — I bet you no longer feel that way. Soon enough, the name becomes are real life person and you grow attached to who they are. Sometimes friends and family just need time to get used to a name, just like you did. So let their initial reactions be just that, and move on.
Lay the groundwork
Yes, you shouldn't have to, but sometimes preparing people a little can manage their reactions and avoid those blank stares or accidently harsh comments. Line things up by saying, 'it's an unusual name but we love it", or 'I wanted something a little different, but it won't be for everyone.' This gives people a couple of seconds and might just make them open their minds a little.
Take the high road
It'll be tempting to tell her to take a running jump when your aunt says the name is sure to lead to a lifetime of bullying for your child, or that they'll never be taken seriously in the workplace, but falling out with someone isn't going to help matters. Take a deep breath and remind her that things have changed since she was a girl and not everyone's called John or Mary anymore.
Passive aggressive? Maybe, a little. Sorry, Mary.