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28th Nov 2016

This Mum-To-Be’s Baby Name Choice Divided Her Family (And The Internet)

Trine Jensen-Burke

Everyone who has ever had to name a baby knows all to well how hard it can be to decide on the perfect one.

Adding a whole other layer to the debacle, is that so many people outside yourself and your husband have opinions on the name too. As in; there could be grandparents looking to finally have someone named after themselves. Or, worse, your mum knows “someone” with the name you have picked – and because she can’t stand that person, you under any circumstances cannot name you baby that.

And then there is the whole concepts of someone else insisting they have laid claim to the name you love – and are all sorts of offended because you are considering using their name. (Never mind the fact that they have yet to even conceive this already named child, never mind have had it…)


And this is a more common issue than you might think. In fact; in an attempt to rally support after her family slammed her name choice, a UK mum turned to mumsnet to ask for help with her dilemma.

The mum, who is expecting her third child, received mixed reviews when she shared her name dilemma under the username AyGirl to the parenting forum:

“Am overdue. Baby has not arrived. Do not know gender. Have finally, after much indecision, decided a girl will be Iris James. Mentioned to DB (darling brother) who got very upset and kept on saying it’s not a girls name,” AyGirl wrote.

“Mother has rang me this morning and said he was so upset because he wants to name a son of his James. Keep in mind he is not married or having a child. I do think they are TTC (trying to conceive). But I want to use Iris James!!!!! She said that I shouldn’t and should save it for him because it will be his first child and a son.

“So what, the two beautiful little girls I’ve delivered into our family are nothing? A boy will probably be Gage Theodore. My older DDs (darling daughters) are Hattie Juniper and Cleo Annika so we use quite different names.”

The comments – as can be expected – came in thick and fast, many of them ridiculing her decision to use the traditional boy’s name, James, as a girl’s middle name. (To that we say: HAVE YOU HEARD OF TWO PEOPLE CALLED RYAN AND BLAKE? Who, if you have been living under a rock, called their firstborn daughter James.)

“Sorry but James is either a boys or surname. It’s not you who has to live with that name but your potential daughter,” user EveOnline2016 wrote.

Another user, BalloonSlayer, was also critical: “Well imagine if you had always wanted to call a girl Annabelle and your brother was expecting a boy and announced he would have the middle name Annabelle. Are you saying you wouldn’t be in the least bit pissed off that the name you wanted had been used by another family member for a baby of the wrong sex?”

Then there were the supporters, who urged the mum to stick to her guns.

“It’s fine to use, your brother is being weird and can still use James as a first name for the son he may or may not have one day if he wants,” user ElsaAintAsColdAsMe wrote.

And user Wooooofudge even had some ‘in hindsight’ advice: “This is why you should say nothing about name choices to anyone else. You don’t know that your mother hasn’t just spoken out of turn. If you intend to call your new DD (darling daughter) Iris rather than Iris James then I’d just ignore. It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.”

What do YOU think, mamas? Should you have to be considerate of names someone has picked for their as-of-yet imaginary children? Or just call you baby whatever the heck you want to call it? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie