As if picking out a first name for baby isn’t difficult enough, baby’s last name is up in the air, too (well not according to my boyfriend). There’s a great article on Parenting.com offering tips on how to choose a last name. However, it is missing one crucial component: what if you and the baby’s father aren’t married? Sure, it lists the idea of both parents having kept their last names but it is in the context of a married couple. What it doesn’t address is the emotional component of not being married and in my case, if the baby does not have my last name, feeling left out of the family unit.
My boyfriend’s daughter shares his last name so if baby takes his last name, I’m the only one with mine. My boyfriend says it is customary that baby takes the father’s last name. So where does this leave us?
Unless we are getting married anytime soon, I am not okay with baby just taking his last name. I have a very long and complicated last name, so I suggested baby taking his last as a middle and mine as her last name. That went over like a lead balloon. And with my crazy last name, hyphenating seems out of the question. I’ve also heard from a unmarried couple that hyphenated their last names that it has been a logistical nightmare at school and on documents. Maybe baby takes my last name and if we ever get married, with both change to his? I can’t imagine baby’s father going for that.
I have no particular attachment to my last name (even though I am proud of my family heritage). If I were married, I would definitely change it. I just don’t want to be at the doctor’s office or in the airport having to prove I’m my daughter’s mother because we don’t share a last name. I also don’t want to be the only one in my blended family with a different last name. My sister suggested that I just change my last name to his even if we aren’t married. That seems a little crazy, right?
There is no clear solution as of today so I will be sure to keep everyone posted on the last name debate.