What’s in a Name?

Prior to my Divorce Hearing, my attorney reviewed the documents with me and we discussed the section pertaining to my name. After the Hearing, I would be able to revert to my maiden name. I did not have to do so, but I could.

My last name was always a point of contention in my marriage. I wanted my name hyphenated. My ex-husband did not like that. He would complain about picking up my prescriptions as they would call him by my maiden name. When we got married I was almost thirty years old. I had my maiden name for almost thirty years. Graduated with my Master’s Degree under my maiden name. Created a reputation at work under my maiden name… But mostly it was my family name. So why should I have to drop it because of some antiquated tradition? 

In the weeks post divorce, one of the most asked questions (aside from “how are you?”) was: “What are you going to do about your last name?”

My brother and I had a conversation that went along these lines:

Him: So you going to change your name?
Me: Well, I have permission to do so.
Him: Wait, you need permission?
Me: Yes, it’s in my Court orders.
Him: So?
Me: Well, the kids have his last name.
Him: Change their name too!
Me: Yeah, like my ex would ever go for that. Plus Monkey knows her last name and Bear does too…. Just seems like a ton of work.
Him: Yeah, but they really are more B— than L— anyway.
Me: Very true, but still not going to happen.

It’s about the kids…

That is what it comes down to. My kids know my ex’s last name as their name. They do not even know my name is hyphenated. Why would they? As far as they know, I’m L just like them. While my brother is very correct, my kids spend way more time with my side of the family and always have, they do not understand the significance of a last name, outside of it being their name.

Will I change it in the future? Probably. Maybe once they are adults. Maybe if I remarry. Who knows what will happen down the road. My last name, BL, is the real truth regarding our children – they are a blend of both sides of the families. No matter how I feel about the L last name, without that name, I would not have two amazing, beautiful, funny, intelligent daughters.

So, for now, I remain BL. I’m forever tied to the L family and they to my family. 

So what?

You never really realize what is in a name until it’s “gone.” Recently I was wondering around a craft fair. The monogrammed towels and painted signs all sported one thing – last names. 

While my last name is BL, my kids are L. But I don’t want to be the L household. That’s where I draw the line. But it also sucks. I can’t have the cute sign for the holidays. I can no longer paint the family tree in our hallway like I planned with L Family above it. I feel like I’m in limbo. Not entirely belonging in either place. I’m not welcome by some of the L family, so I do not feel positive about adopting that family name for the cute stuff. 

Hmm… What’s in a Name – seems like there is a ton of identity with a simple word. Just like everything else, it’s a process and we will figure it out together one day at a time. 


About Emma BL

In the begining, there was just the two of us, then there were furbabies, and then a baby! We started trying to conceive in Nov 2010, but experienced complications and a miscarriage. Finally in April 2012 we welcomed Monkey and Bear joined in 2015. While preggo and trying to become preggo with Monkey, I often hit the web search for information about what is happening to me and I hope that through sharing my experiences, others gain some knowledge. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. So take all my experiences and advice with a grain of salt! Now that Monkey and Bear are around and we have made the transition to parents... we try to answer the question "is there life after the baby bump?"
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