To me, my name means more than you can imagine. I am named after both of my grandmothers and although my name is considered old fashioned these days and often used in ad’s depicting the older generation I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I am most attached to my surname, its long (10 letters), hard to pronounce for most people and very Dutch. It translates to field houses in English as I come from a long line of farmers back in Holland.
My surname is what I had when I took my first steps, drove my first car, had my first kiss, when I travelled around the world, when I lost my grandmothers and the list goes on. When I got married it was expected that I would change it straight away… but I stalled, every time I went to sign the form I felt this great sense of loss. It wasn’t that I didn’t like my husband’s name, in fact I would feel this way no matter what the surname was, it’s just the fact that I love my surname and it’s a part of my identity
So why am I writing this post, well 2 weeks ago I finally went to births, deaths and marriages and changed my name. The only reason is because I now have Sienna and I want us all to share the same name and to hyphenate both my surnames would be wayyyyyy to long to deal with on forms and so on. Also I did promise my husband I would change it within a year of marriage and it took 4 years ….. better late then never though!
Now I have met MANY men who think I that this sense of loss is foolish, even a few women actually and that changing my name is no big deal and I would feel better once I did it. I am currently still waiting for that feeling……. time will tell I guess, though I will say that identity is experienced differently by everyone and for someone that is closely attached to their surname it is not for someone else to say how or what they should be feeling unless they have given up their name themselves which only the rare male would every have experienced……
‘A wife should no more take her husband’s name than he should hers.
My name is my identity and must not be lost’
– Lucy Stone