I’ve already written about how I decided to keep my last name after I got married, but I’ve never written about how we decided on what Mac’s last name would be. When I was pregnant, we got a lot of questions about how we would decide. Andrew and I had separate last names and everyone was curious about how we would handle it. Here was the simple way we came up with that worked for us and our family.
Now, this may seem funny after the fact that I didn’t change my name when we got married. I don’t think it is that important to “carry on the family name” in an antiquated kind of way. But Andrew is the only boy cousin in his family who may have a boy. (The other had two girls.) He felt very strongly about how nice it would be to keep on with a boy having his last name. So the sex of the first baby would determine which last name baby would have; a boy would have Andrew’s while a girl would have mine. Mac was a girl, so she got my last name.
As of right now, we only plan on having two children. So right now, it works out that the next baby (boy or girl) will take Andrew’s last name. If the first baby would’ve been a boy, it would have flip-flopped with the first having Andrew’s name and the second having my last name.
I admit, it may seem a little complicated. I know people were worried that we wouldn’t be seen as a family unit because we don’t have the same last name. But I work at a Montessori school where we have many types of families. Some are families like ours that just have different last names, some are households with half-siblings that may have different last names, and still others are grandparents or other families members raising a child with a different last name. Honestly, the only time I am reminded of the different last names is when I have to fill out paperwork for the doctor or school. Really, where else do you actually use your kid’s last name? I sometimes forget until I’m writing it down for something.
Having the same last name does not make a family; love and support does. We have never had a problem being seen as a family.