This is the question, friends. What do I do with my name now that I am married? I want to keep my whole maiden name and just add my new married last name, but do I hyphenate it or not? If I don’t hyphenate, what becomes of my maiden name? Do I then have two middle names or two last names? Do I get to choose? How does one make such decisions? And most importantly, when we still live in Cary in ten years and I’m a soccer mom, WHICH SWIRLY PINK LETTERS WILL I HAVE MONOGRAMMED ON MY MINIVAN NEXT TO MY STICK-FIGURE FAMILY?!?!
My friend Dre got married a week after I did, and she was chomping at the bit to change her name because her married name is so much easier to deal with than her maiden name (too many confusing superfluous letters). But I’m BethParent. It’s just one of those names. I don’t know when it started, but people seem to like using both my first and last names, and I’ve gotten used to it. Also, it’s easy to explain. I say, “Parent. P-A-R-E-N-T, like your mother or your father.” This never worked for the Wilkesboro Pizza Hut (apparently they refer to their moms and dads as “parrot”), but for most folks, it’s pretty clear.
I recognize that I’m in the middle of a very common identity crisis, and that in three years, no matter what I change it to, I’ll be used to it, but right now it feels like a very big deal, so I bring it to you.
I’d like to hear from women who:
- kept their middle and maiden names as middle names
- kept their middle and maiden names and added their married name (un-hyphenated) to make two last names
- dropped their middle (or first) names
- dropped their maiden names
- changed their names completely (Princess Consuela Bananahammock, anyone?)
What was this time in your life like? How did you come to your decision? What factored into it for you? How long did it take you to get used to being “someone else”? If you could do it again, would you do anything differently?