If you thought Kate Winslet was going to let new baby Bear have husband Ned RocknRoll's unusual (read: weird) last name, think again. Not only did Kate give her son her own last name, but she's come out to say letting the baby bear her husband's last name never even crossed her mind!
Because she's the baby's mother. Got that?!
The fact is, Winslet has shared her last name with all three of her kids. As she told Glamour:
[My older children] Mia and Joe have it as part of their name, so it would be weird if this baby didn't. Of course we're not going to call it RocknRoll. People might judge all they like, but I'm a f--king grown-up.
Wow! Way to tell it like it is, Kate!
What's more, Winslet said she and Rocknroll (whose name was Abel Smith but was changed legally) never even discussed Bear's last name. That decision was entirely in her hands.
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I have to admit that for a second, I was taken aback that these two parents didn't discuss something as big as a baby's last name. Not a great sign for co-parenting in the future.
That was my knee-jerk reaction.
But just after I thought it, I felt ashamed of myself and rather like I'd just betrayed womankind.
The fact is, my husband and I never discussed the last name of our baby either. It was just assumed that she would bear his name, and she does. Considering I took his name when we married, it seemed like the thing to do. But more than 13 years into marriage and more than 8 years after giving birth, I won't deny that I regret both moves just a wee bit. I love my husband, but I miss the name I learned to scrawl in kindergarten, the name on my high school diploma.
When my own daughter scrawls her name, I sometimes feel a little sad. She has much in common with the family of my birth, but she isn't "one of them."
If I hadn't given up my maiden name, I wonder, would things have been so automatic? Hyphenating my German mouthful of a maiden name wouldn't have been practical, but would we have discussed giving her my name instead?
I find it more than a little sad that women so often lose a strong piece of their identity because that's just how it's been done for generations, and continues past marriage when a child gets dad's last name. Women have borne babies for generations too; doesn't that hard work count? Doesn't what a mom puts into baby matter?
In no way am I denigrating a father's contribution to a child's upbringing, but in those early days when naming is on the table, let's face it: mom has still done the lion's share. She's carried the baby for nine months (give or take) and borne all the complications that come with pregnancy.
At the end of the day, I do think parents should be on the same page with as much as possible, so I'm not against actually having a conversation about whose last name to use. But I would be lying if I didn't think it would be nice to see the tables turned and moms no longer feeling like they were tied by some outdated gender rules when it comes to baby naming.
Moms do so much for their babies ... it would be nice to see it become "normal" for babies to bear mom's name instead of something moms have to defend.
Did you have a talk about your baby's last name before actually filling out the birth certificate? Who won?
Image via PacificCoastNews