This Is Why We Aren't Telling Our Baby Names

Jenny Benjamin

wood blocksIf you're like me, you probably had a few baby names picked out looong before you got pregnant. You banked any cute ones you heard in your memory, crossed some off of your list when they became too popular, asked your husband what he thought of the name Olivia while he was watching game 4 of the World Series (bad timing?). When you finally do have a bun (or two) in the oven though, your fun-and-games baby naming suddenly takes on real weight and meaning, and now you have the tough task of giving your child just the right moniker for life -- one that will set him or her up to be class president, a great novelist, CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Or, really, you just want a name that won't get him beat up on the playground. 

And once you've finally decided, the last thing you want to hear is, "Really, Daisy? That's a dog's name" or, "Walter? Oh no, that's so dorky!" Already protective of my children-to-be and, admittedly, pretty defensive, I just don't want to hear it.

When my husband and I first found out we were having twin boys, we already had a couple of names in mind. Of course, people were armed and ready to offer us their own suggestions ... and either overtly or subtly insult many of the ones we were tossing around. As a rule, if someone shares their baby names with me, I always respond with something nice, even if they ask for my honest opinion, even if I hate the name. In my mind, it's like bad-mouthing the guy your friend is on a "break" from -- you're the one who's going to look like an ass when she finally goes back to him. It's the same thing with baby names. Friends may ask for your opinion, but they really just want reassurance that they picked a great one. Case in point: that baby-branding couple on Pregnant in Heels who ultimately ignored the advice of three (!!!) focus groups, and went with the name that they loved in the first place.

Well, I'm happy to say that after a couple of months of back-and-forth, my husband and I have finally decided on names for our boys. I don't know why, but we are really happy and excited about it, and it feels like just one more new thing that makes our impending parenthood more real. Right away though, we decided that although we had chosen names, we weren't going to "name" our boys until they were born. The main reason is because we're being cautious and want to be sure that they're born strong and healthy first. But also, now that we've really decided, I don't want to hear that someone doesn't like it, or that they liked so many of our earlier options better.

And now, it's even clearer why we should keep the names under wraps. When I told my Mom that we had officially, definitely, fully decided on baby names and that we were thrilled and so happy about it, she immediately started in with, "What about Nicholas? What about J.J.? Did you veto Travis?" I had to explain that no, we aren't considering any more baby names, we're done, we got it, we're all good. And instead of saying, "Oh well, that's great, you don't have to tell me what they are," she starts speculating and then telling me that her friends don't like this one and she doesn't like that one, and those two names don't go together so she hopes it's not those. It was as though she thought we couldn't possibly have decided on any of the horrible names I'd already suggested. Ouch! My Mom's actually pretty laid-back and hands-off as a rule, so I was surprised by her vehement reaction, especially since she was just guessing at which names we'd landed on.

So, it's settled -- our boys' baby names are top secret until they're born. For now, they're simply "The Bubbaz" or, as my father-in-law has playfully named them, "Herman and Berman." I think their funny little nicknames will be just fine for now.

Have you shared your baby name already or will you wait until he or she is born?

Image via Hey Paul/Flickr

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