Topic: What would you do?

I am hoping you ladies can help me with a decision that I am finding difficult to make.  I have an almost 15 yr. old son from a previous marriage.  His father and I separated when he was only 6 months old and a yr. later we divorced.  At that time I had decided to keep my married last name so my son and I would have the same last name.  This has never been an issue, until now because I am 15 weeks pregnant and used a donor from NW.  I have always wanted more children, but like so many others, I have just not found the right person to build a family with.  I am very open with my son and never keep anything from him, so when he was younger I would ask his opinion on me changing my last name back to my maiden name.  Back then it bothered him, but now that he is older he has told me he doesnt care either way.  The problem is, he is the type of guy that doesn't like to be so open with his feelings now that he is older, so I'm not sure if he really doesn't care, or just doesn't want to tell me that he does.  Other than paying child support, his father has not been very involved in his life.  Up until our son was about three, he only saw him maybe once or twice a yr. for a couple of days, and then nothing but a random phone call once every other yr. until he was about 12.  He came to stay a weekend with us to see our son, and promised to be back soon, but has never called since.
My dilema is, I don't want this baby to have a last name that means nothing to him/her just because I chose to keep my sons last name yrs. ago, however, I don't want to hurt my sons feelings either.  If I knew it truly would not make my son feel like he is left out, I would probably change my name back, as it is I find it awkward that I share the same last name as my ex's current wife and daughter.  I also feel a little sad to not have the same name as both of my children and any I may have in the future.  My son is not interested in changing his last name, he is a junior, and although he never sees him he still loves his father and wouldn't want to hurt his feelings by changing it.
Sorry this is so long, but any opinions or guidance any of you can provide is appreciated.

Re: What would you do?

Wow, that it quite complicated! Have you considered hyphenating your current last name and your maiden name, and giving your baby your maiden name?  This way, you can have the same last as both of your children and then drop your married name later on when your son is grown.  Just a thought:)

Re: What would you do?

i feel your pain.  your situation is even more complicated than mine, though, because you took your son's father's name and you've had that name for a long time, and your son is old enough to care. 

in my situation i gave my daughter her dad's last name, even though her dad and i weren't married.  i did that because we were on our way to being married, and at the time i thought i could "do" marriage.  our imminent plan was to move into a house that was available on his family's property and start a family from what we already had.  every plan we talked about included us, together, going on vacations, looking into school districts for "our kids," etc., so i thought that was a wise thing to do. . . ya know, give her her dad's name at birth and get it over with.  bad idea. 

her dad and i split within months of her birth and now i really wish i hadn't given her his last name because when i mentioned changing her name to mine (which has only happened twice), he gets extremely upset and takes it personally.  he is adamantly against it and i don't want it to cause a huge rift between us.  it's taken us a long time to get to where we are now, which is a pretty good place.

i would so love for both of my kids to have the same last name, though.  to me it represents family unity.  it's a pickle, for sure.

since your son's dad isn't in his life, would your son be open to changing his last name, too?  how attached to his last name is he?  maybe if it was something you were both doing, he wouldn't feel left out.  that's a touchy area to get into, but i would think that if your son's dad isn't involved, he might find the name just as meaningless as your new baby will.

Re: What would you do?

I love my last name so if I had gotten married I'm not sure I would have even taken someone else's. But having said that, you've had it for this long don't you feel like it is "yours" at this point?  I'd probably opt to keep it after all these years. Your new addition will probably never consider "this name means nothing to me" because it is their family name and all they have ever know. My mother kept my fathers last name and he remarried and adopted my step sister. I like that she did that. Even at 40 I like that she is still "one of us" smile.

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Re: What would you do?

What about if you kept your sons name what it is, you added your maiden name, but kept your ex's name as well, and then named baby with your maiden name?

Example.  If your maiden name was Jones, and now you and your son go by Smith then you become Jones-Smith and baby is Jones.  Then when your son is even older yet, and less likely to care even more, you drop Smith.

I feel your pain, I really do... in our house we have: Hubby and his son have one last name, his daughter has another.  I have my maiden name, my 2 biggies from previous marriage have their dads last name, and our donor conceived babies together have his and my last names.  Although we got married 4 months ago, I legally did not take his name,  I do however use it when it makes situations less complicated, and don't when it would be more complicated!

http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt125c22.aspx

Need to update a ticker, Silas Anthony Jordon born Oct 11, 2013.  6th baby, so much love!

Re: What would you do?

Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses.  You all gave me a few ideas to think about.  I hadn't thought of hyphenating my name and then dropping my ex's name later.  I'm not sure if that would be possible or not, legally. I thought I would just be able to change it back by ordering a new ss card, however after calling ss they informed me that if it is not stated by the judge in my divorce papers than I have to go through the whole process in court just like anybody else wanting to change their name for any reason.  So, I'm not sure if I did change it to a hypenated form, if they would let me change it again later.  I have thought about trying to think of my current last name as mine now and giving it to the baby, oddly it was even suggested by my husband's current wife (we occasionally have to text about child support). However, I just can't seem to get over the fact that there is no link between my baby and my ex.  Even in simple things like researching your family history, it would be awkward for my baby to to have my ex's last name in regards to  things like that.  Its a tough decision, but I really appreciate the ideas and sympathy from all of you. Hopefully I make the right choice.  One of the things I love about being a single mom is that I get to make all of the decisions, but the flip side to that is, if I make a wrong one its all on me!

Re: What would you do?

Changing your name is typically very easy. For my DP, it was simply a matter of filling out the form and taking it to the courthouse. The clerk told her that the judge likes an explanation for why you want to change it, but it's not required. She went ahead and wrote it down and paid the fee ($30 - varies by state though). About a week later, the approval paperwork came in the mail. You can change your name to whatever you want, whenever you want. So if that's the best option for you, don't be afraid of it...it's really easy! Good luck with your decision!

Mom to P (13), J (11), E (6), and Q (born December 2017)

8 (edited by Zen 2013-09-05 07:39:11)

Re: What would you do?

My first thought reading your story was hyphenate ... and use whichever you like thereafter.  I'd go on but others have said it all.  I am sure that your son will love his new baby sibling!

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Re: What would you do?

Thanks for all of the great advice!  I'm still trying to make a decision, but you ladies gave me some other ideas I hadn't thought of.  I'm also going to try to have another conversation with my son and see if I can get a better idea of how he really feels, a lot of the time I just have to read what he isn't saying.  Since it has been just the two of us for almost 15 yrs. I've gotten pretty good at it, but my protective worrying mom side comes out sometimes and clouds my judgement.  I've been trying to gauge whether he would prefer a brother or sister, but he won't even entertain me on that subject either.  We find out Tuesday, so hopefully he will be excited either way. Well I have a little bit of time to make my decision, but thank you all for helping me!

Re: What would you do?

i just wanted to speak from experience on the subject of hyphenated names.  i don't know whether those who have hyphenated their names have come across any problems as a result or not, but i know i have come across problems almost every time i've had to search for someone with a hyphenated name for my work.  i have worked in several different capacities where searching for a person was required (county collector tax specialist, newspaper archivist and circulation librarian) and in all those positions, it was virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find someone with a hyphenated name.  i have no idea why, because it seems fairly straightforward.  if someone's last name is smith-jones, shouldn't you just be able to find them by searching for "smith-jones"?  nope.  it never works.  it takes FOREVER to find them, especially in electronic databases (which are more and more the norm), though i'm not sure why.  as a result, a person with a hyphenated name will often have multiple accounts, completely detached from eachother, which could be a big deal in a situation like hospital records or whatever.  i actually came across this in a medical report recently, too.  there was a patient who claimed he'd been to the hospital before, but they had to start a new account for him at the hospital because his name was hyphenated and they couldn't find him.  that could be a big deal if, let's say, he has a medication allergy that didn't carry over from one report to another, and he was given a medication that could kill him.  this made me resolve to NEVER hyphenate my name.

11

Re: What would you do?

babybaby isn't wrong in this.  Most of the time with a hyphenated name you kinda choose which one to use.  In the case of data entry clerks, if not given directions and only one name fits in the field, they do the choosing.  But it's really no biggie.  If your name is Smith-Jones, be prepared to remember which you used at which place or have the people search under both!  This is what my Asian friend does.  She works under her maiden name and books all her travel plans under her married name.  The house and credit cards and IRS statements ... well ... those people have to work a little harder to find her records!

http://lbyf.lilypie.com/TikiPic.php/AfUDuhU.jpghttp://lbyf.lilypie.com/AfUDm4.png

Re: What would you do?

babybaby has a point, which is why I did not hyphenate.  I have 2 legal last names (as do our kids), so if you can't find me under one, I'll be under the other!  For some reason this is apparently easier to find then a hyphenated name in databases and such, though I don't understand why.  It also means that I don't NEED to use my 15 character last name all the time, but can pick and choose which of the 2 to use as fits the situation.

http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt125c22.aspx

Need to update a ticker, Silas Anthony Jordon born Oct 11, 2013.  6th baby, so much love!