What’s in a name

Lifestyle, motherhood, Relationships

Baby girl is finally registered!!

I was excited to finally get her birth certificate so we can apply for her passport because mummy and daddy love to travel. At the same time I was kinda dreading having to go to the registry office because we still hadn’t decided on a middle name for her. In fact this has been the elephant in our room which we happily ignored for the last six weeks.

Although we’re both of African origins, my partner and I are from different countries in Africa. This in itself has never been an issue in our relationship because, well why would it be? We’re two human beings who are in love and respect our cultural differences and that to us has always been what mattered.

Funny enough a year before I even found out I pregnant, we had already picked a name for my daughter. No, we weren’t planning to start a family just yet but we thought it would be fun and/or funny to see what names we liked and innocently googled potential names when we came across a name we both loved. So when I found out I was having a girl, we pretty much called her by her name. 

Although we’re not married yet, we agreed that she’d have his surname as I plan on changing mine to his when we do get married,so that wasn’t a problem. However, when baby girl was born, I suppose for the first time I was greeted with our cultural differences- and not necessarily in the way I had liked. His family wanted to be involved in the name picking as per their tradition. This didn’t sit vey  well with me  just because I didn’t want anyone else to name my kid. I also didn’t want to name her after a relative or anything traditional like that. I wanted her to have her own name so she could have a fresh start.  This of course caused a arguments with my partner and pretty much tested our relationship in a different way than we were used to before. Because culture and traditions can be a sensitive subject and out of respect for each other, we pretty much avoided the conversation when it came to middle names for the six weeks until our appointment today. 

As the date got closer, I know that we both were thinking about what was to come but neither had the courage to say anything in fear of further arguments on the subject. What a pair of cowards, right!

The inevitable happened of course and we were asked if baby girl had any middle name(s). I don’t know what it was but at that moment I realised that it was unfair to deny my daughter of half of who she is and although I don’t necessarily see the point in naming your child after a day of the week (partner’s originally from Ghana), I knew that it meant a lot To my partner that she had a name which followed his tradition. I realised that my daughter was a mixture of two beautiful African cultures and I wanted that to be represented in her names. So in that moment, I proudly told the registrar that she was going to have two middle names. One to represent each parent’s origins.

One thing being a mother does, is make you selfless. You want to do what’s best for your kid and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do because you may not necessarily agree.I am proud of myself for not letting my pride come in the way of the blessing that is our daughter. I want her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from. I will teach her to embrace both cultures and to carry both traditional names with pride and respect because whether we name our kids after loved ones,  or we just name them after a name we really like….it will be how they and the world identifies them so why not give them a name with a significant meaning, a name that has a story. At least that’s the case for us.

Now off to get her passport made. Wish me luck in getting her to photos taken!



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