I didn’t change my surname when I married for a myriad of reasons. The crux of it being (and this isn’t an opinion piece or invitation to disagree/argue) that it does put more importance on the male’s family name and coming from a family that has a lot of daughters, I wasn’t ready to give up Henderson just then.
Now I’m pregnant, which I didn’t necessarily assume would happen, it was important to hubbie and I that we have a joint surname. He’s always been 100% supportive of my reasons but agreed it’d be good for us to all have the same one.
Going over the options-
- Take his surname – probably the first thing I put on the table being that ‘Oglesbee’ is a pretty cool name anyhow BUT seeing as how his principles are close to my own, he rejected this idea even if it meant an easier life in many ways (as a marriage certificate would be all was needed).
- Take my surname – he didn’t seem keen. Pretty fair: it’s not nearly as unique or euphonious as Oglesbee. The main reason for not changing his name initially was due to the nature of his job and if the admin paper-trail isn’t bad enough for most peoples work and personal life, it would be markedly worse for him. Really. He’s due to retire from that role in about 5 years time, though, and will change his name then (though he’s currently pondering a change sooner since his passport is up for Renewel in 2018!)
- Keeping my surname professionally, using his name at home – same as above really. For me, it’s a bit half-hearted measure. And whilst managing web domains is probably an annoying piece of admin, again it’s not the principle reason for protecting my surname.
- Keeping my surname as a middle name – Again – bit of a cop-out. Also middle names are rarely used on correspondence and people are lazy so unless you really batter it into people, your name will still fade into obscurity. Heck, I have trouble getting people to use ‘Ms’ (if people call me Mrs, I’m not going to give them a hard time about it but for similar feminist principles, I’d prefer not alright. Ideally, I’d actually like Mrs and Miss to be scrapped from all forms tbh. So very old-fashioned. Debates on gender neutrality are worth discussing as well (baby steps though maybe?).
- Double-barreling – Henderson-Oglesbee or vice versa? First there’s the discussions/argument over which way around. Then you have the inevitable running out of room on forms and 6 whole syllables to wrap your lips around. It’s a bit silly.
- Amalgamation – doesn’t work for all surnames. I think now of my good friends who were a Moore and a Redmore. But the two sensible options we had were Hendersbee and Oglesson. Both excellent sounding names in their own right. Hendersbee sounds more twee to me – like one of the good characters in a Roald Dahl book whilst Oglesson sounds somewhat nordic and appeals to my inner Viking. I liked both. Sam preferred Oglesson. And that was that
So please bear with me as I change over. I’ll be keeping the sehenderson.com domain for a year or two. I’m going to get rid of padpad.me.uk asap seeing as how it’s really old and likely unused. And who knows, I may even get around to making my own design, but no breath holding please. The most important personal project I have is coming up in April!