Choosing the right name for your own baby is tricky, but critiquing other people's baby name choices is downright treacherous. Just a night or two ago, my sister and I were recalling at least three separate instances we know of in which friends of ours have inadvertently insulted people by offering an opinion on a particular baby name…which - you guessed it - ended up being the name of the other person's child.
You've just got to be careful when you wade into the whole baby naming thing. No matter how much you may find a particular name or type of name to be unfortunate, this just isn't something you want to bring up when chatting with others. At all. Ever. Because even if you are 100% sure that no one at the cocktail party could POSSIBLY have a child named "Elvis," you will be wrong. Someone there will have just left baby Elvis at home with a sitter for the very first time in order to attend said cocktail party.
But what if the baby name you don't like very much is the one you gave your own kid? Not long ago, an acquaintance of mine who had had perhaps one too many glasses of wine admitted to me that she deeply regrets the name she gave her eldest child, now in elementary school. (Nope. No way am I going to tell you the actual name. Do you think I'm that stupid?) She said that when she chose it, she thought it sounded bold and free spirited and different. Now, however, she thinks it sounds kind of tacky. Yes, she said "tacky."
I have to admit that I was kind of shocked to hear a mom criticizing her own baby naming choice in a way I've previously only heard people tear up OTHER people's bad baby names. But maybe there are a lot of parents out there who secretly or not-so-secretly wish that they could get a baby naming do-over. Maybe your taste has evolved over time, or maybe you chose a name that you had no way of knowing would become synonymous with some kind of exploding pop culture phenom (like if you'd named your baby "Miley" in 2008).
I, myself have many (huge understatement) regrets in life and in parenting, but so far, I have no regrets whatsoever in the names I've given my five children: Henry, Jane, Elliot, Charlotte and Georgia. I really do love my kids' names, both individually and as a sibling set. I just got lucky in picking names I loved when they were born and continue to be happy with.
How about y'all? Do any of you kind of wish you had gone with a different moniker for one of your children? If so, why? Has your taste changed? Did a partner pressure you into picking a name you now wish you hadn't? And have you/would you ever admit your baby naming regret out loud to anyone?
For more about baby name do-overs, visit Babble.
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