Hello. My Name Is __________

My last name. I really struggled with whether or not I wanted to change it back to my maiden name or not.

When my husbands parents got divorced after 20 something years his Mom changed hers back to her married name. He was heartbroken. He felt insulted that she didn’t want to keep the same name that he had. That her grandchildren had. She asked him if he was ok with it. Or maybe she asked me to talk to him. Either way, he said he didn’t care. But he really did.

There was a lot of animosity in that family in regards to last names. His Moms and Dads. Comments were always made about that being a __________ thing. Or that’s a ________ thing.
The ___________’s do that. My ex would get really upset. They finally had it out about it. He said “that is your grandchildren’s name now too Mom.” “You insult them and S when you make those comments.” “S is a _______ now too…”

She was sorry. She didn’t mean it like that. I didn’t get what the big deal was. Who cares?

He adopted my daughter. She was 5. We gave her his last name also. Now we all shared a name.

We were all going to be a family forever.

Until we weren’t anymore.

I was going to keep my married name. My kids’ last name.
I had every intention of keeping it the same. I remembered how he was hurt by his mom and I didn’t want to do that to my kids. I took his last name. It’s how everyone knew me. It was just easier.

Then I found out about his girlfriend. When they got married did I want to have the same last name as her? Is that a childish question?

My family has done so much for me and my kids. Should I just change it back as a way of showing my appreciation? My real family name. Does that matter?

If I remarry it will change anyway right? So it wouldn’t be the same as the kids’.

Decisions. Decisions.

I had some soul searching to do. I didn’t want to just act on a whim and make a decision based on my emotions at the time. Which just so happened to be hate, anger, bitterness and just about any other negative emotion you can have.

I wanted to make the best decision for me and my kids.

I didn’t want to keep it the same just because it was convenient.

Here is how my decision making process went:
First, talk to the kids.
Do they care?
Honestly.
Does it matter that we would have different last names?
They didn’t care at all. Actually they wanted to change theirs too. Can we just make up a totally new name? We all laughed about it.
We are a family regardless.
So the kids are ok.
Perfect.

Next, think about what a last name means. In general but more importantly to me.
No one with his last name really talks to me anymore. Unless it’s related to the kids and actually not even really then.
So to say “I am a ______________” and have it mean something just wasn’t there.

But my maiden name? All of the people with that last name have loved and supported me. No matter what mistakes I make. Even if we fall apart, we always find our way again. Like a family does. A family. Imagine that…
So my kids have their dad’s name, but me? I don’t fit in with that “family.”
My family is my maiden name.
No doubt.

So yes, I did think of all the other things.
Like sharing a last name with his new wife. No thank you.
Sharing a last name with a family that doesn’t really even acknowledge us anymore. I’m good.
Sharing a last name with my kids, that was the only factor that kept stumping me. But like I said, in the end I kind of have a feeling my name will change anyway. And if it doesn’t, my daughters will one day.
We will always be a family. Always bonded together.
The last name is just a small detail.

So I took my maiden name back.

When I hear it I don’t answer. Who me?

I was my married name for so long. The whole thing is still so awkward. But I know it’s the right choice. The DMV is a pain and so is Social Security and all the things that come with going back. But it’s worth it. The people that gave me my maiden name are the ones that have not left my side. Not for long anyway.

So now I get my ex mother in laws way of thinking. She was always a _______. Her whole life. She was proud of it.
They stood by her and loved her and that was what matters.
Especially in hard times like your husband leaving you.

A family is a family is a family. Regardless of name or even blood. But the married name to me was a constant reminder of what once was. It was always a big deal to him. I didn’t want to be a part of that anymore. I wanted to move on. Completely. Totally. The name was part of that process to me.

I just hung up with a friend from high school. I gave him my AdvoCare website which happens to have my maiden name in it. He said “Got rid of the _____ huh?” and laughed. My immediate response was “Yep that’s just not me anymore.”
After I said it I realized what I had said.
It came out, with no hesitation.
I realized it was true.
I’m not her anymore.
I’m not that girl anymore.

Thank God.

-S

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