Who named your baby?

by Whitney Moss on November 4, 2010

in Momoirs of a Rookie Mom

I always feel funny when people ask where we got the name Julian and I have to confess that my husband Ryan proposed it, and I couldn’t think of anything else I liked better. I was not even that enthusiastic about the name, but when my sister independently emailed me a list of names she liked and Julian was on there, I was swayed.

Baby Julian and the man who named him.

I had a list of baby names selected by me and my best friends on my bulletin board in high school. In college, my roommates and I also obsessed over the topic and posted our lists on the wall. I was surprised by my lack of conviction on the topic when it came time to name a real baby of my own.

At the first meeting of my support group for new mothers, aka Moms Group, we were asked to go around and introduce ourselves and share the origin of our baby’s name.  It was a Presidential election year and the mother of baby Theo explained that they looked to presidential names as a way to give their child’s name significance. Another mother chose “Paxton” to honor the notion of “peace” in hopes that the new administration would get us out of Iraq. The Jewish mothers in the room (except for me, the non-observant Jew) were guided by the first initials of the dead relative they sought to pay tribute.

And what did I say?

“Julian. We just liked the way it sounded. My husband picked it.”

Lame.

What I wanted to say, “Why am I the only one out of 12 new moms who had a C-section? Sob! Sob! Everyone else is better than me! Breastfeeding hurts! Sob! Sob! I’m SO TIRED! Why are you all so thin? Didn’t you just finish being pregnant, too?”

Whoops – that’s another story.

My mom’s sister Judy, who was a most excellent aunt, mentor and big sister to my mom, had died just a few years before. I could have claimed that Julian was selected to honor her. But that would have been a lie.

So we want to know – does your baby’s name have an origin of which you are proud? Or was it a superficial choice like mine? Or inspired by a random acquaintance, like Heather’s son Holden whose name is actually not a literary nod, but rather a “tribute” to some dude from her triathlon training group.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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