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The struggles of choosing the perfect name for your child

Parenting By Beryl Itindi

child naming

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There is nothing as frustrating for an expectant mother as differing with the father of her unborn baby over the name of the child. In most cases, especially if it’s the first baby in the family, each parent always wants to be the one to name the child. The excitement of the baby's arrival sends both the parents on a nine month mission to settle for the perfect name.

The days when we would name our children according to either seasons or people are slowly fading. Parents are now going a step further to come up with unique baby names that will leave their old folks back at home biting their tongues as they struggle to pronounce them. After referring to a long distant niece for years as 'Wilima', only last week I got to know that she is 'Velma' and not 'Wilima'. All because her grandmother who introduced me to her pronounced the name as Wilima.

It got me thinking, just what if that grandmother had to pronounce some of the names that pop up these days? The likes of Laquisha, Traquel and Fabreezia? If you think I am kidding, just visit any paediatrician’s waiting room and listen to the names being called in. You will be forgiven for thinking they are being referred to by their scientific names. You remember the likes of Wuchereria bancrofti? Yes, those ones!

Worse still, I have come across parents who each have a different name for the same child and each of them refers to the child with their name of choice. I have seen a child leaving the hospital after delivery nameless because both parents have refused to come to a consensus about a name. Usually, none of them is willing to step down for the other.

This sounds funny until it hits home. The struggle to name a child is real, especially to the mothers with parents in law who like meddling in family affairs. The moment they realize your belly has started heading north, they start referring to you as "Mama nani" in this case fixing a name already. They do not even give you a chance to choose a name! Woe unto you if your husband has a different name as well. You end up carrying your pregnancy with mixed emotions erupting at any slightest chance especially when the name given to your unborn baby does not appease you.

child naming

Some expectant mothers have spent a whole nine months on internet trying to come up with a name then from nowhere someone else comes, names your child and walks away with their head held high up as though they have just saved the world.

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It’s even worse when it comes to intermarriages and both parents want their lineage felt in the name. Going neutral is such cases always helps, but again, who settles on the neutral name?

Whatever happens, however it happens, for the betterment of both the baby and the parents, it is vital to come to a consensus on a name, settle on it and wholly embrace it. There is a lot more in a name than one could imagine.

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