- ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’/Universal Studios
What you name your child can affect their lifetime success, from hireability to spending habits.
So it comes as little surprise, then, that there is a growing trend among parents called “namer’s remorse.”
According to a recent survey by parenting website Mumsnet, one in five mothers regret the name they chose for their child.
To help you avoid becoming another statistic, we’ve highlighted some of the most commons causes of regret among the moms surveyed:
‘It’s too commonly used’
While studies have shown that people with common names are more likable and more likely to be hired, a quarter of the moms surveyed said they regret not giving their kids more unique names. If you’re considering naming your child James or Mary, you may have to weigh your future happiness against theirs.
‘It just doesn’t feel right’
When writer Kelcey Kintner’s daughter was a month old, Kitner writes on her blog “The Mama Bird Diaries” that she looked down at her daughter and thought, “This baby is absolutely, definitely not a Presley.” Convinced that she and her husband had picked the wrong name, she eventually changed it to “Summer” – and she couldn’t be happier about her decision.
Kintner’s story of just knowing your kid has the wrong name isn’t that uncommon. Of the moms surveyed by Mumsnet, 21% say they regretted their name choice for this very reason.
‘I have never liked it – I was pressured into using it’
When it comes to important life decisions, everyone has an opinion. Sadly, outside pressure when it comes to baby naming is a real thing – just look to the scores of parenting forum posts with questions like, “How do I tell my mom we’re naming the baby after my mother-in-law?” as proof. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, 20% of moms who regret their child’s name say the were pressured into giving it.
Some of the less common reasons – but reasons nonetheless – for baby-name regret include:
“It’s not distinctive enough” (11%)
“It causes him/her problems with spelling/pronunciation” (11%)
“Everyone calls him/her by a shortened version of the name, which I don’t like” (6%)
“There’s been a shift in public perception of the name since my child was born” (3%)
“I worry that he/she won’t be taken seriously” (2%)