If you ever been through the process of getting married within the past 50 years, I am sure you have been asked “Are you changing your last name?” There are plenty of other blog posts that will inform you on whether or not you should change your last name. I do not intend to make a recreation of one of those post. However, I am going to inform you of the one argument for change your last name that convinced me to do so, and why I am no longer convinced.
Throughout the wedding planning processes I toyed around with the idea of changing my last name. I finally committed to doing so roughly six months into our engagement after hearing from several individuals this argument:
“People will call you Mrs. Jackson regardless of what you do. It is best to change your name when you have children because it signifies a family unit. People will be confused if you do not have the same last name as your children. The western culture is simply built that way.”
At this I was convinced. I had to change my name in order to show I was in a family unit to prove my hypothetical children were mine! Is this really the case though? Think about the families you know today. Many women with children are divorced. Many women have children but are single mothers with different last names to their children. Since 2015 there has been a rise of women (20%) who have chosen not to change their name. The world is constantly evolving and the rules of yesterday may not always apply tomorrow. Is it still typical to have the same last name as your children? I don’t know, but it is certainly more atypical to have the same last name than it was in the 1950s.
Personally I do not see a reason to have changed my last name. Yes buying “Mrs.” things for the wedding was fun, but eventually wasteful. Was my #dropthebahm awesome for the wedding? Duh. But ultimately not the most important part of the big day. Is it nice to have the same last name as my husband? Meh. I miss my old last name and sometimes I do in fact feel like a possession when I am called “Mrs. Jackson” . And to be frank, changing my last name was the biggest pain in my butt! It took me literally 6 visits to the BMV and 5 months to get a new license.
Overall, changing your last name is your choice, not anyone else’s. Do what feels right for you and don’t change your name for hypothetical children or a hashtag.
Peace, love, and my prayers for you,
The Soaring Magpie
P.S. I am not changing it back. THAT would be an even bigger pain in the butt.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet”William Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet Act 2: Scene 2