The Truth about Motherhood #1: Naming YOUR baby.

Hello everyone! I'm Ronda P, a partner at Best Buds and a new mom. Up until now I've mostly been in the background, but now that I have started my own adventure of motherhood you all will be hearing a lot more from me. I will be doing a blog series on my big adventure called "The Truth About Motherhood". I am hoping to share my experiences with other women and maybe offer encouragement for all mothers out there. Stay tuned!

Unlike many of my childhood friends, I never had a list of baby names prepared. All I knew is that I wanted kids and that was far away, until it wasn’t. When Dad and I found out we were expecting, a name was the last thing on our minds, I mean we didn’t even have a gender yet, so there was no rush for us. When the 20 week mark finally rolled around and we found out our beautiful baby was a she, there still was no rush. However, it did give us a push to begin searching for the perfect name. I think we always knew we wanted her middle name to be Ray, after her dad but the first name gave us much trouble. I wanted a name that made people stop in their tracks, but I also wanted something that had some history behind it.

The first name I thought of was Asuna Ray, which I’m a little embarrassed to say is from a Japanese anime that I really enjoyed. I thought it was perfect, Dad not so much. It just didn’t really make sense to him for us to name her something Japanese, he had a point. The second, Thali Ray. This name was suggested by my mother who is from Cambodia. According to her, it was a traditional Khmer name, but according to Google, it wasn’t a thing. I still REALLY liked that name though. I have to say otherwise for Dad.

8 months into pregnancy and we still had no name. This is the point in pregnancy when people are constantly asking if you have a name, making suggestions, and voicing their opinions. Being that I worked in a busy restaurant, at the bar, with regulars, the name of my princess was a recurring topic. I understand that not everyone is going to agree or have the same opinions as me about names, but what some people don’t understand is that IT’S NOT THEIR DECISION. Unfortunately I had to deal with a customer who felt that I HAD to take his advice. “Thali, people aren’t going to know how to say that”. “Why not name her something like Jan, or Mary, or Sarah, a bible name! This is America; no one is going to know where the accent in the name goes. Is it Thali, or Tha-LEE?” Be basic is what he was saying, but there isn’t anything basic about me. *Finger Snaps* I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My coworkers could see the anger building up in my face. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse he wrote it on a piece of paper and began stopping the people around him. He asked each person, “Can you tell me what this says?” I am not exaggerating when I say that EVERYONE but one person got it wrong. The name is not hard to pronounce, but obviously it was for the other 6 people he asked. Nonetheless he made the point he wanted to make. I already knew her name wouldn’t be Thali (seeing as Dad did not approve), but my point was that I didn’t care if other people couldn’t pronounce it the first time they read it, my point was that I’m not naming my child something for everyone else’s sale. Believe me, I know all too well the mispronunciation of your name struggle, but it’s a small struggle.

As upsetting as it was, this customer did not change my mind. He only made himself look really bad, so I let it roll off my shoulder. Still we had no name, until one night when I jokingly said, “Sunflower, and her nickname can be Sunny Ray”. Mommy’s favorite flower. This was a name that was everything we wanted it to be, but even then we weren’t completely sold on it. It was a weird name. Lol. What if we stopped liking it a few days after she’s born? What if she doesn’t like it? Is it too hippy? Her name was not set in stone until about two weeks before arrival. A huge part of it was that we couldn’t find anything better, or anything else that gave us that same tingle, but we were happy with it. Sunflower. Sunny Ray. Baby girl is now 3 months old, and I can say we are still in love with her name. Whenever we go out and people ask her name, I’m always tickled with their response. It’s either, “That’s so cuteeeee, I love it”, or, “Oh wow, that’s so…unique”. Lol. Now that is an appropriate response! Yes choosing the right name is important, but there are a few things to remember;

1. Don’t let anyone convince you that the name you choose is wrong, or un-American, *eye roll*.

2. Yes it’s nice to have other people’s opinions, but the only opinion that truly matters is YOURS…and Dad’s.

3. Take your time! It’s great if you already have a list prepared, but there are no penalties for not choosing a name before baby arrives. Even AFTER baby arrives. Don’t choose something you’re not completely happy with just because you feel you’ve run out of time.

4. When people do get you down with their negativity, remind yourself and them that it’s YOUR baby, YOUR choice, and keep it moving.

5. If Mom and Dad are happy with it, that’s all that matters.

… and if baby really doesn’t like their name, they can always change when they get older. Lol.