What’s in a name?


It’s my baby girl’s first birthday today. I keep flashing back to what was happening a year ago, how I felt, who was with me. One thing I keep remembering was how hard it was to name her! Some people say that they just “know” what their baby’s name is, once they’re born, but we really didn’t. 

Naming your kid is possibly the biggest decision you can make on their behalf. You’re choosing a huge part of their identity!!

And don’t even get me started on how hard it is, I think we talked about it from pregnancy weeks 20 to 42 and we went back and forth on so many things. We had the added dimension that we didn’t find out what “flavour” we were having… Pink or blue? We had no idea.

Weirdly, I could only think of girl names. I’d jot them down in the notes section of my iPhone and then review them, add and delete… Like I was creating some sort of weird shopping list!

We wanted at least one Maori name, and hopefully a first name that was easy to pronounce since I’ve struggled in that department my whole life. It’s shit when no one can say your name and you have to sound it out every time you meet someone. Buuuuut, in saying that, I definitely wouldn’t change my name no matter how annoyed I got and I really do like having a unique name. Mixed messages, aye?

We also liked the idea of family names which brought in a whole other dimension to the naming process. Do we make a nod to my mum’s family, my dad’s, his mum’s, his dad’s… Ugh. Eventually you get to the point where you’ve got the longest name ever and your kid spends their life silently cursing you every time they have to fill out an official form!

In the end we decided to name our beautiful daughter Mackenzie Kura Te Rangiuira Mackey. Our girl born in the evening while light streaked across the sky, with Lilly-White skin, dark Raven hair and eyes, and lashes for days.

I chose her first name (after my great grandmother) and my husband chose the middle names, one from each of his parents sides. We failed in the total letter count though… Poor Mackenzie ended up with a full name of 30 letters. She will hate us each time she has to write out her full name, but then again, her name is beautiful, and it’s meaning is like a little bit of poetry.

On another note, and while I have a chat about names, the name “project māmā” came to me in a moment of inspiration.. Motherhood was something I was a little scared to enter into and it’s a work in progress, every damn day. But it’s also like a project of sorts, figuring out what works for you and your family, what temperament your baby has and what your māmā style is. I’ve thrown myself all in and love it so far!

What were your naming rules?

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