Monday, August 19, 2013

Change of name: the why

It took 5 years and 2 months.  A lot of thinking and getting used to.  But, I finally changed my last name to match Ian and L's.

Why wait so long?  Why now?

I have been debating changing my name since before we got married.  I was on the fence and then when we got married and I did not change it immediately, I met so much pressure from others to change my name.  I wrote about that pressure in this post.  I tend to put on the brakes when I feel pressured to do something that I do not feel ready for.  Ian was slightly bummed but thank God he is the awesome guy that he is because he quickly adjusted and got over it.  Even when we went for our first anniversary dinner and the reservation was booked under my last name, and on the menu it said "Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. [my last name]."  Even when he was referred to as Mr. [my last name] countless times at the hospital.  He just laughed at those times and let it go.

Then, I immediately started law school and I felt more comfortable keeping a separate last name.  It made me feel like I was keeping my independence and identity.  I was one of the very few married while in law school and I just was not ready.

Then we had Luca.  Things changed.  She bonded Ian and I together in a whole new way.  I feel like we are more of a family unit now.  My primary role is Mama to my little girl.  I of course am still my individual person with goals and dreams and strengths and weaknesses.  But I am so intwined to Ian through Luca that it started to feel more comfortable to have identity with a new last name.

Luca's transplant hospital refers to me as Luca's last name the majority of the time.  Most people do not know I kept my name so they refer to or introduce me with two last names.

I cannot say what ultimately made me decide to change my name.  Time was the best thing for me to make my decision.  Time to adjust to married life.  Time to adjust to being a family unit.  Time to adjust and form a positive association with having a new last name.

Now that it is official, it feels new.  It feels nice now that I don't have to constantly clarify that we have separate last names.  I am sure it will take some getting used to.  Getting used to signing a new name.

But I am still me.  I was and am Ian's wife, Luca's mom.  Katie, new name or not.

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