Finding the right fit
Tina, a mother of four living in Seattle, had similar discussions with her husband before deciding to have kids. Ultimately, Tina and her husband settled on a system that seemed fair to them both: they alternated last names between their four kids. The first and third child took their father’s last name; the second and fourth took their Mom’s last name. The arrangement seems fair, they say, and doesn’t seem to divide but reflects their own personalized approach to family.
Another couple living in Maine went one step further. They avoided both the hyphen and different last names by passing on the mom’s maiden to name to both husband and children.
“This has been going on for centuries—and it has to stop somewhere,” Livi says of patriarchal naming conventions.
At the end of the day, names have become a DIY project. Figure out what works best for you and your family: hyphen or no hyphen; father’s name or maiden name; maybe both or alternating between children. Know that whatever you decide, you’re not alone in the discussion—or the coin toss!