Since I’ve had many people ask…the answer is yes, I have kept my maiden name.
Disclaimer: In this post I answer some frequently asked questions describing why I have chosen to keep my maiden name. This does NOT mean, under any circumstances, that I think this is the best decision for everyone or that I am using this to somehow judge all of those women who have changed their last names once they were married. I think that your last name is a very personal decision, one not to be taken lightly no matter which option you choose. While I have chosen to keep my maiden name, many of the women in my life chose to change theirs. 🙂
I have had many questions regarding my decision to keep my maiden name so I thought I’d post about it 🙂 A blog that I enjoy reading did a whole series on this name game, about spouses changing (or not changing) their names, if you’re interested in how others have also made this decision. A friend of a friend described her reasons for taking her husband’s last name here. These have been my frequently asked questions:
FAQ 1: You’re married but you’ve kept your own maiden name…why? (usually this one is followed up with a strange, and very confused, look)
Answer 1: I like my last name. This might sound silly but I’ve had it my entire life and it makes me feel strongly rooted to the family that I grew up in. I kind of like being Mrs. Casperson, just like my mom.
Answer 2: I don’t think that keeping my last name diminishes my connection with Brett in any way so, why bother?
Answer 3: I am a published reseacher and I’d rather not change the name under which I have published papers.
FAQ 2: Did your mom change her last name?
Answer: Yep. She changed her last name when she married my dad.
FAQ 3: What do your parents think about you not changing your name?
Answer: It doesn’t bother them at all. My mother’s sister never changed her name when she married and, while my mother did change her name, my decision didn’t bother either her or my dad.
FAQ 4: What does your mother-in-law think of you not taking her son’s last name?
Answer: My mother-in-law kept her own maiden name 🙂
FAQ 5: But your kids won’t have your last name! Won’t that be weird?
Answer: My mother-in-law has stories of when having a different last name from her children was a challenge. This was mainly due to how society viewed a woman not having the same last name as her children though. As more and more people decide not to change their name I think that these challenges will be lessened. I guess it may feel strange sometimes to have a different last name than my children, but that doesn’t make us less of a family. Brett and I even agreed that the dogs could always have my last name 🙂
FAQ 6: What about creating a family, united under a single name, trusting forever in your commitment to one another?
Answer: I appreciate this opinion that a family must be united under a single name, taking the name change as a mark of faith and commitment…it’s just not the way I want to mark my faith and commitment towards my own family. Brett and I came into this relationship as two individuals with flaws and strengths. We exist as a married couple each day, as individuals with flaws and strengths who work very hard to also have a happy and fulfilling union. For me, keeping my own last name was important.