Until recently, changing my name was never something I thought a lot about. I grew up in a fairly progressive household, had fairly open minded friends, and once I was in dental school so many women around me weren’t doing it either. Since I didn’t get married till after graduation, I had already been licensed as a dentist under my maiden name and every certificate, diploma and license I had been issued up to that point had my name on it. It not only seemed silly to turn around and change it all, I also held a very special place in my heart for my last name. I mean I added Holland to my name on Facebook, that counts for something right?!
Not only did I like my last name, I felt very strongly about keeping my culture close. I didn’t want that to get lost and my husband could have cared less either way. He actually suggested I keep my name so we didn’t have to change all my professional paperwork.
Since our son is set to arrive in just a short while, I began thinking about it again. I asked around and my friends are really split on the notion. Some have taken their husbands names and never thought much of it and many of them haven’t and feel very strongly about keeping their maiden names.
The reason his impending birth has me thinking about this again is because I remember visiting the hospital when my nieces and nephew were born and their little name tags having my sister in laws name on them instead of my brothers. Babies are identified by their mothers name when they’re born and she had never changed hers either.
No one calls me Mrs.Holland or Shaheen Holland and at work my staff has only ever known me as Dr.Khan, so a part of me can’t imagine going by any other name. At the same time, my son’s last name will now be Holland and I don’t know if it will be confusing. I’ve had friends tell me when they were little and their friends mom’s had different last names they just assumed they were divorced.
I also deeply wish changing your name wasn’t such a process. I did a few Google searches on the topic and the amount of government agencies I would have to visit in person was discouraging enough!
I’m curious as to your experience on both ends since I’m really struggling with the decision. Did you change your name after marriage? Did you before you had a baby? Have you had any issues?