With my oldest son, we shared every name we liked. We quickly learned that asking for opinions on baby names opens up the floodgates. No matter what name you choose, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like it.
You know, because it rhymes with something weird or they knew someone who smelled funny in high school with that name.
After that, we stopped even hinting at what we were going to name each baby. My husband told everyone we were going to name each baby José and left it at that.
We let everyone know what name we’d chosen after the baby arrived, because it’s just rude to criticize a name once it’s already chosen. Although, as we’ve found out, sometimes even that doesn’t stop people from criticizing your name choice.
When we found out we were having a girl after 4 boys, the game changed a bit. Boy names we could do. Girl names opened up all kinds of possibilities that were never an option before.
Sometimes too many choices makes things more difficult.
We’d had a girl name picked out since I was pregnant with my oldest son, so through 4 pregnancies, the name Leah was always rolling around in the back of our minds. It was my husband’s grandmother’s name and since my name is Rachel the biblical connected was close enough that I didn’t feel like I need to use my name as a middle name. I scoured baby name books for months because it took me a while to realize that she’d always been Leah to me.
The only problem with the name Leah was the meaning. It means weary, which is a bit of a downer. All my kids have really strong meanings to their names and I hated to break the trend. When considering middle names though, I came across a combined meaning that I absolutely loved.
My grandmother’s name was Helen, and she was one of the gentlest, most patient women I ever had the privilege of knowing . If I wanted to give my daughter someone to strive to be like, it was definitely her.
I’ve always thought Helen was a beautifully classic name that isn’t over used. It means light, which when combined with Leah means weary but light. I loved the way that brought a positive meaning to “weary” because there are few things that I think are more admirable than working hard and having a light heart while doing it.
The meaning reminded me of one of my favorite poems, and one that I think every mother should memorize for days that are harder than others — The Silken Tent by Robert Frost – of course that may just be the geeky English major coming out in me.
Leah Helen was the perfect name for our little girl and I love that she is carrying on the name of two strong women from her family tree.
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It wasn’t easy, but that is how I decided on my baby’s name. How did you decide on your baby’s name? Or do you have a great story on how your parents decided on your name? Tell me for a chance to win a year’s supply of cards from Cardstore.com!
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