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Mommy Dearest: I Don't Want My Son to Be "The IV"

Mommy Dearest: I Don't Want My Son to Be "The IV"

Mommy Dearest,

I'm seven months pregnant with a baby boy and so looking forward to meeting the little guy. But, I am also dreading the birth because my husband's family just assumes that my child will be the fourth in a long line of family members named John Patrick. I want to pick a unique name for my son. My husband goes by Trip and his father goes by Jack and his grandfather is John, but everyone still knows they all have the same name. How do I break the news to my extended family without breaking their hearts?

— A Name of His Own

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


A Name of His Own,

I think the best way to break the news is to be honest. You and your husband should simply tell his parents and grandparents that although you appreciate their family's tradition, you plan on naming your child something unique. They made an assumption and this is your child — you owe no apologies. It's better to risk the possibility of upsetting a few relatives than not liking your youngster's name.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.


Join The Conversation
bisou002 bisou002 6 years
alrightythen, I just saw this response - thanks so much! You brought a smile to my face. It's not that his name is ridiculously terrible, I just always wanted to have equal say in choosing my child's name. Isn't that one of the most fun aspects of having a baby? I agree that it's a narcissistic tradition; I personally can't stand it.
bisou002 bisou002 7 years
What happens if your husband is a III, is intent on having a son that is a IV, but the name stinks and you don't like it? That's my situation. The first and middle names are not my cup of tea at all. I suggested giving two middle names, and then he could be called by the second middle name; I suggested a nickname for "the fourth," (such as "Court," for "quart"), and I suggested that if we have two boys, the second one get the family name. So far, he is unwilling to compromise. Ideas?
xxstardust xxstardust 8 years
Definitely, the dad needs input - how does he feel about it? It's got to be a mutual decision. My boyfriend and I are a few years from marriage, let alone kids, but I already know that the first son will be Steven - his name is Steven, and so is his father's. (Their middle names are different, though, so there's no junior/II/IV issue ever coming into play.) Funnily enough, though, MY father's name is also Steven (as is my uncle's, my great-grandfather's ... yeah, I'll be related to a ton of Stevens in the future!), so it's an easy way to honor everyone in one fell swoop! =]
shelleymonster shelleymonster 8 years
It's up to you *and* your husband, and both of you should have equal input. My dad was a third, and my brother has the same first name as my dad (and grandad, etc), but my parents gave him a different middle name. Since he was about 7 or 8, my brother has been calling himself "the fourth". He didn't go as far as to change anything legally, but I think he would have really liked to be a part of the family tradition. And, all four men (brother, dad, grandad, great grandad) went by the same name, no nicknames, and it's been just fine.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
You could always name him John Patrick and call him whatever you want, but it's you and your husband's decision.
beansandsyke beansandsyke 8 years
my dude is a 3rd and hes never shown an intrest in keeping it going he said i can pick the names hes a charles and hates it we all call him something else
skigurl skigurl 8 years
if your husband is on your side, get him to tell them or don't tell them at all just name your baby whatever you choose and let them know and when they ask (if they do) why he's not the IV just say you wanted something unique and make his middle name John if you feel like that would help
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
If your husband isn't okay with it, then there needs to be some form of compromise. If he wants to carry on the tradition and you don't, you can have the first name as whatever you want, and John to honor your husband and his family, or maybe go with the 3 name crowd Whatever John Patrick Blah. You both have to agree no matter what the circumstance, because if either of you feel "cheated" or disrespected, you bet this will be a cause of more fights in the future.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I also agree with Greggie. How does the husband feel about it? Is he even aware of his wifes feelings? The naming should be a mutual decision.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I also agree with Greggie. My husband is a Jr. and if we have a son he wants to continue that tradition and i have no problem with that.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I'm with the Greggie crowd.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I have a very unique name for a girl, it's Timmi. Though I like it now I hated it growing up. With our daughter our husband and I agreed to lean towards the more traditional names, and we are doing the same with our next born as well. The father's input is very important. If we do have a boy we will probably have is middle name be my father's name or his father's name. My husband's father died when he was 5 so I feel that would be important to him, also my father's name has been carried down as well though my dad is only the 2nd, the first in line was a wonderful man that even though I met I was too young to remember him.
nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 8 years
I have to agree with Greggie as well. DH is the III'rd, but he has never liked it. I didn't want our son to be the IVth, but it wasn't an issue because DH had decided he wasn't going to carry on the tradition, and it was decided early on. While we maintained the middle name, our son has a unique (to the family) first name. We were just upfront with our family as to our choice of name (we didn't disclose the name before our son was born). While there may have been some disappointment that there wasn't another "Charles" (what nick name would we have used, Chuck, Chip and Chet are a friend suggested - Chut? ;) ) I think the sting was taken away when they realized we used the same middle name. But, really, the husband should be on board. Call me sexist, but I let DH ultimately decide our son's name since it was his son. We mutually came up with a list of names that we mutually liked and at the end of the day, I left the final choice (from the list) up to him. If he had chosen Charles, while it wasn't my favorite, I would have been fine with it as well. Thank goodness he didn't; our son doesn't look at all like a Charles. :D
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I wondered about how the husband felt as well. Hate to do the me too thing but I agree with Greggie.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
Yeah that to the above. I'm 36weeks with a boy who (may) be the 5th in a line of Jameses. I personally don't see the issue- I respect the tradition if only for what it means to my husband.
lizrocks lizrocks 8 years
What Greggie said. Completely.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
Nowhere in here does it say how the husband feels. I hope the family tradition isn't of great importance to him and it's being dismissed. If it's a mutual decision, he should be the one to discuss it with and explain it to his family.
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