So a year ago, after 10 years going by my married name I changed it. At the time I had strong reasons for doings so. My decision was to drop my married name, take back my maiden name, and add my mother's maiden name to it. All of a sudden I had a new hyphenated last name that was different than my husband and children. My reasons were good at the time. Since I was little I always felt bitter that because my mother decided to take my father's name I wasn't given the opportunity to have her maiden name. I thought it was wrong. I never thought when I got married that I would change my name, but when the day came I did and I lived with it for 10 years. At for our 10 year wedding anniversary I told my husband I was changing my name. He wasn't surprised at all because he has heard me talking about this for years. He was supportive so I made the change.
Rewind one year and I started to have doubts about my decision which surprised me. For one I had no idea how much it would bother me to not have the same last name as my children. I also didn't realize how difficult having a hyphenated name would be. I know there are plenty of people who have hyphenated names and different last names than their kids, but this is a personal thing so I'll go on. As much as I always wanted my mother's maiden name I had to admit that it felt a bit strange now owning it. It was never really mine (which I always hated), but the fact was it felt almost more strange as when I first got married and took on my husbands name originally. So $130 later and another trip to probate court I changed my name again. This time I added my maiden name as my second middle name and took back my married name. So now even though I have two middle names I'll be going by First name, 2nd Middle name (maiden name) and then Married name as my last name. Think Hillary Rodham Clinton and hopefully it won't be so confusing.
I feel a bit sad letting go of my mother's name and I wish she had given it to me originally as my middle name but she didn't. I could have kept it, but this just felt right. Now I can go by both maiden and married names or just make it simple and use my married last name. My sister put it best when she said "Mom's maiden name is your heritage and always will be, your maiden name is what you grew up with and was known as until you got married, your married now is your present and future." For me this seems like the best compromise. I had no idea I would be struggling with keeping my identity 11 years into my marriage. We all grow, we all peel back new layers of ourselves and we all must find out own way to shine.
Goodness it's tough being an indecisive girl.