I hate, hate, HATE conversations about last names. I have a LOT of feelings about name changing and anyone who asks me if I did (because it only inevitably leads to me having to justify keeping mine).
But wow, my hate for that particular question has serious rivalry.
“Will you go back to work?”
I don’t get a choice in that, and it’s really irritating to get asked this.
(See also: “Was it planned/expected?” Something about that also rubs me the wrong way.)
I get that it’s probably still rare for her to earn the bulk of the household income and to not take a full year off. But that’s changing. Thankfully, one of my fellow preggo coworkers is also a breadwinner and gets what it’s like when your household relies on your income. The other one in our Knocked Up cohort is in a much more traditional setup but I appreciate that she acknowledges she’s fortunate her partner can more than support them all financially.
It’s hard not to be defensive as my gut reaction, but I’m working on it. And I’m reframing this for my own sake as an issue of equality.
I want us to be equal coparents. And part of that involves sharing parental leave. It’s a great opportunity for us to split leave – and responsibilities – from early on.
Not that this is necessarily uncontroversial either.
“Why do you want things to be equal?” I was asked. (Yes, in 2018. By someone my age. Oh how I wish I was kidding right now.)
I have to justify that too?! Even if we earned exactly equal incomes I would still want us to split leave. The only scenario in which this would change is if I was earning a significant amount less. Equality is both a financial and political issue in this case.
On that note, at some point we’ll have to decide what to do about Spud’s last name. Neither of us care about passing our surnames down (and neither of us particularly like ours anyway. And no, that was not reason enough to change them then or now, though I love love love when couples make up a brand new name together). Definitely not interested in hyphenation or combining. And I suppose it’s insane to make up a random last name for zir. It might just come down to whichever last name sounds better with the first name we choose.
Incidentally, I was stunned a couple of years ago to find out that my BIL’s kid has her mother’s last name. And funnily enough, T actually seems fairly keen on us possibly doing the same. It’s a far cry from years ago when we initially clashed over my intention to keep my name…