Bestow­ing mom’s sur­name on baby causes prob­lems

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - LIFE - Email: askamy@tri­bune.com Twit­ter: @ask­ingamy AMY Dick­in­son

Dear Amy: My brother and his wife are ex­pect­ing a third child.

My sis­ter-in-law is push­ing to have the baby use her last name be­cause her side of the fam­ily doesn’t have any males to carry on the name.

This has caused a huge rift in our fam­ily. My older par­ents are heart­bro­ken.

i would like to know, is it an ac­cepted so­cial prac­tice to have dif­fer­ent last names within the same fam­ily? Would not hav­ing the same last name as sib­lings cause any neg­a­tive emo­tional im­pact to this third child?

What would be a com­pro­mise in this sit­u­a­tion? i am think­ing of sug­gest­ing a hy­phen­ated name (her last name, his last name). What do you think? Thank you for your wise ad­vice. — Con­cerned sis­ter

Dear Sis­ter: My first piece of ad­vice is for all of you to re­mem­ber that this baby has two par­ents who are mak­ing de­ci­sions re­gard­ing their chil­dren. This is their is­sue (not yours), and the best thing you could do is to urge your brother and his wife to deal with your par­ents.

you could in­flu­ence your par­ents by en­cour­ag­ing them to ac­cept this fam­ily’s choice with equa­nim­ity.

Many fam­i­lies sport var­i­ous last names within the fam­ily unit. (in my fam­ily of five daugh­ters, there are four dif­fer­ent sur­names.) rarely, fam­i­lies choose to di­vide the spouses’ sur­names be­tween chil­dren; and this can cause pa­per­work has­sles and some is­sues when trav­el­ing as a fam­ily, but you should as­sume that your brother and his wife are an­tic­i­pat­ing this.

hyphen­at­ing one child’s name when the other chil­dren don’t have a hy­phen­ated last name seems more cum­ber­some than giv­ing the child the mother’s sur­name — nor would it cut down on the ques­tions or ex­pla­na­tions as the child moves through life.

Chil­dren can ad­just to this quite eas­ily: “Two of us have our dad’s last name and our baby sis­ter has mom’s last name,” is all the ex­pla­na­tion they need to give.

Dear Amy: My hus­band and i are hav­ing mar­i­tal prob­lems. he’s abu­sive, con­trol­ling and has cheated on me at least five times. he takes any money i get, and doesn’t cook or help with our daugh­ter. he is an al­co­holic.

i want things to work out, but he doesn’t make any ef­fort. i love him so much. i don’t want to lose him. he is the love of my life. i’ve been with him since i was 17 and i’m go­ing to be 21 at the end of the month.

i don’t know whether to try and save my mar­riage, be­cause he hasn’t changed. he keeps say­ing he will, but doesn’t. i’m a stay-ath­ome mom. i don’t know what i’d do with­out him. he doesn’t want to go to mar­riage coun­sel­ing be­cause he says it doesn’t work.

i’d be dev­as­tated if we fell apart. he isn’t only my hus­band but my best friend and my other half, all wrapped up in one. i don’t think he un­der­stands that. What do i do? — sad Wife

Dear Sad: it is a shame that you love your hus­band more than you seem to love your­self, or value your daugh­ter’s fu­ture. Be­cause rais­ing a child in a household with abuse, drink­ing and cheat­ing will teach her that this is ok. if she thinks that this is ok, then she might choose this for her­self, some day. i hope you want a bet­ter life for her.

you de­scribe your hus­band as your best friend. But is this how friends treat one an­other? no.

you are young. you are still ma­tur­ing into your own adult­hood. The jour­ney to­ward your own health­ier fu­ture will start with you learn­ing how to love and value your own life. i hope you have peo­ple in your cor­ner who will help you to see your strengths.

you should as­sume that your hus­band will not change. you are ca­pa­ble of change, how­ever, and you need to. Change starts with one step, and coun­sel­ing (for your­self ) could help you to take that first step.

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