Hearing “helpful advice” and commentary on parenting decisions is a daily, universal experience for most people with offspring, and it’s something we usually tolerate with a polite smile on our faces.
But occasionally a real response to the advice is required and we are driven to TOTALLY LOSE OUR SH*T.
This is the situation that Scary Mommy writer Elizabeth Broadbent found herself in recently regarding incessant commentary on the “unusual” names of her sons. Her frustration is clear in her recent piece on the Scary Mommy site called Yes, My Kids Have Weird Names, and IDGAF What You Think About That.
The mum-of-three, whose sons are called Blaise, Augustine and Simon, explains her choice of “unusual” names, even though, as she says, she shouldn’t have to.
“Yes, people mispronounce my kid’s names. My middle son is the worst: people say Au-gust-een instead of the proper Au-gust-in, which grates on my soul.”
She adds, “It’s so bad that I’ve taken to spelling it without the terminal e anywhere I can get away with it: name tags, doctor’s offices. This makes life easier for everyone. He has an easy nickname though — August — and no one fucks that up, thank God though they sometimes ask where September and October are. Not funny, done before, STFU thanks.”
Broadbent has also lost patience with people who don’t understand the name “Blaise”.
“If people are familiar with the saint or the mathematician, they nod their heads. If they aren’t, they think we made that shit up. I totally don’t give a fuck, because it only shows that they need to pick up a damn book once in a while.”
Broadbent notes that “Simon” is never confused by people, but the child’s nickname, “Sunny”, does attract comment.
The definition of “unusual” is clearly subjective.
When blogger Constance Hall recently named her son “Raja”, she was applauded for the ‘unusual’ name – when in fact it’s a very common name in countries such as India – and in Australia, amongst people of Indian heritage.
And it seems that Hall has also been receiving comments on how to pronounce the name, and why she chose it, as is obvious by the t-shirt worn by Raja’s dad (Denim Cooke) in this Instagram:
For Broadbent, people’s observations are not only unnecessary, they’re hurtful, because she loves her children – and her children’s names.
“Their names are awesome. Their names are beautiful. They’re unique, they’re cool, they’re all very special to us as a family.”
Broadbent concludes her article with a strongly-worded promise to anyone tempted to comment again:
“So you think my kids’ names are weird? I don’t give a fuck. I love them exactly the way they are. Your opinion is neither solicited nor taken under advisement, thanks. If I have another baby, they’ll have an equally weird ass name. I won’t let any of your hand-wringing stop me.”