My sister and her husband have always been torn on the last name of their children. They are both very attached to their names and families and want that reflected in their children. They had a boy in 2013 and a girl is due in December. For their son, my sister compromised by having her last name as a middle name and her husband's as a last name. They also agreed that baby #2 could have her last name and his last name would be a middle name.

However, baby #2 is on the way and now she's rethinking the deal. She's worried that because her kids will have different names, they might resent each other. What are your thoughts? Should she pass on her name to baby girl or should she stick with her last name as a middle name?

Points of reference:
- my sister kept her last name (as did my other sister, as will I)
- our last name might be dying out - our generation is mainly girls
- his generation has so many boys that they have a list of names they can't use
- they are only having 2 children (any extras would be happy accidents)

Thank you so much for your help! I hope to hear your thoughts!
- T


Oh man. So this week has been filled with feminism talk, which is awesome except when it results in threats that themselves turn out to be scams. But honestly, it’s been great to have this be a part of the conversation every day. The biggest thing I remember hearing from Caitlin Moran the other night though was “there’s no such thing as doing it wrong”.  

You cannot do feminism wrong. Whatever you choose is OK.

Presumably the reasons for the last names will be explained to the kids so they’ll understand why it’s the way it is. No matter what she and her husband choose to do,  they’re going to talk to the kids about it and be clear about why, so chances are they’ll see the reasoning. 

But if you want a few alternatives:

They could each carry both, so that if he’s Jack Warby-Parker and she’s Jill Parker-Warby it feels like there’s more of a connection there.   
She can let them have the same last name, so that she feels they’re connected to each other, and know that it doesn’t make her any less of a feminist or any less interested in preserving her name.

I’m not a huge fan of hyphenation or double lasts but I think that’s what I’d probably do in this case. Use Warby Parker in both their last names, in whatever combination.  Lots of people are three name people and live to tell the tale, and it sounds good.  Bryce Dallas Howard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are happy and successful and you don’t feel like it’s soooo way too much when you’re saying their names, right? 

We are still a bit sensitive about this stuff but the more I think about it, the more I think it might be our generation. I don’t have a six year old consigliere right now to ask about it, but I suspect if they know they’re loved and supported and that you’re a happy four-person unit, the distribution of their granparents’ grandparents’ names might wind up being somewhat irrelevant.

Let me know!