Finally… Mrs. Hall

imageOn August 20, 2015 I married the love of my life and my college sweetheart. Of course we were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Hall at the ceremony, but technically I wasn’t Mrs. Hall until I completed the necessary paperwork with the Social Security Office. And in all transparency this took me some months to get done, 9 months exactly (Don’t judge me).

As ecstatic as I was to join him on this new journey, I secretly dealt with an inner conflict. I knew how important it was to him for me to proudly take his last name. And trust me I get it. It’s a sense of pride for a man’s new wife to take on his last name as they begin the new journey as husband and wife. But I was struggling within myself to let my maiden name go.

I am the youngest of three girls, which means that with all of us becoming wives to amazing men, our family last name ends with us. I absolutely love my maiden name. Its unique and has always been so special to me. People loved my last name and I loved how it left my ethnic/cultural background ambiguous and unknown to many (I’m not a fan of people trying to figure me out by prejudging me). I think my last name meant more to me because I knew that it ended with my sisters and I because my parents never had a biological son to carry on the last name. I secretly wondered if not having boys to keep our last name alive meant anything to my dad, but he often said no as he was proud to have fathered three amazing ladies.

I recently realized, within the last year, how much it bothered me. I’ve had this conversation with one of my sisters a few times to pick her brain and see if she shared my sentiment. To no surprise, because we all often had three very opposing views, my sisters didn’t seem bothered by not keeping their maiden name. My oldest sister embraced her married name with pride, and my other sister always shared that she will hyphenate her last name to infuse her maiden and married name together. I must admit that I considered the latter option that my sister presented but I knew that wouldn’t work for my husband and I, especially once we decided to plan to have our children.

Besides the fact that I have no biological brothers to keep my maiden last name alive, I believe I worked so hard to build myself professionally under my maiden name. Was I ready to change it that easily, and did that mean I was leaving my accomplishments and a bit of my identity behind? I completed two degrees with my maiden name and I believe I did great work launching my professional career as Deborah Jasanya. Was I ready to give up that last name that was so familiar, secure and comforting to now carry his?

I know that keeping my maiden name, and my husband and I having 2 different last names was going to be problematic. I also knew that hyphenating my maiden name and his last name was simply not an option. It didn’t feel right for me. I played out a realistic scenario in my head. One day I will go to pick up our children from day care, and once I am signing them out or even completing important documentation, I will see the difference between my last name and the last name of my children jumping right out at me. It didn’t seem like the best decision for our family, not to mention how annoyed I would be to feel excluded from my husband and the children with my different last name

It’s important for me to note that there are so many different ways to go about this. And not each option is the right choice for everyone, but it is imperative, I think, for an individual to evaluate the choices in front of them and make the best decision for themselves.

I toiled back and forth with this and evaluated all possible options and outcomes. I guess it took so long for me to finally change my last name because I simply wasn’t sure of what was best for me. Glad I finally figured it out before we hit our 1 year anniversary.

I love the fact that this decision to change your last name, or to not change it at all, has no limits or constrictions. Imagine the added pressure that will bring to a new wife. This was enough pressure for me but I came to making the decision, finally, and I am proud of it. Part of improving ourselves is being comfortable with the decisions we make, and not ever regretting them. But if you regret the decisions you make, remain sure in the fact that it was your decision to regret and not the decision of anybody else.

Glad I finally did it. Glad to reveal this level of transparency. You can now (legally) call me Mrs. Hall.

6 thoughts on “Finally… Mrs. Hall

  1. This seems to be a big deal!!! I remember watching the Kardashians and commenting on Kim not taking the Humphreys last name. I felt like it presented a barrier of sorts in their relationship. I felt like maybe she wasn’t letting him in enough or taking into consideration his feelings on the issue.
    It’s comforting to know that this is not a lofty struggle. It’s a real issue that many woman have to deal with. And that I wouldn’t need to feel bad for battling with it should this situation ever arise . Thanks for sharing!

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  2. And here I am three years later with my maiden name. And oh- it’s still a struggle. Let me tell you some of struggles of keeping my last name:you constantly have to correct people that your last names are different, and second guessing yourself if you made the right decision. Now, I regret not taking his name. I tell people that I had my last name first but my father have two boys to pass on our last name but it’s so unique and I felt that my would be last name is so common.

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  3. This was such a great blog as always..you are definitely a great writer. A last name is very important, as I dont carry the last name Hall but instead its Coward. Sometimes ones last name carry too much pain and hurt so you just consider keeping a different last name which isnt much better lol….(you can imagine being made fun of my last name being coward, i still get made fun of from children and adults, however it does not bother me anymore lo)…although i dont like my last name i will always cherish it because its belongs to my mother. Shavonne Coward is my name, but as soon as i get married im gonna change it with the quickness 🙂

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  4. It is very comforting in asense to know I’m not on an island by myself. I (although not engaged or married) have been recently thinking about the name change game. The man I’m planning on marrying is being “polite” about it now, but I know when we get closer to that bridge being cordial dies with the idea of hyphenation.

    All the same, this was a great, instightful read! Thanks Mrs. Hall

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  5. I’m loving your self-assurance. It is popular to do the status quo because it is expected, but I’m coming to find that doing it because ANYONE BUT YOURSELF wants to do it ends up in inner discomfort and even self-loathing in some scenarios because you get stuck with something you just didn’t take time to work out for yourself. Your specific situation is so relevant in this century and surely something I will be thinking on for myself in the future. Thanks for sharing Debo. Glad to know a smart, confident woman.

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  6. I looooooove this post!! I can understand the struggle And I’m glad it was a decision they you didn’t rush into!

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