A Mother’s Courage: Why She Opted for a Name Change at Six Months

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Credit: Jennifer Hamilton / SWINS

A mother made the decision to change her son’s name when he was six months old because she felt uncomfortable explaining her initial choice to others. Jen Hamilton, a 32-year-old resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, revealed that she encountered mixed reactions when she introduced her second son, born in 2016, as Aspen.

Jen confided in her sister, Julia Koontz, 27, who suggested that she should consider changing the name if it didn’t sit well with her. Before making any decisions, Jen ensured that her husband, Brian, 35, an operating room nurse, was on board with the idea. The couple then began exploring new names for their six-month-old.

Ultimately, they settled on the name Luke, as it signifies “light,” a fitting choice because they describe their son as always cheerful and smiling. However, they had to wait a year for Luke’s name to be officially changed.

Jen, who works as a labor and delivery nurse, explained, “I started to feel really uncomfortable saying Aspen out loud as it just didn’t seem to fit him. With our first child, we’d been very set on a name, but with our second, we were struggling to find the right one and just settled on Aspen after seeing it on a Pinterest list of outdoor names. I thought it would fit when he was born, but after a couple of months, I was struggling with it. People suggested that he might be bullied if it was shortened to ‘Ass’ when he is older, and I started to pretend I didn’t hear people asking his name.”

Jen and Brian had faced difficulty in choosing the right name for their son before his birth, but they ultimately settled on Aspen because it was the name they liked the most. Jen elaborated, “We weren’t in love with the name but thought it would become his name. But after a few months, it wasn’t feeling right, and people’s reaction to his name would always be, ‘Ah, that’s interesting.’ They’d never say, ‘That’s a lovely name’ or something like that. I started to feel really awkward telling people what his name was.”

After six months, Jen discussed her predicament with her sister, who casually suggested changing the name. This suggestion gave Jen the confidence to proceed. She said, “He was still young, and it’s not like he was attached to the name. I spoke to Brian, and he was happy to change it. So we entered a period of trying out new names – like trying on clothes.”

The couple had a list of common names that they experimented with and researched the meanings of each. Jen shared, “We both really liked the name Luke and found out it meant ‘light.’ Our son was always so happy and smiley, so that felt like it really fit him.”

Jen then initiated the process of legally changing her son’s name, which took a year to complete due to paperwork complications. She commented, “I feel like it should be illegal to choose a name when you’re pregnant. We’re very glad we changed the name as it’s exactly what he’s supposed to be. I want to let people know changing a name is an option if you don’t like it after they’re born. Luke knows he was called Aspen for six months. It’s a fun part of his story.”