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Kid-ing with Kayla: Our last names don’t match but our hearts do!

Kid-ing with Kayla: A name doesn’t define a family

Kid-ing with Kayla: My last name will never be the same as my son’s. That sentence still stings to say but a viral video on this topic has helped me heal.

At one o’clock in the morning, I was last-minute writing Christmas cards to my son’s teachers when I started to cry. After nearly five years, I’m still embarrassed to sign my name because it’s different from my son’s. “This is so weird,” I said to myself. “Why can’t I get over this grief of something that seems so minor?” So, I took to Instagram story to see if anyone had coping suggestions. I don’t normally post my personal emotions unless I think it will make someone laugh. However, I’m so glad I did. So many people responded and even told me it made them feel better to see I am also struggling with the reality that my name doesn’t match my son’s. What’s worse? My fear that my son will struggle with it too.

I am now engaged to be married and my future husband has a son with his last name. That means my son will be the only one with a different name in the household if I decide to take his name. I considered keeping my maiden name so it wouldn’t match any of the children in the home but once I read the thousands of comments on my post, I decided I am going to focus on the feeling of family instead of the name.

So many people explained how as long as you treat someone as if they are equally loved and part of the family, the names don’t matter. My favorite comment was, “it’s not the name that binds a family, it’s the love.” Therefore, I plan to not focus on the last name. We will not have any signs with last names or rugs and we will sign our Christmas cards with our first names.

Parents ended up seeing my video and writing an article on this topic. This included interviews with experts on how to cope and address this topic with young children.

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