What to do when your friend calls her baby your reserved baby name

From moving past angst over ‘stolen’ baby names to other vexing issues of a personal nature, reader questions are answered by clinical psychologist Jo Lamble.

Reader question:

Recently one of my good friends had her first baby. She and her husband kept the baby’s name a secret for quite a while – so imagine my shock when I learnt that the name they chose was the name I had actually wanted to name my first child.

It’s a name I’ve loved for a long time and I had told my friend about it ages ago. Even though I’m not pregnant or in a relationship, she knew it was a name close to my heart.

I am really angry about it, but I’m trying to be logical. I want to ask her about it but I also don’t want to make it into a big deal. What should I do?

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Jo’s answer:

It’s surprising how upsetting it can be to learn that a friend or family member has used a name you had ‘reserved’. Many of us fantasise about the names we will give our children one day.

I know I always planned to have twins called Tom and Lottie – that never happened. Later, when I was pregnant, I planned to call our baby Annie and discussed that with my brother. He confessed that he also liked the name Annie. What happened? I had Harry and he had Maggie!

In other words, even when you are certain that you love a particular name, when the time comes, you may change your mind.

Imagine how you’d feel if your friend chose another name (she didn’t love as much) so as to not upset you and then you didn’t end up using that name.

And would it be so bad if you both had children with the same name? When your future child gets to school, they will probably have one or two friends with the same name anyway.

If you can, I would try to focus less on this baby’s name and more on the importance of friendship.

Got an issue for Jo to tackle? Send your question to feedback@bodyandsoul.com.au