Hyphenated Surnames and Stay-at-Home Moms

battle-of-sexesIn several of the discussions between AJ and me about marriage and family life, the issue of names has come up. More than once in such conversations, he has expressed that he would never agree to my hyphenating the last names of me and our children. AJ believes that a wife and children having double last names shows that the woman “wears the pants” in the marriage and heaven forbid anyone, especially himself, think of him as an emasculated, purse-toting pansy! Since I rather like his name and have no desire to hyphenate my married surname, his opinions don’t bother me. However, I find his strong reaction to this idea to be strange. Is a woman wishing to keep her last name upon marriage asserting her will over her husband’s? I’d never thought so, but his ideas add another perspective to the matter.

Another marriage and family life issue that we’ve recently discussed is that of a wife being a stay-at-home mother. I have little desire to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), but I admire them. It is no easy task to take care of children, cook, and keep the home in general order; it sure seems more difficult than many 9-5 jobs. I wish my mother would have stayed at home, at least for my first few years, instead of hiring the nanny from hell to take care of me (more on that at a later date), and I plan on taking a leave of absence from my career for my children’s years before schooling. Bringing up the topic with AJ, however, I was quickly notified that telling a man you’re dating that you want to be a stay-at-home mom is essentially telling him that you want to leech off him and his hard work for the rest of your life. I didn’t think so: is a woman who dedicates her life to taking care of your children, cooking your meals, and cleaning your clothes, a blood-sucking parasite or a welcome helping hand?

What are your thoughts on stay-at-home mothers and hyphenated last names? Do you know anyone who does either?

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