Even if you're not a parent, you are no doubt aware that every week, there is another story in the news about how much our child-centric, social-media dominated world has made it impossible for anyone to feel like they're doing as good a job at raising children as their friends and neighbors. This week's tale of crushing inadequacy comes out of the U.K., where nearly one in five mothers surveyed on Mumsnet.com said that they regretted the first or middle name they'd chosen for their son or daughter. The overwhelming reason for these second thoughts is not because they named their kids Pilot Inspektor or North West, as you might surmise. Instead, 25% said it was because the name was too common and another 11% answered that it was "not distinctive enough." According to The Guardian, the survey's respondents most regretted the names Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James, and Thomas. On the bright side, they do seem to have put some forethought into these regrettable names: Only 1% said, "It turns out that his/her initials spell out an embarrassing or inappropriate acronym." Though 32% of these remorseful mums realized their mistake within the first six weeks and another 23% by the time their child was in preschool, only 2% of the respondents said they had actually changed their kids' names. In addition to being a giant hassle with lots of paperwork, parents also might fear the secondary embarrassment of actually having regrets.
"Choosing your baby’s name is one of the first things new parents do, so in some ways, baby-name regret is great practice for parenting: you do a lot of hard work and research, try to please several people at once, and end up getting it wrong," Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts told The Guardian. "The consolation is that most children grow into their names — and those who don’t can always fall back on middle names, nicknames, or (in extremis) deed polls."