• Mrs.Staggers

The Name Change

You know those things in life you don’t anticipate will become difficult or be an issue and then it comes up and you realize its actually a big deal, a really big. Well that was me and the “name change.”


Growing up and before meeting my husband, I always thought I’d be the “new age wife” and hyphenate my last name. I mean, Handberry is a great name with a rich history that I am very proud of. But falling in love tends to make you look at things differently and re-adjust priorities. I realized that I wanted to be a Staggers, I wanted to be one with my future husband and hyphenating no longer was an option for me.


Originally, I thought I would keep all of my names and be known as Taylor Alexandria Handberry Staggers. However, one post-wedding Facebook name change made me realize just how obnoxious that was so I ultimately decided on Taylor A. Handberry Staggers, Taylor A.H. Staggers for short. I know, it’s still a lot, but I am who I am.


Great. it’s settled then, right? Wrong. We previously had the hyphenating conversation, revealing that neither of us wanted that. Maybe we should have went further.

He was under the impression I would be taking the traditional approach by leaving Handberry off all-together. This made me realize that, though common, women changing their maiden names to their middle is a fairly new and “modern” concept.


The conversations to follow were not easy for my millennial woman ego. I couldn’t fathom removing Handberry from my name. I thought about my family history, my business (Handberry Creative), but mostly, I simply just didn’t want to. In my eyes it had nothing to do with my commitment to being a Staggers, but everything to do with my self-identity. I was terrified of loosing who I was.


It didn’t take us long to resolve this once we realized that, big picture, a middle name was very small on the list of trails life would throw at us. Though, my largest take away from this situation is coming to terms with the fact that being a millennial wife is going to bring about some very interesting and at times difficult circumstances and trials that our mothers and grandmothers may not have dealt with.


I’m sure some feminists will argue this point, but I believe that as young women of today we have been urged to realize our self-worth and have been empowered in ways that generations before us have not. This makes subjects such as simple name changes, not so simple.


Have you, or will you drop your maiden completely, hyphenate, move your maiden to your middle name, or perhaps not change your name at all? Why? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.


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