Our names are often the first things people know about us.  To say that a name is an important part of who we are is a total understatement.  I have always been a very confident, strong and independent woman (thanks, Mom) and the idea of loosing my last name when I got married was a bit of a struggle for me.  After much reluctance I changed my name from Juneau to Acrey and settled into this supposed new role of  "Mrs. Acrey" that was extremely foreign to me.

I see tons of girls proud to wear their married names on rhinestone hoodies, honeymoon flip flops and rush to change their last name on their Facebook profile as soon as they say "I do." I never felt that way.  I guess this should have been a huge red flag that my marriage wasn't going to be a successful one but changing my name was an internal struggle I fought from day one.

As soon as I made the decision to get a divorce the act of changing my name back to Juneau was a no brainer, but there were two sides to this process.  Society's views on my choice to change my name and what this would mean to my kids.

Honestly I am ok with giving society the figurative finger about this whole topic. Of course I got questions of "So you and your kids won't have the same last name? Isn't that going to affect them at school?" The short answer to this is NO we will not have the same last name, and YES they will be affected by this at school along with all of the other kids with different living situations. Unfortunately we live in a society where kids with the perfect cookie cutter living situation of a married mom and dad is not the norm.  Families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and this is an important lesson I want my kiddos to learn along the way anyway.

It was not at easy to reconcile this change with my 7 year old however.  One day during a conversation with my mom, Bailor overheard me say something about changing my name and he got very upset.  I had no idea that this would even be an issue for him but it was.  After a heartfelt conversation with my sweet, soft hearted little boy me changing my name added to long list of changes that this divorce has brought into his little world.

I struggled with conversation for quite some time, asking myself if changing my name was the right move to make.  Should I remain an Acrey to appease my 7 year old and make things "easier" for him in school? The short answer to this is NO.  I have to do what things are best for me while being respectful of his feelings.  While this may sound amazingly selfish, I cannot continue to be a good mom if all I do is cater to everyone around me.  Through this process my kids may struggle with a mom that has a different last name but a lesson will be learned, stand up for what you believe in and who you are while being compassionate and considerate of others feelings.

So back to a Juneau I go and I am so excited to complete the journey that this divorce has led me on.  I am such a better person, mom and friend than I have ever been and for now I cannot imagine being anyone different than Mallory Juneau.


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