Dear Patricia Marie,

My best friend and I are both expecting our first born babies, due in December. I told her the name choices I wanted for my baby many weeks ago, and to my horror she has now informed me that she is going to use them herself. I am furious, and instead of enjoying our time being pregnant together, I cannot even face seeing her at the moment. How best should I handle this sensitive situation.

Patricia Marie says...

When you invest time and dreams into the names you love, its easy to feel you 'own' them. However, it's not worth the stress of being sad that your name choices have been mirrored, albeit by your best friend, because, as much as we think we are entitled, we really don't have any claims on babies' names. Although your feelings of anger, disappointment and frustration are understandable, they are not very useful, as I feel you need to be focusing your energies on deciding what you want to do about 'your' child's name, which is far more important.

I would never advise upsetting anyone in the final stages of pregnancy, but if you really do need to confront your friend, do so very gently. Explain how upset and hurt you are, and that you had trusted her integrity with the disclosure of such precious information. Clearing the air can sometimes ease the tension, and she may not have even considered the impact her decision has made on you. Copying your name choices is actually a compliment, and a huge vote of confidence for your personal taste.

Once you have spoken to her, whether she changes her mind or not, you need to move on. It's time to look forward to sharing the precious moments motherhood brings, as well as embracing the support and guidance you can receive from each other once those 'bundles of fun' arrive.

If you decide to keep the names, it really doesn't matter who else has used them, or who will in the future, as you'll always remember your reasons for choosing them. Take comfort in the fact that anyone who has the creativity to come up with one great name, has the ability to come up with another, which you could actually prefer. Just make sure to keep that one a secret!