Nocturnal Wenchy

African Hips Don't Lie

Guest Blog: What’s in a name?

It’s just a name, just change it. If it’s just a name, why is everyone so upset that I want to keep the one I was born too?

You are not normal, you’re being disrespectful, how does your husband feel, you going to confuse your child, you are selfish, anything to challenge tradition, you are not really married then, you are supposed to submit, the husband is the head of the home, what’s going to happen if you have another child… I have heard it all thrown my way.

Here’s the thing, I am Jessie Erin Mckay, I am a wife to Michael Paul Cornwell and I am a mother to Aiden Warren Mckay and we love each other, and we made vows to do so till death do us part. I am committed, I am loyal, I am respectful and my name doesn’t change that.

I have been asked a lot why I haven’t changed my name, it was just expected and when it wasn’t, it came with a shock and horror, as if I had murdered my husband with my total lack of showing him my utmost devotion by taking his name.

So here is a bit of why I am Jessie Erin Mckay and forever will be.

I never saw the importance of a name until I had my son, I had my son alone and have raised him alone until I met and married Michael. Aiden and I are often found in our own little bubble of love, it’s us against the world. I am his only immediate blood family, we are by societies definition, a singular family unit. If Mike and I don’t work out, it’s me and him, on all forms and submissions, it’s me and him, I am in a lot of ways, all he has got and that is huge. Bigger than tradition, submission and whatever other fairytales you have been told.

Nocturnal Wenchy

I am not taking away from Michael and his dedication to my son and the love he shows, not taking away from my parents and my siblings that have helped me raise him but deep, down, there is a level of abandonment and rejection that has been laid on my son’s heart from birth. I see it in him, I can’t fill that hole, no one can but I can make sure that nothing I do further confuses him or feeds into him feeling like he doesn’t belong. He is a Mckay and therefore I will always be a Mckay. We are a family, he will always have me and he will always belong to me and with me and where ever I choose to be.

If I changed my name to Cornwell and his biological father and his other children bare his name, where does Aiden fit in? Does he just float between two worlds because I was young and stupid once? He is the best thing to ever happen to me, he is my world and he was there first. Maybe that sounds selfish to you but it’s my name.

Then there is this little thing, I’m not Mrs Michael Cornwell, I am Jessie Erin Mckay, I am a wife and I am married to Michael Cornwell. I am also a mother, daughter, sister, friend, survivor, overcomer, marketer, designer, artist, writer, lover, Gods daughter, giver, nature lover, nap addict, Cheesesnak lover and so the list can go on.

I am a lot of things, I have been through a lot, I have fought to be successful, I have fought to be able to love, I have overcome trauma, death, loss, abuse, I have raised a child, I have studied, I have failed, hell I have even fought to keep breathing and defied death.

I did that all as Jessie Erin Mckay.

I know, I know, we not supposed to live in the past, but the past has helped make me who I am and I no longer fear it. I am proud of where I am today and who I am and I couldn’t and simply did not want to give up that person. I didn’t want to take on a new name and a new identity as only Mike’s wife.

A lot of people will stop breathing at that last sentence and call me disrespectful, but it’s my name. I get it, I get that things have been done a certain way for hundreds of years and some people love that, and they love holding onto how it’s “supposed to be.” There are traditions to follow and religious by-laws that a man practically owns you after the “I do” and the fear of what people are going to think.

I don’t care how things are supposed to be. I have been through so much of whats “not supposed to be” that I realised a long time ago, that its all an illusion built by some dude, so long ago that it is all pretty irrelevant and now, I do things and make decisions based on who I am and what’s best for me and the ones I love.

My husband and I are equals, we love each other, I am proud to be his wife, and I am also proud of me, you know the one who did a whole 31 years before becoming a Mrs.
If you still worried about the whole submissive, Godly wife thing, relax, God really doesn’t care if I am a Mckay or Cornwell. He is probably having a good giggle about humans freaking about a small thing.

If you worried my husband feels unloved or disrespected, he will tell you he loves that his wife is opinionated, different and doesn’t follow the rules, guys, he did marry me after all, it wasn’t by force.

If you worried about that future child, keep it to yourself, it’s really rude to ask about future children, I was told I was infertile a few months back and then ended up having a miscarriage last month. If Michael and I are blessed with another child, we will be so happy that the name will be a small bridge to cross considering the heartache so far.

If you still think I am selfish, then I am sorry, this is me though, Jessie Erin Mckay, wife of Micheal Paul Cornwell and mother to Aiden Warren Mckay, we are a family, normal to us even if not normal to you.

That being said, if you bare your husband’s name with pride, I respect that and I am happy you are happy. I know what I did was different, not normal, untraditional, I understand why people ask questions.

But my question is…

Should it be so “not normal”? Really, shouldn’t we be less shocked when women make decisions for themselves?

You can follow Jess on Instagram.

7 responses to “Guest Blog: What’s in a name?”

  1. Michael could always change his name?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder how a man would feel about changing his surname if men feel more connected in a traditional sense to their surnames?


  2. Thank you so much for taking part in the annual August Guest Blog Series.
    I wish you enough,


  3. I agree 100%

    I am however glad Wenchy did take my surname. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surnames are a funny thing. I think for some woman their surname is part of who they are. An extension of their core. I have no affiliation for my maiden name (or any other) at all. Thanks for not having a weird name! 🙂


  4. warren mckay avatar
    warren mckay

    I am so happy and proud of helping to raise such a fiercely independent woman. I must say I was surprised when they were introduced as Mrs Jessie Mckay and Mr Mike Cornwell as they came out the chappel, but Jessie has always bucked the norm and I for one and fiercely proud of her and the way she sticks by her ideals and the modern woman she is. A name is a name and Mike is very much loved by all of us and we all belong to one huge happy loving family.
    From the highlands of Scotland to the Cape of storms we stand proud and tall as one family, one love and one spirit. We can honestly be described as a no-name brand but there much more important things in this life than a name.
    Warren Mckay Husband, Father, Grandfather, and now Father-in-law.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Go, Jessie! You nailed it. There is so much in a name – I think. It’s why I was annoyed – no, livid – when, on both occasions I married, my name was changed by DFA without my permission. With my second marriage, we decided to double-barrel our names – long story why. Suffice it to say that it was easy for me. Not for The Husband. When I am called by my husband’s surname, and the individual has my full name in front of me, I can get quite acid:

    “Mrs X? You mean my husband’s late mother or his ex wife?”

    That said, it still took a very long time – perhaps 10 years, so really make the double-barrelled name my own. Note: it does not make me. So, nearly 20 years later, and having moved to a village, we are now known by the same surname (created by mutual friends before we married), even though our ID books don’t reflect that. Oh, and the other thing: we’re married and a partnership. And, more to the point, we are who we are – as individuals. Not a better or other half. That’s another matter that really gets me.

    Nuff said.

    And again: Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

Mom to many, wife to SirNoid. Lover of water, walks in the shade and all things purple.

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