+
upworthy
Family

Mom admits the struggle of having a son with a different last name and so many moms feel seen

"It does hurt sometimes."

Mom admits the struggle of having a son with a different last name and so many moms feel seen
Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash
woman in white tank top carrying child in blue shirt

News reporter Kayla Sullivan was wrapping gifts and addressing Christmas cards to her son’s teachers late one night when she decided to share something with her many followers that was different than her usual content.

She’s become famous for doing “news reports” featuring the lighter side of parenting. “Going live” from her home and various day-to-day destinations using household items as props. But in this particular video, she instead shared about feeling sad and embarrassed about having a different last name than her four-year-old son.

The feelings were prompted by needing to write “Alan’s mom” in parenthesis when signing the cards for his teachers.

“I told myself I’d probably delete the [Instagram] story in the morning and regret getting this vulnerable on social media," Sullivan told Parents. "Instead, I woke up to so many people with kind things to say or stories that genuinely offered great advice.”


“About three weeks ago, I was crying and was writing Christmas cards to my son's teachers and feeling really embarrassed because I felt the need to put Allan’s mom in parenthesis because my last name doesn’t match my son’s,” the video begins.

“I was never married to my son’s father, but I did give my son his last name. I don’t regret that… I just got engaged, and I’m going to be taking his last name. His son has his last name, and I don’t want my son to feel like the oddball out, so we will not be putting our last name on Christmas cards. I don’t want rugs or signs that say our last name because I don’t want my son to feel left out," Sullivan said.

“There are other things that people suggested that I just thought were really beautiful. And I wanted everyone to be part of this conversation, but it was all secretly in my inbox. Other people asked, ‘Can you share the response?’ and this just seemed like the best way to do it. So please comment on this video if you did reach out to me or if you didn’t and you want to say something to make people feel better about this. I know it may sound silly, but a lot of people struggle with not having the same last name as their kid, and it does hurt sometimes, so I just wanted to give people the opportunity to come here and look at these comments and feel less alone because it really helped me. Thank you.”

Sullivan was so moved by the response she made another video to discuss the reaction.

@kaylareporting

Please comment to help others feel less alone! #BlendedFamily #lastname #parenting #singlemom #singledad #singleparent

While you might think—as some of the commenters did—that kids having different names than their moms is becoming less unusual these days. According to a Pew Research study published in 2023, most women still take their spouse’s last name.

“Most women in opposite-sex marriages (79%) say they took their spouse’s last name when they got married. Another 14% kept their last name, and 5% hyphenated both their name and their spouse’s name,” says the study.

Perhaps for this reason, Sullivan’s follow-up video struck a nerve. It received over seven hundred comments on TikTok, where Sullivan has 1.2 million followers, and almost 2500 comments on Instagram, where she has 681 thousand followers.

“As the kid who never had the last name of her parents or her siblings, the most important feeling is belonging. Being someone’s daughter and sister isn’t about sharing a surname; it’s about feeling part of a family and being loved by those people,” wrote kids_and_the_commute on Instagram.

“Three people in this house. Three last names. It confuses the heck out of people when we travel through the airport, but otherwise, we do like you. Holiday cards say our first names. No door mats with the family name. It all words,” wrote Instagram user mamawildnfree.

"I think the lesson I’ve learned from sharing this feeling is that there is so much good that can come from being honest and not trying to pretend like everything is perfect," Sullivan told Parents. "It’s okay to be embarrassed and to admit that you are struggling with something even though people will tell you not to or say you shouldn’t be.”

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

Keep ReadingShow less
Courtesy of Molly Simonson Lee

Flight attendant sits on floor to comfort passenger

Not everyone enjoys flying. The level of non-enjoyment can range from mild discomfort to full blown Aerophobia, which is defined as an extreme fear of flying. While flying is the quickest way to get to far away destinations, for some people being that far off the ground is terrifying and they'd rather take their chances on the ground.

A passenger flying from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to JFK International Airport in New York confronted that fear while flying with Delta. The woman, who is currently still unidentified expressed that she was nervous to fly according to Molly Simonson Lee, a passenger seated behind the woman who witnessed the encounter. Tight spaces don't make for much privacy, but in this case, the world is better for knowing this took place.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less

Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

The video is hashtagged #GenX advice for #GenZ and late #millennials. Sorry older millennials, you’re too old to receive these pearls of wisdom.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

Keep ReadingShow less