The death of self-identity and birth of another.
One day you're that sexy boss chick defined by the name you've embraced and the reputation that embodies it, the next... you're just somebody's "mom".
How Did We Get Here?
I remember growing up, my mother was seemingly larger than life. She was a chemist, an actress, a singer, a tutor, and most importantly... Debbie. Due to her activity in the community, my name quickly went from Quiana to "lil' Debbie". As if being labelled after one of the most fattest snacks wasn't painful enough, I had to fight to create my own identity. Becoming Quiana was no easy feat. I had to assert myself and remind folks that my name was, is, and will always be QUIANA. By about age 19, I finally accomplished this goal. My 20's were full of "Hey Sis/Boo/Queen/Quiana!" and I didn't think twice about it. I was who I created myself to be and proud of it.
Little life changes began to challenge my self-identity. From "That's (boyfriend's name)'s lady." to "That's (ex-husband's name)'s wife.", I slowly started to realize that my relationships were somehow redefining who I was and the realization was about as bitter as grapefruit rinds. I didn't mind it too much though, I mean I always wanted to be someone's lady and wife, so I took the titles that came with the territory
What Did You Call Me?
“Hi Quinton's Mom!”
I had my first child toward the end of my roaring 20's. As he grew so did his schedule and friend base. I remember when it first hit me. I was picking up my eldest from preschool and one of his classmates cheerfully screeched, "Hey Quinton, your mom is here. Hi Quinton's Mom!" At first it was endearing. Aww, I am a mom and I am his mom specifically, but as he became older that became my moniker amongst teachers, coaches, and children alike. Like hold up! I have a whole name. I spent almost two decades defining who I am and creating Quiana... can y'all put some respect on my name or nah!? Anyone else ever felt this way or is it just me?
Embracing The New Me
Going from "Quiana" to "Mom" didn't change the fact that I was still Sis/Boo/Queen. What seemed to be the death of self only ended up being the birth of a new self to develop. The perks of being somebody's Mom are reverence and, if you Mom-so-hard, a collection of minions that love and adore you for being exactly that. Chin up Moms. You're a phoenix, not a corpse.