Mom Before Mom: My Name

Original image by aussiegal via Flikr.


My friend, and fellow Rhody Blogger, Carla (All of Me…Now) has started a writing program called Mom Before Mom.  The purpose of the program is to get moms talking about where they came from, and who they were before they became “Mom” Just because we’re moms, doesn’t mean we need to lose our identity.

I decided to participate because I love the idea of sharing my story with Avery.  She’ll know me as “mom” but I want her to know that I was someone before I had her.
This week’s writing prompt is:

How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?

Sarah. Louise.

Looking at my name now, I absolutely love it, but that wasn’t always the case. There was a time in my life that I hated that name.  But, let’s start at the beginning.  “How did I get my name?”   If what I know is correct, my foster mom named me “Sara”  and my parents liked it (only they preferred to spell it CORRECTLY  (haha) by adding the “h” on the end)

My parents had toyed with other names. “Laurel” was on the list, but my mother thought that “Laurel Hovey” sounded too much like “Laurel & Hardy” and that I’d be made fun of (Ya know, because all kindergartners in the 80’s knew all about the slapstick comedians of the 1930s!) My father, Walter, thought that perhaps I should be named after him.  “Waltina” was a lovely name, but  they decided against that. In the end, they stuck with Sarah.  As far as my middle name, they just thought it sounded pretty, and my Grandmother’s name was Lois, so it was partly after her.

So, there was a time where I really did not like my name.  I thought “Louise” was ugly, and “old ladyish”  I was embarrassed to tell anyone. My cousin got to have a pretty middle name “Elizabeth”  so why was I stuck with something so “ugh!”   I also hated that there were soooo many “Sarah’s” in my class! (most of whom I didn’t get along with, and who spelled it the “wrong” way) I wanted something different  I had a friend named Laney, and I thought her name was so incredibly cool.  Nobody else had it. She was unique.  I was “just Sarah”

I also hated that I didn’t have a nickname.  My friends would be called on by teachers the first day of school “Catherine?  Or do you prefer Kate or Katie?”  Again I was “just Sarah” (Though I did have a substitute teacher in High School who called me Sally, and refused to call me Sarah, saying “Sally is an old fashioned nickname for Sarah, ya know”) My family called me “Sarah Lou” and “Sarah the Wheeze”  Thinking about that, now, it makes me smile. But I always wanted a cool nickname, like “Mac” or “Lex”

I always wanted to change the spelling of my name.  I wanted it to be “Cera” (Like the Triceratops in “The Land Before Time”  Then my name would be the same, but it would be spelled differently, and therefore much cooler than any “Sarah” or “Sarah”

Now, as an adult, I love my name. I honestly never liked when boys have the same name as their father, I think it takes a bit away from their identity but, I actually wished that it was “socially acceptable” to name your daughter after yourself.  I never hear of people naming their daughter’s “Sarah” anymore, and for some reason that makes me sad.

I never, ever, thought I’d have a problem changing my name when I got married.  I never liked hyphenated names, and thought it was silly.  Then I got married and had somewhat of an identity crisis.  How could I possibly get rid of my last name?? My father is the only son in his family, and I am his only child, that means I am the LAST “Hovey” in our family.  My friends call me “Hovey”  it’s who I am, it’s who I’ve been for 30 years.  It took me a year to change my name.  I didn’t want to hyphenate, didn’t want to trade out my middle name, didn’t want to lose my last name, so I didn’t do any of those things.  I now have two middle names. I’m happy, my husband is happy. I didn’t have to lose my name in order to gain his.

**Update** I noticed so many of the other bloggers mentioning how their names were never available at souvenir shops.  Their names were unique, or spelled in a different way.  I too could never find my name at souvenir shops.  It was so popular, the “SARAH” slot was always empty.  I resorted to doing this:

minnie disney keychain Sarah

So, that’s the story of my name.  It’s amazing how one simple name can result in so many paragraphs!

So, tell me, how did you get your name and how do you feel about it?

If you’re a blogger, write about your name, and link up at All Of Me…Now


    • Sarah says:

      HAHA I just made almost the exact same comment on your blog!
      I don’t mind “Sarah Lou” when my family uses it, but I It’s definitely not something I want everyone to call me lol

  1. Liz {Learning to Juggle} says:

    I completely agree….your cousin’s middle name is simply beautiful!!

    Thanks for sharing the story of your name :)

    (BTW: I’ll probably call you Sarah Lou now too….especially if I’m already going to be calling Kameron “Kami Lou”

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