The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. Some things have went really well like my cookbook (thanks everyone for the support) and my social media is growing. I’ve really felt like I’ve been on my purpose which is to encourage and inspire women in some way, shape or form. However some days I have barely been making it. Baarly (say that like the lady who said she was legally blind lol). This week I was frustrated & stressed trying to get my children to school safely (it was storming and they normally walk) and ended up being late for work. Like a possible write up late. I broke down in the car. I know life has it’s peaks and valleys but it is sometimes too much when they happen in the same day. I cried real tears this week, it was a struggle.
When you are a single mother it ALL FALLS ON YOU. Now don’t get it twisted I have help which I am grateful for but at the end of the day I am the decision maker, boss, executor of tasks, ALL OF THE THINGS. I am blessed to be in the position to be several people’s mama but I am also still stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted sometimes. But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to feel this way. I posted on my social media earlier this week how the first thing someones says when describing a black woman is that they are strong. And I don’t like that. Don’t get me wrong I am strong, I believe it’s an inherent trait built in ALL women (I mean we bear children and that shit hurts!) but it is not our defining characteristic. In fact the description of strength we have been given has somewhat been our downfall. As I’ve talked about before we think of ourselves as Superwoman and have thrown on this imaginary cape and all it’s really doing is choking the life out of us. I am not here for any of that. I was put on this earth to be an example of God’s love, to love my children unconditionally and live an abundant life. All this other stuff that we’re trying to live up to so we can shout about being strong to whoever is listening (nobody) doesn’t do anything but stress us out. Plus from the Bible I read it says something along the lines that our strength lies in God. Not us. And that’s what I had to remember this week when I was overwhelmed from trying to do everything on my own. Especially when I don’t always have to. I got my self help tools out and took some of my own advi￼ce to get myself together and get back on track again. I am sharing my tips below:
- Cry – This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like this whole strong woman definition. It makes us think it’s not okay to feel. We are feminine!!! We were made to feel emotions, to be soft and vulnerable and loving and nurturing. It is therapeutic to cry. It helps us get out emotions we may not know how to put in words. It also cleanses us. It’s okay to cry. I give you permission to do it but more importantly give yourself permission to.
- Ask for help – You knew that was coming right? I know what you’re going to say tho. If I had help I wouldn’t be in this situation. You probably have help you just haven’t asked for it. And usually it’s because we are ashamed to (trying to keep up some image), we don’t want to be disappointed, and we don’t like giving up control. We need to stop thinking we were created to be islands in this world. We all need each other at some point and it’s usually not a one time thing. When you have to ask for help look at it this way, you are giving someone the opportunity to be a blessing to you and in turn one day you can be a blessing to them. Simple as that. So stop being prideful and ask for what you need. It’s way better for someone to be able to throw you a life preserver now than try to perform CPR after you’ve already drowned.
- Take a break – Whether it be from social media, TV, a bubble bath with the door locked, or a fast food meal in Walmart parking lot, take a few minutes or more for you. Even if you have to steal them from somewhere else. As women and especially as mothers our lives move super fast. We are always going and doing and never taking the time to slow down, hell sometimes we just can’t for whatever’s reason. However we cannot keep going if we don’t take some time to break away from the busyness of life and breathe. So even if it’s a 15 minute break before you lift the garage door and all the kids run out telling you who did what to whom, take it!!!
- Talk to someone- I am grateful for my family and friends because I know when I need to sort the thoughts running thru my mind or just express what I’ve been feeling, I can call and do that without feeling judged or like I’m being a bother. And they can do the same to me. It is vital that we do not hold things inside. It only hurts us, not just emotionally or mentally but physically. Also there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with speaking to an objective third party, aka a therapist. Sometimes we just need to talk and let it out or get an opinion or make sure where headed in the right direction. We may not have a person we trust, so that’s where a therapist can come into play. Shoot they even have them online. Whatever you have to do tho, get those thoughts out to someone.
- Prepare & get organized- This is something I don’t like to admit but we often cause our own stress by not being organized. By not packing a lunch the night before or figuring out what we are going to wear. We run thru rushing in the morning, hollering unnecessarily, forgetting things and just making life harder than it has to be. Do yourself a favor and when you have time use it wisely by getting prepared for what you know is coming. You know you have to go to work and school so stop looking like a deer in headlights and save some time and stress and make it easier on yourself.
Those are some of the things I do when I start experiencing the single mama blues. But you don’t have to be a single mother to do these. It applies to all women just out here trying to live our best lives. We play so many roles as women from daughter, sister, wife, auntie, mama, caretakers, business women, teachers, lovers and on and on we have to learn to preserve our most important role – YOU.