I’m not okay: Mothering within the Strong Black Woman Stigma


I’m tired.

My tired is tired and there’s no end in sight. True, life was hectic B.C. (before corona), but with the recent acceptance of juggling homeschool, plus working a fulltime job, things are a bit exhausting. Navigating life as a working, single Mom has blessed and wrecked me simultaneously. My kids are beautiful. But some days are tough. Being the sole giver of all things to everyone is challenging. But here I am. Crushing it. Or at least trying to, because I’m not okay.

There’s unspoken cultural demands on Black woman to conceal and comply. Regardless of how tired you are, or how sick you feel. You keep going. No one ever questions your mental health as long your kids are clean and well nourished, your home is put together, and you yourself look somewhat decent.

I remember after my divorce years ago, I confided in someone about some terrible thoughts I was having. My attempts to share were met with…”You’ll be fine, suck it up. You’re a strong Black woman. You’re not the first or the last person to ever be cheated on. You have to be strong and just get over it, you have kids to take care of.”

I get it. Our resilience is undeniable. Generations through generations we’ve persevered from slavery, systematic oppression, gender bias, health disparities, and stereotypes. But with stress comes strength and so many of us are in need of release. People act as if our admittance of fragility is a slap in the face to the ancestors. So we hide it, succumbing to depression and anxiety. This is me; journeying through the rough patches armed with coffee, lavender eo, and prayer. I’m grateful for the select few that allow me to be uninhibitedly honest without shame.

Being strong has helped us live, but being able to express our thoughts and feelings is what helps us thrive.


  1. Acknowledging the reality that you are living in the shadow of your ancestor’s strength can (hopefully) free you to unburden yourself of the totally unrealistic pressure you’re carrying around. I hope for all your effort that you DO thrive – on YOUR terms. Peace, friend….


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