Strong, intelligent, powerful, and B****, are ways society sees women of color. For generations, black women were lead to believe we were superwomen because we had to endure so much headache, pain, trauma, and mental instability alone. Women of color must talk less, smile more, even on our worse days, to avoid being labeled the angry black girl to our white cohorts. Being unable to ask for help tends to make us sound weak or incompetent.
Seriously, asking for help is a problem? Yes, asking for help makes us look weak.
Growing up in a single-family household, I watched my mother work, cook, clean, raise three girls, and yet, had time for each of us. My mom is my superhero! Because of her, I envisioned growing up to become a Human Resource Representative with a stay-at-home husband, or, if he worked, I would be an entrepreneur traveling while staying home with the children. Funny how life works out.
When I got married, I was ready to take on the world. Once I received my Business Administration Degree, I knew I would become wealthy. Once I received my degree, we already had our first child, then four years later, our second, and at that point, the tables turned. I became a Monday through Friday worker while my husband’s career excelled. He shifted in the positions I saw for myself, and I became the working/stay at home parent.
When the pandemic hit, my world started closing in. I was now a work at home mom, maid, chef, wife, blogger, who has now added a Math, English, Social Studies, History, and Science teacher to her resume. Even though I am all of these things, I feel like I’m failing at everything. I’m failing because I cannot ask for help. Yes, help a simple four-letter word, and yet, I cannot utter those words. It’s hard for me to say I need,
Help with the dishes.
Help clean the house.
Help our children with homework.
Help cook dinner.
Help me have a moment to myself.
Just know, in my head, I sounded like a weak little crybaby instead of a strong, realistic woman.
As a child, my mom was Superwoman, Wonder Woman, and even the Bionic Woman. My mother wore the world on her shoulders, and she was damn good at it. Unfortunately, I was naive as a child to believe she never had help.
It wasn’t my mother’s intention too not to show me how to get help. I was the one who had that misconception. Because of this misconception, I assumed asking for help was a sign of weakness. In reality, not asking for help is a weakness.
This mentality is one that plagues the Black community. Because of the conditioning, we believe we have to be all or nothing. Can you imagine living in a world like this? If you said yes, you must be a woman of color