Over the next few days, we will be sharing stories from the Brown Mamas’ community about how moms black moms are coping during COVID-19. Follow us with the #SheQuarantines or #BrownMamas.

By Nikkia Ingram

To think a “virus” could shut down the world has been unfathomable and feels like a movie in one aspect but it’s reality. The class of 2020 will never forget these moments and this year will go down in history. They may not graduate like every other class before them had the opportunity to do traditionally. The economy is headed towards a recession. Stores and malls have closed and you can’t go sit down in a restaurant, movie theater or go to a park. 

You must walk around with gloves and mask on while practicing social distancing from other people. We have taken so many other activities for granted. You actually aren’t able to freely come and go as you please and it all seems so unreal. 

If you know me then you know I work hard and a lot. I love my family deeply, have a passion to help young people and will do what it takes to improve my community. 

To be honest, my work never stops. I’m always available to listen, help others, start on projects, help build or promote businesses, give advice, assist in figuring out life and whatever someone else needs. I do all of this with little in return, but I have learned to do from the heart and not with expectations.

In the past, I’ve felt obligated to listen, fix  and do what I could (or just do it all) for everyone without stopping. I kept going, doing more and more until my plate was overflowing while never saying “no,” even when that’s all I wanted to say. 

I felt like a robot in Nikkia’s skin just going, moving and being. The only people who weren’t happy with this were my family and I. 

In the midst of COVID-19, I realize I lost myself on the way to “greatness” and I lost track of what true “greatness” really means.

On the outside I seemed fine, I was at the peak of my personal career and prospering daily with my reputation. The thing is I was exhausted in every way and I wasn’t making any money despite popular belief.  I even received several awards and recognitions.  But the real question is: 

Am I truly happy?

Since quarantine began, I’ve gained a tremendous understanding of who I am and what I need to accomplish to really be the best version of myself. 

MY SOUL IS HAPPY. I feel human again. Do you hear me? 

I feel HUMAN again!

This sense of calm I have from just being still has been beyond measure. My spirit is full, my heart is filled with love, excitement and appreciation. 

I am THANKFUL.  Thankful to my family for being patient with me while I was becoming ‘NIKKIA INGRAM.’

I love my children deeply and appreciate them for having enough courage and strength to share me with the world without doubting my love for them. 

I could never understand how hard that must be. I’m so grateful to my parents and siblings for being understanding while I neglected to spend time with them or talk to them like I should because I was “too busy.”

This pandemic has led me on a journey to rediscover myself.

This road toward gratitude has made me consider:

  •  doing what makes Nikkia happy, FIRST
  • To take the word of others with a grain of salt, especially when they show me who they are 
  • To give my family the time they deserve 
  • To be comfortable while sitting still

Life is not a race.

It’s a beautiful journey with ups, downs, around and standstills but it’s our journey to learn, grow, excel and pass on the lessons we have learned. 

We should remember you don’t always get to see the fruition of what you planted. Be mindful and embrace slowing down. Do something for you that you had no time to do before or took for granted. Life is not a race, but it does go quickly, so take full advantage of all it has to offer while becoming SimpleeYou and loving every moment.

Nikkia writes at SimpleeMee blog all about her journey as a wife, mom and community advocate.

SheQuarantines

Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.

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