Confessions of a Solo Parent – What Widows Wish People Knew

Confessions of a Solo Parent What Widows Wish People Knew

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Short and Sweet Summary: Being a solo parent is exhausting on so many levels. The weight of every decision lies squarely with the only parent, decision-maker, and fixer of things. These confessions of a solo parent are where I fess up in order to heave that bulky, distressing weight right off my shoulders. 

No one said parenting is easy.

Anyone with kids knows how much parenting erodes the nerves and reserves of even the most serene, chill people.

But, shifting into the role of a solo parent? After your spouse dies?

This weariness is in a stratosphere unknown to mere mortal parents. If I’m being honest, solo parenting sucks ass. However, that crude dysphemism doesn’t quite do the solo parent gig justice. Taking responsibility for your kids 24×7 with few if any breaks turns a sane person into a quivering hot mess of incoherent drivel.

So, I’m putting myself out there and sharing my deep-seated solo-parenting confessions that I only reserve for my besties. Well, one bestie.

I don’t say this stuff out loud or get this vulnerable often. I’ve learned that people don’t want to hear about the hard stuff. They’d rather believe I’m “moving on” from my grief and getting back to “normal.”

Whatever that means.

I Hate the Single-Mom Comparison

Is there a difference between a divorced, single parent and a widowed, solo parent?

Yes. Yes, there is. 

My husband and I didn’t grow apart, suffer from infidelities, or argue about money. And then go through custody hearings, participate in decisions that affect our future and get divorced.

My husband died. His incurable brain tumor diagnosis wiped out my ability to participate in decisions about our family’s future. 

I can’t and won’t put myself in the same category as single parents because I’m not a single parent. 

A single parent’s partner is still typically in the picture. So, folks who get every other weekend, Wednesdays and/or two weeks in the summer off, aren’t flying solo. Even if the partner is barely part-time or is a raging asshole, he’s still around.

As in, not dead. 

My parents divorced when I was young. I lived with a single mom. But, she most definitely wasn’t solo. My dad took an active part in our lives and my mom had another adult to help decide about my well-being. She didn’t always want or appreciate the help, but it was available.

Widows don’t have the luxury of falling back on the other parent when the going gets rough. 

But this isn’t a who-has-it-worse competition. Divorced, single parents have different issues than widowed, solo parents. Especially if the ex is a deadbeat or MIA.

The only distinction is, our parenting partner is dead. Never coming back. Ever.

Which leads me to my second confession.

I’m Tired of Deciding Alone as a Solo Parent

My husband and I were a great team. We shared the same parenting philosophy and agreed on just about every child-rearing topic. I had confidence in my parenting abilities with my even-keeled, cohort by my side.

After he died, my confidence took a nosedive.

I second-guess everything now. The skeptical voice in my head shrieks in a piercing, prickling kind of way without someone to trade ideas or opinions with.

The weight of every choice as the sole decision-maker is heavy, man. It’s no wonder I’m exhausted by days end when I spend my time rehashing and rethinking my decisions. I feel like Sysiphus condemned to eternal punishment in the depths of hell. I push the boulder up the hill with all my might (make a tough decision) only to watch it roll back down again (second-guess my decision). No matter how hard I try, the damn boulder keeps rolling down. 

And, because worry and regret camp in the deepest parts of my psyche, sleeping is erratic.

So there’s that.

I Want to Get in My Car and Drive Far, Far Away

My biggest daydream right now is chucking all of my responsibilities, selling my belongings and bar tending in some beachy resort town.

Without my kids.

I love my children dearly, but I daydream about turning in my mom card and taking off on my own. Somewhere far, far away.

After I graduated from college, I backpacked around Europe. I think about that trip a lot because the only person I needed to worry about was me. I went where I wanted for as long as I wanted. Only, I didn’t appreciate my freedom at the time because it wasn’t conditional.

Gah! I long for those days.

When I head home after work now, listening to 80’s on 8 on Sirius XM and singing Bad Medicine at the top of my lungs, I secretly wish I could just keep driving. I see exit signs that would take me straight out of Michigan and I plan how to pull off the consummate disappearing act.

Of course, I won’t do it. I mean, I have responsibilities.

But it’s sooooo very tempting.

I Dislike My Kids Sometimes

My teenagers are mouthy and disrespectful.

I don’t enjoy admitting my kids are disrespectful because I feel like that behavior is the ultimate parenting failure. But, it’s true. I’ve tried everything short of beating them senseless to change their attitudes.

Although I have pulled the car over to specifically and savagely smack the smug look right off of my son’s face. But he jumped out of the car before I reached him. He stayed away until he figured I had enough time to chill out. 

The vile that comes out of their mouth some days is startling.

I don’t like admitting my kids can be horrible humans. But, I feel better after talking to other parents of teenagers and learn they live with unpleasant humans, too. My good friends remind me I’m not failing my kids because I’m a grief-stricken parent who can’t get it right. They remind me a teenager’s sole purpose on earth is to be horrible. 

So I make the unpleasant humans more unpleasant by grounding them, taking away devices, making them move rocks, pull weeds, and clean toilets to learn that being horrible doesn’t get you what you want. Being nice and respectful to your mom does.

However, I still dislike my kids sometimes.

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

I thought I knew all about being a productive, functioning member of society until my husband died. Then everything I thought I knew burned up with him in the crematory.

I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know what I’m doing, but hell’s bells. It’s the sad truth.

What’s funny is the general consensus from the general public, who don’t live in my house, is that I’m doing fine. I look fine. I haven’t had a nervous breakdown (yet). I go to work every day.

But, I struggle. Every single day I struggle to make sense of this weird, twisted world I now live in. I struggle as a solo parent, as a business owner, and as an unmarried woman. Everything is a battle.

The struggle doesn’t mean I don’t get out of bed. It just means that things were a hell of a lot easier when I was part of a team. When my husband and I shared responsibilities. When the grief cloud didn’t follow me around and rain down painful pellets at odd, unpredictable and totally inopportune times.

Besides maintaining my current to-do list, I must also learn how to do something new every day. How to check the tire pressure on my car. Fix a bike chain. Dislodge something from the garbage disposal. 

How to do basically…everything.

Widow Wrap Up

Being a solo parent is exhausting on so many levels. The weight of every decision lies squarely with us as the sole parent, decision-maker, and fixer of things.

It’s nuts.

Sometimes I want to run away from my responsibilities and let someone else decide. But I can’t. So I continue to do the hard things.

And sometimes I confess it all to heave that bulky, distressing weight right off my shoulders. Confessions are good for the soul.

When my confessions buoy my spirits and bestow better decision-making abilities, I quiet my shrieking, skeptical voice. I stop trying to move the boulder up the hill and chuck it right off the damn cliff altogether.

Like Sisyphus should have done. 

 

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60 Comments

  1. You are not alone. I’m a widow and the only parent to 3 kids. They were 5,9 and 11 when my husband died 10 years ago. I still feel like running away every day. But I go to work and come home to my son (the other two are at college) because I do love him. It’s just so hard. Don’t know if it helps at all but I fantasize I’ll get hit in the head and have amnesia. Just for a week or two. Good luck and God Bless.

    1. Hi Alison, thanks so much for reiterating just how hard solo parenting is. It’s good to know other widows imagine running away, too 🙂

    2. I loved this article, its like you were reading my mind sometimes. I just lost my husband less than a week ago, and I am now solely responsible for our 8 year old daughter at 28 years old. I keep thinking every decision I make, I’m letting him down in some way. I had to surrender 4 dogs, 2 were his. . . it destroyed what was left of my heart. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him because I worried about driving my daughter safely through a snow storm the night the ambulance came. By the time we got there, he was gone. Now I just can’t. I can’t cook, clean, eat, sleep, ect. All I do is cry, and hate myself. He always said he prepared me in case something happened, but he was SO wrong. Once his heart stopped, everything I thought I knew was gone with him. I’m so sick of hearing “It’ll be ok” from people that still have their loved ones. It will never be ok again, but this article helped me more than anything else. Thank you

      1. Brittany, please be gentle with yourself as you learn how to live in this “new normal.” You have to figure out how to do a lot of new things so I’m begging you not to hate yourself or your decisions. You’re doing the best you can with the information you have right now. Give yourself credit where credit is due ❤.

  2. This was so refreshing to read….
    Thank you for being so real and honest. My husband died almost 6 years ago, and I have 4 children. I have quit opening up to people because no one understands, and quite frankly, I feel that no one wants to hear about my continued sorrow or that life is hard. Every day I miss my husband, and there is a constant void in my heart. You certainly understand. I would love to have a companion to help me make decisions and to just visit with. The loneliness is always with me. Thank you for opening up and for helping me to know that I am not alone in being a widow and raising my children alone.

    1. Hi Holly, I do understand. It’s awful to feel so vulnerable, confused, angry and sad most of the time. But you’re not alone. I and every other widow out there struggle alongside you. All I can say is keep on keeping on 🙂

  3. I’ve been searching online for hours to find something like this because as much as I try to talk about this nobody understands me, my husband died 3 years ago and I was left with 2 kids aged 3 and 6. I go through days sometimes where I feel like I’m in black hole and I hate my life and kids other days I feel like everything will be fine. This life is lonely and hard.

    1. Ruby, this life IS HARD! Many people don’t understand because it’s hard to grasp the life of a solo parent if you’re not raising kids alone. I understand you 😊.

      1. Hi Ruby, I came across this post of about a year ago. I also lost my husband (now 4 years ago) and my kids were also 3 and 6 at the time. You are not alone.

  4. Owesome owesome. I need more of this. It’s been hell raising my three young adults since I was 38years and now I’m still solo with them at 49years old. This sharing is healing itself

    1. Shortly after my husband died 4 years ago leaving me with two young grieving teenagers I realized people expected me to immediately “be over it.” No one, not even my siblings I feel close to, wanted to hear anything other than I was fine. I lost a lot of energy after my husband died. Maintaining my career, home, parenting responsibilities, handling his estate and closing his business, all while dealing with my grief took every ounce of energy I could muster. I lost ambition for searching for promotions and just tried to get by the best I could. I still feel exhausted most of the time. Glad to know others understand.

      1. You sound like me. Six months ago I had to figure out how to plan a funeral, arrange a burial, close my husband’s business, handle our affairs, put everything in my name, notify creditors, maintain a full time job while raising tweens. It isn’t always hard. I still feel joy most of the time. I love my kids and there are happy moments. With COVID, the isolation is getting to us. Attitude and sibling rivalry are ever present. I just want to see people again – “ in person!” I’m so scared that I’m not doing this right. I’ve prayed about this and my have a solution for restoring respect, support and kindness (RSK). Here is my new punishment I’m going to try. If you say or do something that violates our home RSK Policy, you must draw from a bowl of pre-approved acts of kindness toward your sibling. Then carry it out. It could work.

  5. Thanks for this information. As a widow and single parent, even though my child is older, I appreciate reading of at least someone else who ‘get it’, as many do not. And…This is only one part of being a widow….Thank you for sharing.

  6. Hi, thank you so much for your post. I so appreciate your vulnerability. I have two sons that have both passed away, so I know a little about grief, an entirely different grief. My friend’s husband has just been given days to live, I’m desperate to try and help in any way I can. I know there’s nothing I can do to alleviate the pain, but I so badly want to do something to let her know she’ll be ok, eventually. Even though that “ok” is an entirely different you and a long ways down the road and even though “ok” means tough days are still a normal part of the routine. Am I making sense? I’m struggling with words in describing what I want to do for her. Do you have any advice for me?

    1. Hi Ashley, you know more about grief than most having been through something no mother should have to endure 💔. So you understand how grief must be felt since it can’t be fixed. Your friend will have to feel her own grief too, in all its awful manifestations, until she comes out on the other side. When will that happen? Who knows! But you’re a good friend for wanting to make this horrible journey better for her. My advice? Don’t run away from the uncomfortable stuff (you already know this because you’ve suffered a tremendous loss too). You know the best way to help her is to listen when she talks. Remind her that her feelings are normal. And stay by her side during the darkest days. That’s the best, and bravest, thing you can do. 

  7. I thought I was doing ok, trying to be all things to all people. Working full time, trying to make sure kids are ok. Even during Covid-19 lockdown I was grocery shopping for several neighbours. Routine went out the window during lockdown and I was working from home, making dinners, cleaning etc and having to argue with the kids to give me some help around the house. Apparently I’ve become quite grumpy , according to the kids.

    I haven’t done self pity since my husband died four and a half years ago and it’s served me well – until recently, I feel exhausted and my kids have been hard work. Work has been hectic and my kids just seem to take me completely for granted. I had a hard time the last few days trying to keep it all going and for the first time I really feel sorry for myself .I’m tired of being kind to others and getting nothing in return .

    1. Edel, I understand you completely. I uttered almost the exact same words today. Kids taking me for granted, etc. It’s so frustrating! Oh and don’t feel bad about the “grumpy” label. I am the official “fun sponge” around these parts 😂. UGH. The parental double-duty is NO fun.

  8. What a great “a ha” moment for me. I too have had to battle the teenage years of my children on my own. Many times I have wanted to run away, to quit parenting, to admit that sometimes, I didn’t like my kids during this time in their life, even though I love them unconditionally. Both are in their young adulthood now, but I still feel the weight of responsibility towards them. All of this as I also battled breast cancer. Sometimes, life truely throws you curve balls.

  9. Very insightful article!
    I’m not a widow yet…my spouse has brain cancer (GBM) and as you know, there is no cure. I was 21 weeks pregnant when he was diagnosed and I’m now 37 weeks. On top of the normal stress of having a newborn soon, I’m freaking out about having to take care of him and later on being a solo parent. It’s so hard to accept! I remember getting the positive pregnancy test and we were busy planning our future and already talking about when we wanted to try for the second! Fast forward a few months and he’s having a craniotomy, radiation and chemo to prolong his life to be around for baby’s birth. He’s still here but I already have so much anticipatory grief. I’m 31 years old and this was not how I imagined my life would be! I know there’s nothing we can do to change the situation but it’s just so cruel. My first baby will now be my last and I’ll have to figure out how to live without the love of my life while raising our child.

    1. Angie, there are no words. It’s like my heart stops beating for a moment every time I hear GBM 😔. Still. I’m so sorry for everything you’re facing. It’s cruel and heartbreaking and tragic and….ugh. I’m just so sorry.

    2. Angie,
      My husband died from GBM in 2008 when my daughter was 9-months-old. He was diagnosed in 2006. I knew that going into my pregnancy he probably wouldn’t be around to raise her but always kept hope. I don’t regret the pregnancy at all. He had five good months with her and she was such a joy to the rest of the family. Don’t feel guilty. You’re just being realistic because after all your research, you’ve found that the protocol for treating this insidious disease hasn’t changed in 20 years. Your first baby doesn’t have to be your last. Your husband can still bank his sperm. And maybe there will be some miraculous, breakthrough technology. Or; I know it’s hard for you to imagine loving someone other than your husband, but you are young. Who knows what is in store for you. Please contact me. After 12 years, this is the first time I’ve even considered reaching out to a support group. megen.latimer@gmail.com. You are sooo not alone.

    3. Hey Angie,
      I believe your baby is already here, I don’t know what to say to you but Shower you, baby, with all the love you can, We all did not expect to be this way but hey there is still hope for tomorrow. Hugs

  10. Thank you for this. Parenting as a widow is not something people often talk about. It’s exhausting and terrifying to be the sole provider, decider, nurturer…all while coming to grips with the loss of your partner. My husband has been missing for nearly a year and a half. Not having full closure has made it incredibly hard to explain to our son, who was only three at the time. We are getting by, and are even happy a lot of the time, but with a large hole in our lives.

    1. Holly, exhausting and terrifying are two completely accurate words to describe solo parenting. Add grief onto the myriad other ways parenting is super stressful and it’s beyond most people’s comprehension what we face every day. Sending peace your way ❤.

  11. How do you survive? I lost my 30 year old husband very suddenly three months ago. Literally. We had a normal albeit mundane Thursday, and then Friday morning he had a heart attack. Then he was just gone. How does that just happen? We have a 19 month old. She’s the only thing keeping me present.

    I noticed that friends stop checking in after the first month. Meals stop coming, and the flowers eventually die and need to be thrown out. People say that I am so strong, and they automatically think I’m doing fine because I’m not constantly in tears. I don’t feel strong, and I let the tears fall when no one is looking.

    Because of the pandemic, daycare is closed, and I have to start teaching from home. How do I navigate this new world order of things, and raise my toddler, and survive my guilt and grief all alone? I feel like it’s too much…

    1. Kali, it IS too much. Truly, way too much for one person to handle. So you take one day at a time. Or maybe even one hour at a time. This overwhelming new life requires a little forward momentum every day. That’s it. How do you survive? Baby steps. Breathe. A few more baby steps. Breathe again. No need to figure everything out (you can’t) or set unrealistic expectations (you shouldn’t). Give yourself the same tenderness and compassion you give to your baby who doesn’t know how to do anything yet either. You don’t expect her to learn without doing, so give yourself that same grace, too. And you’ll figure it out together ❤.

  12. I was already raising 2 children as a single mother because their father came from a nice family but he turned into a spoiled drug addict. Luckily is mother and I were close and still are. My children were 5&3 when I completely kicked their sperm donor out of our lives. I was single for many years then found the love of my life. We had big plans to raise my children, his 2 girls from a previous marriage and then we ended up having our son. My husband started having heart issues not long after that he ignored no matter how hard I pushed him to keep going to the doctor. Long story short he woke up one morning and couldn’t breath and I was in the hospital watching him slowly die for 2 and a 1/2 weeks until his family talked me into taking him off like support. He was 37.
    His daughters went to his mother and now I have my daughter who is now 17 and my son who is 14 and mine and my husband’s son Mason who just turned 4. I have been in and out of severe depression. I only stay for my children. I feel I put a lot on my older children to help me with groceries, cleaning, running errands and things like that. Thankfully my daughter told me that she will be so much more prepared for college than her spoiled friends so that helps me feel better. But I’ve already sat through baseball, football, honors day, chorus concerts, plays etc for my two oldest. And tomorrow my youngest starts Preschool. And this is the beginning of many first sitting alone. There have been and there will be so many first without his father and it is so heart breaking.
    I suck it up and hold my head high but cry like a baby when I’m alone. It’s just so so hard. Not having a partner is devastating. If things go bad which they often do I have no one to talk it over with, no one to help me brainstorm and come up with a solution. Until I am hysterical and call my family. But I hate doing that. The struggle is some days just too much. And honestly no one understands it unless they are living it. I am so sorry that you all are living it but I am so grateful that I can read other experiences and I relate on such a deep soul level. The pain is so real. I do have good days and am positive and optimistic and then there are other days where I want to climb under a rock and never come out.
    Much love to you all and thank you.

    1. Gretchen, solo-parenting is SO SO SO hard. I want to climb under a rock more days than I can count. The strength we must summon on a daily basis is hard to explain to those not living it. I see you and hear you ❤.

  13. I feel like crying. My kids are 10 and 7. I feel like I don’t deserve to have a voice. I feel like crumbling because I can’t give them the normal life that they want and deserve. I feel like I’m failing at a test that I didn’t even have a chance at passing. Ryan passed away 5 years ago but after he died I worked like crazy to provide a great life for the kids. Sine the pandemic I’ve been home with them and I’m realizing how much I ran away from my feelings by burying them in work. It feels like I’m facing it all over again but in a different light. This is hard, insanely hard.

    1. Maureen, please give yourself credit where it’s due 👏. Yes, it’s insanely hard to be a solo parent, but you’ve done it. You’re DOING it! Look back on how far you’ve come under incredibly difficult circumstances and give yourself credit for managing ALL of it. Sending virtual hugs your way ❤.

      1. Kim,

        I am a solo mom whose partner passed away when I was 5 weeks pregnant
        I had no support from parents or in laws and about to search for day care but still scared.
        I thank you for opening up. It is hard.

  14. I’ve read this article a few times since my husband died a year and a half ago. In addition to being completely unprepared financially, I had no idea how hard it would be to be an only only parent to a little one. I too would like to turn in my mom card sometimes. While I realize single parents face different challenges, I would love to have another parent available to share responsibility and decision making. I feel guilt at what I’m not able to do. I want to be the mom and makes great dinners and signs their kid up for sports and music lessons. In reality, I’m a a sole breadwinner and only parent, so I just can’t do it all.

    1. Hi Holly, I bet you do far more than you give yourself credit for. Most good moms do 😊. The standards we set for ourselves are usually pretty high anyway, so you might feel less guilt when you make peace with doing whatever it is that you’re able to do, and nothing more ❤.

  15. I am so happy you brought my Husband back..You are amazing……____________________robinson.buckler @ yahoo. com……🙂🙂🙂

    thank youuu…

  16. Thanks for sharing your widow lives. I can relate to so many of your struggles.
    It will be 2 years in March that I lost my husband. My daughter was 8 when he died. He was incapacitated so I had to oversee his practice till I was able to sell his practice, two cars, work my full time job while having to go to court to get legal access to handle his affairs as He didn’t have a living will all while fighting for his life in hospital for 3 months! I could have never done this without Jesus! His grace held me up and provided me with everything I needed everyday. He still does! I don’t know what I’m doing but I look up and I know His ways are higher than mine! He allowed my husband to go home. Not how I would have written the story. He’s the author. He is faithful and has a plan and I can either Trust Him and seek Him daily? Every time I do He has all I need!! Or I can seek comfort from empty places that’s never satisfy and stay on the gerbil wheel to no where. I’m human it’s a lot!! Without Him I will burn out fast! With Him I can do all things!! Hes proven to be the best husband and provider I could ask for. If and until He brings another Daddy for my daughter, He’s all I need 🙏🏻❤️ I hope this encourages someone.

  17. Thank you for this post and thank you to everyone for the comments and replies. I lost my husband 18 days ago. There are so so many emotions and situations I feel connected to, I can’t list them all. But I needed to say everyone’s thoughts, emotions, comments, advice and even just the “thank you”s help. I hope someday I can tell my own story, for as much as I feel connected, I feel so alone as well.

    1. Nicci, I’m sending you a virtual hug as you begin this arduous grief journey. You have the support of every widow who’s come before you ❤.

  18. Thank you for this, all of it. I lost my husband unexpectedly this past December, 10 days before Christmas. We were both working from home and I went to say hello on my lunch break, only to find him unresponsive. I started CPR and called 911, and the medics continued CPR for another 45 minutes. I still don’t even have a cause of death because toxicology tests were ordered. I also have a 2 and 7 year old and I’m so exhausted. I realized just how alone I was right before Christmas, when I realized that I had no idea how to assemble the large play set kitchen we had bought for our 2 year old. I couldn’t assemble the motor bike we bought for my son. I am so lost and alone, and now am the only one to get the kids dressed, ready for school and the drive to daycare, and then off the bus and another ride to pick up from daycare. I received a request for a meter reading from the water authority and couldn’t find the meter (it wasn’t ours but in my basement), and I had to call someone to hook up the video game system my son received for Christmas because I don’t know how to work my own TV. I wanted to mourn and lay in bed but the baby is up at 6, and my son needs me to make him breakfast and be there for him in his own grief. I’ve started working again and must try even harder, because I am now the sole provider. Luckily I receive a good salary, but I don’t know how I’ll get to the office after COVID between bus duty and daycare. I did not sign up for this life, nor did I have any indication that it would happen to me, yet here I am. I’m grateful for your article and your strength, because I know that I’m not alone in this predicament. I too would love to leave it all behind, but I owe it to my husband and my kids to stick around. It’s not fair, and it’s the hardest thing I’ll ever do. I don’t know how I’ll manage the next 18 or 20 years of parenting solo but all I can do is take it day by day. I don’t feel like I’m living anymore, but merely surviving. Sorry for the long message, but your article just resonated with me so deeply. Good luck to you.

    1. Hi Colleen, my heart aches for you as you begin this roller coaster widowhood journey. Keep in mind that you aren’t supposed to know how to do any of this because you’ve never done it before! So give yourself some extra compassion, and time, when you’re learning how to do new things. You can and will figure it out. Just please be good to yourself along the way ❤️.

    2. Colleen,
      I know what you mean about surviving. Sometimes, I feel sad and guilty that it takes everything I have just to get my 2 kids and me through life. My husband died from kidney cancer 3 1/2 years ago when my daughter was 10 and my son 12. It is incredibly hard to be the mom and the dad in the family. I have been dating a kind man for 1 1/2 years, and we are in no hurry to combine households. My daily life with the kids is still on my own with some help from my parents. My former in-laws are not involved and never call to see how we’re doing or if we need anything.
      My hope is that even though I cannot give my kids the ideal life I had planned for them, I can be an example of a person who did not give up on life, who kept moving forward, trying my best and seeking love. I’ve trued to stay in contact with a few good gal pals. Sometimes, I’ve taken the kids along to meet a friend for a meal and sat them at a separate table so that we could “girl talk” because I realize that on my own I couldn’t get a sitter for every small social interaction. If you’ve read other info about widowhood, you’ll see that some former friends disappear, but you will cherish all the more the ones who stay.

  19. Thank you for the article. Spot on. I lost my husband just over a year ago. 2 kids 7 & 9 at the time. Life’s a bitch. I get overwhelmed so easily. Stupid things that go wrong and I don’t know how to fix like turning off the gas when fireplace is leaking. Makes me feel helpless. Thank God for my dad. What would I even do? When things go wrong it’s difficult to keep trudging on. I worry so much about my kids. I work more than ever & can’t spend as much time with them when I’m not bc there’s all the other dumb stuff to do that never gets done. I fallen into a depression and can not get my house clean. Just a mental block where I just sit & stare or I do actually make progress but I get overwhelmed & then can do nothing. No motivation. Life as I thought it would be has gone to crap. Some days I just get so down. I have the hope of it getting better that I cling to. Most days I feel like I’m losing my mind. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Leah, there’s so much to do it’s hard not to get overwhelmed sometimes! But I bet you’re doing far more than you give yourself credit for. Maybe you can change your vocabulary from “I have no motivation” to “I’m making new strides every day.” You are accomplishing so much, Leah. Don’t forget to identify your wins!

  20. Thank you so much for your post, Kim. I agree that in addition to just being so flipping tired of not having him here to help make decisions – the extra fun of trying to include what we think he WOULD have thought about a bajillion different things is exhausting. I want to be sure to raise our teens in a way that he would have wanted BUT I don’t always know what that is!! We would have figured it out together. I miss being part of a team that included TWO adults and I am glad to have found a place to say that. Thanks, again.

    1. Hi Carolyn, after several tumultuous years, I learned a really simple way to lessen the anxiety over the “what would he think” thoughts. You have the option to decide that your husband would be proud of all of your decisions 😊. You do the best you can with the information you have at any given moment and that’s the best any of us can do.

  21. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am a solo parent and some days are just exhausting. At the same time, I am so thankful for my boys. It is so true that most people just do not understand.

  22. Thank you for this, this sums up my whole life for the past one year,I have 3 kids, and sometimes it’s so overwhelming, I moved in with my mum and brothers, got some support initially currently I don’t even know if I made the right choice as they constantly want to interfere in how I want to raise my kids and yes I know they mean well but, it all makes me uncomfortable.
    It’s really hard sometimes but I’m glad to know that I’m not alone.

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