Rediscovering Hope as a Widow
Miriam Webster defines hope as “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.”
What do you desire as a widow?
For me, it’s mostly the same thing I wanted as a wife: to live and give my kids a good and healthy life. A life filled with adventures, memories, laughter, and love.
I used to be a lot better at that.
I used to make play-doh and applesauce from scratch. We used to do yoga together, spend hours outside, and soak in the little moments we tend to overlook every day. I used to plan regular day trips, organize fun activities, and bring the kids to local events. We would explore, create, and play almost every day.
The time I used to spend designing their next lockbox challenge or outing is now spent designing a way to make an income while being available at a moment’s notice for 5 children.
The energy I used to put into preparing themed celebrations for birthdays and holidays is now put into juggling all of the extra responsibilities that losing my spouse has left on my plate.
The joy and excitement I used to feel from parenting has been overshadowed by worry, stress, and spontaneous waves of grief. Patience, replaced by exhaustion. A love of motherhood giving way to a longing to escape it.
Rekindling the Magic of Childhood
For a while, widowhood totally stole my mom magic. As a result, my kids started losing the magic of childhood: those special moments and little extras that only Mom can make. And it showed.
They became zombies, zoned out on screens, no longer running around, exploring and discovering the world around them. They started fighting with each other more and their words grew meaner (when they did decide to engage with one another).
And just about the only thing my oldest could think about was making money, because he knows how constantly stressed and worried about it I am these days.
This is not who I want to raise them to be.
This is not the mom that I want to be.
This is not the life I desire.
The good news is there’s hope.
Believing in the Power Within
Along with re-envisioning the life I want is that “belief in fulfillment” part – knowing that I have the power within me to make it happen.
I can still live and give my kids a good and happy life. It just looks a little different now. I get to be creative in how I parent and manage our home.
I’ve come to realize that instead of trying to do it all, I get to focus on what truly matters—those moments that create lasting memories, laughter, and love. It’s about learning and growing alongside my children, discovering the world together, and working hard, but taking time to play hard, too.
It’s not about how much time we have, it’s about making the most of the time we have. So, I’ve started embracing the small things and the everyday adventures that we tend to overlook.
I may not have as much time or energy as before, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still making a meaningful impact. I’m still being a good mom.
We might not make play-doh from scratch anymore, but we do carve out time to go to the gym together every week, have family adventures on Sunday and are relearning to cherish the little moments that make our days special.
Nurturing Motherhood in the Face of Grief
I’ve also learned that it’s okay to let go of some of the expectations and pressures. Instead of elaborate outings and extravagant celebrations, we focus on quality time and genuine connections. We create traditions that are meaningful to us, even if they’re simple.
Sure, there are still challenges and responsibilities that I have to juggle. But I remind myself that I’m doing the best I can, and that’s enough. I’ve come to understand that my kids don’t need a perfect mom—they need a present and loving mom. And that’s what I strive to be every day.
Yes, widowhood brings its share of struggles and moments of grief. But it doesn’t define who I am or what kind of mom I can be. I refuse to let it steal my mom magic any longer. I want my children to experience the magic of childhood—the wonder, curiosity, and excitement that only a mother can nurture.
We’re reclaiming our zest for life together. We’re breaking free from the zombie-like grip of screens and reconnecting with the world around us. My children are learning to navigate their emotions, communicate with kindness, and embrace their own dreams beyond the weight of my worries.
Embrace Hope, Inspire Generations
So, if you’re a widow with young ones like me, I want you to know that there is hope. You have the power within you to shape the life you desire, even amidst the challenges. Embrace your creativity, find joy in the little things, and focus on what truly matters. Trust in yourself and believe that you can create a good and happy life for your children, one filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories.
And as we embark on this journey of rediscovery and resilience, let us remember that in creating the best life for ourselves and our children, we honor the memory of our beloved spouses. They would want nothing more than to see us thriving and our children flourishing with laughter and love.
Embrace hope, hold onto your strength, and begin to write the next chapter of your life—one filled with endless possibilities, boundless joy, and a legacy of resilience that will inspire generations to come.