So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Look. I get it. I’m sure it’s SUPER irritating watching your husband devote hours of couch time with buddies during football season or [whatever sport you’d like to insert here]. Sure, it’d be annoying to know that even if you walked right in front of the screen with a brand new nightie on, he’d probably lean to the right to look around you. Yeah, it’s probably frustrating to feel like you give up every weekend to either hosting his buddies in your living room or spend those weekends alone because he got season tickets. “Thanks, brother-in-law, for the awesome tickets, yay,” you said through a fake smile on Christmas Day.

I get it. It’s irritating. Annoying. Frustrating. Lonely, even. So much so that you may say to your friend in exasperation, “I’m basically a football widow.”

And that’s where I stop you.


No matter how you feel about those guys in uniform and cleats who stole your husband, the word “widow” shouldn’t even be on your radar. Please, for the love of God, don’t even associate yourself with it if you don’t have to.

Because lots of us have to.

I have to.

Widows have to explain to their kids why their daddy came home in a box that now sits on the shelf in Mommy’s closet.

In the wake of their spouses’ deaths, widows spend hours and days calling companies to change over bills into your name, closing bank accounts, handing out death certificates like Oprah hands out her favorite things: And you get a death certificate, credit card company! And you get one, banker! And you get one, mortgage lender. You, you and you. You get one too! You all get death certificates!

Widows take a number and sit all day long in the Social Security Office to apply for benefits for their kids (and maybe themselves, if they’re lucky) because Daddy doesn’t bring home a paycheck anymore, where they hand out yet another—you guessed it—death certificate.

A widow comes home every night to an empty living room, an empty couch, and a blank television screen. She’s flooded with memories of Super Bowl celebrations, movie nights and game nights spent on that couch every time she sees it. She probably has taken up sleeping on that couch anyway, because it may just be too hard to sleep in that bed they shared.

A widow may wonder why her husband’s buddies just stopped coming around after the funeral, even if they said they’d be there for her and the kids when she needed it.

Taking the kids to their own sports games has now become an exhausting, near-impossible task as she sits on the bleachers alone listening to the other moms complain about how they’re “basically a single mom now” because their husbands left on business trips or camping trips or whatever else trips.

Nope. Don’t go there, wives.

If you have a breathing, living husband parked on that couch, grab some dip and sit with him, even if you hate every second of the ball-throwing game you aren’t even following.

Or don’t.

Go for a walk. Spend time with a friend. Read a book. And if the sports season is just that irritating and you feel neglected, you have a real, live human to talk to about it, even fight with about it—believe me, so many widows miss even the quarrels. I know I do.

I don’t know how you handle it. I don’t know because I’m a widow with three young kids. Complaining about sports and hunting and camping are not even a blip on my radar at the moment. I don’t know how frustrating and annoying it is, but you certainly have no idea what single or widowed motherhood is even like—and I pray to God you never have to.

I get it. Not ALL wives and husbands have this issue or family dynamic, so don’t take this as a sweeping generalization. But, just in case it does fit your situation or that phrase has slipped out of your mouth, just do me a favor: this season, omit the phrase.

You don’t need it and you DEFINITELY don’t want it.

You may also like:

I’m His Widow, But I’m So Much More Than That

The Lonely Days as a Widow

Nicole Hastings

Nicole is a is a widowed mom to three children. With a background in journalism and a sudden need to “figure out what to do,” she turned to writing about her experience with a husband with cancer, caregiving and widowed parenting and overcoming the aloneness of all of the above. She believes the art of storytelling brings people out of the dark into the light together to share in joy, humor, suffering and pain in life. She hopes that by sharing her story with transparency and heart will bring others hope and empower them to share their own stories.
Facebook: @JustAMomNicoleHastings

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby near grave, black-and-white photo

I see you moms. I see the moms who will never see all of their children together on this earth at the same time. The moms who dread the question, “When are you having children?” or “Will you have any more?” The moms who pray for that second line, month after month. The moms who are seeing that positive test and don’t know how they are going to make this work. The moms who can’t shake the blues or depression, who feel guilty for not feeling happier about their baby. The moms who feel as though they are doing it...

Keep Reading

My Broken Heart Has Questions, But Jesus Is the Answer

In: Grief, Living, Loss

We celebrated 90 years of my beautiful grandma today. It was lovely and lonely all at once because we lost my grandpa just one week ago and celebrating without him sitting next to Grandma at the table made all our hearts ache. She celebrated the last 70 birthdays by his side. But it was lovely because marking her milestone matters. Heaping blessings upon her and wishing her joy in the coming year was just as important today as it would have been if Grandpa was still sitting next to her, holding her hand in the gentle way he always did....

Keep Reading