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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

Ha! I am grown up actually, but Marge made a comment in the "How Can I Tell" thread that got me thinking. She said something to the affect of "do you know who you are now?" and really, that's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. For 13 years (11.5 of them married to my late husband, Paul), I was totally focused on marriage and motherhood. I think that sometimes, especially in motherhood, we forget the women we once were. Now I find myself having to reinvent myself so-to-speak. When Paul died, I gave myself two years to work through the grief process, make sure my kids were getting what they need, and then I would go back to work. The trouble is, I don't want to/can't do what I did prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom. I have a bachelor's in history but do not want to be a teacher - that would take too much away from my time of being a mom. Teachers, God bless them, work long, long hours and contrary to popular belief do not have "June, July, and August" off. I have educators in my family and I see how hard they work as more and more administrative burdens are placed upon their shoulders in addition to teaching expectations. After college I worked for a large corporation in various IT department positions: data security analyst, technical trainer, IT business analyst, etc. I was completely self-taught as far as my knowledge of each of these subjects and now technology has changed so much. After that stint, I worked for the local Republican party and then a US Congressman (in a different state than where I am living now). Besides these types of jobs being few and far between, I have come to loathe politics. Seriously. It's all so petty, self-serving for the politicians, and is just another career rather than being a service to a community/state/country. Bleh. Hate it. I want to do something that makes a difference. A real difference. The things I think about though require going back for at least 2 years of schooling if not longer. Can I really do that at almost 50 years of age? Anyone else here have to reinvent their lives after the death of a spouse?
Mar 5th 2014 new
(quote) Kimberlie-1059215 said: Ha! I am grown up actually, but Marge made a comment in the "How Can I Tell" thread that got me thinking. She said something to the affect of "do you know who you are now?" and really, that's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. For 13 years (11.5 of them married to my late husband, Paul), I was totally focused on marriage and motherhood. I think that sometimes, especially in motherhood, we forget the women we once were. Now I find myself having to reinvent myself so-to-speak. When Paul died, I gave myself two years to work through the grief process, make sure my kids were getting what they need, and then I would go back to work. The trouble is, I don't want to/can't do what I did prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom. I have a bachelor's in history but do not want to be a teacher - that would take too much away from my time of being a mom. Teachers, God bless them, work long, long hours and contrary to popular belief do not have "June, July, and August" off. I have educators in my family and I see how hard they work as more and more administrative burdens are placed upon their shoulders in addition to teaching expectations. After college I worked for a large corporation in various IT department positions: data security analyst, technical trainer, IT business analyst, etc. I was completely self-taught as far as my knowledge of each of these subjects and now technology has changed so much. After that stint, I worked for the local Republican party and then a US Congressman (in a different state than where I am living now). Besides these types of jobs being few and far between, I have come to loathe politics. Seriously. It's all so petty, self-serving for the politicians, and is just another career rather than being a service to a community/state/country. Bleh. Hate it. I want to do something that makes a difference. A real difference. The things I think about though require going back for at least 2 years of schooling if not longer. Can I really do that at almost 50 years of age? Anyone else here have to reinvent their lives after the death of a spouse?
What about substitute teaching? I was a nurse before marriage, stay at home mom while married (also worked full & part time in the travel industry), and am now an elementary special ed teacher. There are lots of possibilities, you just have to go for it. Blessings to you.
Mar 5th 2014 new

I think that was probably one of the biggest challenges of being widowed, defining who I am now. I think I have a good idea of what I want to do, and then it changes. In, fact, my current employer is asking where I want to go in the next year, as our company is growing and she wants to build off of each of our strengths. (She's really good that way.)

One of my favorite jobs after my husband died was Parish Secretary. It took all my favorite things and put them in one job in a loving, prayerful environment. Unfortunately, it didn't pay enough to support a young family. If you look at all the things you do as a mom, the organization, the shopping, the maintenance, maybe being an office manager in a small office would be appealing. That's where I've ended up and I like the variety of duties. No two days are the same!

Pray, and thank God for opening the door for you. He'll put you where you need to be.

Kathy

Mar 6th 2014 new

I know who I am as an individual person, but I still don't know what my vocation is.

I've been a full-time mother for 15 years now: no recent job references, few business contacts, no bona fides in any field, though when I read job descriptions I think, "I could do that on my head!" But no one knows that but me. Like you, I'm considering going back to school, but I'll have three in college next year and they must come first.

I've been mulling this over for the past three years or more...and praying about it...and I still don't know where God wants me.

Mar 6th 2014 new
Kimberlie,

First and foremost: ABSOLUTETLY you can go back and take more school!! I am the same age you are and I am just now finishing my PhD. There is no age limit and there are so many scholarships and student loans and other programs to help women (and men) going back to school. Take advantage of them,

As for the reinventing yourself -- I hear you. I am doing this now and haven't a clue as to where I am going lol or supposed to go. Before Pete died we had all sorts of exciting plans and ideas. Now, none of that appeals to me at all. I have my children and grandchildren here, my mother, my siblings. Going to an entirely new place and starting fresh with no family or friends to support me in that endeavor is more than scary and to be honest I don't know what I want to do with my field now. So much that I love about my discipline but I can do much of that here. I want to teach, but I am not interested in scrapping for research grants and publications and tenure and all of that -- but the adjunct route offers no security and I have to have some security now.

I'll pray for you about the reinventing if you will pray for me as well :-) Perhaps we will figure it out. :-) My husband was killed almost two years ago. So we are in the same time frame.

Take the opportunity to explore your options and choose something that excites you and that you feel drawn to do. Hugs Lauren
Mar 7th 2014 new
Uncertainty is the mother of invention, and you qualify on both.
Mar 9th 2014 new
Lauren,
Thank you for your encouragement. May I ask what you are studying in your PhD program?

Kimberlie
Mar 9th 2014 new
(quote) Joan-529855 said: What about substitute teaching? I was a nurse before marriage, stay at home mom while married (also worked full & part time in the travel industry), and am now an elementary special ed teacher. There are lots of possibilities, you just have to go for it. Blessings to you.
Jane, substitute teaching is very much an option. I know that I could probably have jobs most days of the week if I put my name in a the three Catholic schools close to my house. And the public schools are another option. The only downside of subbing is that you often don't know until between 5:30 and 6am on the day of whether you have work or not. So it's a little hard to plan. Still, until I figure out what I want to do long term, that is a very good option.
Mar 9th 2014 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said:


I've been a full-time mother for 15 years now: no recent job references, few business contacts, no bona fides in any field, though when I read job descriptions I think, "I could do that on my head!" But no one knows that but me. Like you, I'm considering going back to school, but I'll have three in college next year and they must come first.

I've been mulling this over for the past three years or more...and praying about it...and I still don't know where God wants me.

Marge, one way that I have gotten some jobs in the past is via volunteering. Actually that's how I got the job with the Congressman in WI I worked for. I was bored being new to the area and not having any job hunting success (this was pre-kids), and so I called to ask if I could volunteer. They put me to work on a project and a few months later I was offered a paid position. I have thought about this route too since we never know what options might open up.
Mar 9th 2014 new
(quote) Kimberlie-1059215 said: Lauren,
Thank you for your encouragement. May I ask what you are studying in your PhD program?

Kimberlie
Hi Kimberlie,

My doctorate is in Anthropology -- my two areas of specialization are Archaeology and Biological Anthropology. My master's work was on early contact sites on the Southern Plains. And my doctorate is over the application of molecular methods (ancient DNA specifically) to archaeological questions -- and specifically using coprolites and identifying prehistoric parasitism in humans. . . lol a little icky sounding but really very cool. :-)
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