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My Top Three Picks at New York Baby Show; Things I wish I had as a new mom and you will too

This past weekend I attended the New York Baby Show with Momtrends Blogger Lounge to check out what’s new in all things related to pregnancy and new parenting. While there were so many things to choose from among the 154 exhibitors, three products stood out above the rest.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, words and opinions are my own

My Top Three Picks at New York Baby Show

3 Snoo Smart Sleeper

Snoo Smart Sleeper retails $1,160

Dr Harvey Karp developed  Snoo, the first responsive bassinet activated by baby’s motion and cry.  It will send an alert to parents if the baby is in need of comfort otherwise it continues it’s gentle womb rhythm to encourage a longer sleep. The added swaddle keeps babies safe and prevents overheating. Learn more at retails $1,160

2 Summer Infant Baby Pixel

Summer Infant Baby Pixel 5.0 Inch Touchscreen Color Video Monitor. retails $199.99

Summer Infant has a patent pending Baby Pixel 5.0 Inch Touchscreen Color Video Monitor. It features a 360 view camera that responds to motion and sound. There is also night vision, talk back to the baby, and monitoring the room temperature and time. Learn more at retails $199.99

1 Primo 2-in-1 Smart Voyager

Primo 2-in-1 Smart Voyager Swing and High Chair. retails $275

Primo 2-in1 Smart Voyager Swing and High Chair was the one item I wish I had the most. I spent countless days shoving a cumbersome high chair into the bathroom so I could shower, checking on my son DJ every minute. He hated the curtain dividing us so I used to sing to calm him down.

The Smart Voyager puts in all the work for the parent featuring Bluetooth connectivity, cry activated swing settings and so much more. Check out the demo in the video below. For more information visit retails $275

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#Beychella just proved why you should eat like Queen Bey too


A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Last night Beyoncé slayed the Coachella stage as the first black woman to headline the concert. For nearly two hours fans were in the live audience and glued to computer screens all over the world dazzled by the show-stopping performance.

Beyoncé made it clear back in March that she knew the importance of preparing for this day. For years Beyoncé’s plant-based diet has helped her sustain energy during concerts like Coachella. As someone proudly apart of the #Beyhive I love having our plant-based eating habits among other things in common. We are southern girls who married Brooklyn boys, became mothers and adapted to a vegan lifestyle.  In 2016 when I started my health journey I was pleasantly surprised to be chosen as an ambassador to the very company Beyoncé and Jay Z uses as their nutritional guide.


22 Days Nutrition was founded by world-renowned exercise physiologist Marco Borges. Psychologists have discovered that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So Marco applied this principal to helping people live a healthier, more energetic and productive life and created the 22Days Challenge.  The company offers vegan protein powder, bars, meal delivery and a new meal planner to help you stay on task towards your goals.

During my year-long struggle to achieve my 50lbs weight loss 22 Days nutrition has provided me with vegan protein powder and bars I needed. The vegan protein powder and new meal planner is what I use most often. My protein bars are tasty however they keep “mysteriously” disappearing from my pantry thanks to DJ.


To try 22 Days Nutrition you don’t need a Beyoncé sized wallet, there are affordable products and services that are right for you. You have the options of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavored vegan protein powder retailing at $24.99. For fuel after a workout, you can enjoy a vast array of protein bars starting at $7.99 for a box of 4 bars.

In order to keep moment at home use the meal planner to guide you with recipes for the week based on your dietary and cooking preferences. The meal planner retails for $14 per month or $99 for the year. When you are ready to cook, items from your menu are linked to your cart with either Instacart or Peapod.  Having items placed in your cart gives you the convenience of not having to search for everything individually. When you’re ready to make your purchase you can review the cart removing items you already have at home. The 22 Days Nutrition Meal Planner also includes assistance from online coaches along with cooking technique videos for each recipe.

If you’re more into everything being done for you, then their meal delivery starting at $75 would be the best option for you. Your meals will come prepared for you to heat then eat. For more information on 22 Days Nutrition check out the links. You can even save $30 on the meal planner using my code: TTD30SHANIQUA1887

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Enter and win tickets to The 2018 New York Baby Show

The 2018 New York Baby Show, on May 19 & 20 at Pier 94 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. Now in its 8th year, no other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as you make your way into parenthood. 

I am giving away tickets for you and your family to experience the show. 10 winners will be chosen, see below for details. Normal ticket price is $30 per family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children), and $20 per individual.


To enter head over to my Instagram Post below, Be sure to follow all the rules required for entry.

It’s a GIVEAWAY! Win tickets for you and your family to attend the @newyorkbabyshow A total of 10 winners will be chosen. See details below: 1.bFollow Me on Instagram 2. Like this Photo 3. Comment on what you look forward to most at the baby show 4. Follow @newyorkbabyshow Bonus: Tag a friend (Extra points per friend) Rules: Must have a public Instagram profile and be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway ends April 15th at 11:59 pm. A total of 10 winners will be chosen to receive a family ticket. It is valid for up to 2 adults and 4 children. If selected you must redeem your prize within 48 hours. This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram Good Luck! #NYBSBloggerLounge #AD #Parenting #Expecting #Pregnancy #ToddlerYears #SingleMom #SingleDad #CityParents #CityKid #NewYorkCityFamilies #BabyProducts #KidsProducts #Giveaway #TagAFriend

A post shared by Shaniqua Garvin (@shaniquagarvin) on


  1. Follow Me on Instagram
  2. Like the Photo
  3. Comment on what you look forward to most at the baby show
  4. Follow New York Baby Show
  5.  Bonus: Tag a friend (Extra points per friend)


Must have a public Instagram profile and be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway ends April 15th at 11:59 pm. A total of 10 winners will be chosen to receive a family ticket. It is valid for up to 2 adults and 4 children. If selected you must redeem your prize within 48 hours. This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram  Good Luck!

Discounted Tickets:

If you don’t want to wait to get your tickets save 50% using my code;

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March into imagination at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester


Welcome to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

The weather in New York City has been so unpredictable most days DJ and I end up staying indoors. There is only so much you can do in the house so spending time at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is the perfect cure for winter blues. You will want to check out what’s new this March at LDC and enter to win a family 4 pack!

LEGO City Builder

City Builder

Visitors can show off their creativity by adding their own elements to this giant city. The play area includes skyscrapers, police and fire stations, cafes, suburban streets, beaches, LEGO friends and more.  DJ had an opportunity to explore this area with his friend Xylia and I could barely pull them away. This is a must for LEGO enthusiast.

DJ is having tons of fun with his friend Xylia.

Little Playtimes (Tuesdays)

This activity is appropriate for guest five or younger. Children under two years old and annual pass holders are free. Activities include DUPLO Story Time, Farmer’s Workshop and Animal Bingo. The playtime is on Tuesdays from 10 am to 2 pm.  One adult and one child are $24 and additional children cost $11.

While visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center you will want to check out the latest 2.300 square foot interactive play area LEGO Ninjago City Adventure. You can read more about it here. That’s not all;  enjoy a ride, karaoke, building workshops, a 4D movie theater, cafe and so much more.

Merlin’s Apprentice Ride

To plan your visit or get ticket information you can check out You can also connect with them socially on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter the giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a family 4-pack to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center, retail value of $90. Follow the instructions below to enter.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester Family 4-Pack

Win a family 4 pack to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

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Healthy Hack: Saint Patrick’s Day Smoothie with BROC SPROUT 2

Looking back at my St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

Getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

I always get excited this time of year when St. Patrick’s Day comes around. Traditionally my mom invites me over for a cornbeef and cabbage dinner in celebration of my Irish heritage. My dad was the one to pass on the Irish roots to me. Sometimes I meet with friends for drinks or I simply enjoy wine at home. In recent years after becoming a mom I do 1-2 kid friendly activities for St. Patrick’s Day with my son. We love finding shamrock shakes to try because of the taste (the idea behind it can be discussed another day).

Sticking to health goals

Broc Sprout 2 Smoothie

My idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s over the years has been flipped on its head. For starters I am a vegetarian so having a “cabbage” dinner is not appealing to me. Gas much? While I focus on my weight loss goals I seldom drink alcohol. I can count the times I had alcohol this year on one hand. Now my son has doctor mandated health goals to keep him away from the diabetes he can inevitable inherit. He is already pre diabetic at 8 years old. So sorry DJ no shamrock shakes for you this year. My clean eating health conscious household has a new plan to substitute our traditions so we can stick to our health goals.

Me and DJ started making delicious green smoothies incorporating BROC SPROUT 2 capsules in the ingredients. If you want to try it with your family check out the recipe below. Typically you consume 2 capsules of BROC SPROUT 2 in the morning with a glass of water. I really enjoy it as a regular daily supplement and I feel the difference in my energy along with my waist line.

BROC SPROUT 2 benefits

BROC SPROUT 2 capsules are one-of-a-kind, as the potency of young whole broccoli sprouts is preserved while making them — ensuring the delivery of this powerful molecule, Sulforaphane, to the body’s cells.

Sulforaphane has played a role in triggering the fight against conditions such as breast and prostate cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma and obesity. It’s benefits have been widely documented since it was first identified in 1992 at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. To learn more about BROC SPROUT 2 visit them online at BROC SPROUT 2 is sold on Amazon and Jet retailing $59

Disclaimers: As with trying any new supplement be sure to talk with your health care provider to make sure this is the best option for you. DJ’s pediatrician has only approved of him consuming it in smoothies and not as a supplement. She did approve of the benefits for his pre diabetes, she just wants him to practice healthy habits of consuming vegetables during meals.

This post contains affiliate links.


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He really isn’t coming back

Grand Canyon 2017

A widow’s journey

There are 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It has taken me three years to reach acceptance. My new normal is living life as a single mom. I am raising a boy and anything I don’t know I have to learn and fast.

Legoland 2017

It seems my son has grown up overnight and I need to keep up. I have to love up on my son so that he knows how much I care while he still has me. What I had come to realize is I have spent a lot of time over the past three years checked out of life in my grief.

This affected my son, my work and my social life. I have spent time holding on to the married woman I was not coming to grips with how my life and personality was changed. It’s time to embrace that change, start over and discover the things I desire and enjoy in life now.

Halloween crafting 2017

My son is evolving into the man his father was. Everything from his expressions to his personality remind me of his dad. There was a time I couldn’t handle any similarities of Qwan in DJ but now I welcome it. These moments of nostalgia are all I have left of Qwan. He really isn’t coming back.

In loving memory

On this day just after 5 am three years ago my husband was pronounced dead. Qwan is laid to rest without a grave marker because I simply refused to put it there. Due to the rules of the cemetery he can’t have a large tombstone only the flat plaque and this annoys the hell out of me.

But in order to properly honor his memory I must claim that piece of dirt where he lay so the world will know he was here. I have been having the hardest time choosing a design because I have to do so unwillingly.

It’s not all about me though, Qwan has family and friends who would want to visit him too. I am sure Qwan is shouting down from heaven something like “put respect on my name!” Qwan was large in stature and personality. He gave a lot of love to many so at the very least he should be memorialized properly.

Qwan’s friend Tone and the “Wolf” pack.

Qwan didn’t just leave me and DJ behind. He still has a mom, nieces and nephews, god children and lifelong friends. I want to empathize with how they feel about his lost and the times they would need visiting him too.

Qwan at work with great friends.

One of Qwan’s last wishes were for me to never remarry or “he will rise up from the grave. I know he’d give me a pass if I did. He even told me specifically who I couldn’t marry bringing up old flames he knew about. Ha! That conversation was hilarious thinking back to it. But I know Qwan would want to see me and DJ thrive and live a well rounded life that makes us happy.

A look ahead

This year I will be 38, the age Qwan was when he passed. There is a reason I still walk the earth so I have to make every moment count. I accept that his physical presence is not here but I believe he is watching over us. I want to make him proud and continue to carry him in my heart.

So I get it, I am not the same. I have even lost friends along the way and now I accept this. No one will replace the relationship I had with Qwan. There is a permanent void lost because he is irreplaceable. I must stop trying to fill that void with these temporary meaningless things.

Whenever I was afraid I would fail Qwan would say “you got that shit”. I will let that phrase echo in my head as I brave through taking this new life head on. He also told me so much about raising DJ as he got older so Qwan left me with tools I have remember.

He really isn’t coming back.
Our son doesn’t have a dad.
I am a widow and single.

Now what? I am not sure what the future holds but I know I got that shit!

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Gifting The Perfect Holiday Treat: “Strawberry Hill Povitica”

One of my favorite desserts of the season

In the midst of the holiday season many people are picking up last minute treats to serve or bring to the festivities. Often times it’s hard to please everyone so the best bet is choosing a dessert to please a variety of taste buds. With this is mind I had to share one of my picks not only for taste but convenience too.

The following post is a sponsored although words, opinions and photos are my own

Perfect packaging to store cake at home or on the go.


Inside the box you will find Povitica stored in plastic for preservation and taste.

Strawberry Hill is offering delicious varieties of a 2.5lbs Eastern European sweet bread called Povitica (Poh-va-teet-sa).This swirled bread has been handmade in Kansas City by the O’Leary family since 1903! Povitica comes in 12 different flavors and is packaged perfectly for storage at home or to come baring gifts for businesses or at your next holiday event.

Peeking inside the plastic

I love the way it’s stored to preserve the moisture in the flavors especially because my refrigerator seems to be temperamental. When I took it out to serve my son enjoyed it straight out the fridge where as I warmed it a little in the mini convection oven base on our own preferences.

Lemon Cream

Me and DJ enjoyed Povitica’s two loaf pack with lemon cream and apple cinnamon flavors. We thought it both were equally delicious I am sure you would too. With all the varieties you can choose something everyone would love.

Apple Cinnamon

In addition to the flavors Povitica is sold in size varieties from mini all the way to eight loaf packs. To learn more about Strawberry Hill Povitica you can visit their website at for product information,  F.A.Q and more.

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Holiday Finds For Moms at Momtrends Holiday Soiree #MTHoliday

In the midst of a bustling week I was lucky enough to pull off attending the Momtrends holiday soiree located at Splashlight Studios a few weeks ago. There were brands that could meet every need a mom would have going into the holiday season.

Momtrends Holiday Soiree, Photo Credit: Momtrends


I can’t remember the last time I have taken time to treat myself to a manicure so I was excited to be introduced to Maniorpedi., Photo credit: Momtrends

Maniorpedi is an on-demand manicure and pedicure service made available in your home or office. They service select areas of New York City and create pricing tailored to your personal or event needs. I don’t know about you but it would be so much easier having my manicures and pedicures come to me these days.

Food and Drinks

Noble Vines Tasting, Photo Credit: Momtrends

Another indulgents I enjoy is wine which I normally have delivered to my home monthly. When I met Noble Vines what set them apart was their offerings of affordable wines.

Noble Vines Rose Photo by Shaniqua Garvin

All their wines range from $9-11 dollars in price without any compromise to taste or quality. All the wines I sampled were quite delicious and this would be a perfect gift to give a host or enjoy for yourself.

Jarlsberg Cheese, Photo Credit: Momtrends

With the Noble Vines I also sampled some tasty Jarlsberg cheese. To make my tasty buds complete I tried gourmet treats by Red Velvet NYC.

Gingerbread people kit by Red Velvet NYC, Photo Credit: Momtrends

They specialize in providing baking kits to be made at home using Red Velvet’s recipe and instructions. In the spirit of the season I was able to take home a gingerbread people kit I am excited to try with DJ.

As a special offer to all of you get 10% off any of the Red Velvet NYC baking kits through 2017 using code: SHANIQUAGARVIN

Fashion and Accessories

There was also one of my favorite clothing brands Rider By Lee who guided us through fashions for every occasion. I love Rider By Lee for being comfortable and affordably priced.

Cents of Style, Photo Credit: Momtrends

Another clothing company perfect for moms on a budget was Cents of Style who provided a lovely winter scarf to all attendees. Along with the scarf on winter days the O-Venture key ring will come in handy.

Choosing an O-Venture Key Ring
Choosing a O-Venture Gold Confetti Silicone Key Ring Retails $28
Photo by Shaniqua Garvin

Imagine not having to dig in your bag in search of your keys while in the cold. I have already been using my key ring and I feel like it’s added minutes to my day. If you are not in cold climates you can still reap it’s amazing benefits.

Entertaining and Gifts

Talking with Name Bubbles, Photo Credit: Momtrends

As moms we need all the conveniences we could get. A practical brand like Name Bubbles provides personalized labels you could use not only for kids but for grown ups too. When in search of more personalization you can look to Pearhead for gifts. They specialize in baby, pregnancy, pet and wedding memory creations. Another company that will help you celebrate is Thimblepress providing party goods and wall art. Some celebrations can be made complete when you add in digital decorations like ones provided by AtmosFX.

Giving Thanks

No holiday season is complete without giving. It was a pleasure being among all the other influencers who were giving back that evening to Second Chance Toys for children in need.

Toy Giving, Photo Credit: Momtrends

I am also grateful to the whole Momtrends team for a wonderful soiree and all the brands that sent me home with goodies of my own. Me and my son are already playing Hearing Things and always rocking out to Kids Bop.

Momtrends Holiday Soiree Goodies. Photo Credit: Momtrends

One gift bag sponsors and brand partner I didn’t get to enjoy was Living Proof and Boxed Water. Nonetheless with most of these products and services I feel ready to tackle everyday life and the holiday season. For more information on any products you can refer to the links.


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An organic beverage I can stand behind, now that’s Honest Tea

Honest Tea

On my health journey I have focused so much on what has been going in my body particularly what I am using to hydrate. These days I absolutely love drinking Honest Tea and I also give it to DJ.

Honest Kids Apple Juice

There are so many flavors and varieties of Honest beverages to go with the refreshing taste. What’s more you will find an exceptional amount of transparency within the Honest Tea brand. You can find their mission and a link to their original business plan right on the site. So in the spirit of being just as truthful let me share that the following post is sponsored however words and opinions are my own.  

Honest Tea is USDA organic, Orthodox Union Kosher and Fair Trade certified. It is also Gluten free with no “GMO’s and only sweetened with real fruit. I think what sets their teas apart is their brewing process because they are steeped in hot water before chilled like how our grandma’s used to make it. The best part for me is the very low amount of calories and sugar of course.If you haven’t seen all their offerings you can find it at

This past week I was sent a variety of Honest Tea samples all of which I equally enjoyed. Based on what I was eating or my activity level I’d then determine what to drink because yes I do meal plan.

Honest Teas

Honey Green Tea and Pomegranate Blue Flavored Herbal Teas were sweet in taste so I drank it with salty, spicy and tart foods. The Unsweet Peach Ginger Tea had a very faint hint of a sweet taste which I drank with a sweet snack.


Honest Sport

After long days on my feet or workouts Honest Sport was perfect in the orange and lemon flavors. I chugged them and it did the trick to keep me hydrated, energized kept my migraines at bay. I gave the berry flavors to DJ after school and it hydrated him well too.

Honest Sport

,As a mom I have used Honest Kids for years because  of all the health conscience benefits. DJ enjoys every flavor at anytime from apple juice at breakfast to super fruit punch for that drink before bed.

Honest Kids

Over the past week life for us has been filled with long school days, kid blog events, doctor appointments, halloween and birthday parties. Quite often I had to pack lunch or snacks on the go for me and DJ. I would grab us both two drinks and put it in the lunch bag with an ice pack.

Honest Kids

This has been a lifesaver because DJ simply cannot deal with being thirsty and I am a mess when I am dehydrated, can you say mom for the win! (For now)

Goodness Grapeness… I put my straw in the wrong hole, ha, ha. I am not letting that stop me from drinking my juice.

I try my best to hold everything together as a single mom but I do know things in my life and around me I can’t control. Me and my son’s nutrition is something I can steer in the right direction. I am happy to have found an organic beverage I can stand behind, now that’s #refreshingly Honest Tea!

For more information on Honest Tea you can visit their site through the links and find products at your local retailer. 

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10 Things Every Widowed Single Mom Wants You To Know: Part 2

Lately things have been hellish for a lack of a better word. My son is feeling the effects of wanting a “real” family as he sees it played out among friends, in his community and on tv. Perhaps my own bitterness toward this often difficult single parent widow life has rubbed off on him. I have to help my son understand that we will be ok.

It certainly does not help when relatives, friends and even strangers on the train interject on how they think you should be living your life. I have had cab drivers, beauticians, nurses, relatives, and yes random folks on the train demand I get married and have kids in front of my son after I  tell them I am a widow.

What made them the authority on my life? Who is going to have to love, honor and cherish said husband? Are they going to carry this pseudo baby for 9 months, go through labor, breastfeeding and sleepless nights? Can I send them a bill to care for this child for 18 years? Clearly this topic has stuck a cord and inspired the remainder of my list.

5. Respect and Acknowledge Our New Family

When we lose a spouse the way we view our family structure immediately shifts. For me I consider myself and my son to be my family and when making decisions I consider what benefits him and take it from there. Sometimes that may mean creating boundaries in an effort to do what is best for your family which brings me to my next point.

4. We Want To Celebrate The Holidays Our Way

Some of us out of respect for the rest of our family carry on with holiday traditions like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas celebrations but the truth is we just want to stay home. It’s almost like a catch 22, we want to stay home to cherish and create more memories with our children and have a safe place to mourn if needed during the holiday. In that same vain we do see the value is spending time with extended family members as well. The option to choose would be appreciated but often times widows don’t feel their families and loved ones are sympathetic to this.

3. Stop Trying To Raise Our Kids

An odd thing happens to widows, although I know many mother’s relate to this. When you become a widow suddenly everyone knows what’s best for your child. Some adults may go as far to explaining death, heaven and hell, or moving on to your child without your permission. Others advise against grief counseling for children and tell your child how they should feel.

We want you all to stop putting your nose where it doesn’t belong. What’s best for our children is our concern alone. Single parenting is hard enough without you fudging it up thank you very much.

2. Stop Telling Us To Move On

Short of some extreme cases I doubt any widow past the one year mark hasn’t gone back to some form of her new normalcy. This will be in the form of a daily routine, hobbies and caring for the kids. Every now and then she may even manage to get out and do something she enjoys, begins to exercise or try some new things.

Through it all she often speaks of her late husband recalling memories of him. To you she is so different and since she is single  your feel she is clinging on to her late husband and won’t let him go. You think this is the sole reason for her not moving on.

Well please stop bugging us about it. As widows we have completely new lives and are starting all over again. Very often that will mean a new job, house and town. With all those adjustments cut us some slack and let us breath and catch our bearings. When it comes to dating imagine starting over to find someone you love. That person is coming into the life of your child too and that is not a decision that should be taken lightly nor should it be something that happens overnight.

1. We will be widows the rest of our lives

Someone once asked me why I called myself a widow and I paused because I was perplexed. Then I took a deep breath and said because I am and truth is I will always be. After being in the widowed world and connecting with so many I am not sure people realize once you become a widow, you enter a sorority club you never leave. The reason your a widow is because you will always be a woman who has had a husband who died.

One day when a widowed woman finds love again we call that “a widow on chapter 2” . Widows never really leave their widow support groups because she still mourns her husband she lost. Often that widow will even have the support of her new husband who will accompany her and her kids to the grave or simply support them in the way they see fit.

For all these reasons be understanding and considerate of the widow you have in your life. Listen to her, ask her what she needs and think about any way you might have changed since her husband’s passing.

If you are a widow what would you add to the list?

In case you missed check out

10 Things Every Single Mom Wants You To Know Part One

I am Shaniqua Garvin and I became a widow in January of 2015. I am raising my young son. It’s been quite a journey I will be on the rest of my life. If you have recently become a widowed single mother or father you are not alone. There are support groups on, facebook and in your local community . There are fully funded playgroups, and camps for parents with young children. For those simply seeking to support a widow you can find family and friend support groups. Wishing all the best you.