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  1. Hello everyone. My name is Lauren and I was widowed on January 1, 2017 when my husband was killed in a car accident. I was 26 at the time, with a 10-month-old daughter. I'm now 29 and my daughter is 3. I am asking for advice and/or support over the issue of asking family, specifically my lovely in-laws, for help, and the feelings of shame and anxiety involved. As I've been widowed for 2.5 years, I am BAG and feel like I'm doing as well as anyone can be at this point. I have always been very independent, and although I have an amazing, loving relationship with my in-laws, I've done all the "big things" (moving, continuing education, therapy, etc.) on my own with their and my family's emotional support. My issue right now is that my mother is getting too old to continue to watch my daughter while I work (teacher) and so I need to get her back in daycare/preschool for next year at least 3 days a week. Obviously, as a single parent now, that's a real financial burden. My parents do all they can to help, but have their own financial issues and cannot help me with this one besides continuing to keep her 2 days a week to.keep costs down. My in-laws, on the other hand, are very well off, but I've never been comfortable asking them for financial help beyond help putting up a fence and accepting gifts for my DD. I called my MIL yesterday to vent my frustration over the cost of childcare in my new city and the low quality of the ones I've seen in my price range. I have found an amazing school that DD would thrive at...... for $850 a month to go 3 days.... I can only afford no more than $400. I am considering asking my in-laws if they would be able or willing to help with this cost, only because it could be instrumental in helping DD (their only GD, my DH was an only child) get a great head start. But I am feeling IMMENSE shame and anxiety about asking. These lovely people basically adopted me as their own when we married, and even more so after DH's death. I dont want to risk tainting their opinion of me or our relationship by involving money. They were already saddened last year when I chose to move back to my hometown to be near my large family support network, although I make sure DD sees them at least twice a month. Any words of advice or wisdom in this issue? I feel like becoming so self-sufficient, getting my Master's, fighting to get my own new home and stability for myself and DD became my driving force and my identity as a widow. The thought of being dependent or seen as a moocher repulses me, and I'm so conflicted on this.... Thank you for any thoughts you could share.

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