While I am not in your position, I am sorry you feel so alone. The loss of your mother must be incredibly hard, I am so sorry. I dread that day. It sounds like you now have no one to really lean on while still taking care of your children. I am sure you are burned out, anyone would be! So my first thought is please take care of yourself. I know we would do anything for our kids, and it sounds like you are an amazing parent- know they are SO LUCKY to have you!! Don’t be afraid to start taking more time for yourself. You deserve it and your kids will be happy to see you so happy and fulfilled. You are still so young!
I would sit down and just make a list of everything you would like to do one day. Don’t think about what is realistic, just anything and everything. Try to list at least 100 things but keep going if you think of more. It can be bucket list items, travel, goals, or even things you just think could be fun (pet a tiger, visit Iceland, get a certain degree or certificate, star in a music video). Know that this probably won’t all happen, but the goal is to forget about reality for a bit and just get it all out there on paper. You will be surprised what comes to you! And you can definitely put things down like “meet someone great and get married”, if that is something you want one day. No wrong answers here!
When you’ve made your list, leave it alone and come back to it a day or week later. You’ll be amazed at some of the things you thought of! Then see what goals really stand out to you. If you want to travel, make it an official goal. Start thinking of what you need to do to make it happen. Don’t think “well, that money could be better spent on xyz…” If you need to pick up a little extra work for some months to save, explore that idea. Just be creative. Feel free to work on multiple goals at once. Travel was a big one for me, but to do that I needed to be financially healthy. I also wanted to be physically healthy and know the language and culture of where I was going. So I worked on my finances, my fitness, and personal studies all while working towards my big goal of traveling. It was awesome. Little goals are great too! I even wrote down things like “watch five new movies this year” or “read 10 new books”. Etc etc. This will help you reclaim your own identity, dreams, and goals. And it’s ok to have goals around your kids too! But just make sure you have some for just yourself too. 🙂
I know you feel guilty saying you are jealous, but I think it’s so healthy that you can properly name and share your true emotions. We can’t help how we feel, only how we act! Jealousy is ok as long as you can then use that feeling to work towards a positive place, and not dwell in the negativity. So if you think “I’d like a relationship”, you can think of things that go with that. Have you been wanting a new outfit or haircut? Can you go somewhere you are likely to meet someone? Etc etc.
Lastly, I know you don’t want to date online, but I’d like to urge you to at least consider it. Many, many people meet online now. I met my husband online and most of my age group (30ish) and friends have as well. There are a lot of duds but you just have to stick with what you want. It’s like going into a thrift shop- a lot of stuff is not a great find but there are some amazing finds as well if you know what you need! Don’t rush and don’t settle. I always recommend women look through all the profiles and message guys who interest you. They don’t have to be perfect so have an open mind, but also be selective. I liked my husband’s profile because he was funny, wrote a lot in his profile, had a lot of similar interests, and had kind eyes and great arms. I messaged him and basically said “hey, I like your profile and also enjoy abc and xyz. Feel free to take a look at my profile too, though it’s still a work in progress! If you aren’t interested, no worries! Have a great day!” He wasn’t the only one I messaged but the others fizzled out pretty quickly. We ended up getting along way better than I expected, but to this day he is funny, kind, has great interests and I’m still crazy about him (and his eyes and arms!). I found I got better results when messaging people I liked rather than just replying to guys who messaged me. My husband also found it really refreshing that I messaged him first. Guys rarely get messages from girls and even if they spend ages reading your profile and crafting a great message, most girls get so much attention that they rarely reply. So then guys start to put quantity over quality and that’s how you get thousands of men all messaging one line to like 30 women a day lol. I felt like this way cut through all that and got my message across that I was interested to guys that I thought could potentially be a good fit!
I just want to say I am sorry you feel stuck and alone. I think you are doing amazing and should be proud of yourself. I’m sure you’re not frumpy at all, you are soooo young still. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first more. Dream big and don’t let anything hold you back. This is your time!!