Our Story Begins:
5 Things You Wish You DIDN’T Know
As A Single Parent

Adding to the things you learn as a single parent . . . as many great things that came as a result of adjusting our lives to having one adult in the household, there are some that just seem to be necessity whether I like it or not. Before losing my wife in 2011, I never thought much about any of these things. There were two of us, a best defense against the four sets of eyeballs staring maliciously at us, waiting to pounce. Now, I’ve noticed that some things just are . . . and you can fight them all you want, but they happen anyway.

Related: Our Story Begins: 5 Things You Could Learn from Being a Single Parent


My meals will almost never be piping hot.

Oh . . . supper will be warm or hot, of course. It’s simply that, between dishing out foods for kids, looking in the refrigerator and seeing that yes, indeed, there is NO milk left (and I’ve just come from the grocery store with nobody telling me there was no milk left then) and finally sitting at the table myself . . . my kids have finished.

Inevitably, by the way, after taking my first forkful of food one child will ask “can I go get some cookies out of the pantry?” This is followed by angry words in my head I cannot share in a family post.

The washing machine is ALWAYS running.

Yes…California is in the throngs of a severe drought. That, however, does not stop the fact that somehow green stains appear on the knees of blue jeans while playing on seemingly brown grass at the park. I still have 3 kids at home and somehow the machine’s always running. I’m using cold more often, I try to do smaller loads so the dryer’s not going in overload and, for the love of Pete, there are four of us!

The corollary to this, of course, is the fact that the laundry is always piling up. This is in the basket of dirty clothes as well as in the baskets of clean clothes. I fold, fold, and fold some more.

This is followed by my shouting “where the h$$l are my laundry baskets?!”

Spongebob Squarepants

Yellow. Sponge. Ears…bleeding…


You will allow your kids to help you . . . 

That sounds wonderful, amazing, like an efficient use of the hands and hearts in your household.  In reality, however, you will do this to keep the kids from shouting, arguing and hitting each other. If one of them (or more) are helping you bake cookies then they’re not getting into trouble.

HOWEVER . . . (you knew that was coming, right?) the reality of this help is that you will take two to three times longer to make same said cookies as if you did it yourself.
The upside to this is your kids remember, forever, that you baked with them and sometimes you get hilarious results, flour on their noses, or adorable mistakes you remember forever yourself. Take the risk, it actually may be worth it. Time will tell. . . which brings me to:

Time will move at varying speeds

You can say this is impossible all you want, Stephen Hawkings of the parenting world, but you know what I mean. When the kids are sick you feel like the day lasts forever because you worry, and worry more because every little thing is terrifying after your wife died of complications from pneumonia. However . . . (I know, used that a lot here, didn’t I?) if the school called and you have to race up to get your sick child from the school, time flies by and the school nurse gives you dirty looks for taking so long to get there. The dryer takes forever to finish, but somehow the washing machine gets finished 1,000 times faster. The time it takes the kids to unload and re-load the dishwasher is exponentially slower than the time it took you to cook the dinner they just ate and dirtied the dishes with.

Oh . . . and somehow that bottle of wine you opened, (or in the case of REEEAAAALY bad days, Scotch) knowing it’s strange that you drink it by yourself, seems to disappear exponentially faster depending on how stressful your work day and then home day were.

And…just for good measure, your 5(a) . . . Spongebob

I love that they got Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine on the show…but I can’t hear them from the ringing in my ears from the Sponge’s voice. Did they have to end Phineas and Ferb for goodness sake?

What about you? Do some of these apply to you?