Question of the week: Is there ever a funny side to single parenting?


It may seem like most posts on this blog talk about the difficult sides of single parenting, but there are also funny and lighter sides to parenting alone.

Today, I’d like to share a few of my lighter moments as a single parent.

Mixed matched shoes

When I was a single mom, the light bulb went out in my closet. My closet was upstairs, the ladder was downstairs in the garage, and I was in a rush to get to church, so I opted to not replace the bulb. I grabbed some shoes and ran out the door, shoes in hand, and jumped in my car.

After I got to church and was walking down the hall to my class, I noticed I was limping. What was the cause of my limping? I had grabbed two shoes that had heels of different heights. So I was limping down the church hallway, and my teenage son was walking behind me, cracking up. Not even a stern look from me could quiet his laughter. I had to admit I looked pretty funny. The shoes were also different colors. One was black, and the other navy blue.

Planet of the Apes

One night when I came home, my teenage daughter, her best friend, and my son were watching a Planet of the Apes movie. They invited me to watch the movie with them. After I sat down and got comfortable, they informed it me it was actually a Planet of the Apes marathon.

Oh, my goodness! We watched those crazy movies way into the night. The next morning, I woke up on the floor with the sun hitting my face. I think I dozed off somewhere around 4 a.m. We lost my son around 3 a.m. when he moved to one of the couches and fell asleep. My daughter and her friend were sprawled out on the floor sound asleep, too. I sat up, smiling at the scene before me: popcorn bowls, soda cans, sleeping kids, and the TV blaring away. It was a sweet single-mom kind of a moment.

The bag of dirty socks

My son was notorious for not washing his socks. When he came home from track, he would take off his socks and leave them wherever he took them off. He was in middle school, busy and distracted. His socks were not a high priority. His sister and I deplored those dirty socks, so I started collecting his socks. I kept them in a paper bag in my closet.

Early one morning, he came and sat on my bed and said, “Mom, I don’t know what’s happened to all my socks.” My daughter and I looked at each other and started laughing. I went to the closet and pulled out the bag of dirty, smelly socks, and as I dumped them on his head, I said, “Oh! You mean these smelly things?” We all had a pretty good laugh about that event. My daughter still loves to tell that story. My son, not so much.

The baseball bat and the clothes dryer

This is one story I’m embarrassed by, but my kids love telling it, so I figure I might as well share it with all of you. After our clothes dryer door broke, we had the brilliant idea to shove a steel bat in the door. When we did this, it kept the door from falling open. Money was tight, and it was sufficient to get us through for a while.

One evening after a very strenuous day, I came home late. The kids were in their teens, and they had eaten and were watching TV. I went straight to the laundry room to put a load of my clothes in the dryer. I shoved that bat in the dryer door, and just about the time I stepped into the kitchen, the bat fell, and the dryer stopped. I turned on one foot and put the bat back. Stood there for a moment, and everything worked fine … that is until I stepped into the next room. On and on it went until finally I lost it. I grabbed that bat and began beating that dryer.

My kids rushed into the laundry room, and when they saw what was happening, they burst out laughing. My daughter put out her arm in front of her brother protectively and said, “Brian, slowly, very slowly, back up before she chases us with that bat!” as they began to back up. When I saw them acting so silly and laughing, I burst out laughing, too. My son very carefully took the bat out of my hand and propped it in the dryer door. I don’t remember this part, but my daughter says I came and sat on the couch and said, “Well, that felt pretty good!” We all had a good laugh that night.

From hurting to laughing

Once single parents get a routine established and get past all the hurting and anger, they come to realize that parenting alone does have some lighter and sweeter times. I wouldn’t trade any of my precious memories of when I parented my kids alone. We got close and came to enjoy our little family.

If you are a kidmin, invite your single parents to share some of the funnier times in their families. You might be surprised to hear the kids join in on the conversation as the parents share their stories with you.


This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on November 4, 2013.

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4 thoughts on “Question of the week: Is there ever a funny side to single parenting?

  1. The Christmas my divorce was finalized, I had to wait to the last minute to shop for Christmas. And Christmas dinner was the last on the list. I received a call from my bank that they were suspending my credit card because of suspicious high usage…. But I didn’t listen to the message. I went into the store for groceries and was unable to pay for it. By the time my bank fixed it the store was closed!! So I told the kids that we can have the pork chops from the freezer, pizza or Chinese food! They chose a new tradition, Chinese food! Which was a perfect day, especially when the sign on their door said “we open new year and christamas day”!!

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