What’s it really like as a single parent / single dad?

I received an email survey from a college student at Ohio University asking about life as a single parent and, more specifically, as a single father. Instead of just answering it back in email, I thought it would be fun and interesting to turn it onto – ta daaa! – a blog post. So here we are. If you’re a single parent, I invite you to answer the questions in a comment below too so…Read More

Waiting for the Carpet Cleaner…

There are some classic movies about how owning a house is rather like having a money pit, notably including the wry and oh-so-dated Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.  There are big and obvious costs, like a replacement water heater or new roofing, but there are also lots of hidden costs. And some are literally hidden and don’t show up until unveiled. Like the stains I found in my carpet while…Read More

Planning and Hosting Teen Parties as a Single Parent

My youngest just turned 14 and we missed her birthday weekend because of this darn flu. Second year in a row that it’s kicked her down and she’s missed a week or more of school. Next year I’m definitely going to push daily vitamins, lots of extra vitamin D and oodles of overprotective personal hygiene into her daily routine and hope that helps. This year, however, we missed it entirely. Her birthday lands right in…Read More

Christmas as a Single Dad

It strikes me that you, dear reader, might be interested in hearing a bit about how a two-household family splits time with the children during a big holiday season. The wrinkle is that that I don’t celebrate Christmas, per se, but instead have brought my own Jewish traditions of Hannukah into the family instead. That makes holidays pretty easy in that there’s never a conflict over who has the children Christmas Eve or Christmas morning…Read More

Newly Divorced Dad Feels Like the Babysitter…

Hey Dave! I just read your article about newly becoming a single father and I really wanted to know how you handled your ex-wife when she started dating again, knowing that person was going to be around your kids more than you. My daughter is only 18 months, me and my ex-wife divorced back in June and I believe she is already seeing someone. I know that it was bound to happen but I feel more…Read More

Our Kansas City Eclipse Adventure

It was an event memorialized with a Facebook event my friend Phil Hord created years ago, just so we’d all have it on our calendars. A total eclipse of the sun that raced across the United States at an approximate diagonal from Oregon to South Carolina, passing directly through the center of Wyoming, just a few hours north of our home in Boulder, Colorado. But “just a few hours north” meant that literally hundreds of…Read More

The Long Journey to Empathy and Forgiveness

It’s almost like a pool of water: on the surface we simply exist and things happen to us, good and bad. A bit deeper we recognize that they’re not all our fault or justified, and sometimes – perhaps often – actions are not okay and not justified. That breeds anger, resentment, depression, etc. But deeper than that and a real challenge to reach is the lower level of forgiveness, of seeing what happens, recognizing it’s…Read More

Dirt Patch to Flower Garden: My DIYZ Mother’s Day

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by DIYZ. All opinions are 100% mine. Mother’s Day is tricky now that I’m a single parent and my own mother has passed away. I think about her, and honor the woman who’s the mother of my children, but it’s not at all the same as the more traditional brunch celebrations you often hear about. To honor my Mum, I decided that this year for Mother’s Day I would plant…Read More

Morning Routine with Teenager

I’ve heard it again and again from my children, I’m a micro-manager and try to orchestrate things too much to fit the way I think our schedule should progress. They prefer a looser schedule and don’t want me urging them to keep moving forward on a timetable. There’s some truth to their claim because I am pretty obsessive about being on time (as all of my friends know by now) and it bugs me to…Read More

Dad 2.0 Summit: Of Dads and Brands

Just got back from a fantastic few days in San Diego, California, attending the sixth Dad 2.0 Summit. This time it was almost 400 men talking about masculinity, fatherhood and the role of men in modern society. Just men? No, there were a liberal sprinkling of women to make sure we didn’t just sit around having burping contests and talking about women. Or sports. Or beer. I’ve attended all six of the Dad 2.0 Summit events as…Read More

Life and Parenting Schedule Changes

Fellow single parents, ya know how you and your ex figure out some sort of parenting schedule with the kids and then hope you can rely on it and plan your life based on that? And how life itself always has a curve-ball ready to pitch? Yeah, that. In fact, there are times I think that the most important criterion for success in life as a single parent isn’t being reliable, but being flexible. Reliable…Read More

Challenge: Ex’s Visitation Causes Current Girlfriend to Bail…

I get letters, often from other divorced men who are either full-time single fathers or part-time dads. All of them have one thing in common: they love their child or children and are trying to do the best they can while also trying to have a life of their own. The latest guy to write to me had this question: My question to you is about parenting first and secondly personal wishes. Two years ago,…Read More

Life as a Single Dad on The Solo Parent Life Podcast

A few weeks ago I had a chance to spend some time talking with psychologist and family therapist Robbin Rockett, who hosts the terrific Solo Parent Life podcast. Our conversation ranged all over the place but also included a history of this blog, Go Fatherhood, including how my divorce was — and wasn’t — reflected here on the site. We also talked at length about how judgmental other parents can be (and how hard that…Read More

Post-Divorce: Switch Days Still Suck

My youngest has basically lived her entire life switching houses between her Mom and myself. We’ve been in separate houses for just about a decade now and she’s 12yo. In fact, she’s told me that she has no memories of when we co-habitated before the separation and divorce. Which by itself is a bit staggering to contemplate, that she has no memories of her Mom and Dad that don’t involve tension, upset, emotions and, sometimes,…Read More

Legalization Doesn’t Make Marijuana a Good Idea for Teens

In fact, the laws voted in that changed the legal status of retail marijuana in the state of Colorado don’t apply to those under 21 anyway, but let’s be candid: legalization has made weed considerably easier to acquire. Problem is, it turns out that while there are good and bad effects to marijuana usage in adults, the scales are considerably further tipped to the “bad’ side when you’re under 21 and in particular when you’re…Read More

Three weeks of Nutrisystem and I’m slimming up…

Starting with the “Fast5” is a mixed blessing with Nutrisystem. I can say that now that I’m a few weeks into the program and have finally started losing weight again. The jump-start — as I write about here: Nutrisystem Fast5 Was Fast and Easy — gets you moving down the scale quickly, but then it’s an adjustment afterwards to get back to your regular eating habits and metabolism. The result was that for the first…Read More

Valentine’s Day as a Single Parent

In my imagination, a beautiful woman is poised to surprise me with gifts and a surreptitiously planned super romantic overnight get-away to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In reality, however, I’m a single dad and life isn’t quite that exotic. There’s no beautiful girlfriend in my life at this point, so today’s actually all about my kids. And that’s okay. It is fortunate that my youngest, now 11yo, has arranged for a small Valentine’s Day party, though,…Read More

Of absent fathers and the culture that allows that choice…

Received a nice note from a reader that’s worthy of discussion: I stumbled upon your website. Being that I am a single mom (sole parent) and a member of our neighborhood single mom’s club (which is really play dates involving wine), it was refreshing to read some of your articles and how you actually spend time with your children and take care of them, and most importantly love them. Most of our group’s ex-husbands do…Read More

A Surprisingly Happy Thanksgiving Celebration

I’m all for gratitude and taking the time to remember what we appreciate and are thankful for. I think we all tend to be so busy yearning for something newer, bigger, better, shinier that it’s way too easy to forget all the blessings we have in our daily lives, whether we’re living the good life in a fancy penthouse or big house or otherwise. For my family, I’ve been chugging along as a single dad…Read More

Hanging with 103 Dads at The At-Home Dads Convention

Last year I spent an afternoon at the At-Home Dads Convention and enjoyed the chance to meet a number of passionate dads who had opted to stay home and raise their children while their wives focused on careers and bringing home the proverbial bacon. A role reversal from the traditional male/female roles in a family, for sure. This year when the 19th Annual At-Home Dads Convention was again going to be in Denver, I proposed a…Read More

The Stark Reality of My Father’s Day

Ah Father’s Day. A day that should be fun, easy, light and enjoyable, with kids showering Dad with love and tokens of their affection. I see it on Facebook and on TV, so it must be true, right? I mean, I love my kids and I know that they love me too, so we’re good to go in that department. Except for that pesky thing called reality. This year my two younger ones are in…Read More