In the Beginning

My story really starts off no different than many of yours. I was born and raised in a small town in a two-parent household, the oldest of five children. I was surrounded by family, friends, and support my entire life.

None of my friends were from divorced or separated families. None of my friends had a parent who died. I had no experience with these traumas and never thought that I ever would.

After I graduated from college, I worked for a large corporation. It didn’t take me long to come to the realization that the life of corporate America was not for me. In 1988, I decided to take an advance from my credit card, throw caution to the wind, and begin my first business. The business eventually became one of Colorado’s fastest-growing companies with over 140 employees.

With hard work and commitment, my company was succeeding. Soon thereafter, I met Sara, a wonderful woman who was to be my wife and the mother of our children. We were married in 1992 and together began our family. Life was good.

Life was about to Change

Over the next couple of years, we were blessed with two beautiful children. For all intents and purposes, we were the perfect family. We had a successful business, wonderful children, financial stability, and love. In essence, we were living the American dream.

Unfortunately, life as I knew it was about to abruptly change. By late 2003, it became apparent to me that Sara was having an issue with alcohol. We talked about it, argued about it and cried about it, until finally in early 2004, Sara agreed to enter an alcohol rehabilitation centre.

For the first time, Sara was separated from the family. I was now faced with a unique set of issues and circumstances that needed to be addressed with my children.

How was I, as a parent, going to explain what this would mean to our family?

How was I, as a parent, going to support and nurture my children during this period?

How was I going to keep their lives as normal as possible?

How were they going to react to the changes?

What schoolwork was due tomorrow?

Were there doctor appointments scheduled?

Who was going to watch the kids while I was at work?

Where do I begin?

The Eternal Optimist

Regardless of the challenges we were facing, I truly believed that things would get better, but in reality they did not. Sara’s drinking continued and the safety of the children became my number one concern. Sara did not seem to have the ability or desire to address her problem. Eventually, her illness led to our separation and finally our divorce.

I was now a full-time single dad. On top of my own issues, the children were experiencing circumstances in their young lives that no child should have to face: confusion, fear, grief and anxiety. I needed help so I began to search the internet for resources or organizations dedicated to helping single dads, but there were none.

I wish I had to lead me through the roadmap of single parenting.

I was now officially a full-time single dad. We, together as a family dealt with the issues of alcoholism, separation and divorce, not to mention school work, doctor’s appointments, after school activities, etc. Things were actually beginning to look up for us.

The children were well-adjusted, sociable, involved, happy and in general positive about life. But unfortunately, things were about to dramatically change one more time.

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse

In June of 2007, I received a call that Sara had unexpectedly passed away in her home at the young age of 44. There is a strange finality when you receive a call like that.

First, it numbs you, second, it angers you and, third, it kicks you right in the gut. As an adult, you can never really prepare yourself for death, but as a child how do you even begin to make sense of it all?

I had to tell my kids that day what had just happened to their mother. I pray that none of you will ever have to go through what we did then or over the days that followed. I also had to go and tell Sara’s 79-year-old mother, who was living in a nursing home at the time that the daughter she just adored had died.

Throughout all of this, my only concern was everyone else. I had the responsibilities of children’s emotions, issues, estates and now caring for my 79, soon to be 80, year-old mother-in-law. Needless to say, I had my hands full.

Fortunately, God seems to have a way of taking care of everyone in their time of need. You see, my mother-in-law was really never the same after her daughter’s death. So in November of that same year, He took her to be with Sara in heaven. It is the accumulation of these experiences and events that have led me to create the Single Parents Town website.

I’m Not a Dr, I Am Just a Single Parent Like You

I am not a child psychologist, nor am I an expert at raising children. What I am is a single parent, just like you. I have learned how to deal with my set of circumstances in a positive, effective and successful way.

I have done it by never giving up, never stopping to learn, never believing that the wonderful opportunity I have been given to lead and inspire my children is a blessing, not a curse.

And finally, knowing that no matter how tough times can be, they will get better if I’m willing to make it happen. It is my hope and dream, that Single Parents Town will provide you with inspiration, motivation, and a set of resources and advice, to allow each of you to be the best single parent that you can be for your children.

Always remember…

“Anybody can be a father, it takes a special person to be a dad” 

Post by Bill McLeod


Image by Derek Thomson on Unsplash.

Published On: October 12th, 20210 CommentsTags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author: Guest Writer

Dads4Kids is a harm prevention charity committed to excellence in fathering. Our vision is to transform the nation by inspiring fathers to help their children be the best they can be.There’s a crisis in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 870,000 children, more than 1 in 6, live without their biological father at home.

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