Stories of surviving being a single parent to four children while maintaining your sanity.

Hardly Mother of the Year

Back in the days of raising grammar school children, life wasn’t just hectic; it was like careening in circles on Space Mountain in Disneyland with no way off. Each morning, as I dragged my still tired brain out of bed; I went to the calendar to check the color dots – one for each of my four hooligans. It was my way of visualizing who’d need my undivided attention after school. Some days, it was all of them.

In those early years, I dreamed of […]

My Year of No Fear

Arriving at the popular exercise venue, Soul Cycle, I noticed the lobby was filled with young athletes dressed in fashionable Lululemon workout gear that aggressively stretched against their bulging muscles. Realizing I was the only person of mature status in the room, I grabbed my daughter Jenni’s arm, and asked nervously, “Am I in trouble?”

“Mom didn’t you know, Soul Cycle is spinning on steroids.”

Now, I’ve never been fond of stationary bike classes. Peddling away in a hot, muggy room with sweat flying everywhere and going […]

Out of the mouths of babes

Drowning my sorrows in a stiff glass of Cabernet, I sat alone in the dark late one evening and moaned, “God, what am I doing wrong?”


After seven years of coaching both fall and spring league, you’d think I’d have the softball gig down, but that was not the case. In 1992, I was given the task of herding a group of 7-9-year-old kittens that couldn’t catch a fly ball or connect with the bat. We weren’t just bad, we stank, and I’d lost all […]

Inside the lines

Photo by Amit Gaur

Curled around my down-feathered pillow, as Chicken Pox created a polka dot motif all over my body, my father stood at the end of my bed with the best pill for relief — ever.
“Honey, I have a gift for you,” he smiled. “I know how much you love to color.” Then, handing me a Shirley Temple coloring book, along with a new box of Crayola crayons, I instantly forgot the feeling that a thousand mosquitoes had just attacked my body.
“Thank you, Daddy!” I […]

A Family’s Intervention

By the stern look in her chocolate-colored eyes, I found myself on the defensive. It was the same look she and her three siblings gave whenever I royally messed up.

“Mom,” Lauren, my third child, began with a declarative air. “We’ve been talking. Your behavior has got to stop.”

Mulling over my current life, I couldn’t even begin to guess what I’d done that was so bad. It wasn’t like I’d ventured out of my playpen, donned a sparkly tutu, and jumped off the roof to […]

Once a Mother, Always a Mother

“Remember, drive slowly. There’re little kids living in the neighborhood.”


“Geez, Mom,” the moaning began, accompanied by that well-recalled look, “you’re bugging me!” But knowing my concerns were only out of love, my son wrapped his 27-year-old arms around his mother and proudly declared: “I’m a man now. I know how to drive.”


Four years ago, Tim, the baby of the Haugh dynasty, decided to impersonate Gilligan and took a three-hour tour to Europe only to become shipwrecked in Barcelona, Spain. During those years, he traveled […]