Single dad juggles 5 kids and school

Describing Josh Bain as a solid multi-tasker would be an understatement.

At 32, he’s a full-time student at Algonquin College and a single father of five.

“They’re really well-behaved kids. I’m lucky,” said Bain, who lives near Little Italy.

There’s Sierra, 11, Savannah, 10, Ethan, 9, Austin, 7, and Owen, 3.

The girls are “fairly mature now, and they help out,” Bain said.

“Everybody’s got their chores and everybody’s got their little personal rules.”

Still, managing the household can be a challenge.

“We have our rough weeks and our easy weeks, obviously,” Bain said.

“My son, last week, decided to try to take a bite out of his skateboard and put his two front teeth through his lip … we were in CHEO for a good portion of the week.”

Their mother left when Owen was six months old, leaving full custody of all children to Bain.

“I was stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Bain said, noting he had worked on oil rigs out west on and off for 10 years.


“I couldn’t afford to put in 16-hour days anymore, so I had to start retraining.”

Bain is enrolled in the electrician program, even making the Dean’s Honours List.

He’s wrapping up his final semester.

When asked what he’d like for Father’s Day: “I don’t know. Tools for my future career, I guess. I just can’t remember the last time I bought myself something,” he said.

“A set of screwdrivers or something like that. I have very minimal tools right now.”

Limited help, too, come fall.

Bain’s parents are in town for another month, he said.

“My mother retired and they’ll be moving back to B.C. in August.”

With no car, “we’ll just do a lot more bus riding, I guess, and getting rides with (other) parents,” he said.

“We’re pretty tight-knit in our community.”

What keeps him going is “the drive to know that I’ve got to get back on top,” for the kids, he said.

“My drive is them, 100%.”

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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