I really didn't expect this. I didn't plan for it. Single parenting that is. Bringing up 5 kids on my own. It's a challenge. Some are willing to help, but there's always a cost. One way or another. You don't know until you go there. There's no such thing as a free lunch, as the old saying goes. It's subtle at first, but becomes plainer as time goes by. Even if the intentions of the helpers are truly honourable, it still happens. I think it's inevitable.
Even when nothing is said, they're still there - the opinions. Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, they are there, solid as rock - in the minds of the helpers - reinforced by your continued use of their help. It makes not one jot of difference what you say. You can talk until you're blue in the face - in their minds you NEED their help, you cannot do without them - you would sink if it were not for them.
I find this being treated like some kind of poor soul infuriating. Infuriating and patronising. I'm no different to most people in this regard - I dislike being patronised.
The only way you can solve this problem is to break free completely. Drop the help. Granted it makes life more difficult, but much more rewarding and satisfying (even if you are muddling along and living in a midden).
I had a wife for over 12 years. A good Christian wife from the Lord I absolutely believe. But he took her away. Every day of my youngest son's life is another reminder of that because she died giving birth to him. I now have to plough my furrow alone.
It's a challenge.
Calum, my youngest, is 18 months old. The rest are 8; 10; 11 and 13. Three boys and two girls.
Getting them up for school in the morning and breakfasting them I don't find so terribly difficult as that was my job anyway when Margaret was alive. As the day wears on though I can often find things a bit daunting. keeping the house at all tidy I find impossible at the moment, but I do intend for that to change as time goes on. I'm looking at the long game.
Deciding on and making meals is another ongoing daily challenge. Breakfast is simple enough: eggs, porridge, toast. Cereal if in a hurry. As it's the October holidays at the moment lunch is also my responsibility (as the October holidays were for tattie picking and nobody picks tatties any more, perhaps they could be cancelled to give us parents a break?), but doesn't usually present too much of a problem. It's dinner that can be annoying: planning making and serving. The continual piling up of dirty dishes I hate. Getting the kids to clean up is an uphill struggle (but I think the Wii has a lot to do with that).
Keeping them in clothing and with the right kind of clothing is a real pain. Not because of the cost, but because my mind simply is not on it. That is an area where I really miss Margaret - she was on the ball with that kind of thing - I just didn't have to think about it.
I've been dropped in at the deep-end and I've got to sink or swim - on my own. That's how I see it.
But am I on my own? Is the Lord with me?
Well...yes. I believe he is.