“Now that your dad is gone, you are the man of the house.” This has been said to Reece many times. It has even been said to Kayla, which I find a little bit comical. If you are one of the people who has said this, it’s okay, and no one really remembers who you are anyway. However, I feel that this a very unhealthy thing to place on a child, and I cringe when I hear it.
Reece is a child, whether or not he has a father in the home. He is dealing with a big loss, and it is not fair to expect him to suddenly help run the household and take on all of the responsibilities that Greg once had. I don’t expect that of him, and I don’t feel it’s helpful for others to suggest that it is expected of him by society.
The truth is that we don’t have a man of the house. I am solely responsible for raising my kids, providing for them, and managing the household. I feel the heaviness of these responsibilities, and I would love to have the help of another adult.
I rely on my older kids a lot, and definitely more than I used to. I expect all of my kids to help out in ways that are appropriate. My kids are very helpful, but they feel the unfairness of the extra weight on them. We have many conversations about how we need to work together as a team, even though it feels unfair. Life isn’t fair, and my kids have learned some hard lessons in their young lives.
I strive to make sure that none of my kids feel that they are being given responsibilities that place the weight of parenting on them. I worry that my kids have too much weight on their shoulders, and I try to be careful about how much I place on them.
Being a solo parent to six children means that I am stretched pretty thin. I am busy and exhausted, and I have a lot on my shoulders as well. It seems that most of my energy goes into just helping all of us survive. There isn’t time for much more sometimes, and I worry that I am not enough. I know I’m not.
A lot of times the kids have to help pick up the slack. I truly hope that this increased responsibility is only going to help them in the end. That is my goal. My kids are quite incredible. They are learning how to manage a household in a way I didn’t learn until I was an adult. I love and appreciate them so much, and I’m grateful for the ways they lighten my heavy load as the woman of the house.