When Daddy is Overwhelmed….

I think there is a lot of responsibility which falls onto a father’s shoulders.  Paying the bills and keeping his family fed and warm; helping to teach the children all they need to know before adulthood; helping his son become a man; going to work day in and day out regardless of whether he wants to or feels like it that day; keeping the house and garden in a state of repair.  I could go on.  Responsibilities are numerous and occasionally a father may need help.

Ribbet collagegarden10

Just recently Gary and I were talking about the garden.  In our house the garden is typically Gary’s domain.  Not because I don’t want to help but because it is what Gary does for a living and really I don’t have a clue!  Just over a year ago we had to remove a large tree which was threatening to fall onto our house in all the storms England was having at the time.  We had it cut down and cut into large logs and placed to the side of our garden.  Around the same time we were given a very old green house, some paving stones and a heap of doors.  Suddenly out of nowhere our garden began looking like a junk yard.


I was aware the logs needed to season before Gary chainsawed them down to a choppable size and T13 chopped them into useable sized logs.  A year went by and still everything was just sitting there.  Our garden was beginning to look like a jungle.  I had hoped to carry out a daily or weekly nature study but the heap did not inspire me at all!  I do not like to put pressure on Gary because he works so hard outside the house and when he’s home he does his fair share of childcare.  He is a fabulous worker and provider for our family.  That said, I was concerned that nothing was being done and I asked if he had any plans.

Ribbet collagegarden11

Now Gary rarely displays weakness and does not like to admit defeat in any way but that particular day he just shook his head.  He said he kept looking at it and it felt overwhelming to him.  There was so much to do, he didn’t know where to start.  So I suggested we tackle it as a family.  I didn’t know if this was practical or not.  For example I knew only he could to do the chainsawing.  It turned out there was lots we could do.  We have been going out every day for just half an hour.  Half an hour is no time at all but the seven of us have achieved heaps and day by day the garden is becoming less overwhelming and less jungle-like.  And we are putting by enough logs to heat our home all winter long.

The girls tidying and weed killing
The girls tidying and weed killing
Gary chainsawing
Gary chainsawing
T and Gary logging
T and Gary logging
We all helped collect the small logs
We all helped collect the small logs
And L12 and B4 stacked them under our log shed
And L12 and B4 stacked them under our log shed
our growing log pile
Our growing log pile

What I love most about all of this is the truth that life can be overwhelming when you have to tackle something alone, but when a family draws on the strength of each family member that which felt overwhelming suddenly feels doable, even easy.


  1. I am so glad you all were able to pull together as a family and get the job done. Our yard overwhelms my husband at time too.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. What astounded me was how much we all managed to do in just half an hour a day. Honestly, seven of us made piece meal of an otherwise huge job!

    1. I think he was very happy to have some help. We still have a way to go before it is all cleared but it is looking better every day.

    1. One of our twins really doesn’t enjoy being out in the garden, but even she said she was happy to be helping out Daddy.

  2. A valuable lesson. I think that the load on the income provider in this society where there is so much pressure to have two incomes can be immense and it is great to be able to share the burden of some of the other tasks.

    1. Definitely. Gary takes his job as our provider really seriously as well. It’s always nice to do something which helps him.

  3. So much resonates with us here too. I hate to mention anything around the house that needs to be done because my husband works so hard to provide for us. I don’t want to nag or sound like he’s not doing enough. But then when I try to take it all on at home it overwhelms me and we have a different type of disaster. It’s tough to balance. I think you all are doing great working together on the garden.

  4. Me too!! I have to be careful offering my husband help.
    I love how your garden is looking and your log pile and working together always makes time pass quicker!!

  5. One of the first things that drew me to your blog was the way y’all work together. It is such a joy to see. Gary is certainly very blessed to have you as a wife. God knew exactly what he was doing when He allowed your paths to cross. The garden is looking so lovely. Send some of that energy my way, would you, please? I hope your weekend has been great. Hugs to you, my friend.

    1. I have found the garden to be a welcome reprieve from all the Shakespeare school planning I am doing at the moment. I think I will be all Shakespeared out before I actually get top teach…. (well, no not really. I can’t get enough!)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: