Dad reveals the 15-point plan that his deceased wife left him to raise their eight children
A single dad has revealed the secret behind raising his eight children is a 15 point plan given to him by his wife before she sadly passed away.
Ian Millthorpe, 56, was left struggling to cope with raising his children after his wife died in 2010 following a long battle with cancer. But, according to the former miner, he was able to come to terms with the enormous task that he was faced with after Angie compiled a list of parenting essentials just days before she died, aged 48.
"I can never replace Angie," Ian said, "I don't want to – but I'm determined to do everything that I can to make her proud of our family. Luckily she has made it easier for me."
In the 15-point plan, Angie reminds her husband to only allow the children "one hour a day on the computers" and to not "let them bite nails". Take a look at the list below:
1. Plait girl's hair or it splits
2. Must do homework before bed
3. Must be in one hour before dark
4. Vet TV programmes
5. Don't let them bite nails
6. Vet boyfriends/girlfriends
7. Keep going to Thornwick with rest of family
8. Be strict with them
9. Check their hair for nits
10. Only one hour a day on computer
11. Make sure Ella has her meningitis boosters
12. Don't have iron too hot for shirts
13. Don't leave Ella in bath alone
14. Don't give them too many sweets
15. Sunblock on hot days
"I'm very fortunate. I have a bunch of hard-working, caring kids," said Ian. "I'm really proud. My children talk about Angie every day, what their Mam used to do, what she used to say."
Ian married Angie back in 1985 after they fell in love at the age of 14. The couple had three sons Ryan, 32, Damon, 29, and Reece, 27 before Angie developed cancer for the first time aged just 29.
After Angie received the all-clear five years later, they had five more kids – Connor, 19, twins Jake and Jade, 15, Corey, 12, and Ella, 10.
However, in 2010, Angie was diagnosed with lung cancer and decided to write the list.
After her death, Ian found their daughter Ella's first nativity play particularly difficult.
"As I sat down a teacher said 'Mr Millthorpe, you are in for a real treat'. Then Ella sang a solo number. I could see the parents turning to look at me. I was almost in tears and I kept looking up wishing Angie could see her too."
Ian has also faced his own battles with his health, with the father surviving a brain haemorrhage in 2004 and struggling with lung disease due to his career as a miner. He said: "The hardest thing I've had to deal with is my health. I just want to do right by Angie and my kids. I don't want to become a burden."
Ian will spend fathers day walking along Thornwick Bay with his children, as per rule number seven on the list. He said:
"We're going to do our annual walk across Thornwick Bay at Flamborough Head, where we'll pay a visit to Angie's bench, lay flowers and share memories.
"We used to lay in that spot as teenagers looking over the bay, so it's a perfect way to keep her involved. When we used to do the walk with Angie, she'd cook a medium rare steak back at home, with chips, onion rings, mushrooms and a sliced tomato.
"This year I'll order that from a pub, where I'll unwrap presents from the kids. My older sons get me Joop or Hugo Boss aftershave as a nod to Angie, as she'd always got me that from them."
Raising eight children is hard enough as a couple, let alone on your own. Ian, enjoy your day at the bay and your presents, you deserve them.