Dying mum's 15 rules for dad raising eight kids alone

Raising eight children can be a handful to say the least, and when doing it all by yourself it can seem near-impossible.

But that was the stark reality facing Ian Millthorpe after his wife lost her battle with cancer in 2010.

The doting father, 56, from Barnsley, UK, was devastated when his wife Angie passed away from terminal lung cancer, but was thankful for a parting gift she left behind.

Ian Millthorpe was left with the difficult task of raising eight children after his wife died in 2010. Source: Getty

“Luckily she made it easier for me,” Mr Millthorpe told The Sun.

Shortly before her death, his wife had drafted up a list of 15 simple rules he needed to stick to when bringing up their children.

While sons Ryan and Damon were in their 20s with Reece fast approaching, there was less worry over their wellbeing.

But Connor, Jake, Jade, Cory and Ella were merely children and needing special care.

Angie lost her battle with lung cancer in 2010. Source: Getty

The list varied from tips on hair care to quizzing the kids about future partners, and they have been Mr Millthorpe’s go-to rules for the best part of a decade.

Now, eight years on, the list is still coming in handy for a whole new generation – his five grandchildren.

“I miss Angie every day but I really did feel her absence during the birth of our grandchildren,” Mr Millthorpe said. 

And while he had his work cut out raising all eight, he paid credit to his kids.

“I’m very fortunate. I have a bunch of hardworking, caring kids. I’m really proud,” he said.

Angie’s 15 House Rules

1. Plait girls hair or it splits.

2. Must do homework before bed.

3. Must be in[side] one hour before dark.

4. Vet TV programs.

5. Don’t let them bite nails.

6. Vet boyfriends/girlfriends.

7. Keep going to Thornwick with rest of the 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 booster.

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. Sun block on hot days.