My brother is in a very difficult situation. His wife separated from him a year ago. They have two kids, at the time 3 and 5 years old. They moved out of their common apartment, each one into their own. They share the kids mostly on a weekly basis, one week with mom, one week with dad.
I see that my brother is completely overwhelmed and exhausted. After over a year he still has full moving boxes standing around in his new apartment. He barely gets the housework done and is lucky that his employer tolerates it that he often has to leave earlier to pick up the kids from daycare but he feels bad for it. He tells me that in the week when the kids are with his ex-wife, after work he just falls onto the sofa to rest with no energy left for doing nice things for himself, like following a hobby.
I have talked with him often about getting support. I have registered on local childcare portals, read through nanny profiles, made him aware of such offerings, and even discussed in our family that we would share the cost of a nanny among us.
His first reaction was pushback. Then, he warmed up to the idea but never followed through. Later he said he thinks that it would take his time with his children away. All those nannies also offer help in the household, like doing laundry or dishes, he could choose how often they come, and they could do other support like picking the kids up from daycare or school for him to get some relief with his work schedule. But no. He is going back and forth and gets aggressive quickly when I pick this topic up.
I am an expat living on another continent, so I can only help remotely with organizing things. Our father passed away a year ago, our mother could still take care of the kids once a week for a few hours but he doesn't want to leave them there because he is afraid that she could not handle it.
At this point I don't know what to do anymore. It seems clear to me and to all common friends that I have talked with that he is overwhelmed. He needs help but doesn't accept any. On top of all of that, the pandemic has amplified everything.
He loves his kids and is a great father with moral integrity and only the best intentions. But I am worried that it hurts him and ultimately also the kids.
How can this father be helped?