In "My Brother Sam Is Dead," what is the effect of not having a father around the house to help out with the business?

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The biggest change that the absence of Mr. Meeker had on Tim and his mother was that they had to work so much harder than they had ever worked before.  They had to keep up the farm as well as the business.  They even had to work on Sundays, "which was a sin." Tim's mother worked as hard as a man and young Tim also worked from before sun up to after sun down.  They had to be in the tavern to pour the beer, run the farm, run the store, and make sure every customer was served.  The supplies were hard to come by.  Tim couldn't leave to get more supplies and sometimes when a woman lost her husband she would sell old farm equipment to the Meekers and they would resell them at a profit.  The thing that bothered Tim so much was that they worked so hard, but couldn't get ahead.  They just prayed Mr. Meeker would come home and Sam would come back.

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