This father of four who has a massive social media following refuses to show insta perfect lives and shares pictures of the struggles and the joys that come with parenting a real family of daughters.
This father of four who has a massive social media following refuses to show insta perfect lives and shares pictures of the struggles and the joys that come with parenting a real family of daughters.
"This week my eldest has been doing sex education at school. Shes very mature about it & having a midwife as a mum, they know a lot more than your average kid, no 'front bottoms' or 'nunnys' in this house, it's strictly a 'vagina' affair (which coincidently would be a great title for a drama series on TV) That said, she's chosen tonight (when @mother_of_daughters is away) to ask questions about men which makes me feel like an embarrassed child, but i promised to tell her the truth. My personal favourites - "do you wear a condom daddy?" Me - "Yes". Then why do you have so many children? Touchè. "Have you and mummy had sex more than 3 times?" I laughed proudly - "Way more......like at least 9 or 10 times" ( I didn't want to come across as a sex crazied maniac). Can wait to until she asks if I've ever masturbated.....I will actually curl up in a ball and die."
"What goes 150mph without leaving the confines of isolation? A twin turbo powered cardboard box, that's what. Granted the aerodynamics were a bit rubbish & their road manners would bring about an instant driving ban, but thanks to a large Amazon box (that contained nothing for me FYI), I helped the girls leave the house & do a flying lap of the nurburgring without stepping a foot outside. Was the effort worth it? In a word - yes. They ate their lunch there, played in there and generally had the best day. The only negative - the constant noise of cars for 2 hours but I'll take that. Never underestimate the power of a cardboard box."
"Had I known that volunteering to take all 4 girls swimming would result a public body shaming at the hands of my own off spring & a day light mugging by a vending machine that refused to fork over the poppets, I probably would have just stayed at home. It's not the swimming that I hate. It's the 10 minutes in the family changing cubicles I despise - A battery farm of naked families all contained in 6 by 6 ply wood boxes within inches of eachother - all arguing about who got mummy's pants wet, where that random plaster that little Timmy is licking came from and why no one has any sodding 20ps for the locker. Not content with this uncomfortable setting, my girls decided to very loudly state as I undressed - "look, look - it's daddy's willy!' This was closely followed by laughter from them, several others kids 1 cubicle over & a passing adult who couldn't contain themselves. Then to top it all, as my girls finished changing, they swung the door open &, as if in a budget red light district that specialised 35+ men who haven't exercised in a while, exposed me in my birthday suit to any passes by that fancied a free gander. No slush puppies today girls, daddy needs to leave this place immediately."
"You know those moments in life when you turn around & see your partner not as the mother of your children, or the person who shouts at you for not doing the jobs you promised you do, but forgot about but instead as the person you're lucky enough to have love you despite all your faults? As we silently slipped out of the house to gorge on a slice of child free time & the baby sitter talked at length with the girls about YouTubers I've never heard of - I captured one of those moments. I'm sure that the summer solstice sunset in the background helped as well as the peonies that @mother_of_daughters lugged around (that look suspiciously like a photoshoot prop, but was actually a gift for a friend). What ever it was, I'm a lucky man."
"The list of 'Things to not do' with kids grows with each passing year - Don't give your kids the password to your phone, unless you want a phone bill with 3 zeros. Don't give them the wrong coloured cutlery unless you want to be on the receiving end of stares that could freeze the surface of the sun. Don't say "if you're still hungry, you can have fruit" unless you want a banana surgery removed from you eye socket & latest addition which we recently learnt - don't, under any circumstances, let your friend bring round a tiny Chihuahua puppy, let them hold it and fall in love in the space of 30 seconds, and then yank it away, unless you want an afternoon of Armageddon size tantrums and a constant stream of abuse about how mean you are for not buying a puppy that wasn't for sale in the first place. Lesson learnt."
"There are 9 standard unwritten rules when it comes to bath time that all parents must learn & follow: 1). whoever runs the bath must milk it for as long as possible. Swishing the water to make bubbles & thereby extending this short stay-cation is completely allowed as its technically still doing the job. 2). You absolutely must make towers out of soapy hair & time how long it stays in position 3). If you're given a bubble beard, you MUST pretend to father Christmas complete with voice, even if it's June. 4). If you're on your own, you're totally aloud to skip bath time now and again as your other half will never know. As the old proverb goes "If a tree falls in the forest and no ones there to hear it, does it make a sound?" Same is true with bath time. Just ensure that you take steps to make it look like the kids touched water (i.e. splash some water around, move the bath Matt etc). 5). It doesn't matter how much you cover your tracks, they'll always find out you skipped bath time. 6). There is no such thing as too much conditioner when it comes to curly hair. 7). Never ever leave a full bottle of shampoo in the hands of child unless you want to return to £5's worth of product in the bath and an empty container 8). If you finish the bath with more than 50% of the water still in the tub, this counts as winning at life. 9).. It's totally ok to leave the kids clothes in a pile on the floor and forget about them, only to rediscover them the next evening. Have I missed any?"
"I know you're not supposed to show your kids crying or upset, but when I came across this whilst scrolling through memories today, it was so real and representative of every walk or outing we ever go on, I just had to share it. Is it just me, or does her twin seem to have a smug look on her face about the whole incident? Leaves me wondering if she tripped on her own or was pushed by her carbon copy. Whatever happened, it looks like a prime candidate for caption competition to me...... Don't worry, I'm sure the mental scares have worn off by now......probably."
"Ever wanted to look like a slightly eccentric grandmother? Let your kids give you a make over..... If you have daughters (and even if you don't) there's a strong chance that your head has been commandeered as a make up practice surface where the phase "less is more" doesn't apply. In these circumatances, the use of eye liner is measured in gallons, foundation is wielded like fosting, lip gloss is liberally applied not only to the exterior of your luscious lips but also into your mouth (why?!) and glitter (otherwise known as the Satan's STD as you can't get rid of the sodding stuff) sets up home in your hair for the foreseeable future. At least I can now confidentially say I'm officially "the prettiest of them all" - and by "them" I assume she meant stupid dads who say yes to everything & secretly love getting make overs."
"team work makes the dream work. This is especially true if dream in question is to commit domestic based petty snack theft. And what better partner is there to have than your very own genetic clone - this enables the thieves to achieve things to couldn't do on their own, have water tight alibis and cause genuine confusion when in a police line up. There are however some down sides: 1). these 2 obviously never watched an episode of CSI as the amount of forensic evidence Left at the scene could have filled a bin bag. 2). Double the people means double the noise - they were as subtly as a 1970's Elton John outfit. And finally, 3). when the caught in act, they immediately turned on each other to save their own skin - Lucky for them I still struggle to tell them apart - In the end I just ate the biscuits and walked away. Crime never pays girls. "
"Love is understanding when someone needs to have a blow out & not be a parent for a bit. Love is agreeing to your other half staying out for the night with friends via text at 10.30pm without arguing. Love is knowing 50% of the parenting team is rendered useless and being ok with it. Love is driving to get chicken nuggets & a chocolate milkshake when they resurface in the same clothes as the day before. Love is letting adult headache sufferers have a nap. Love is letting that nap turn into a sleep & convincing the kids mummy's gone out so inquisitive children stay away from closed bedroom door. Love is remembering all the above has been done for me before and & that the brownie points I earned today will once again be traded in when I'm in the same situation sometime in the future & my brain feels like its been put in a blender & made into an inedible smoothie. Love is in sickness & in health and hangovers definitely count as sickness!"
"No, this is not a background extra milking their scene in some low budget B movie horror film. It's the moment when I was getting headshots taken for my book & Ottie decided she absolutely positively couldn't give me a moment to myself - transforming my moment, very much into her moment. Clemmie scooped her up seconds later & I can laugh at this now but it does remind me just how hard it can be to achieve the simplest of tasks when a wailing child is within close promixity."
"There are moments during your life that seem so far removed from reality that you can't quite compute them and your brain turns into a sort of underdone omelette. On my commute home, I had one such moment. While waiting for the tube, I looked up to find a 12ft post of @mother_of_daughters staring back at me - my brain basically shut down and I descended into fanboy mode. "That's my wife!" Of course, no one else cared, but I do. Being British, we don't crow about our achievements but I feel the need to share my pride of Clemmie and her hard work, so I will. From her blog that helped so many pregnant women, to her work at hospital, the books she's written, the body positivity messages she puts out there, her podcast she spent months to normalise all types of birth, the jewelry she helped design and the working partnerships she's built over the last 5 years like this one with @marksandspencer - she's amazing & I'm just glad I get to hang on her coat tails for the ride. Oh, and I also now I get to say that I'm married to a model - if only I could tell my 15 year old self - he be thrilled. 11 year anniversary tomorrow and like a fine wine, it just gets better as the years go by!"
"No one ever asks you if you want to become a big brother or sister. it just kind of happens and before you know it, without having submitted a single application form, you're thrust into an unpaid job as a parent support worker with zero training & a benefits package that includes getting less attention & being left to fend for yourself. Some react to this new found responsibility as if they'd be told to drink a lethal cocktail of battery acid, snake venom and the tears of a 1000 orphaned puppies - they contort their faces at the very idea of the small people that share their DNA. Others are like Marnie. With no encouragement, they pick up the gauntlet & they become their friends, they pick them up when they're down, carry them when small legs get tired, make them smile when they're sad & they take their role of setting an example seriously. I have no idea where she came from, but she makes our lives just that little bit easier. Here's to big sisters and brothers everywhere - even the reluctant ones - you may not know it, but the littlest help is saving your parents sanity (and probably marriage!)."
""Daddy, I really want a fringe" ⠀
"Can you wait until tomorrow, it's late now and you're supposed to be in bed. It's 10pm"
45 minutes later.....⠀
"Daddy, I cut myself a fringe"⠀
"I give up.""
"I've woken up to my fair share of strange things, but this morning took the biscuit. Somewhere between @mother_of_daughters leaving at 4.30am for work & 6.15am when I woke, Delilah decided to drag her half slumbering carcus the vast distance of 3 metres from her room to my room. The only problem was that her batteries were deader than a cheap toy the day after Christmas, so despite her best efforts, she literally fell at the last hurdle & instead decided to do a rather convincing impression of a door stop. So close & yet so far. Don't worry, she didn't have floor boards imprinted on her face - I transported her to my bed & spent the next 30 minutes with my arm slowly losing circulation as it was trapped under her unconscious frame, while she snored like an aging donkey with a sinus infection. All I could do was stare at the ceiling & think about that old 'Friends' episode tactic - "hug for her, roll for you" - man, I learnt so much from that show."
"One day you're quietly getting on with life, the next you're being told that your daughter has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. In that moment, the world seemingly grinded to a halt. We're no strangers to the A&E waiting room, but this time it was different - this time it won't get better or be ok after being in a cast - this, unfortunately, is for life and that's the bit we're all slowly coming to terms with. The last week has been a whirlwind of hospital stays, meeting doctors, nurses, dietitians and a lot of quick learning and at the centre of it has been an extremely brave little girl who understandably has alot of questions. The hardest part is answering things like 'was this my fault? Did I do something wrong?" - and the answer is of course not - Type 1 just happens. The part I feel most guilty about is not seeing the signs, so thank god Clemmie was on the case - she put it all together, raised the alarm and got her into hospital before things became dangerous. It turns out there's been a recent rise in type 1 diabetes in children, so I wanted to highlight the symptoms to look out for - the 4 T's:
""Right, are you all ready for bed?" "No." "Please just stay in bed, it's taken ages to get you in here - just tell me what you need & I'll get it." Too late, she's already gone and legged it down stairs, leaving my sprawling on the floor after a miss timed tackle. After some smashing & shouting, Delilah returns with an umbrella and sunglasses. "Why?" "Because my beds too hot & I want to stay cool"
"This little hand is no ordinary hand: When life's moving too fast and your focus is gone, when the noise is too much and your struggling to hear your own thoughts, When the world's too big and you're feeling insignificant, holding this little hand has the power to shrink it all down, to mute the world and to bring the cosmos to a grinding, momentary halt. Because this little hand, which I know so well, puts things into perspective and reminds me of what's actually important. Whether it's reaching out for reassurance, slowly stroking the back by neck while we hug, clasped in my hand for security, wiping a tear or squeezing my face, this little hand can make mountains crumble and tornadoes vanish on the breeze, with seemingly no effort at all. This little hand is the reason I'm proud to have people call me dad and reminds me how privileged I am to be able to play a part in the life of the person it's attached to. Hold their hands tightly before they stop asking to hold yours.
Not my normal kind of post I know, but I'm feeling feelings this evening and needed to write it down."
"Post vasectomy, the doctor gave me this advice - 'take it easy for a couple of days & try to just lie on the sofa", he then smiled and continued "but I know you've got 4 daughters, so that's unlikely. Just be careful". 24 hours later & with Clemmie reliving her youth by watching the Spice Girls & singing 'Wannabe' at the top of her lungs, I planned on following his advice. The timing was perfect - our new sofa from @sofadotcom arrived today, so my mission was to get some practice in for Fathers day & spend a considerable amount of time making a perfect imprint of myself on the cushions. The stage was set - a pizza & cold beer with in reaching distance & a strategically placed cold bag of sweetcorn for comfort - Bliss. This was the precise moment that I recieved an early fathers day gift - my first post op nut shot from Delilah (thanks Anya for capturing the moment). Luckily my tears just rolled off the wipe clean fabric. Fathers day will be spent attempting to set a new world record for being motionless while necking arnica & protecting myself. Wonderful."
"Here's to all the father's out there. To the fresh faced new dads & the ones who have war stories and experience lines. To the ones who act as human climbing frames, that fix broken things, that know all the lines to kids TV shows & that devour the kids left over food. To father's who strive to set benchmark of what men should be so high, that no future boyfriend's will ever match up. To the fathers who are a shoulder to cry on, not someone to cry about. To the dads that get on with life without making a drama, that stand in the middle of arguments instead of starting them, that counsel and guide the new generation to be better than themselves, that hold hands and give bear hugs that are accompanied with a good dose of beard rash. To the dads who stay at home, to the ones that work & to the ones that don't. To the dad's that tell terrible jokes & are a constant embarrassment to their offspring but see the fun in life, that smile and know that that they are doing their best for the ones they love. To every type of father there is out there - Happy father's Day - be proud you can call yourself 'dad' - it's a true privilege."
"Who would have thought that holding a starfish would be the thing to highlight the importance of remembering that twins are individuals. Despite looking that they've been cut from the pages of a real life 'spot the difference' book, they are most definitely not the same - they are unique in their own glorious ways. One is fearless, comes with a decibel warning & could easily charm you into buying a car with no engine for above the asking price & still make you think you'd got a good deal. The other is more reserved & thoughtful, which often leaves me wondering: is it hard to live in the shadow of a louder version of yourself? Do you feel pressure to live up to the actions of your genetic copy cat, so as not to be seen as different? So when faced with the prospect of holding a starfish for the first time ever, one jumped at the chance. And the other paused. In the end they both did it, but did she do it because she wanted to, or because her sister did it first? I have so many questions, but Either way, I'm proud of both of them for being who they are."
"So it seems that if you rip out a bathroom and just leave the bath in the garden because you're too lazy to sell it on eBay and give it enough time, it will become very 'on trend' - I was just 3 years ahead of the curve. Next stop, I'm going put a microwave in the bathroom and a dishwasher in kids bedroom. Watch this space - you'll all be doing it in 5 years time....probably. Seriously though, should I keep the bath in the garden? (I remember once someone ripping into me on my other account for having bath in the garden - I guess some people just have no style..."
"At the grand age of 3, Delilah has had her first holiday romance. But I've not had to worry about where she's secretively snuck off to or who she's holding hands with, because the object of her affections is, in fact, me. Delilah has drowned me in a tusami of love and adulation and for the last 3 days has stuck to me like a shadow with separation anxiety on a really sunny day. We've now spent so much time in extremely close proximity to eachother that even though we dressed separately, we've started to look like mirror images of eachother (if the mirror in question gave you the ability to go back in time & see yourself as a child). So now that I have a mini me, what should we do? Hold the world to random for $100 million dollars obviously (said in a Dr. Evil voice). I wonder if we'll be BFF's back home or if this was just a holiday fling?"
"Making a plan the night before travelling with the family to festival is essentially making an exhaustive list of things that you're destined to fail at, ending in a collection of people related to eachother, crammed in car, all hating eachother. Everyone up by 7am - nope. Every needs to help with the jobs - 3 kids immediately vanish to watch the TV & one goes for a 45 minute shower. Only 1 bag each - we've moved everything we own 4 hours down the motorway. Be out of the house by 10am sharp - We shut the door while mentally signing family divorce papers at 12.30pm because we all hate eachother. No snacking in the car until at least an hour into the journey - all the crisps have been devoured within 3 miles of home. But we're here & despite bringng way too much stuff, everyone is happy, ready to shake off the routine and lose themselves to the music. Bring on @campbestival 2019!"
"Despite donning my battered invisible parenting flack jacket which can deflect most of the stresses of life with children, there is one munition that it's powerless to stop & really should be be made illegal by leaders the world over. The prolonged whinging & whining that eminates for 3 year olds has the ability to cut through you like a surgeons knife & leaves you huddled naked in the foetal position, wishing it would all just stop. That's why this morning, after 3.5 hours of a sustained audio assault of dull droning directed at me for no particular reason, other than the sport of watching a grown man unravel, I found myself wishing I could go back to the simpler days. The days when they would lie in the baby bunk beds I constructed by stacking cribs on top of each other & I could be in their presence without wanting to eat my own ears. I know I shouldnt say this and perhaps this is rose tinted glasses, but I found that baby stage so much easier than the small shouty humans we've got right now. Sorry new parents, I think you've got the easy stage!"
"No, you're not seeing double & you don't need a new glasses prescription - today my twins held another pair of twins and my phantom ovaries basically exploding all over the place. But while I exchanged war stories, tips and tricks with my first-time-parent friends over BBQ food and breast feeding breaks, we couldn't help but wonder: if you have a choice (which you don't), would you rather have twins as your first kids like my friends have or after you've got some kids under your belt like us? There's no right or wrong answer and both have their pros and cons but it's something I've often thought about - have twins first and you haven't nothing to compare it to so you just get on with it. Have twins after having 1 or 2 first and you have the experience but you also have other attention seeking offspring to look after as well. What do you think's easier? (fyi theres nothing easy about multiples and hats off to the parents of these two - you're doing brilliantly. !)"
"How do you go from pretending to be interested in hearing about the exploits of a Youtuber I've never heard of to struggling to explain gender reassignment surgery & the logistics of how you fashion a vagina out of penis? The answer - Talk to an 8 year old. Marnie is slap bang in the middle of the goldilocks zone of intrigue (much younger and she wouldnt think to ask, much older & she'd think she knew it all) which means in the last week along I've muddled my way through breast cancer, periods, mortgages, the age of the universe, what dreams are, time zones and how electricity is made. I swear If game shows ever run out of random general knowledge questions, they should battery farm the contents of 8 year olds minds as their ability to conjure up queries that leave you feeling thicker than a bank vault door & quietly asking google for the answers whilst on the toilet, is unmatched. Anyone else recently had a conversation with a child & suddenly thought "oh god, I'm out of my depth here, Im at the end of limited knowledge that I got from an article & now I'm talking s**t....""
"What would you do if someone asked you what socks you'd like to wear today? Most normal people would probably pick some socks, right? Not my girls. I can only assume that the twins are dramatically behind on rehearsals for their Vegas show - 'Transparent magic' - as instead of picking socks, Ottie made like a junior contortionist / glamourous assistant, dislocated her spine and hid in a see through box. Then Delilah, the front man of this C grade 2 piece, promptly stood on it, shouted what I assumed were garbled magic words directly at me & waited for her sister to vanish. Hands down the worst trick in history. You can through the box girls. Suffice it to say, the only thing to vanish was my patience and Ottie went to nursery bare foot. "
"After extensive field testing last week, I can confirm 2 things: 1). Sir Isaac Newton was right and despite my best efforts to put Delilah in a lower earth orbit, Gravity does exist - even in France and 2). After 10 years of conducting these types of important holiday based scientific experiments that help push the human race forwards in our quest for advancement, @mother_of_daughters heart still flat lines and all that well earned colour in her skin from lying motionless of a sun lounger drains out of her quicker than a gallon of water poured into an old carrier bag that's just been used for archery practice. You would have thought shed be used to it by now - I'm doing it for the betterment of the human race! (And for the smiles on my daughter's face, obvs)."
"There once was a girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good, but when she was bad....her tantrums had the power to boiled the worlds oceans in seconds, force planes to plummet from the skies like gravity propelled lead bullets and level cities to dust as the seismic ripples stretched out from its epic centre. If we were all perfect parents, we'd stop to sympathise and understand, but in reality, this is the point I give up, break out the biscuits and whack on the toddler crack (paw patrol) because frankly, sometimes I just don't have the patience to find out what nonsensical thing has set this small human bomb off. But this got me thinking. Perhaps we should forget nuclear fission or renewable power sources - if we could just harness the raw power given out by a tantruming 3 year old, we could solve the world's energy crisis in an afternoon. All we need is a large play group, some kids that can't share and some toys, but not enough to go around. Infinite energy & Noble prize, here I come! Oh hang, didn't monsters Inc already try something like this? Damn you Pixar!"
At the end of the day however, it seems that no matter the troubles and fights and chaos, his family is one that is full of love and he is doing a great job of being a dad.