A father of four daughters is sharing his family pictures without sugarcoating on his super-popular Instagram account.
“This week my eldest has been doing sex education at school. She is 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 favorites – “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-crazed maniac). Can wait 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.”
“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 to do, but forgot about but instead as the person, you’re lucky enough to have loved you despite all your faults? As we silently slipped out of the house to gorge on a slice of child-free time & the babysitter 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). Whatever it was, I’m a lucky man.”
Simon’s an author who’s written up a book, ‘Dad life: Family Tales from Instagram’s Father of Daughters,’ about his adventure into the Land of Parenting. In it, he details what it’s like to live in a home while ‘outnumbered’ by women and his transformation from a ‘man-child’ into a full-fledged Dad with a capital ‘D.’
“This is the story of my journey into parenthood, from being a 24-year-old man-child with no idea of what being a dad involved, to where I find myself today: the single male representative in a household of five women, or in other words, outnumbered,” he writes about his book.
“Had I known that volunteering to take all 4 girls swimming would result in a public body-shaming at the hands of my own offspring & a daylight 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 plywood boxes within inches of each other – 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 other 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 specialized 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.”
“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 colored 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 your eye socket & latest addition which we recently learned – 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 to mean you are for not buying a puppy that wasn’t for sale in the first place. Lesson learned.”
“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 it’s 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 allowed 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 one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” The 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 the 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 kid’s clothes in a pile on the floor and forget about them, only to rediscover them the next evening. Have I missed any?”
“Our house is now known as ‘the place where silence came to die.’ It’s also where you’ll find carpets that are made up of 50% glitter and where there are more pink stuffed animals than at a color-blind taxidermy specialist’s. But I wouldn’t change a thing. These people are my life,” Simon notes that his family means everything to him and that he can’t imagine his life without his wife and four daughters.
“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 makeup practice surface where the phrase “less is more” doesn’t apply. In these circumstances, the use of eyeliner is measured in gallons, the foundation is wielded like frosting, 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 makeovers.”
“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.”
“teamwork makes the dream work. This is especially true if the 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 lineup. There are however some downsides: 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 they were caught in the 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 blowout & not be a parent for a bit. Love is agreeing to your other half staying out for the night with friends via text at 10.30 pm 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 sleep & convincing the kid’s mummy’s gone out so inquisitive children stay away from the 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 it’s 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 proximity.”
“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 omelet. 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 in Clemmie and her hard work, so I will. From her blog that helped so many pregnant women, to her work at the hospital, the books she’s written, the body positivity messages she puts out there, the podcast she spent months to normalize 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 coattails 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 is 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 newfound responsibility as if they’d be told to drink a lethal cocktail of battery acid, snake venom, and the tears of 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:
1). Tired – extreme exhaustion and irritable behaviour
2). Thirst – drinking alot more than usual
3). Toilet – going to loo more frequently, especially at night
4) Thinner – Marnie lost a lot of weight in a short space of time – I mistakenly put it down to a growth spurt.
She’s now insulin dependent which means quite a changes to our lives, but with the love and support of family and the wonderful @nhsmillion and @diabetesuk, we aim to make this as easy as possible for our little girl.”
“”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”
Toddler logic is wonderful. Not sure if she meant ‘querky cool’ or ‘temperature cool’, but she nailed both in one go. ”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 to 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…”