Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
My name’s Simon Hooper, otherwise known online as Father of Daughters. I have 4 daughters; Anya (9), Marnie (6) and identical twin girls Ottilie & Delilah (16 months)
How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a father?
To be honest it’s hard. Both Clemmie and I work full time so finding that balance whilst also making time for each other can be hard to achieve. I’m lucky in that my job allows me to work from home a couple of days a week which does help. I try not to work in the evenings if it’s avoidable as I want to make as much time for my girls as I possibly can.
What makes you, as a dad, happy?
Quite simply, seeing my girls happy and enjoying life. If they are happy and laughing, that means that we’re providing them with a childhood that they can look back on and smile about. I like helping them get to try new things, whether it be through attending clubs, or just doing stuff at home – the brilliance of having children around is that I get to see them try new experiences for the first time.
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?
Spiderman I have the ability to catch children who are falling off of things (namely climbing equipment, furniture, trees) without even looking
I’m a dad and……?
Share a top tip with your fellow dads?
It’s not already a patient person, then learn to be. No one likes a snappy parent and giving your kids time to figure things out for themselves and to learn from their own mistakes is invaluable. Yes it might be frustrating, but bit your tongue and let them get on with it.
What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
Favourite: this sounds so gooey but I’m surrounded by people that love me all the time and that’s good for anyone’s heart.
Least favourite: I’ve been tired for almost 10 years and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Sleep is a precious commodity when you’re a parent so get it when you can.
Tell us something mummy doesn’t know, something that happened during a ‘dad on duty’ moment.
Last week I was looking after the twins. They constantly open the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen at the moment and it’s so annoying. It’s a constant battle to Cellotape them shut before the pull them open again. Anyway, I turned my back for a minute while making some tea and eventually turned around to see what was going on as it was very quiet. Both Ottie and Delilah had found the food dye and have been sucking the bottles. They were covered in dye and I couldn’t get it off for love nor money. I knew Clemmie wasn’t coming back home until after they were in bed so I just put them to bed (after frantic scrubbing in the bath) and binned their, almost new, clothes.
What advice would you give a first-time dad?
Don’t go into parenthood with too many expectations of what it will be like or compare your experience with others around you. Every baby and family is different, they each have their own rhythm and you’re find yours eventually. Competitive parenting isn’t a good thing to get into, trust me, I’ve been there!
What does fatherhood represent to you?
Fatherhood is everything to me. I have 4 people who look up to me on a daily basis to provide them with sustenance, knowledge and entertainment and the thought of letting them down doesn’t bare thinking about.