UK: Interview with Simon from @fathers_of_daughters
Simon, what made you start up your "project" Instagram-Account @father_of_daughters?
"Having long been a bystander in the social media game, I became aware of the lack of fathers sharing their lives as parents on line – something mothers have been doing for years. I wanted to lift the lid on what it’s like to be a modern dad (after all, they do make up 50% of the parenting team) in an authentic, funny and unique way to reassure other parents that everyone has the same problems and issues – you are not alone in this struggle that we call life with children. For a long time I was behind the camera, taking photos for my wife of her and my daughters, so decided to stop taking the pictures and start being in them instead. Since starting my Instagram account (@father_of_daughters) in early 2016, I`ve been providing daily content of my life being surrounded by girls. I wanted to provide a realistic view on what life with children is really like an cut through all the fakery that`s out there. I also wanted to use humour to help provide context to the pictures to be also reassure people that life with kids is always funny."
Ok in the beginning: was 4 the number of children you always dreamed of?
"No not at all!! Our first daughter wasn’t exactly planned (let’s call her a happy accident) – we had just moved into after finishing university and within 3 months Clemmie was pregnant! As time passed by we started to talk about what size our family would be and we both agreed that having 3 children would be ideal as Clemmie and I are both from familes of 3 children and we thought the dynamic worked well. Of course, when we finally went for the third, mother nature had other plans and we got idenitical twin girls! Before i knew it, I was surrounded by 4 daughters."
What advice would you give to a new dad or dad-to-be?
"Don’t go into parenting with too many preconceptions about what it will be like or what kind of parent you’ll be. Every family and every situation is different and shouldn't feel the need to compare yourself to others. You’ll find your own way of doing things and a ryhthm that works for you."
In detail, what is your secret tool, when a situation gets really tough?
"Being patient is a key tool to being a good parent (or husband come to think about it!), children test you all the time. It’s their way of getting attention or pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with. Just remember that you’re the adult in this situation. You can think you way through it, without resorting to shouting or losing your temper. If you need to walk away from a situationt to cool off, then do it. Keeping a cool head will help you keep perspective on what’s important and what’s not."
Do you ever need a break and if yes, how do you spend your time off?
I rarely get time off to be honest, but I do get to work everyday which I suppose is a kind of break from the family! If and when I do get any time to myself, I love to cycle and play sports (tennis, squash – I used to play a lot of rugby, but my body gave up on me so can’t do that anymore!)
Simon, please describe a perfect day with your family.
My perfect day out with the family is pretty simple really. Somewhere outdoors where the girls can run around and wear themselves out. An adventure playground is usually a good option. I‘d then get to play on it as well and be a kid all day (after all, men don’t really grow up) while the girls have fun, too. If the day was perfect, then their would be a nursery where we could drop off the twins and Clemmie could go to a local spa to unwind and treat herself. Then we’ll all go for a dinner out together (in order to avoid cooking or washing up) and hopefully by the time we got home the kids would all be asleep.
Between you and us (nobody is listening), what do you think how do daddys really want to spend their father`s day?
If i am really honest, I want to spend it on my own doing exactly what i want. If that means going to pub and watching sports all day or sitting in a shed an rewiring a light then so be it. I´m a father 365 days of the year, so 1 complete day off would be lovely - I would`nt even want to hear a child`s voice.
Is there anything you miss living in a five-women-household?
Not really. I suppose I would like someone to watch sports and science documentaries with me, so we could talk about them together (if I try and get my wife to sit with me, she either asks way too many questions which drives me insane or she loses interest within 5 minutes and wanders off). I actually really enjoy being outnumbered by girls. I’ve become a master of hair styles, I know about women’s fashion, I can paint nails, I’m a great baker and always up to date on the latest gossip. They teach me a lot.
Where do you typically spend your vacations with four kids? Please tell us your three favorite destinations.
Île de Ré, France – this beautiful little island is off the west coast of france outside of La Rochelle. We’ve been here a couple of times and drove there this summer from the UK. It’s beautiful and covered with a massive cycle network so everyone rides bikes everywhere. The beaches are lovely and it feels really safe and secure.
Spain – Clemmie’s mum has a place in the south spain so we have been there many a time. Great weather is almost guarenteed and with a beach near by, the girls always have something to do which means a bit more rest time for us (although I’m not good at sitting still for too long, so I usually end up playing with them in the sand!)
Cornwall (UK) – this picturesque part of the UK has great coast lines, and is great for camping or renting a house. It’s also quite near my parents which is handy if we need someone to look after the little ones for a night so that we can actually go out and have an adult dinner together.
What are your top four instagram accounts?
Simon please answer the following three questions with a selfie or picture of you.
Describe yourself in a picture.
The best thing about having kids is...?
What did you think when you realized you are expecting twins?
Ok, one last question, please answer only with a picture again.
Do you want to have more kids?
Simon, thank you for getting in touch. It was a real pleasure.