It’s crazy just how much technology has completely revolutionized the way we look at ourselves and the world. Before social media, the only way to beat yourself up for not being the trendiest mom was sitting in your kid’s car-pool line comparing mini-vans and Skechers. Now that there’s Instagram and Facebook, you don’t even have to have kids to feel like you’re a “bad mom.” Everyone else’s “perfect” posts will do that for you.
The truth is, we all know that what we scroll past on social media is usually far from reality.
Simon Hooper is a father of four daughters. He knows as well as anyone that what you see online isn’t always what you get. So he took to Instagram in an effort to change that.
“My whole account is to show a realistic view of what parenting is like from a parent’s perspective,” the dad explains. “There is way too much sugarcoating when it comes to parents, so I wanted to share what it’s really like and provide a bit of humor at the same time.”
The Hooper’s oldest daughter is 9, followed by a 6-year-old and twins who are 10 months old. Let’s just say, there’s never a dull moment for the terribly outnumbered father.
“Tomorrow is international day of the girl and I, more than most, am celebrating. I might be heavily outnumbered and outgunned, but I’m celebrating because my girls are strong independent young ladies that are growing up in a world that they can do anything they put their mind to (with a little encouragement). We strive for equality and see women as equals (and in my case, as superiors!). That said, in many places girls are seen as second class citizens and have limited opportunities to reach their full potential. This has to change. Go kiss your girls goodnight & encourage them everyday to reach for the stars.”
Packing the Baby Bag
“Clemmie gave me a pretty simple job this evening – “go pack the baby bag” (we’re going away for a night). A plan developed in my head (why can’t I take anything seriously?!) I called her in – “well you said pack the baby bag!!”, expecting a laugh. She didn’t. I then suggested cutting holes in the bottom for their legs to hang out like those dog carriers but @mother_of_daughters was already less than pleased that i’d used her prized leather @kerikitbags for lols, so with my tail between my legs, I repacked. A shed load of nappies, baby crack (milk powder), toys they won’t play with & a monitor – There was still enough room for half my family in there!”
“Teething is now in full effect and the girls want us to know all about it. An email would have sufficed but it seems they’d rather use their voices to get the message across that they really aren’t enjoying this stage of development. Its not straight screaming, it’s more like the sound a wounded animal might make that just wants to end it all. I can’t blame them though, it’s like a mini scene from ‘Alien’ in there at the moment, just in very very slow motion (and of course teeth don’t then go on to kill you and the crew of your ship so a few subtle differences, but essentially the same).”
Dad is Just Short for “Mobile Human Climbing Frame”
“If there is one thing that us dads are good for its being used as a mobile human climbing frame. We’re practicing our routine for britain’s got talent, the talent being how many family members can hang off me (kind of a real life buckaroo game) before I slip a disc and crumple into a pathetic mess crying like a child who’s grazed their knee for the first time. Now all I need is for @mother_of_daughters to get on my back and the twins to rest of my shoulders and the award is surely mine.”
Toys Will Never Do…
“We have A LOT of toys for the girls. Some hand-me-downs, some brand new. We offer up the hand made, ethically sourced, non toxic, bespoke blocks made from organic, carbon offset wood, lovingly sourced from Norway. They look down their nose at them with disgust, decide they’re tosh and toss them to one side. Then they go on a rampage to find keys, my wallet, my phone, anything that resembles a remote control and plastic packaging. If that fails, they bug me until i give up the goods. Many mornings, you’ll find me running around the house, quietly cursing the babies, who’ve hidden my cash / debit card and /or keys. Guess I should get used to this as I hear teenage girls take the same stuff.”
When Mom is Away…The Kids Still Need Baths
“After long day of walking around and playing, The twins needed a bath and I needed a wash so day 2 of #dadtakeover ended like this. (I don’t run baths just for myself…I’m a man after all). In theory this sharing of a bath was a good idea. In reality it felt like I was an uninvited blue whale who’d gatecrashed a private spa for small people. If looks from babies could kill, I’d have been dead for sure. Strategically placed flannels were used in the taking of this picture. (And yes I took the picture on a tripod before people ask! I’m on my own!) On to day 3.”
Sex Education and the Female Body
“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 coincidentally 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).
The Bed Will Never Be Big Enough
“Is it only me or do all men learn to sleep on an 8 inch strip at the edge of the bed? Irrespective of the size of the bed, or how many people are in it, I always find myself relegated to the ‘man zone’. I’ve become so used to sleeping on this limited area of bed real estate, that I’m confident that I could sleep on top of a wall & not fall off. On the other side of the bed (the promised land), @mother_of_daughters sleeps like a star fish all night long, kneeing me in the back and generally complains about me coming to bed too late, being too cold or my foot encroaching onto her territory. At least the bed’s nice and warm, even if the reception isn’t sometimes!”
And Neither Will the Bathroom…
“Why does bathtime always involve cramming as many family members into one of the smallest rooms in the house at the same time? I guess the eldest 2 like it as it’s like a cheap version of the sea life centre. They get to watch these weird pink slippery things splash about and generally contort themselves out of these chairs while sucking the life out of some sponges. Clemmie and I are there just play life guards and crowd control. I should charge admission. Just avoid the dirty nappies at the door and the water EVERYWHERE. Actually, forget it – Health and safety would definitely shut us down.”
Life may be crazy, but Simon takes pride in the face that he is a handyman, taxi driver, swim instructor, tutor, chef, personal assistant, counselor, human jungle-gym, bank ATM and personal shopper.
His Instagram has nearly 500k followers, and rapidly growing. See more of his family hilarity here.