A Plus' Project Dad content is inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul's Project Dad, a television series about the joy of fatherhood and family.
Some parents use social media to show off their perfect-looking lives, but most parents knows that behind any put together image was likely a tantrum, a big spill, a sibling fight, or all of the above. To show the "real" side of parenting, dad Simon Hooper is using Instagram to shed light on what it's like raising his four daughters, who are all under 10 years old.
For Simon Hooper, it's "another Monday, another last minute rush to the shops to avoid the armageddon" — aka his life as a father of a 9-year-old, a 6-year-old, and 10-month-old twins.
His Instagram feed consists of trips to the grocery store, Friday nights searching for lice, and family outings at the park — all of which come with comical stories that are relatable, honest, and awfully heartwarming at the same time.
It's evident that with all of parenting's craziness comes beautiful bonding moments and memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Check out some of Hooper's posts below accompanied by his captions.
When we go to the park nowadays, we take over. Everywhere you look there's a hooper child. I'm considering GPS trackers (are criminal grade ankle tags going too far?) to just keep track of them. I invariably get yelled at across the playground to look at a trick or observe how high someone is jumping of something. Had we been first time parents we'd be running over, warning them of the dangers, ready to catch our little Angels in our arms should they fall. Now I'll look up from my coffee, smile from a distance, say well done and return to daydreaming about doing DIY. If there's a scream, then it's time to move. It doesn't make me a bad parent, I just have, what they call in the trade, 'experience'.
Why is it that as soon as I come through the front door, I'm immediately forced to strap on my 'parenting UN' flack jacket & hard hat and dive into conflict resolution mode? Anya and Marnie are locked in a long, drawn out battle over the disputed lands of the sofa, the sovereignty of the blanket and who has rightful ownership of the much sort after SKY remote control. Sanctions are put in place to relieve the tension but both sides are showing little willingness to back down. The situation escalates - heated worded, threats to hostages safety (soft toys, clothing, sweets). The result - the TV going off and remote is hidden (in the cutlery draw). During all this Ottie played the role of Switzerland and didn't get involved. Ban Ki-moon could learn a thing or two from me.
Should I get offended that when I'm in charge of dressing the girls, instead of being given free rein to 'get creative' and use my couture fashion eye to create a 'wow' outfit that will catch the eye and imagination, I walk into their room and find that all the clothes are laid out already. Granted I have a tendency to dress them as boys, and will invariably forget the importance of layers, and that spots and strips clash, and that socks are essential, and that a baby grow doesn't count as day wear, and that I dress them the same, i cant tell them apart for the rest if the day, but surely if you give me a chance, the law of averages will mean I'll get it right one day!
Another Monday, another last minute rush to the shops to avoid the armageddon, i.e running out of nappies, wipes & baby crack (milk) for the addicts. I basically live in this aisle of the supermarket now. New parents seem to gravitate to me as an "experienced parent" (i.e. the tired looking guy shivering in the corner) and ask "Do you know where so and so is please?" My response - "Sure 3rd shelf, half way down on the left hand side, buy 3 & get a discount, although you want to use that in combination with blah blah blah." I'm like a walking encyclopedia of baby product info. I used to use my brain to solve global corporate wide problems. I now use it to calculate bulk buy discounts.
Ottie's teething has made her as clingy as a winter cold and she refuses to be put down on the floor at the moment, so I'm doing everything with a 9-month-old surgically grafted onto my chest. This includes baking (with mixed success - Her feet were just at the right height to kick the butter, the flour and my manhood, several times). I find it almost impossible not to take over and mix things properly, but I must let them make a complete hash of it, so they learn too. I'm sure the cookies will taste fine and we can just pick out the egg shell. I'm also almost certain that no snot made it into the bowl either so that's a real a bonus.
There used to be a time when Fridays nights meant going out drinking with friends and waking up with a hangover that that would require surgery to remove. However Marnie came home today with the dreaded bi-annual "There are nits / lice going around at school" letter, so our Friday nights are now spent carrying out small scale genocide on colonies of unwanted scalp intruders.@mother_of_daughters & I will now spend the rest of the evening quietly observing each other to see which one of us start scratching our heads first whilst mentally cursing all children everywhere. Awesome.
(H/T: The Huffington Post)