I’ve pulled together 10 tips, which are insights I’ve learnt from being a dad to my girls. I look forward to hearing yours!
- Doing plaits and painting nails will not reduce your testosterone levels
Pop the power tools down, turn off the game and put aside your manliness to connect with your daughters by doing something girly. I take great pride in the fact that I know the difference between nail polish and shellac, as well as being able to top notches and plaits. They love me for it too.
2. Keep calm. You can always hide in the loft
Every man needs a man cave, this becomes especially true when you’re surrounded by girls. I personally think the loft is the best place as my girls are banned from being in there as it’s ‘too dangerous’. This is a parallel universe where I’m King of my surrounds: old sport kits I’ll never wear again, clothes I’ve grown out of, old magazines I can rediscover and photos from my youth. I can stretch out loft holidays for hours when I say I’m looking for something when I’m actually playing on the SNES.
3. Listening to Taylor Swift will not kill you
What I’m trying to say here is take an interest in what your kids are interested in be it music, books, what’s happening at school, sports, their friends etc. The little people you spawned have their own lives so learn about them and be part of it. It gives you common ground to actually talk about stuff and not just as parents.
4. Girls are smarter than boys. You’re probably being manipulated right now and you don’t even know it.
The concept of ‘daddy’s girl’ is very real in our house. That’s mainly because I’m a soft touch and have a lot more patience than my wife. My girls have learnt this and they use to get what they want my playing us off each other. Clever little buggers.
5. You are more than just a human jar opener for girls. You carry things too.
I spend most of my time carrying things for the women in my life, whether it’s shopping, luggage, bikes – when you get to a hill, or they’re tired… I’m not complaining, just making you aware that you may not need that gym membership when you have kids – I have bigger shoulders than I ever did before!
6. Whisky and coke mixes well. A hangover and having young children doesn’t.
As a parent your opportunities to go out and socialise with people who aren’t in day care or school (i.e adults) are limited, so when you do get the chance, you can get carried away… and forget that sodding swimming lesson at 7.30am the next day that you promised you’d take your youngest to. Kids don’t understand hangovers so they will act like everything’s normal – shouting, arguing and generally needing your attention. My advice? Don’t get too smashed. I’m still having trouble with this one….
7. Remember when you used to be in charge or your life? That’s over. Make peace with it.
Not that you mind that much (expect when a critical game is on the box) but kids will dictate how you spend your day from when you get up to what you do at the weekend and everything in between. Your time is when you sleep and the occasional moments when they are at a friend’s house, but when they aren’t around it’s too quiet and you miss then terribly – it’s a no win situation.
8. Your money is not your money. You’re just holding on it for the girls in your life.
As a child I never realised how much my parents spent on me and my siblings. Fast forward 20 years and it’s my turn to be the bank of mum and dad. Moths have taken up residence in my wallet, I can’t remember the last time I bought myself clothes and my kids have piggy banks overflowing with cold hard cash. I’m broke but I’m happy as are my girls. Never saw that coming.
9. Girls are noisy. Silence now only exists when you’re on your own.
Girls seem to be allergic to silence and have an addiction to noise. I don’t know why this is, but there only seems to be three known cures. 1). TV (although this can bring about arguments about what to watch) 2). Food (although this only works temporarily) 3). Removing myself from the vicinity (going to B&Q to buy nothing in particular – you’ll find a lot of other dad’s here doing exactly the same thing!)
10. This is your time – make the most of it
Men have been practicing the age old art of hiding in the toilet and dodging responsibilities for centuries. As a father you become a master of it. Half the time I don’t even need to go – I’m just using it as a opportunity to read, listen to music and find 15 minutes peace. I love my family dearly but sometimes there’s just too much girl stuff going on – the loo has become my safe place.