Six months into giving up meat and dairy last year, I’d already discovered that the hardest thing was not giving up my favourite milk chocolate or creamy Camembert on bread.
From the other side of a log-pile of sausages on her plate, she set out to decry everything veganism stood for — and patronisingly explain why she would never let her children follow such an ‘extreme’ regime. As a parenting author, you might think I’d be sensitive to accusations I was allowing my children to be malnourished.
"I feel sorry for you when they become teenagers." "Dude, you're surrounded by women." "What did you do to deserve that? Brooke does this 99 times out of 100, but I make it a point to tell all my girls that daddy can make a killer ponytail. Heck, they've painted mine on many occasions as well. Call me old school, but on my dates with my girls, I open the doors, pay the bills, look them in the eye, and make them feel like a million bucks.
" Being a dad of four daughters (we also have one son), I hear stuff like this almost daily.
We have a saying at our house that goes like this, "I love you more today than I did yesterday." Raising girls is a privilege, not a burden. More than she wants the stuff you can buy her or the things you can teach her, she wants you to love her. For years, our third daughter would beg me to marry her when she grew up. As dads of young daughters, most of us are building careers at the same time. The simple fact that you're there doesn't mean you're really there. Your daughter couldn't care less about your Twitter feed, your emails, your fantasy football team, or your group texts.
I certainly don't have it all figured out, but I have learned 15 things about raising girls these last 11 years. No one else on Earth can assume your role as daddy. I had to explain that I was already married to her amazing mother. When my girls are in my car, you'll be able to catch us rocking out to the following Pandora stations: Taylor Swift, One Direction, Cody Simpson, Kidz Bop Radio, Katy Perry, you get the point. If you take one thing out of this entire list, make it this. But fight for your marriage and make it a priority. Our oldest is almost 11, so we haven't hit the dreaded teenage years, but I say bring them on. So it's not possible every single time, but make the effort to get to her stuff. I hate the commercial of the dad at the daughter's dance recital who is watching a football game on his phone. Especially in an era of constant information and entertainment.