Simon Hooper has made a name for himself with his honest and hilarious parenting-themed Instagram account, @father_of_daughters.
The U.K. dad has four daughters, including toddler twins, so needless to say, things can get hectic around his house. On Sunday, Hooper shared a post that is really resonating with exhausted parents.
Hooper posted a selfie of him and his wife looking totally worn out.
“This weekend was like trying to fit the weekly shop into a single carrier bag that had the structural integrity of a biscuit that had been dunked one too many times,” he wrote in the caption. “Cram too much in and it breaks, spilling it’s guts all over the pavement to onlookers to stare and mutter ′ glad that wasnt me’ while you silent sob into a snotty rag you found in your pocket that that kids took a particularly large blown into earlier.”
The dad explained that they reached a breaking point that day following a never-ending stream of “sport clubs, sleepovers, the zoo, walks in the park / never ending goes on the swings, trips to 5 different shops to find slime ingredients, slime making, loft sorting, cleaning, planning parties, cooking ― the list goes on.”
Although Hooper usually tries to be positive, his optimism has been tested.
“When you add in 2 very over tired older girls & twins who are everywhere at all times, you end up with broken parents,” he wrote, adding that he’s developed a bad eye twitch that makes it look like he’s always winking.
“Parenting is hard work, but we are own worst enemies sometimes when we try to do too much,” the dad concluded. “We should give ourselves a break sometimes and remind ourselves we’re doing the best we can. Anyone else feel our pain? I’m so tired I could ......zzzzzzzz.”
Hooper’s Instagram post received nearly 15,000 likes and the comments section is filled with a chorus of “Been there!” and “I feel your pain!”
The dad told HuffPost he decided to write the post to share what he realized at the end of the chaotic weekend with his wife, Clementine, and their daughters, 10-year-old Anya, 7-year-old Marnie and 1-year-old Ottilie and Delilah.
“From the moment we woke on Saturday morning, we had to set aside anything that we personally wanted to achieve and dedicate all waking (and some sleeping) hours to our little army of women,” he explained. “By the time they were in bed on Saturday night, both Clemmie and I were exhausted and were left wondering what exactly we’d accomplished ― it all seemed to pass in a tornado of sequins & leotards, kid picnic lunches, tennis lessons, play dates, sleepovers, slime making, makeup and party bags.”
As they slumped down on the sofa, struggling to keep their eyes open, the parents had an epiphany. “It dawned on us that 1. neither of us had eaten since 10 a.m., and 2. we were only half way through the weekend,” he said. “We were broken and had personally achieved the sum total of zero plus nothing.”
Hooper told HuffPost he hopes parents who read his post realize that everyone is guilty of pushing themselves too hard for their children’s sake.
“Being responsible for little humans is hard work and it’s impossible to pour yourself into your role as parent if your glass is empty, so finding that elusive balance is something that we all constantly strive towards,” he said. “We just need to remember that making time for ourselves once in awhile, both as individuals and as a couple, is equally as important as making making time for our seemingly infinitely energy-filled offspring.”