PARENTS

Dads, You Too Can Have It All - Just Like Women

13/11/2011 10:01 | Updated 22 May 2015
Dads, you too can have it all - just like womenAlamy

So far, fathers have escaped the attention of the Having It All Police who seem to think it is every mother's job to run the house, go to work, organise the childcare and look really glam to boot.

Therefore, in the interests of equality, here are some tips to make dads feel just as inadequate as we do about failing to spend enough quality time with the kids and over-compensating by buying toys when what they need is attention; about drinking too much to relax; and about not having the physique of a celebrity parent who has a personal trainer to help them shift their belly.

The Morning Routine

Avoid the rush to get out of the house in time for school and work by setting your alarm for 6am so you have more time to faff about with your briefcase and find then lose then find your phone and keys. Once you've done that, make the children's lunchboxes, find the school bags, finish off their homework, clear up last night's mess, unload the dishwasher and make breakfast.

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Once you've had a shower (and rinsed away giant spider-sized body hairs), moisturise with the latest man potion, such as Hugh Laurie's L'Oreal Paris Men, which will do nothing to reverse the effect of time but all your mates are raving about it.

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Craft your facial hair into the style-of-the-moment and stick some wax into your not-at-all-balding scalp because it is very important you look hot, attractive, dashing and on trend if you want women to take you seriously.

Don't stress about what you are going to wear - choose it the night before. For example, hang up a white shirt, a tie, socks, pants and trousers to save you vital seconds. It is very important to wear the latest AW11 fashion as seen on trendy actors and pop stars who are 10 years younger than you or you will look pathetic.

Work

Co-workers do not appreciate phonecalls to the nursery to check on Johnny's bowels. Make sure you go to the men's to ring in secret – remember to carry a hankie at all times in case you need to burst into tears because you can hear your child screaming in the background.

If the school gets in touch about your five-year-old being sick at break, bosses understand you may have to 'work from home' because you've got no other option. But behind your back, they will think "bloody men, employing them is such a liability".

Make the most of every minute of your day by using your lunch hour to pop into town to pick up the dry-cleaning, ring the dentist to organise appointments for the entire family including the cat, buy a birthday card and present for your sister-in-law because your wife will never remember. It is also a good idea to do the supermarket shop so you have more time later in the day to play with your kids and help them do their homework while making dinner.

Your Physique

Since you became a dad, you've let yourself go a bit, haven't you? That wobbly stomach and back fat isn't very attractive and who would blame your wife for having an affair?

Getting your figure back to what it was before you had children is an important goal - if you can't respect yourself, how will anyone else respect you?

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But you haven't got time to go to the gym because the lawn needs mowing and the bins need taking out. Once you've cleaned the floor, hung out the washing and changed the sheets, that is.

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There are little tricks you can incorporate into your daily routine to shape up.

So while mowing the lawn, attach weights to the Flymo so you're pushing and pulling the equivalent of a tractor. Also, a star jump and stomach crunch at each turn will help.

With bin bags and recycling, lie on the floor and get your kids to drop them on your stomach to tone you up.

Playing with the children is great exercise too - so after a hideous day at work, take them to the park for an impromptu game of rounders and watch the pounds melt off!

Parenting

Children need their dads, not their dads on their laptops. So switch it off (or in hibernate mode if the thought of no connection whatsoever is too much) and have a conversation with your kids. Ask them about their day, what their interests are and most importantly, listen. Resist the temptation to tell them about a) your life when you were a lad, and b) the importance of the new A-road bypass which has improved your commute to work.

Multi-tasking

This is the ultimate in having it all. Without it, you will drown under a sea of scorn from every smug dad going. Start simply by breathing and sitting down in front of the telly. Then work up to having a conversation while switching channels with the remote. Eventually you will be able to construct a rocket out of a yogurt pot, find that piece of Lego your youngest is crying about having lost, knock up a nutritious and wholesome organic stew which the children gobble up without complaining, exfoliate those hard bits on your elbows, file your toenails and make love to your wife all at the same time.

Find a role model

This is essential to make sure you don't fail at having it all.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg, who recently spoke about juggling the school run with work, is one. Beefcake Peter Andre, who blinks and wins an award for being a great dad, is another. If you find yourself in a flap over having no school dinner money on a Monday morning, do not panic.

Just think: what would Pete do? Then do it – don a hair net and become a dinner lady.

If all else fails, ask your wife for help.

Since you started trying to have it all, you've noticed she's turned into a bit of a slob, watching back-to-back soaps, period dramas and reality shows and she hasn't lifted a finger to feed the rabbits.

Talk to her about how you feel and ask for a cuddle – but tell her you're too exhausted for sex.

Do you think we missed out any advice for dads who want to have it all in our tongue-in-cheek guide?

Check out the most embarrassing dad - Dale switches outfits every day to wave his son off to school.

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