Welcome to The Juggle: Our blog series where Pepa talks to inspirational mothers (and fathers) around the world, delving into family life and what it means to be a working parent today, discussing family traditions and how to cope when life sometimes gets too much.
This week, with Father’s Day on the horizon, we spoke to TV director and father of two, Mackenzie Hunkin, on how he balances his work-daddy life while raising his beautiful girls.
Please tell us about your family and what you do.
I have two daughters, Honor & Inès and my wife Louise. We recently moved back from living over a decade in LA, and now live in London.
How did it feel when you became a father?
Incredible, and surreal. I come from a family of boys so having daughters is a whole new ballgame!
What can you share about your children? Any funny traits or characteristics?
Honor is very girly when she’s with her mum, but more of a tomboy with me. We play football, climb trees, catch worms- the lot. I love seeing her sense of humour develop and showing her new experiences.Mackenzie & Honor
Has fatherhood changed your perspective on the world in any way?
It definitely makes you think with a much larger perspective. I’m far more conscious of the environment and leaving them a better planet. I’m also more protective now and dread the day a first boyfriend is brought home to meet us!
What was the best advice you were given to prepare you for fatherhood?
Don’t wish away time. In the thick of it there are exhausting moments when you sometimes think - well this won’t happen when they’re older, or I can’t wait until they’re old enough to do this and that. But enjoying each phaseis so important. It passes so quickly.
How would you define your parenting style?
Pretty laid back. Louise calls me a big kid herself, and I’m usually the only messing around and winding them up before bed.
Are there any fun family traditions you have created?
Lots! Friday is pizza making night, we will read favourite books before bed, and we just started pony riding with Honor’s grandparents.
How do you juggle career and children – what are your three pillars for keeping it all together?
We are lucky enough to work from home, so we do almost all the school runs and see the baby throughout the day. I don’t think anyone has it nailed down, but Louise and I definitely cover each other when the one of us has a work call or more importantly, needs a moment of downtime to work out, see friends or just do something for themselves.
So many aspects, but I love it when both girls are giggling, and we are all just hanging out.
What has been your biggest challenge?
No sleep! I imagine most parents would say the same.
What advice do you have for first-time dads?
Definitely chat to your friends who are also having kids, the advice helps a lot. And never tell your wife she looks tired!