Joe Wicks admits he finds parenting ‘more draining’ than being the nation’s PE teacher

Everyone’s favourite PE teacher, Joe Wicks, admits that being a dad-of-two is “more draining” than work – and that includes his daily online HIIT workouts which have kept the nation on their toes during lockdown.

Joe, who’s dad to daughter Indie, two next month, and five-month-old son Marley, says he couldn’t juggle his career and parenthood without teamwork and the support of his wife Rosie, 29.

“I find the parenting side more physically and emotionally draining than work, so I’ve got a newfound respect when I see Rosie with two babies under two.”

Speaking at The Virtual Baby Show, he added, “I try and split that time with her when I can. It might look like it’s easy, but it really isn’t. If you try doing it by yourself for a couple of days – it’s hard.

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“As long as you’re talking and taking turns, it’s about having a mutual respect for each other and never taking the other person for granted.”

His daily workouts have generated a healthy income for NHS charities – more than £200k at the last count!

With over 3.5 million cookbooks sold in the UK alone, Joe himself is reportedly worth an estimated £15 million.

But his role as a dad evidently comes first. “I love being a dad,” the 33-year-old said, recalling that he used to play guitar to his pregnant wife’s tummy.

“Even with two, there’s double the mess, double the nappies and double the crying, but I always say it’s double the fun and love. I’m lucky that I can be home quite a lot. Nothing is more precious than time with our young kids,” he added.

He copes with the chaos by learning from his parents’ own mistakes.

“I’m learning to be more patient and tolerant and to react differently, because I grew up in a really chaotic home,” he revealed, having previously spoken of his father’s struggle with heroin addiction.

“My mum and dad would shout at me – there was a lot of swearing and doors being slammed. I don’t want to be that kind of parent so I’m actively changing my default setting through trying new things.”

Like any parent, his patience has been tested, though. “I don’t think there’s anything more challenging than screaming babies in your head, or being in a car or a plane, or even a kitchen, with a baby who is screaming relentlessly, because you can’t communicate with them. You’ve got to really take a deep breath when it’s kicking off,” he said.

Joe bonded with Indie within a couple of months, but found it tougher when Marley was born three weeks prematurely, suffering from delayed vision maturity.

“He was pretty much blind, and couldn’t see a thing until he was about three months old. He had reflux, colic and he didn’t want to be left on his own, so I found it quite hard to bond with him,” explained Joe, adding, “He’s settled now.”

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It’s unsurprising that The Body Coach, who boasts 2.45 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, credits exercise for getting the Wicks family through lockdown.

However, Joe admits that even he doesn’t always find the enthusiasm.

“The biggest thing I’ve learnt from having two kids is that when you’re trying to wake up with that same motivation to train – it isn’t there,” he admitted.

“You’re probably running at about 50 to 60 per cent of what you normally are. But you should still do something.”

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