Paddy McGuinness has opened up about the difficulties of bringing up children with autism.
The TV presenter and his wife Christine share four-year-old twins Penelope and Leo, as well as two-year-old daughter Felicity, who is also showing signs of the condition.
And during an emotional interview, Paddy broke down as he revealed family life can be tough as the parents – who have been married for seven years – “cant do normal things as a couple”.
Speaking on John Bishop: In Conversation With, the 44-year-old admitted: “Its very, very, very, very difficult, you know any parent with children with any kind of special needs is very difficult.
“Some days its a wonder how were still together, me and Christine, because you cant sort of do the normal things that you would as a couple.
“I can count on one hand the amount of times weve been on a night out together, because you cant just have a babysitter. You cant just say Ill drop em off at me relatives to look after because its not like that.”
The Take Me Out host then praised his wife for caring for their kids while he works, adding that she was better with the twins.
“I think women with children are better than men”, he continued. “This is only my opinion. Might be cos me Mum brought me up. I think maternally, they just take to being a parent quicker than men.
“And when the kids were born, I had that strange working-class mentality of these kids are here now, Ive gotta provide for em. Christine wouldnt leave them kids… she wants to be with them morning and night. “
Paddy – who plans to launch a TV series on life as a father of autistic children – then wiped away tears and added: “I feel for parents who dont have help or some days it feels like youre drowning and you can never get to the top. It can consume you because you dont see an end to it.
“I just want people to feel like theyre not alone in it. I think about parents, especially single parents with children with autism, like how the bloody hell do they cope? Cos me and Christine are always on the on the edge, you know, of having our own breakdown because of things we deal with all the time.”
Taking to Instagram, the 30-year-old wrote: “My babies are growing up so fast! This time last year I was fighting for the twins EHCP so they would get extra support at school. I still hadnt decided on where to send them and I wasnt feeling confident they were even ready to go.
“They have surprised me so much and made me proud every day. My superstars are shining brighter than ever. “
John Bishop In Conversation With…airs Thursday at 10pm on W.
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