It's not just mums: Peter Andre confesses he suffers from 'dad guilt'

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Peter and wife Emily on a rare night out (Reuters)
Peter and wife Emily on a rare night out (Reuters)

Everyone is familiar with 'Mum-Guilt'. But for singer Peter Andre, Dad-Guilt is a thing, too. The father of four, 48, admitted this week that going away for a night with wife Emily to celebrate her birthday made him feel "incredibly guilty - I'm not kidding!"

He added that spending more romantic time together "looks like an impossibility at the moment!"

Peter loves being a dad and has often spoken about his love for his children in interviews. He and medic Emily are parents to Amelia, seven, and four year old Theo, while Peter is also the dad of Junior, 16, and Princess, 14 from his previous marriage to Katie Price.

He told Made by Mammas: The Podcast with Zoe Hardman and Georgia Dayton that during lockdown, when Emily was on the NHS frontline, and then suffering COVID herself, "I had the whole family at home, I was cooking for everyone, I was parenting, I was cleaning, I was the chef, I was doing all of it, but I loved it!"

He added, "I really felt for people during that first lockdown that didn't have a garden. It was so easy for people to say, 'stay at home', but if you didn't have outdoor space I can't even imagine how difficult that would have been.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 15: Peter Andre seen leaving the ITV Studios with his son Junior on August 15, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)
Peter was a very hands-on dad with Junior, who's now 16. (Getty Images)

"Luckily, the weather was incredible and we were able to make the most of it together. I say to my kids we'll never forget the summer of 2020."

In another recent interview, Peter spoke about the importance of family time.

"Millie (Amelia) sometimes says to me: 'Dad you're on your phone,' and I don't realise it, because it's such a normal part of our routine to be on our phones", explained Peter. "Even though she's younger, she knows if I'm not paying attention.

Watch: Peter Andre reveals his Bond dream

"I think it's incredibly important to give your children your undivided attention for your children's self-worth, for them to feel close to their family and for them to feel safe – because they feel that you're present and channelled into them."

The winter lockdowns were much less enjoyable, he added.

"The second and third lockdowns were much harder. It was cold, dark, it was depressing for the kids. Homeschooling whilst being on their screens for hours and hours with no daylight was not fun for them at all," he explained, doubtless striking a chord with every parent.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07:  (L-R) Junior Andre, Peter Andre, Princess Tiaamii Andre and Emily MacDonagh attend the UK premiere of 'Thomas The Tank Engine: Big World! Big Adventures! - The Movie' at Vue West End on July 7, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Peter and Emily with a little Junior and Princess (Getty Images)

"Plus, I then got COVID which was tough. It was a difficult time for the kids too, not knowing if they would be taking their GCSE's. It was so confusing for them, but for me, as a parent, I got so incredibly close with them. Little Theo especially."

"One of the things Emily and I are adamant about is no phones at the dinner table. That time is when we sit and talk as a family. We talk about anything – it could be about what Millie did at school that day, or what Princess has got coming up, but it's that quality time that is so important to us.

Read more: Junior Andre follows in dad's footsteps as he signs record deal

"We also have a one screen rule which is a brilliant way to stay connected with your family. If we're watching a film, nobody else is allowed their phone. 

"It doesn't always work admittedly, but it does mean if you're all watching something then you can enjoy it together. It encourages us to laugh and talk together."

Peter has worked with Habitat Kids to promote the idea of family quality time, but adds that like many parents, he worries about the children's phone use.

LONDON - DECEMBER 06: Peter Andre and Emily MacDonagh colour-in a Snowman picture with their daughter Amelia as part of the The Snowman Winter Windows Campaign on December 06, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Out and about with Amelia between lockdowns last year. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

"I try to show the kids an example of people who are loved, like Prince William or David Beckham, to prove to them that even people like them get attacked online. It doesn't matter what you do, trolls will find a way to say something bad about you – and that does worry me as a parent.

"One of the main things I try to teach them is not to read comments, or to just turn them off completely. You can't censor everything in life, but in my honest opinion, I think comments should be banned. It would make such a big difference because then you would just read, and talk amongst your family about things that concern you."

Read more: Emily Andre admits she's 'put off' by pregnancy because of the coronavirus

Peter is about to star in Grease! on tour - and he's not the only one who feels guilty when he's away for work.

Emily told OK Magazine “I feel [parent guilt] every single day. I feel it every single minute i’m not with them.”

Peter agreed “I do - but I always know I’m doing it for them.”

Watch: Peter Andre heartbroken as he hasn't hugged son Junior 'in so long' due to COVID

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