Father who raised his 3 young girls after their mother died of breast cancer shares the lessons ...
From learning to cook, tying ponytails, and buying sanitary pads: Father who raised his three young girls alone after their mother died of breast cancer shares the lessons he's learned
- Joseph Wakim has raised three daughters after his wife died of cancer
- Grace, Michelle and Joy were all under 11 when their mum died in 2003
- Mr Wakim raised them solo despite pushes to get help to cook and clean
- The three sisters taught Mr Wakim to be a mother and a father
- He's written a memoir of life lessons titled: What My Daughters Taught Me
From tying his daughter's hair in a ponytail to buying the right brand of sanitary pads - Joseph Wakim has learned some valuable life lessons in the past 12 years.
Mr Wakim has been raising his three daughters on his own in their Sydney home since his beloved wife Nadia passed away from breast cancer back in 2003.
He was inundated with friends, family and strangers telling him he would need help to raise his daughters - aged 11, nine and four - but Mr Wakim says he decided to do the job single-handedly and trust he would know what to do.
What followed was years of emotional and hilarious events that helped Mr Wakim become both a mother and father to Grace, Michelle and Joy.
'I've made every mistake you can think of,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'I'd pick up the phone and ask people how do you make rice or I've just ruined someone's dress in the washing machine.
'But I had to just trust my instincts.'
The family moved from Melbourne to Sydney before Nadia's cancer took hold and there was little family nearby when she passed away.
'People were suggesting to get help to cook, do the laundry, clean. I wanted to give it a go on my own. I was reluctant to have my children surrounded by strangers,' he said.
Joseph Wakim's wife Nadia died in 2003 from breast cancer when their daughters Grace, Michelle and Joy were aged just 11, nine and four respectively
Joseph and Nadia Wakim moved from Melbourne to Sydney with their children before her cancer took hold and there was little family nearby when she passed away
Mr was inundated with friends, family and strangers telling him he would need help to raise his daughters Grace, Joy and Michelle
'They already lost their mum, I didn't want them to lose their dad.'
Mr Wakim, who has detailed his family's journey in a memoir titled: What My Daughters Taught Me, has shared stories of how they learned to cope in Nadia's absence.
'Grace taught me how to tie Joy's hair in a ponytail and secure if with a hair tie. In time, I also learnt that the ponytail looked smarter if I tied to high on her crown,' he wrote.
On one occasion, Joy's ponytail wasn't straight and Mr Wakim used his instincts to fix it.
'Rather than redo the entire routine from scratch, I tired to wriggle it to the middle by fiddling with the hair tie. How was I suppose to know that you cannot drag a ponytail like a desktop icon without torturing the child?' he said.
Mr Wakim, who has detailed his family's journey in a memoir titled: What My Daughters Taught Me, has shared stories of how he and his daughters learned to cope in Nadia's absence
The past 12 years have been filled with emotional and hilarious events that helped Mr Wakim become both a mother and father to Michelle, Joy and Grace
He even opened up on having to step up when his three daughter's eventually started menstruating.
'As the Minister of Foreign Affairs it was my responsibility to bring home a sufficient supply of sanitary pads,' Mr Wakim said.
'If someone was in the pad section, I would park my trolley near the men's toiletries and pretend to be browsing at the razors. When the coast was clear, I would pounce and exit.
'Times have changed. Now I am a familiar face in the sanitary napkins aisle. I spin the pads into the trolley from a distance and wave to the security cameras in case anyone watching wants a laugh.'
What My Daughters Taught Me by Joseph Wakim is available on Wednesday, July 29.
Joseph Wakim's memoir What My Daughters Taught Me is available on Wednesday, July 29