As a father of three with a busy career on breakfast TV, David Campbell knows all too well about the struggle of the mythical “juggle.”
In an exclusive interview with Now To Love, the proud father of son Leo, 10, and twins Billy and Betty, both six, who he shares with wife and producer Lisa Campbell, admits that while family life with three little people is “wild”, he’s learning to live in the moment and be kinder on himself.
“It’s such a privilege to raise humans, it really is. It’s very hard, very stressful but I’ve been taught a lot,” David Campbell tells us.
“The experience of watching people grow in front of your eyes and help mould them into better citizens is something that is so special. You take it for granted as a parent all the time, I did just this morning, but I’m trying to be present and remind myself about how great this time is,” he reflects.
For the Today Extra star, his go-to parenting mantra is something that will resonate with burnt-out mums and dads everywhere – we’re all just trying our best.
“I think when you’re a parent, everyone is just doing their best! A lot of people feel a lot of shame that they’re not living up to the expectations of how people parent on Instagram, or blogs, or this book says this… But I think we’re slowly letting that go now and just doing our best.
“It’s a long marathon. Keep going and give yourself a break! We forget how important it is just to be in their life,” he says.
The 47-year-old also says it’s important to acknowledge the tough times – no matter how challenging they may be.
You’ve got to take the trenches for what they are, you’ve just got to be in them. It’s OK to be like: ‘This is too much, this is too hard. I’m drowning here.’ It’s good to say those words out loud because I come from, my family was a family where they’d never complain and then they’d just get angry about it.
“Just let it out! It doesn’t hurt anybody to say the words. Let it out and then it’s gone and then you just move on.”
The presenter lights up when he touches on his three kids’ distinct personalities.
“Leo looks like Lisa and has her intelligence and both of us empathy but reminds me at the moment of me at his age. Ten is a very beautiful, very fragile age for a boy. It can be very emotional because they’re not quite a teenager yet or a tween yet but they’re not a kid anymore,” he muses of his eldest child.
“Billy is go, go, go and then super emotional if something goes wrong and then go, go, go again,” he chuckles of his youngest son.
As for his only daughter Betty, David says she is truly one of a kind.
“I’ve not experienced a human like Betty before. She is brutally honest, super bright, doesn’t take any prisoners, extremely funny and very creative. It’s so wild having someone like her in the mix. It’s like working with a comedian – she will push everything until the joke is dead and she’s howling on the floor,” he admits.
Of all his children, David suspects it will be Betty who follows in his showbiz footsteps.
“It would be unusual for Betty to become an accountant! If she’s not somehow in showbiz or leading a group of people [I will be surprised]. She said to me the other week she wants to be a mermaid president that lives in Hawaii,” he laughs.
Indeed David’s career in the entertainment industry spans decades and there’s almost no element he hasn’t made a name for himself in – from acting, hosting, signing – David is a born performer with a wealth of experience.
Having spent years on noisy stages and sets and with his career depending on his hearing, the father-of-three has decided to team up with Hearing Australia to help raise awareness around hearing loss.
With one in four older Australians never recalling if they’ve ever had a hearing test, David wants to encourage people to start testing their hearing sooner rather than later.
“If you’ve been working on construction sites or a tradie, I would suggest you do it. If you have come back from the services you should be looking at it. If you work in the entertainment or art industry or have been to lots of music gigs – you should get tested,” he explains.
Having recently had his first hearing test, David admits he was a little nervous for his results but was relieved to find out he only had some “mild damage.”
Now the star wants to use his platform to help breakdown the stigma around hearing aids and hearing tests.
“There’s muscles and bones in your ear, they will wear out. I consider it like going to the dentist or optometrist, it should be something we’re doing at least once a year or at a certain age… Working it into your health checks,” he urges.
“There should be no stigma or shame around it. I think we’re so worried because everyone remembers what hearing aids used to be like way back in the day and they’re very small and subtle now.”