Michael Klim at home with his children Stella, Rocco and baby Frankie. Photo: Jason South
Michael Klim is best known for a swimming career in which he has broken 21 World Records. A three-time Olympian, he received an Order of Australia medal in 2001. Since Michael’s retirement in June 2007 he has focused his energies on business interests such as his skin care company MILK and spending more time with wife Lindy and kids.
1. How many children do you have?
There’s no magic answer for anything, just common sense!
I have 3 kids - Stella 6, Rocco 3 and Frankie 7 months.
2. What has surprised you the most about becoming a father?
The thing that surprised me the most would have to be the level of adoration and love you have for your kids from the day they are born. I have heard people talk about it but it’s hard to explain unless you witness it first hand.
3. What is the hardest part about being a dad?
I’m a very heavy sleeper and I’ve always struggled getting up during the night if the kids wake up. I’m very lucky that my wife, Lindy gets up majority of the time and lets me sleep so that I can go training in the mornings.
4. How has your relationship with your partner changed since you have become parents?
Our relationship has changed somewhat. Obviously before children we had a lot less responsibility and we were able to be quite spontaneous with the things we used to do together. Since we’ve had kids, we have to work around our kids which is absolutely fine. So even though we can’t always pack up and go away on a romantic getaway, we always make time for each other.
5. What advice do you have for new fathers or fathers to be?
My advice would be to always take the advice from others onboard which is readily given, but ultimately the best way to parent is to learn on the job and be yourself. There’s no magic answer for anything, just common sense!
6. What are you great at?
I really enjoy making breakfast for the kids and I know the kids enjoy it too which is nice. The other thing I think I’m pretty good at is aqua play!
7. What are you terrible at?
I’m terrible at negotiating with the kids so I try to never let it get to that stage.
8. How has your attitude to work / career changed since becoming a father and how do you manage the juggle of family and work?
My attitude has definitely changed to life in general. These days my priorities are the kids and our family but obviously we all have work commitments and obligations so I try to prioritise, to make sure I spend as much time with the kids as possible. I have my set days for school pick ups and drop offs and I never like to change those, as that is my time with the kids.
9. What age did your children start to learn to swim? Do you have any advice for other parents who want to introduce their little ones to the water?
My children were all introduced to the water at 6 months of age and learnt to swim around age 2 on their own. I think it’s absolutely vital that kids are given the opportunity to learn swimming in a structured environment with qualified instructors. This will put them in great stead for years to come, not only if they want to swim competitively but from a safety/ aqua play point. It’s very important to have the skill!
I am currently involved as an Ambassador for Huggies Little Swimmers which I have loved so far as it is so relevant for me as a father. It’s a great idea which brings peace of mind to all parents, and lets everyone enjoy a fun day in the pool or beach.
Read more advice from famous dads on Essential Baby.