Nobody puts Joe Simpson's babies in a corner.
At Monday's performance of Chicago in Manhattan -- where daughter Ashlee Simpson-Wentz made her Broadway debut in the role of Roxy -- the Hollywood dad admitted to feeling besieged.
"We as a family are under a lot pressure," Simpson said, adding that people want "to make us look bad and wants us to fail."
This past year, the proud patriarch saw Jessica, 29, struggle with her weight, mourn the death-by-coyote of her beloved dog Daisy and get dumped by boyfriend Tony Romo.
(Next year she returns to reality TV with The Price of Beauty, the VH1 series set to debut in March.)
While Ashlee, 25, and husband Pete Wentz doted on baby Bronx, who just turned one, she was also recently fired from the CW's Melrose Place.
"It was never a loss," her father says of the Melrose burn. "The world says whatever it says. [The world], again, always want to make it look like we'r'e failures but we're really just a family that works hard."
The happy dad -- who cried during Ashlee's Chicago performance -- praised both of his daughters' ability to roll with the punches. "My children look at ups and downs and rise up above it all and remain strong...We're just normal people, and we always try to be who we say we are."