Here at Love Boo we all love Themultidads Instagram posts – with three kids under 5 (Finn and twins, Nelly & Teddy) we get a peak into the chaotic reality of day-to-day life as a hands-on dad – and we can’t get enough of it…
Hi Paul, you’re a dad of three and husband to Dani (@themultimama) tell us a bit about family life in the Tremain household?
It’s a bit like an episode of the Crystal Maze (if anyone remembers that!!) ….it’s full of physical, mental, skill and mystery based challenges… with it comes plenty of fun, exhaustion and early nights for us as parents! The twins are up most mornings with a 5 in it and Finn not long after, so the skill that @themultimama applies in getting a 4-year-old and twins out the door for the school by 8.40am is definitely worth a crystal!!
Your @themultidad feed is a great mix of reality and advice – why did you start the account?
I started it initially because I was searching for other parents who had twins to get some ‘real life’ insight. Nelly & Teddy were premature, having babies in special care is hard and something difficult to prepare yourself for, I was unable to find out much on ‘official’ websites that was tangible and therefore I started my page to partly document my story to help others, but also as a form of dad therapy documenting my journey from 1 child to 3.
You’ve got a really good ‘non-judgey’ voice on Instagram. Did it help that you already worked in media and content to get started and do you have any advice for parents wanting to start an account?
Working in media and content has if anything been more of a block for me as I tend to perhaps over-think how ‘things should be done.’ The reality is that everyone is different and generates different content which is what makes not only the world great, but the content experience of Instagram so enjoyable for many. We love looking at other people’s lives… just be careful you don’t over compare with others as this can be dangerous for your state of mind, particularly when tired!! As for starting Instagram, just be real, ensure your page stands for something so that prospective followers know what they are following and lastly, the picture doesn’t always have to be perfect, it’s the story that goes with it too in my experience.
How does the voice of a ‘dad’ account differ from a ‘mum’ account?
It depends who you follow, but I like to touch on things from a ‘dads perspective’ because naturally we view the world differently – so, broadly speaking – every perspective is different but I like to talk in ways that resonate to both mums and dads.
“Allowing one parent some solo time for a few hours, can feel like a Caribbean holiday”
How important is it for you to show the warts ‘n’ all side of parenting rather than a curated, glossy image?
It’s important to show realism but also remember that you’re in control of what you share. Just because you don’t share 18 hours of your day on social media, doesn’t mean you’re fake or curated, it just means you’re sharing the highlight or lowlight of your day in a way that you’re comfortable with.
Do you think dads can feel a bit adrift when it comes to parenting? Do they ‘share’ as much as us mums?
Hard to answer for all Dads because some Dads are stay at home, some work away, some work flexibly and some are weekend dads but I do think as dads we are getting better about expressing our feelings in relation to parenting. Personally, I am very involved and connected to the children’s upbringing. I work flexibly which is great.
How does humour help when it comes to parenting?
Bad days are like weather, they come and go – if you can overlay humour it personally helps me. Turning a scenario of two children throwing up over you into a funny Instagram post or dinner party story is one way I like to deal with it. It’s Dad Therapy.
How has fatherhood changed you? Do you have a lot of Dad mates?
It’s hugely changed my spontaneous nature towards socialising – I call it swapping beers for bedtime stories. Beers with friends are more planned events now. I didn’t notice as much change with just Finn, but when the twins came and we were outnumbered, your presence at weekends is essential meaning that the stereotypical dad activities of long days at football, golf and cricket become fewer. Not impossible, but just more considered. In terms of Dad mates, I have both ‘types’ – the difference in empathy between the two is off the scale. You only truly get the parenting challenge and what a game changer it is if you have them.
How do you and Dani take time out for yourselves?
It’s something we need to get better at doing in truth, it’s mainly focused around trying to get out for dinner together in the evenings rather than a full day out. My parents are a great help to us but leaving anyone with 3 kids under 4 for a whole day or weekend is tough right now, so we include them in everything and kinda like it that way.
What are your five top survival tips for first-time dads?
- Google ‘Empathy’ and apply it at home with your partner. Successful stakeholder management here is critical
- In reverse, communicate with your partner on ‘how you’re feeling’ – it prevents ‘boiling point’ and creates a stronger shared experience, good or bad.
- On days when things are tough, sometimes ‘dividing and conquering’ can work well – allowing one parent some solo time for a few hours, can feel like a Caribbean holiday!
- Get out of the house for family days, even if it’s just to the park. The temptation is to stay in because it’s easy, but socialising your baby and yourselves is a great way to lift tiredness or any mental cloudiness. Unsurprisingly, everyone feels better afterwards (most of the time)
- Make peace with the fact you will see more of the amazon delivery driver than your friends.
When you’re out with all three kids – what’s in your dad bag?
- Enough snacks to open a pop up tuck shop
- Enough wet wipes to deal with any poo explosion
- Love Boo Soothing Bottom butter x 2 (we are prone to losing them!!) – we have used it from day 1 with Finn and now the twins.
We know our Love Boo Detangling Spray has helped avoid some hair tantrums – any other Love Boo essentials in your house?
Detangling spray has been a staple for Nelly and her beautiful blonde locks for sure, but our staple product is the Bottom Butter. We have it in various ‘stations’ around the house where nappies are changed and is always taken out with us. We also use the Soft & Splashy Bubbles – Nel & Ted go crazy for bubbles and we love the smell of the whole range, especially the Soft & Shiny Shampoo which is now a smell I associate with Finn. Dani is a huge advocate of natural products and is so careful about what goes on their skin, this range has been going strong in our household for 5 years!