‘Proud to be their dad’ - Father of five talks life in the ‘super dad’ lane
They say that the father is a daughter’s first love. So if we’re going by this rubric, then Paul Reid is truly blessed to be receiving all the love that he could ever ask for and more. The fantastic father of five beautiful daughters, two sets of twins and a teenager, and husband to one incredible wife, sat down with The Sunday Gleaner to talk more about life in the super dad lane.
Protective, nurturing and loving by nature, Reid became a stepdad before having biological children. But he dropped that prefix and assumed his role as the paternal figure in his teenage daughter’s life.
Proudly, he declared, “I’m a 29-year-old father of two sets of twins and a teenager. The last set of twins, Eden and Eva, are newborn, the first set Leila and Zahra are two years old, and I have a 14-year-old as well; her name is Hannah.”
He was very candid about the lessons he has learnt about fatherhood. Children are different, and each child, whether twin or single, has a unique personality. “For example, Leila and Zahra can be night and day, and Hannah has her unique way of thinking. What works for one won’t necessarily work for the other.” Twins, he revealed, aren’t carbon copies, and sisters are similar, but aren’t the same. All the girls receive love differently, and they have to be disciplined differently as well, so this super dad has found it interesting discovering the right approach that works for each princess. “One treatment can’t apply to all,” he added.
If juggling the twins and raising a teenager with a nine-to-five wasn’t busy enough, he recently invited viewers into his family life with his YouTube vlog series, Mi and Mi House. He says balancing work, vlogging, and family can be difficult, but he remains intentional in finding quality time and prioritising. Because his family is so important to him, it means maximising on duties from dusk until dawn. The newborns are off to bed by midnight, and the toddlers are up early, so it doesn’t give a hands-on dad like Reid much time to sleep. “Thank God for Hannah, who is big enough to understand and help out when she can,” he said.
Working from home, he has been getting a head start on either home or office preparations and lending his efforts to different activities throughout the day, while staying focused on his career. With great power comes great responsibility, and that will sometimes include sacrifice, one he will gladly make over and over again for his girls.
“The support from Tina is tremendous, and it has to be because no man is an island. If we were totally rigid about our roles, I don’t know how we would manage individually. We may have different approaches, but we ensure that it is not burdensome on each other.” It is important to note that vlogging, he says, has helped his marriage. It stands as a reminder that while he is a father, he is also a husband. He and his wife, Tina, are able to talk and reconnect during filming, while sharing the role of editing clips for final production.
Among the list of fun activities to do with his children is swimming in the splash pool. Reid confesses that he enjoys the pastime more than his young ones as a means to beat the summer heat. It also functions as a full-fledged family activity time, including indulging in sweet mangoes from the tree. “We are a family of singers, so we love to sing and dance, especially the toddlers. We watch children’s movies together. They were thoroughly entertained; I was present,” he added with a laugh. When the world was open, they all attended church together as well.
Reid believes that a new father needs to decide to be involved from day one in every aspect of the child’s development. That means being active in the feeding and changing process, as well as creating your own special father-child bond from an early stage, teaching your child manners and respect, leading spiritually to acknowledging a higher power, loving selflessly and making that conscious decision to be there in every aspect of their lives, from sports day to meetings with the parent-teacher association. “Your children look up to you. I know, growing up, I looked up to my father. So it’s important that fathers be good examples and model characters who live and display integrity in how they treat others because their children are looking on.”