As a nod to Father’s Day later this week, we talk to Matt; the ‘other half’ of the Mini First aid couple. Matt tells us how he feels about soon becoming a Dad of 6 young children (and two sets of twins!). He gives his take on the challenges of having a large family as well as the reality of running a growing business with his wife, Kate.
How do you feel about soon becoming a Dad of six?!
Really excited. The biggest jump for us was going from 2 to 4 children. Having 4 children completely takes over, so adding another 2 is a little daunting but won’t be as much of a change (I don’t think). We also know what to expect (to a point!) with twins.
What are the biggest challenges when you have a big family?
When you are aiming to do something together at a specific time. Mealtimes are a good example. Don’t tell anyone it is time to eat until all the food is cooked, on the table, cooled down and READY to eat INSTANTLY. Similarly, don’t tell anyone they are getting in the car until EVERYONE has their coats and shoes on. Too many melt downs otherwise!
Any twin tips you’ll be using second time round?
It took a while to get the hang of the bottle feeding thing as Kate was breastfeeding at first. We learned that having 2 bouncy chairs and giving the girls a bottle at the same time worked a treat. Have two of EVERYTHING right down to the tiniest detail. Anything different and they will steal each other’s!
Five daughters in the house. How will you and Alife manage?
I’m not sure what to expect really as our eldest daughter is still only five. It’s all uncharted territory. Alfie has assured me that 5 sisters will be fine as in his words he “already has 5 girlfriends so 5 sisters will be OK!” The biggest issue for me will be giving the girls a cuddle all at once. I can just about manage 3 girls climbing on me at the moment!
Let’s talk business: What did you think when Kate first had the idea for Mini First Aid?
When Kate first told me about her idea, I was away on a tour in Denmark (Matt is also a professional musician). I think my initial answer was a little sarcastic: “Yes, what a great idea for us both to be self employed and working predominantly evenings and weekends.” I thought the concept was great. I just wasn’t sure at first that it would fit into our lifestyle.
How did you become more involved in running the business?
I have always been self-employed so helped Kate with certain aspects of the business when she first set up. My company Gourmet Music became a limited company in 2010 so when Mini First Aid followed the same path, I became more involved in managing the finances for the business.
When the twins arrived, Mini First Aid started expanding rapidly across the UK. I wanted to be at home more so I stepped in to run the business whilst Kate was ‘on maternity’. It was a crazy time but we haven’t looked back since. My music has taken a back seat for now but I still keep things ticking over for the future.
What are the positives and negatives to running a business with your wife?
We both know our strengths and play to these. Luckily, our strengths are completely the opposite of each other so we complement each other well and don’t step on each other’s toes. We are learning that we need communicate with each other more formally sometimes. Just because we have mentioned something (usually before bed at midnight) it doesn’t mean we have had a proper conversation!
What are your tips for any couple with a young family who are running a business together?
Do the bits that you are good at and get the help you need, whether at work or at home. Something has got to give and that is OK. It is better to do that than end up being rubbish at everything because it becomes too much. Some things have to take a back seat at times but it isn’t forever.
Thanks Matt and Happy Father’s Day!