Another edition of our ever-popular That Papa series, featuring Dubai’s favourite London import
TV Presenter, MC, marketing genius and, most importantly, dad to two tots, Nalaya (aged 5) and Luam (22 months) and hubby to Natalie, Layne Redman is an awesome guy and a force to be reckoned with in our desert city. We spoke to this cool papa about #dadlife in Dubers and about his beautiful family.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? What brought you to Dubai? What do you do?
I am a Londoner and have lived in Dubai, my second home, since 2003. My wife and I decided to move here after visiting several times and loving it. I’ve worked in the media industry for more than 10 years and love what I do!
How did you find out your wife was pregnant and how did you handle the news?
I first got told over the phone while at work that we have big news so got home from work and was calmly told that we were expecting. I was super excited to start the Redman family!
Read more: Dadchelor Parties – yay or nay?
How did you choose your kids names?
My mum chose Nalaya’s first name which came out from a dream of hers and we both loved it because it is a mixture of both of our names. She ended up being born on my mum’s birthday and her middle name, Phoebe, is her great-great grandmother’s name.
For Luam’s name, Natalie and I went through a long process of looking at boy’s names before deciding on Luam Cassian George. Luam and Cassian are strong names that we both really love and George is Luam’s great-grandfather’s name. We kept it all in the family!
Where were your children born and how hands-on were you during the birth process?
Nalaya and Luam were both born at City Hospital in Dubai. Both birth experiences were different.
Natalie had a natural birth with Nalaya using no painkillers. Nalaya was two weeks early but we were organised with a hospital bag ready to go! I was with her the whole time and I even helped deliver Nalaya. It was an amazing, awe-inspiring experience.
Luam’s birth was by Cesarean section as Natalie was unable to have another natural birth. Although very different, it was also a wonderful experience and I was in the operating theatre with Natalie and Luam and held him as soon as he was born.
Read more: The Sassy Mama Team share their birth stories
What do you hope your kids get/don’t get from you?
I hope they get my positivity and belief that they can do anything in life. It would also be great if they did not get the same skin issues I have sometimes in certain climates – and my stubbornness.
What’s your favourite part of your parenting routine?
Just playing and enjoying each other’s company. Simple things like putting some music on at home and dancing together. Hearing them laugh is the best remedy for anything.
Who plays good cop and bad cop between you and your wife?
It’s a bit of a mixture. I’m probably stricter than my wife when it comes to some things like nutrition and clearing up but Natalie is the one who is strict on bed times and homework! It works quite well.
Do you plan to have more kids?
Never say never, but we are blessed with two healthy children and with busy working lives. It’s not a priority for our family at the moment.
What’s the best thing about being a dad in Dubai?
There are so many places to take the kids; it’s such a child-friendly city. So it’s easy to take them anywhere with you – they’ve even come to work with me!
Read more: 10 of the best Dad and Kid Activities in Dubai
What’s the hardest part of being a dad in Dubai?
The summer heat. It’s difficult when you want to run around in a park with them but it’s 45 degrees. Also, lots of activities are geared towards mums rather than dads. I’ve been along to a few kids activities and I’ve been the only man there. I was welcomed with open arms though – and told I was brave!
What do you know now that you wish you knew before becoming a dad?
Preparing your time. That is the best thing you can give them.
What’s the funniest parenting story you can share?
When we’re at home, I turn my back for one second and the kids are in the bathroom with the shower on. The whole bathroom is wet, including the dog! Another time, they were covered in glue – again, including the dog. Sometimes they use the floor as a blank canvas so it’s been covered in green marker. It’s non-stop laughs and adventure.
How has having kids changed the way you define work?
Well, when Nalaya was born I took a pay cut and went part time to be with her more.
Do you have any tips for soon-to-be dads in Dubai?
Find some dad buddies and get out there together and get some dad/child activities going. Remember that there’s a great community around you of likeminded people and if you need help or advice, just ask!
Favourite family-friendly restaurants in Dubai?
Taipei Dao is great in Downtown. Pantry Café is always super welcoming to families and I find Fairmont Hotel on the Palm is always really accommodating for families dining out.
Favourite activities with the family?
Bounce, beach, waterparks – and I really want to get them on the slopes to learn skiing soon!
Favourite date night spots with your wife?
Gaucho, SeaGrill at Fairmont the Palm, and being from the Caribbean, I’m very excited to hear that there are two new places opening soon with island delights so I think they will be a regular spots also.
Read more: Date Night Spots in Dubai, Sassy Mama’s Neighbourhood Guide to The Palm
Favourite place for a little grooming (we know all men do it!)?
I definitely do groom and have a few different spots I go to. I’m often at Akin, Chaps and Co and Beats and Cuts and an old school one in Satwa called Musriff.
What are your favourite foods to eat?
That depends on the mood I’m in, but I tend to be in a good mood most of the time so I love to eat all the time. I like to cook at home and also love eating out. I eat healthy, so anything clean and fresh. Fish is my favourite, as well as pumpkin.
If your family had a theme song, what would it be?
Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy!
What do you think your kids are up to right now?
Hopefully my daughter is having fun learning at school and Luam is with me now looking at me with his cheeky grin, wanting me to push him in his little car.
Luam is being strolled around in the Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan GEO from The Luxury Collection by multi-award winning brand Mountain Buggy. The buggy is available exclusively at DbBabies, a one-stop baby shop in Dubai and the UAE. It’s available for AED 4,410. Mention Sassy Mama and receive a complimentary coordinating stroller blanket with every purchase of the Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan GEO stroller. The stroller is available for preorder now or in store from Wednesday, 15 June, 2016.
Thanks to our fab photographer Monica Chindalia for these beautiful snaps of Layne and his family! Check out her website here.