We chatted to our Family issue coverstar, Liverpool-born Danielle Lloyd, to discover her secrets for keeping her four sons, Archie, eight, Harry, seven, George, four, and Ronnie, 11 months, under control…
You moved house at the end of 2017. What do you love the most about your new home?
‘It’s got to be waking up every morning and looking out of my big window at the horses in the paddock. It’s just so peaceful! It’s also nice that we are right at the end of a cul-de-sac, so no one has to drive past the house.’
What do the boys think of it?
‘They love it! The old house was really large, and there was a lot of space, but it wasn’t very homely. This is much more like home and the boys feel more comfortable, plus they’ve got a football pitch as a back garden now, which they didn’t have in the old house.’
You’re planning on going to the USA for gender selection in your quest to have a baby girl. What do you think of the people that say it interferes with human nature?
‘It’s a hard one, because I understand some people might think,‘You’ve got four children, why are you being selfish?’ The thing is, if I got to 50 and I’d never really tried, it would eat up at me. I don’t want to die with regrets – you only get one life, so why not do what you want to do?’
What are all of your boys in to right now?
‘Ronnie loves In The Night Garden, and Archie and Harry love football. They just want to be footballers when they grow up! They loved the World Cup, and over the summer they’ve been enjoying the Aston Villa Soccer Camp. It’s kept them busy, as well as fit and active. George will be at football as well, but he’s one of those kids that would rather be playing in the mud!
Talk us through a typical day when you’re not working and the boys are at school…
‘We get up at quarter to eight, but the boys will have been watching TV since 7am. Michael’s an electrician, so he set the whole house up so we have an app that you can turn the TV on and off at times – if not the boys wouldn’t get anything done! We’ll get ready and leave about quarter to nine. If I’m not working I go to the gym if someone is around to watch Ronnie, then I go home and crack on with usual mum stuff like cooking and cleaning. After pick up it’s football lessons or homework, before they shower themselves and get their pyjamas on. I’ll usually make a big pan of scouse, or shepherd’s pie, and we eat dinner and just chill. They go to bed at seven, watch TV for an hour, and then the TV goes off on their app.’
You’ve said they shower themselves. Are you teaching them young about the importance of being independent?
‘Totally – that’s so important to me. They make their own beds and are helping me around the house – they even help unload the dishwasher! I think some men grow up and have been totally dependent on their parents, which is no way to be. They have their own little chores to do, too. I know they’re only little boys, but I think it’s important to teach them young.’
You’re off to Dubai soon. Are you worried about the flight with Ronnie?
‘It’s going to be a long flight, but as we’re flying through the night he’ll probably sleep. I hate it when you get on a flight and people look at you praying you don’t sit next to them! I’ve had people at the end of flights go to me, ‘I can’t believe how well-behaved your children are!’ which is always nice.’
Let’s talk school. Do you ever get involved with any PTA activity at your boys’ primary school?
‘Not really. I do love to speak to everyone though – there’s nothing like a good old chinwag in the playground in the morning! It’s nice to be able to talk to the other mums, because when Archie first went there no one approached me. Now we all can’t stop nattering!’
Does anyone ever mention the stories about you in the media when you’re at the school gates?
‘Thankfully not – which is surprising considering what I say to the press! When I spoke about stress incontinence after having the boys Michael was like, ‘you’ve literally got no filter!’ but I think it’s important to talk about stuff like that. Men don’t talk about prostate cancer – they feel there’s a stigma around it and don’t want to go and get themselves checked – it’s pathetic! Women should talk about their periods, too, not to mention the menopause. I don’t know why people get so embarrassed!’
Surely speaking up about topics like that results in online abuse from trolls?
‘I just don’t get how you can be so nasty. People have even said stuff about my kids before – and I just see red. I’d never say anything about someone’s child, as it’s absolutely disgusting. In the past I’ve answered people back, or tried to out them, but they create accounts purely to abuse people. Get some respect for yourself – I haven’t got time for that bullsh*t. I’ve got four kids, just leave me alone!’
Do you still get abuse?
‘I actually don’t get that much now, ever since I spoke out about it. I think because I came out and said that I felt that pressure and I made a big thing about it, it kind of stopped. There have been the odd few, but it’s so much better.’
Does social media take over your life? With 556,000 followers on Instagram you must spend half the night looking at notifications…
‘I remember when people used to send me comments in the Daily Mail – I’m glad I don’t read those anymore! I’m sure for some it can, but I couldn’t possibly spend my time looking at them all. Obviously if I’ve posted a picture, I might look at people’s comments and stuff, answering questions if people have any. But if there are any negative ones, I just block them and think ‘go away’!’