Three months into life as a family of four, and Matty J and Laura Byrne have just returned from their first family holiday to Byron Bay. They may have forgotten the swimmers (oops), but as we sit down to chat about how their lives have changed since Australia first fell in love watching them fall in love, POPSUGAR Australia has a few questions for Australia’s fave family. First, how has it been going from one to two?!
“Organised chaos,” says Matty. “It’s not organised, it’s just chaos!” adds Laura. “It was a massive adjustment, but I’m really proud of how we’re coping with it. Going from one to two… it was one of those situations where you ‘prepare for the worst and hope for the best’, but we got really lucky,” she adds.
The couple recently welcomed daughter Lola Ellis in February of this year. Adding a new family member was also an adjustment for now-big-sister Marlie-Mae, who was born in June 2019. “It’s challenging for them because they’ve gone from being like your sole focus to getting less time and attention. And being that she’s not even two yet, I think she found it hard to understand that the baby was actually staying, like that she’s still here,” she laughs.
Opening up about the “emotional shift” from one to two kids, Laura says she takes it each day as it comes. “You really have to kind of just brace yourself and go with the flow,” she says.
“One day you feel like you’re nailing it, and then the next, it’ll be a terrible day and you feel absolutely defeated and your cup is completely empty. And then you just have to reset and start again the next day. It’s really a bit of a wild rollercoaster at the moment.”
From the meet-cute to the final rose, the couple’s picture-perfect romance was, of course, documented for all of Australia to witness. But now that they’re a fully-fledged family, Matty and Laura have a plan to share more than just the magical moments with orchestral accompaniment. It’s the reason why their relatable parenting videos have been so popular on social media.
“There’s so much guilt and so much pressure to be an awesome mum; to be a good mum,” said Laura. “Comparison culture on social media means we’re always looking at what everyone else is doing, seeing other mums with the clean house, and the perfectly groomed toddlers who eat their vegetables and don’t have crap all over their clothes. In seeing that, sometimes it’s easy to think, ‘Well, why am I finding it so hard, and everybody else is doing it so easy?, but the reality is they’re not.
“Coming off The Bachelor and having this, like, seemingly picture-perfect relationship and these perfect little girls… We just want to show the authentic side of parenting and also the authentic side of becoming parents as well, which is why it has been important for us to share our whole journey. Not just a post that says, ‘Hey, we’re pregnant, and it was easy, and everything’s been great!’.”
Matty adds: “You could be the most loving parent in the world, and your baby is still not going to sleep. It’s still going to have a tantrum. And to normalise that is really important to us.”
Undoubtedly a challenge the two are grateful to navigate together, they admit certain tools in their parenting arsenal do make the job easier. Grandparents, Bluey, and dependable nappies that can easily slip on their high-flying toddler.
“Marlie is your typical toddler; she doesn’t stop. From the minute she wakes up, to the minute she goes to the bed, she is an absolute bull at a gate, and trying to get a normal nappy on a toddler is almost impossible. So having a really great nappy pant that you can whip on, regardless of whether they’re trying to roll into their belly or do a cartwheel or kick you in the face (which is like her favorite one at the moment), is absolutely crucial.”
Laura and Matty J are working with Huggies as ambassadors, spreading the word of the new SlimFLEX Absorbent Core which can be found across the Huggies Ultra Dry and Huggies Ultimate Nappy Pant ranges. For the couple, the nappies have been something of a godsend as their eldest has taken to running literally everywhere. In fact, recent research from Huggies has found Australian toddlers are walking over four times more than adults, taking up to 17,448 steps a day and covering 3.4km.
“I do actually have a big complaint about the nappy pant from Huggies…” Matty says, adding: “I think it’s made Marlie faster! Since she’s started wearing them, I swear she never used to move down the hallway as quickly as she does now. And even in the park, I’m like, ‘Where the hell did she go?!’”
He’s officially outnumbered three-to-one (“I love the fact that I’ve got all these amazing girls around me!”), but Matty says he wouldn’t have it any other way. Still, the TV personality told POPSUGAR Australia he’d love to try for a third.
“Oh, you’re on board now?!” said Laura. “That’s news to my ears,” she laughs. “It’s so funny because I was the one who wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids. And Matt always wanted a big family.
“I don’t know if you remember but on the show the narration was like, ‘Matt wants children yesterday’. And I was like, ‘Oh, I probably wait six years.’ And now it’s me who’s like, ‘I think we’re gonna move to Byron Bay and have six babies!’.”
Well if baby number three also happens to be a girl, at least the couple will have no trouble naming their third. “We could never decide on a boy’s name together! Like we always butted heads on it,” said Laura. The pair had fleeting fondness for the names Huxley and Phoenix, but never actually agreed on a boy’s name in time for their new arrival. “I guess it was written in the stars that we were supposed to have girls!”