EXCLUSIVE: Matty J and Laura Byrne open up on their exciting family plans

"I always saw us having three kids..."
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Almost six months since their fairy-tale wedding, Matt ‘Matty J’ Johnson and Laura Byrne are both very much still in the honeymoon phase of their marriage – even if they haven’t yet found time to go on an actual honeymoon!

The couple are in the trenches right now, juggling their incredibly busy work schedules with parenting their two adorable daughters, Marlie-Mae and Lola, who are aged 3 and 2 respectively. “It’s pretty crazy right now,” Laura tells WHO. “But we’re having the best time.” 

Watch Below: Laura Byrne’s shares sweet wedding video for Valentine’s Day

The couple, who, of course, met and fell in love during the 2017 season of The Bachelor, do have a lot on their plates, with Laura working as the creative director for ToniMay, the jewellery business she co-owns with her sister, Alisha De Graaf, as well as co-hosting the hugely successful Life Uncut podcast with fellow The Bachelor alumna Brittany Hockley. The pair also host KIIS FM’s national The Pickup show every day at 3pm alongside co-host Mitch Churi.

Matt, meanwhile, in addition to holding the fort at home with their girls, files regular TV segments for shows including Weekend Today and is collaborating with Laura on a men’s jewellery range for ToniMay. “I’ve got a desk space in her new office,” Matt says. “We’re together – a lot!”

Matty J and Laura
Matty and Laura share their Sydney home with daughters Marlie-Mae, 3, and Lola, 2, and their three-legged rescue dog, Buster. (Credit: Supplied)

So how is married life treating you both?

LAURA: Our life together as a couple is exactly the same! It’s so funny. I know some people say that things really change once they’re married and that there’s this real sense of peacefulness in your relationship and that you have that reassurance that you’ll be together forever, but for us, having our girls was that for us. I don’t think our relationship has changed at all. Do you agree, Matt?

MATT: Yes, I do! Literally the only thing that’s changed is the fact that I’ve got this lovely, sparkly gold ring around my finger.

Have either of you experienced any post-wedding blues? 

L: No, we just slipped back into our normal lives almost immediately. [The couple married at NSW’s Cuppitt’s Estate winery on November 11, 2022.] We are finally having a honeymoon in July, though.

Where are you going? 

L: We’re going to Fiji. The girls are coming, too. We made sure the resort has a really great kids’ club!

M: It’s our first major overseas holiday as a family so we’d both have been really upset if the girls weren’t there. Life with them is the best and we didn’t want them to miss out – but there’ll definitely be some juggling of kids’ club time for them and pina colada sipping for us!

Matty J and Laura
Having two daughters so close together in age has been a wild ride, says Laura. “Marlie-Mae arrived in 2019 and then we had Lola in 2021, so it was just before and during the onset of the pandemic,” she says. “There was nothing else to do!” (Credit: Supplied)

Can you see yourselves having more kids? 

L: I think I would like another one, but I just can’t see how we would squeeze it in around work at the moment. Matt jokes that if we haven’t had another baby by the end of next year, we’re not having any more. 

When you have two or more kids of the same sex, people often assume you want to try for one of the opposite gender…

L: Yeah, that assumption is common, but for us, we wouldn’t have another baby just because we wanted a boy. The gender is irrelevant. Our two girls are completely different people. Marlie is very girlie – she loves shoes, handbags and her dresses. Lola likes some of those things, but she also wants to karate chop her sister. She’s a really tactile, fierce little kid. I already have two very different energies in the house.

So the ‘maybe another baby’ door is not completely closed then? 

L: I always saw us having three kids one day, so there’s a part of me that thinks that could still happen. I love being a mum and Matt’s such an amazing dad, so the door is not completely shut. But I have to consider that, while I’m 37 now, by the time I’m 39, I might have changed my mind, or, of course, be unable to have another baby. 

Matty J and Laura
After meeting on The Bachelor in 2017, Matt proposed while on holiday in Fiji in 2019. The couple’s pandemic-delayed wedding finally went ahead last November. (Credit: Supplied)

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 14. Is it a special day in your home? 

M: It is, yes, and this year, I’m planning a surprise I think Laura is going to love. I can’t say what it is, though!

L: Oh, that’s exciting! Now the girls are a little bit bigger, Mother’s Day is such a fun day. I love it – it’s like Christmas for mums! 

How did becoming a parent change you? 

L: It changed everything for me. It really put my priorities into perspective. It made me so much more patient. I think I became a very different version of myself after having kids. I’m still me, but I’m the mum version of myself since I had the girls.

M: It’s the best. It’s just so fun with the girls, especially at the age they’re at now. 

You are especially busy with work commitments. How do you make it work as a family? 

L: At the moment, Matt is definitely doing the lion’s share of at-home parenting, which is what has allowed me to go back to work at the level of intensity I’m currently working at. My week is basically split between ToniMay, recording the podcast and doing The Pickup everyday with Brittany and Mitch. It’s pretty chaotic, but I’m having an incredible time. 

Matty J and Laura
The couple have retained their own surnames since marrying. “We’re too lazy to do the paperwork,” Laura laughs. (Credit: Supplied)

Do the girls know what Mum does for work?

L: It was so funny, Marlie was playing ‘Mummies and Daddies’ with Lola and she was like, “Lola, you’re the Daddy and you stay at home and play with the baby and Mummy goes to work!” Then she got her little handbag and went off to the front door.

Do you feel very much like you’re a team?

M: For sure. Our work does crossover a lot too because we have a lot of shared projects, so talking about those things is not boring for us.

L: No matter what I’m doing, whether it’s the podcast, radio show or ToniMay, I sound so much stuff out on Matt. There’s a real crossover in our creativity. That we get to share our beautiful girls together too is just incredible. It’s a busy time, but we make it work. 

For information on ToniMay’s limited edition sterling silver Mother’s Day necklace go to tonimay.com.au

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