"It's exhausting and all-consuming." Laura Byrne and Matty J on the pressure to be perfect parents.

A quick scroll through Laura Byrne and Matty J's Instagram feed, and you'll see the former Bachelor couple aren't afraid to show the unglamorous, messy and straight-up exhausting side of parenting. 

But as parents to one-year-old Marlie-Mae and three-month-old Lola Ellis, they know that it's not always what's reflected on social media. 

"There's so much pressure and so much guilt already to be the perfect parent," Laura told Mamamia

"There's already so much we feel like we're failing at, so seeing other people being a bit of a hot mess at the same time and getting through the day, you feel like 'oh yeah, this is my tribe'."

Watch: Be A Good Mum. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

The "perfectly curated" family photos that fill our feeds also don't help.

"When you see so many mummy bloggers who have it all together, and their Instagram is perfectly curated, and the kids are beautiful, and don't have any crap on their clothes, it's an unrealistic expectation of what parenthood is. Parenthood is messy and it's exhausting and it's all-consuming."

"Now whenever I see mummy bloggers who have posted the most beautifully curated photos, my first thought is: 'how long does it take you to take that photo?' Because I know, it takes me a really long time to get the really cute photo and my camera roll is full of all these weird photos and the accidental stuff. And I think it's the accidental stuff is way more real, because that's what we're all dealing with his parent."

Just this week, Laura shared what happened when she tried to take a "cute" bath photo of her and the girls while holidaying in Byron Bay. 

"Cute holiday bath photo... EXPECTATION VS REALITY," she captioned the Instagram post. 


"I just wanted to do a holiday photo with my family. And it was like ok... we didn't quite get there. But it was real you know, I'm not going to force my kids to smile at the camera," she told Mamamia. 

Matty J also says it's important to show the "hardships" and "battles" parents face on social media. 

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with having fun, having a laugh at yourself and some of the parenting fails that you face."

"It's so comforting when you post a photo of how your baby won't sleep when you're sitting down and only when you're standing up, and having so many other people go, 'my kid was exactly the same'."


Laura says it comes down to the fact that "no one really knows what what they're doing" and all parents are just trying to get through.

"If you feel like you're nailing being a mum, then you probably feel like you're being a crappy partner. And if you're being an amazing friend, or you're doing well at work, then you probably feel like you're being a crappy mum, because you have to sacrifice all these different things. It's not possible to have it all and do it all at the same time."

Juggling a (very) active toddler and a baby also makes things that bit more challenging. 

"I had these fun memories of just being able to wake up with Marlie just have her in my lap. And her being so content sitting there for like almost an hour. These days it's completely opposite," says Matty J. 

"She'll wake up and the moment I get her out of the cot and her little feet touch the ground, she is off and running. And she is pretty non stop until she has a nap at mid-day... So it's really exhausting. And there's so many times I swear I've just looked the other way for a split second and I turned around and she's gone. And then I can hear a noise down the hallway and I'm like, 'how did you get here so quickly?'."

Image: Supplied. And Marlie-Mae isn't alone. In fact, Huggies research found toddlers walk over four times more than adults, taking up to 17,448 steps a day - which covers a whopping 3.4km. 


With toddlers walking far enough to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge an average six times a day, Laura and Matty J have a few go-to essentials up their sleeves to help with an active little one, like invisible colouring in books (so Marlie-Mae only draws in a book rather than on the furniture) and nappy pants. 

"Trying to get nappies onto a toddler is almost impossible and to have a really good nappy pant just means that you're not having to struggle to get them to lie on their back and they can stand up and they can walk into it... So we find the Huggies Nappy Pants are amazing. And then also the fact that they've brought out this new SlimFLEX Absorbent Core design that allows them to stay dryer for longer and it's just more comfortable for them considering how much they're running around."

"Another thing for Marlie, that makes her so extremely happy is music. She is a big dancer," says Matty J, who appeared on Dancing With The Stars: All Stars this season. 

"Whenever she is a little bit cranky, you just put the song 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' on and she loves it instantly."

"Anything you can have in your arsenal that makes for easy distractions is exactly what you need," added Laura. "Something that can distract them away from whatever emotional tantrum they're having at that point is what you need."

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