How Laura Byrne and Matty J flip the parenting load on its head.

In the four and a half years since Laura Byrne and Matthew 'Matty J' Johnson first became parents to their eldest daughter Marlie, a lot has changed.

Just a few months after their second daughter Lola came along in 2021 and Matt's stint on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) came to an end, he took the reins at home.

"Matt is the primary carer," Laura tells Mia Freedman on this week's episode of No Filter for which they were both in the studio.

"As soon as DWTS finished, that's when he really picked up all the pieces at home. He does the daycare drop-offs, he does the pickups, he does the dinners; he does all of that because my career has continued to grow."

Listen to Matty J and Laura on this week's episode of No Filter. The post continues below. 

Matt says that they had to discuss the details of childcare arrangements and sharing of the parenting load when Laura's podcast Life, Uncut, co-hosted with Brittany Hockley really took off.

"That's when I had to take on more and more [at home] to what it is now," Matt shares.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a thought like, 'Oh, that'd be nice to have a slice of that cake.' But I still had other things going on. It wasn't as if it wasn't as if I was sitting at home twiddling my fingers.

"And it was also really inspiring to watch Laura get to that point where she was doing so well. I was on the sidelines saying, 'Go get 'em honey!' and I loved seeing Laura experience such success."

As Laura's career skyrocketed, she reflects on how she has emotionally managed the pull between juggling a career with motherhood.


"I love work but I love my family and I love being a mum. [My role as a mum]. It's the most important thing to me and one doesn't cancel out the other. I think sometimes we think it does, or that they're supposed to cancel out each other but they just don't. My career is so important and I know how it financially benefits my family."

Laura says that she could not have managed it all without Matt taking on the bulk of the parenting and mental load at home after she'd finished her turn.

"Matt has definitely turned into the one who does not just the pickups or takes the kids to appointments or swimming lessons, but he does the scheduling, which I actually think is far more tedious. Matt takes the kids to get their vaccinations, dental appointments, and haircuts. He also does the organisation that precedes them, which is the hardest part as it's the biggest workload. 

"There's definitely been periods where it's fallen on me. And there's definitely been periods where it's fallen on Matt. And at the moment in our parenting arrangement, it falls on Matt. And it's really great that it does because it means that he has a very clear understanding of what I was doing two years ago.

"When you've done it yourself, you can really understand just how many hours go into that [mental load] process and why mums who carry the whole load, they can never turn it off."


Matt says that it's all these little essential tasks he does as a parent that are not shared on social media that can feel thankless and don't fill that void from not being thanked or recognised through work.

"Marlie got her vaccinations the other week and obviously I'm not going to document that. But while I was out doing that, Laura was planning her live show, which is all easily documented on social media to a really positive response. 

"It's not that I need to be thanked by an online audience, or the kids - as getting thanked by Laura is enough - but then sometimes there is that little void that you want to be filled up."

Luckily, Matt says, the pair of them have great communication skills although that doesn't mean the differing roles they have at home right now don't cause friction.

"Laura and I are really fortunate that we have such great dialogue, really good communication. And I think we're also really on the same page when it comes to conflict resolution. 


"Last night however was a case where it did just boil up. Laura was busy editing and at about nine o'clock, I looked in the fridge and saw we didn't have any milk, we didn't have any cereal, and I thought 's**t', we've got nothing for food in the morning. The dog needed to be walked, the dishwasher was full and there was also laundry sitting in the washing machine all day. And so whilst Laura sat there working, I had to do all these things. So as I was putting the washing out, I slammed the basket on the floor and Laura asked if there was something wrong.

"At first, the internal monologue in my head was, 'You shouldn't be doing all these things'. And actually, I should. I absolutely should."

Both Laura and Matt said they had to have a chat about how their current situation was just short-term and that the household balance would soon equalise once again. Laura says that in the meantime, she feels lucky to have Matt supporting her career successes by just getting on with the business of being a great stay-at-home dad. 

"I wish there were more dads like Matt in the world because if there were, it would be a better place. And I'm proud - I'm so proud of that."

Listen to Matty J and Laura on No Filter now, wherever you get your podcasts.

Featured Image: Instagram @ladyandacat

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