Happily Ever After? Guest King: MATT BASELEY

Happily Ever After? Guest King: MATT BASELEY

To celebrate #STFTL’s one year anniversary, we’re checking in on some of our favourite Kweens and Kings.

What are these gems up to now? And how much can really change in a year? So…

Well, here we are… one year on. Firstly, a huge congrats to #STFTL on their first year anniversary. I can’t even commit to making a cup of tea, so well done!

Speaking of tea, I thought I’d take this opportunity to mention an award I picked up this year. Bit of a humble brag, but it seems there was some kind of vote amongst the children of the world of ‘who the greatest Dad’ was.

They held the ceremony on Father’s Day and as a shock to me, I was awarded the trophy which comes in the form of a tea cup with the words ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ on it. So, yeah, pretty chuffed to receive such a prestigious award. I imagine it’s like winning a Logie. 😉

So other than winning the above mentioned award, what’s else has been happening in the last 12 months since this?

  • My 3 and half year old daughter ‘Billie’ has learnt how to crack eggs and worked out that Nanny Plum in Ben & Holly and Miss Rabbit in Peppa Pig have the same voice! (So voice over actors, you’ve been put on notice, mix it up a little!!)
  • Clearly as you can probably tell by the above: I still haven’t got myself a ‘proper job’. I do get to dabble in the world of show-biz every now and then (thanks to my amazing wife and extended family), but stay-at-home-dad is what is on the email signature. It’s not really, it just says ‘Sent from my iPhone’.
  • I have become terrified of my 18 month old. I never experienced this fear with my first born, as I do with him (Ziggy). I feel like he warms you up by batting his eye lashes and giving you this cheeky grin, and then he will burn your fucking house down, but I love him all the same.
  • I ran a marathon… blah blah blah! I’ve pretty much told everyone I have come into contact with by shoehorning that into the conversation, so it’s only fair to them that I bore you with it too.
  • And, oh yeah, we are having another baby!!! Well, I’m not, my super wife will be. So yeah, another mini-human will be living with us early next year. Yep, we just really like the idea of being out numbered.

It’s funny telling people that you are having a third child. With the first one: people are thrilled like, genuinely excited for you.

The second: well, they kind of expected it. Especially considering they haven’t stopped asking you since the firstborn “Soooo, when are you going to have another one?” but, there is still that sense of excitement.

Some people would consider us lucky to have had a girl and a boy. I think it’s called the ‘pigeon pair’ (not sure why, except for the shit on the ground part). People would congratulate us on it (unlike when I won the award I mentioned earlier), but I did nothing to earn that congratulations; I couldn’t care less if we had two boys or two girls.

Telling people you’re having a third child when you already have the ‘pigeon pair’: the excitement from the first two announcements is replaced with more of a confusion. It’s always followed with “Why?” “But don’t you already have one of each?” “Are you fucking crazy?” Well, possibly. Grandparents excluded, they would have us breed a mixed netball team if they had their way.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a scenario where we needed to sync up our routines and make sure we were ‘doing it’ at that moment when the moon was aligned with the stars: we know how babies are made, but this wasn’t expected. And after the initial shock, we are now pretty damn excited/terrified. Bella & I had always dreamt of having three kids (weirdos), this just happened earlier than we thought.

When the newbie gets here: Billie will be 4, and Ziggy, 2. So much joy has come into my life through Billie & Zigs; a joy that I never knew I could experience. I can’t wait to do it all again. Sure, the dream-feeds, the witching hour and the fear that the baby isn’t breathing are pretty brutal, but the good far out weighs the bad and at least we’ve increased the odds of one of them looking after us in old age.

Something that people do keep telling us, that is true, is that ‘a party of 5’ changes everything.

This year we are saying goodbye to cool, grungy, eclectic, hipster filled suburb of Newtown in Sydney and we are off to the suburbs: the land of active wear, SUVs and wine memes.

We are super pumped about it, we’ve out grown this place, but it will always hold a special piece of our hearts. We will even miss the homeless man who uses our wall in the back lane as his urinal (every morning).

Whenever a mate of mine calls me, his first words are “You bought a KIA Carnival yet buddy?” We won’t be going down the people-mover path but a car change is definitely a reality. Unlike when I was growing up, there are actual safety rules when it comes to kids in cars, we need to have 3 car seats across the back seat until they are 8. I used to have to get in the boot of the station wagon of our Toyota Corona when we’d have Nan in the car.

Sure, we are going to need more arms, more patience, more food, more hours in the day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe ask me in a year if I feel the same way. 😉

Anyway, I’m considering anyone who has read this far as a willing babysitter and I’ll be in touch with your allocated times.

Thanks for your application,

Matt

Matt Baseley is a 34-year-old former pastry chef, who dreamt of captaining the Australian cricket team or playing the Phantom on Broadway but he wasn’t good enough at either, so he ended up working in commercial radio for almost 13 years. Matt is now a stay-at-home-dad, who also features as ‘that guy’ in a few TV commercials and a reporter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender.

@MattBaseley

Matt and Billie also have a ton of fun in the kitchen making healthy(ish) food in a simple, realistic way. You can follow their cooking adventures here. #CookingWithBillieCoco

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Guest King: MATT BASELEY “My New Life As A Stay-At-Home-Dad.”

Guest King: MATT BASELEY “My New Life As A Stay-At-Home-Dad.”

Well, firstly it’s a massive honour to be a Guest King, although I’d prefer to be a ‘Prince’ as ‘King’ makes me feel old, but that’s just the truth isn’t it? I’ve now got grey hair on my head and my chest but nowhere else yet, thank god!

I’m married, I have a mortgage and I have two kids. Billie, aged 2 and Ziggy, who’s 9-months-old. Man, when did that happen? Yep, I’m not that 22-year-old on the dance floor at Cargo Bar, wearing my best Tarocash shirt, drinking Woodstock and coke, trying to make eye contact with the ladies (very unsuccessfully) anymore. A lot has happened. The nights where I would pick-up a kebab and go home in a cab by myself are a far and distant memory.

Since then, I married the woman of my dreams, I lived out a childhood dream of hosting my own capital city radio show, I’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment, and got to travel the world. But nothing compares to what happened at 12:50 am on February the 7th 2015: I became a Dad.

Now marrying Bella was and will be the happiest day of my life, but the birth of my children sits equally in some sort of parallel universe (kinda like the Upside Down in Stranger Things but happier, although the actual birth had its Demogorgon moments).

It was amazing, 16 hours of labour (maybe not so amazing for my Bella) but the end result was just incredible. It was a natural birth, so there were no curtains or screens, everything was happening right there in front of me. When it came to crunch-time, the mid-wife asked me to hold one of Bella’s legs up and push it back. “Holy shit”, I thought, it’s happening! I didn’t know if I was going to watch the birth in the lead up to it – blood and I aren’t the best of friends – but the moment I heard the mid-wife say “I can see the head” I thought “Why am I missing out on this?” So, I watched this miracle take place, first the head, a nose, shoulders and then this mini-human just came out.

It was my job to tell Bella if it was a boy or a girl as we didn’t find out during the pregnancy, but I was a wreck. I think I was covered in more liquid than the bub, I was a sobbing mess, like snot and all, but eventually I managed to get out “It’s a girl!”

Boom, we were parents, just like that. 3 days later we were leaving the hospital with this little person who is totally dependent on us. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that the same person who was once on a podium, drinking bad bourbon in bad shirts, now had the responsibility of raising a child.

I remember struggling to work out how to clip up the baby seat. I remember driving home from the hospital at an average of 5km/h. I remember walking through the door and then, it was 3 months later. I honestly think there is something that happens to your brain in the first few months that makes you forget how hard it is.  Maybe this is so you’ll have another child, which we did, 2 years later. A little boy.

When Billie was born my contract at the radio station wasn’t renewed and I was out of a job. I had offers but nothing that justified me going to work and Bella staying at home. So, we made the call that Bella would return to work and I would become a SAHD; a Stay-At-Home-Dad. Controversial? Is it? Yes, I’ll admit, it took me a while to confidently say that’s what I was, because even people I was close to would say “Yeah, but when are you going to get a real job?” Or in the supermarket when Billie would be crying in the pram (like babies do) there would be constant comments from strangers like “Maybe it just needs its Mum”.

Yes, that’s really what stunted my confidence in the beginning. People’s reactions didn’t surprise me though. I think that comes from years of gender stereotyping and that unfortunate macho, misogynistic mentality of ‘looking after the children’ is a woman’s job. I still (on the brink of 2018) know men who have never changed a nappy or even worse, never spent any one-on-one time with their kids. It makes me sick, and a little sad.

I worked in radio for almost 13 years and I think that prepared me for raising children. Toddlers are just like ‘talent’ or programming executives; they think that the world revolves around them, that they are always right and are prone to a tantrum every now and then but if you give them food and tell them how much you love them, then they’re fine.

I feel so lucky to know that from the moment both of my kids were born that I have spent every day with them. I was there when Billie and Ziggy first sat up, when they first crawled, and when they first pulled themselves up. Billie’s first steps were to me.

Now the downside to this is Billie says “Gday mate” to people when we’re walking down the streets of Newtown. She enjoys watching the golf and she asks if we can go to the pub for a beer. So maybe she’s spent a little too much time with me, but as I sit here and write this I’m also enrolling her into pre-school for the first time next year.

Don’t get me wrong, parenting is hard AF, and there are moments when you think, how can I run away and not come back without anyone thinking I’m a bad person? So pre-school (a few days a week) will be good for all of us, but it does break my heart to be sending my little mate off. The truth is, as much as she needed me since she was born, I’ve needed her. She is my best mate and I’m going to miss her like hell. Poor Ziggy, he isn’t going to be allowed to leave the house until he’s 6. I feel so blessed to have this life and I thank you for letting me share it with you. I’ve just realised I’ve got shit on my shirt, so I’m off to Napisan, bye.

Matt Baseley is a 34-year-old former pastry chef, who dreamt of captaining the Australian cricket team or playing the Phantom on Broadway but he wasn’t good enough at either, so he ended up working in commercial radio for almost 13 years. Matt is now a stay-at-home-dad, who also features as ‘that guy’ in a few TV commercials and a reporter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender.

@MattBaseley

Matt and Billie also have a ton of fun in the kitchen making healthy(ish) food in a simple, realistic way. You can follow their cooking adventures here. #CookingWithBillieCoco

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