Matt & Katie Morgan
Matt 40, is a writer, comedian and radio presenter and Katie 32, is a professional make-up artist. They have two children Coen 5, and Winter 18 months.
Where are you both originally from?
Matt-Dartford, Kent and Katie-Los Angeles, California.
How did you meet?
At the time, I was Waitressing at The Rainbow Bar & Grill on The Sunset Strip. Next door to The Bow is The Roxy, where Matt’s Comedic Partner (Russell Brand) was performing stand up. Little did I know that for two weeks, after every show, Matt would come to The Bow for not only a few drinks but to try to talk to me. Let’s just say the first encounter didn’t go smoothly. Matt decided to use his liquid courage to finally speak to me at the end of my shift, when every other incoherent person would as well. To cut a long story short, it was typical in my line of work and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying because of his accent. I told him to come see me again when he was sober. That he did. We hit it off. We were married six months later in Las Vegas and are soon to celebrate our ninth anniversary.
Why/When did you decide to start a family?
We hadn’t really made the decision to start a family. By this time, we had been married for three years, we moved out of London into Kent, nearer to Matts family. So, it was the cliche ‘next step’ thing to do. We weren’t taking an precautions, just wanted to see what would happen naturally. I got pregnant the first time. With Winter, it was definitely a planned pregnancy. Coen was three, so we thought we better get a move on if we wanted to have anymore.
How did it change your life? What was the biggest change/hardest thing to deal with?
I think, first time around, you don’t really expect it to impact your world as much as it does. All of a sudden you go from eating, sleeping and peeing when you want, to really only meeting the needs of your little one. Sleep deprivation was definitely the hardest for the both of us. Learning how to balance everything, while taking care of yourself was a learning process to say the least, but for me, a good one. You quickly jump into a new routine and way of life. I remember feeling really accomplished the first time I made it out of the house with Coen. I mean, we only made it down the street while he screamed blue murder in the car but I felt like I could conquer anything after that. After Winter, things were very different. When you’ve done it once, you think two will be a breeze. But adjusting to life with a newborn and toddler while battling post natal depression was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. I have always been a conqueror to some degree, but this, I was not conquering. There were days where I would sit on the floor in a ball and just sob and I had no idea why. I felt like I was merely existing in pure chaos. It took a long time to not only admit to myself, but to Matt and our family, that I was battling PND. Once I had opened up and asked for help, the weight started to lift. For me, talking about it and being open with my struggles is what helped me to begin the healing process. Understanding that there is no rhyme or reason to it. You don’t choose PND, it chooses you and it comes in all different variations. I think the important thing for anyone dealing with PND, is to not feel ashamed. Once I knew that I couldn’t help it, that I had the amazing support of my husband, my family and friends, I felt like I could conquer anything again.
How were your pregnancies?
Both of my pregnancies were great. I had horrible births and after births with both Coen and Winter. Coen nearly died after suffering meconium aspiration during delivery and then I nearly died a week after giving birth to Winter. I really believe the trauma from after Winters birth is what lead to my PND.
Any tips on preparing someone for motherhood?
Get as much sleep as you can beforehand! Ha! No, I think the best advice I can give is to trust your instincts. If family or friends offer to help, let them. My MIL used to come round in the early days, take Coen and demand I go to sleep. It was glorious.
Favourite thing about being a mum?
It’s so difficult to only pick a single favourite thing about being a mum. Every stage brings a new adventure and a new thing to love even more than the last. But, seeing as you’re forcing me, it would be us being their confidants in this world. When either of them get hurt or accomplish something, they turn to us. I love that responsibility we have to them, and will forever keep it sacred.
Did you return to work after?
No. Matt and I both made the decision very early on, that if we could, I would stay home to look after them. Although, I am very career driven and have since started working from home selling Younique. I have the best of both worlds and for that, I am very grateful.
How long until your husband returned to work?
Matt works from home, which is pretty great as he is a very hands on dad. We are all very lucky to have him here with us. Though, it does mean he gets distracted at times.
Did you find him going back hard?
I found him being home more difficult at times than if he did have a 9-5. But, I wouldn’t trade our circumstances for the world. We’ve worked out the kinks over the last few years and have a pretty good routine of how things work now.
If you work how does your work fit around the kids?
Being able to work from home and set my own hours is great. It means I can do the school run, play dates, school meetings, after school clubs etc all while following my passion and earning a living.
What childcare do you use?
We are extremely fortunate that Matt’s parents are so involved. I don’t know what we would do without them most of the time. Coen and Winter are two out of seven grandchildren for them though, so we have recently hired a babysitter, Ruby, here and there. I was hesitant at first but a friend of mine has been using Ruby for years and I trust my friend immensely. Needless to say, both kids love Ruby and so do we.
Do you get out regularly for date nights?
We do. Now that Coen is 5 and Winter is 18 months, getting out is so much easier. It’s really hard when they’re under a year I think. Routine is everything and they’re both set in theirs now. I think it’s important to set aside not only time for yourself but time for each other. If that’s just getting out of the house for an hour or two, or having a weekend away.
Have you got any tips for making family life work?
I think it’s important to make sure you have ‘family time’. When Coen comes home from school, Matt finishes work and we set our phones down until the kids are in bed. We play games, talk about our days, read stories, watch TV etc…Not every family has that luxury, so I want to make sure we take advantage of it. I also believe communication is the key to making what can be chaotic not so overwhelming. We all work together as one.