This week we introduce you to...Mat & Alex from The Life of Riley who are parents to the very gorgeous Ru (aged 1) and are expecting their second baby later this year. Mat was a finalist on The Great British Bake Off and works full time as a London Firefighter, and Alex is a news and current affairs presenter for London Live TV. Together they have their own YouTube channel 'The Life of Riley' a brilliant family vlog & a MUST WATCH...go check them out!
What time did you wake up this morning?
6 o'clock - not by choice!
What was your very first thought of the day?
Who's lie-in is it today?
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
Tea, toast and another tea.
Describe a typical working morning.
We are both shift workers so only one of us works at a time which is fantastic as we don't need to rely on childcare. Ru wakes up at six so whoever isn't working gets up and does his milk. We usually have a lazy start to the day, eased in by a few episodes of Peppa Pig. Whoever is working is usually flying around the house trying to shower and get ready and out the door. Ru tends to want to help with this process, eating your toast or playing with your makeup. We wave goodbye to the worker and then start the process of getting ready ourselves.
Your perfect local lunch spot would be...
A sunny pub garden. Mat isn't a huge fan of eating outside but has been swung round since Ru has become old enough to play on his own - being able to eat and observe the small one at the same time is a game changer. The Vineyard at Lamberhurst is great for that.
The happiest moment in your day?
After you read Ru a bedtime story he likes to spend a good five minutes inspecting and probing your face with his fingers. The concentration is so intense and he's busy giving a running commentary, in complete gibberish, which is hilarious to watch. He then becomes very cuddly, it makes you forget all the stresses of the day.
The hardest moment in your day?
That moment when the phone is ringing, the fish fingers are burning, the postman is at the door and Ru decides NOW is the time he MUST have bubbles or a full tantrum will be thrown. Every day is different but there is always a 'crunch' point when everything seems to be going wrong at once.
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
Keep that calendar updated. As long as all your 'to-dos' are in one place, preferably in a shareable format you both know where you are each day. If we had to store all that information in our heads I think we would explode. It saves the endless questions of 'What time are we....<fill in the black>'.
Most overused word of the day?
Once the kids are in bed I...
Sit my tired ass down.
Top 3 local gems?
Jump In Trampoline centre in Tonbridge - Ok so it's not relaxing but they do toddler only sessions and nothing tires Ru out more and there's a coffee shop.
Pasta Madre - Tunbridge Wells - this lovely little family run Italian is simple, rustic food and they LOVE children.
Our Kid Free gem is Kitsu - Tunbridge Wells - intimate sushi bar - THE BEST sushi this side of Japan. (Don't quote us on that!)
Best piece of advice for fellow Mums/Dads...
Give yourself a break! Perfect is an Instagram filter - not real life. You're doing brilliantly!