A New Father's Take on Mothers Day featuring Matt Crocker and thefirsthelloproject.com

river bennett (Photography by TheFirstHello )

 

 Finishing off their new album “Empires” the day before, Matt Crocker, singer/songwriter/musician and all-out creative genius, headed straight to the birth suite with his pregnant wife Brea. That day he shared the first hello with their new daughter Saxon and became a Father for the very first time.

 We caught up with Matt while he flew across the ocean towards New York to launch their new album and asked him a few questions about life as a new father and what he thinks about Mother’s Day.

 

How long have you been married to your wife Brea? 

I've been married to Brea for 5 years now.

Your wedding was beyond amazing - you held it in a warehouse downtown Sydney.How did you come up with this idea? How did you fill the space?

I got talking to a friend, Chris Starke, who was looking to start venturing into wedding and event design and coordination. So he offered to help plan our wedding with us. He found the warehouse that we had the reception in. Some guy lived there with his baby and rented the space out on weekends for parties to pay his rent. As soon as we walked in Brea and I both knew it was the place we wanted. It was in the middle of St. Peters, near Newtown - not your normal location for a wedding, which was enticing as well. We wanted the whole night to feel different to the normal sit-down wedding at a beautiful restaurant with the amazing view. We took inspiration from a bar in Darlinghurst called "the Victoria Room". Palm trees, old self portraits of men and their hunting dogs, big Victorian lamps, dim lighting to set the mood, gold velour couches and a bunch other antique Victorian elements. We realised that renting all this was going to cost more than if I bought as much as I could off eBay. So for the next 4 months I spent a lot of my time on eBay buying everything we needed and driving to every corner of Sydney to pick them up. I actually really enjoyed this process. I love interior and being creative with spaces so I was having the time of my life piecing everything together.

A few years on, and you and Brea fell pregnant. How scared were you, really, going to the birthing suite? 

To be honest I wasn't scared at all. I have heard all the horror stories of what could go wrong, and all the crazy stories from my friends who have gone before me, but I just felt a peace about the whole thing. We were really excited. Brea was obviously nervous about the birth, but even still, she was more excited than scared. Saxon wasn't an accident or surprise so we knew we wanted her more than anything, and when the day finally came to meet her, we were ready.

What made you want to capture the birth of Saxon in images? 

Brea brought up the idea of having someone take photos of the whole labour and delivery. I was a little weirded out at first, but then I got on board and thought it would be actually kinda cool. TheFirstHello came and photographed the whole thing and I'm so glad we did it - the photos are amazing, and we'll never forget all the emotions and craziness of Saxon's birth.

How different was seeing Saxon on ultra sound to actually holding her in your arms? 

I never really felt a strong connection with Saxon till I held her in my arms for the first time. That was perhaps the more overwhelming part of the birth opposed to the birth itself. Holding her for the first time I realised my life has now completely changed and I need to change as well. Saying that, I wouldn't change anything, life is fuller and more amazing with her in it.

What has it been like for you watching Brea become a mother? 

I always knew Brea would be an amazing mother. But even now she blows me away everyday with how good she is at it. It all seems so natural for her. I've been learning from Brea how to do everything that is involved with raising a baby. Most men are clueless when it's their first time with a baby so I never presumed to know what I was doing, but I'm getting better everyday. My appreciation for Brea as a mother grows massively every time I'm looking after Saxon on my own. As someone who travels a lot, Brea is left to look after Saxon on her own. I struggle with this for even just a few hours.

What have you learned about being a dad so far? 

I've learnt that your capacity to love another human being grows massively when you have a baby of your own. Saxon is 100% dependent on us, so no task is too big or too small. You just have to get it done. And you don't have any issue doing it because love outweighs whatever is happening every time.

What did your father teach you about being a dad? 

My dad always tried to prepare us kids for the day we had our own families. Everything from providing for our family, to what is at the core of our family and our beliefs as a family. Both my parents encouraged me and supported me in whatever I took an interest in. Dad was always at the baseball and soccer games, Mum would drive me an hour away from home to band practice (she would sit in the car and wait for me for hours and hours), and they would trust us to make the right decisions every day. Not that I always did make the right decision, but I would say I was a pretty good kid, and I would boil that down to them letting me know they trusted me. I want to be like that with Saxon. I know it will be hard at times, but I want to be releasing and supportive in the things she loves and gravitates towards. You learn best from your own experiences, so I want to provide a safety net where she is always (within reason) learning and growing from hers.

Has your music and song writing changed since becoming a father? 

Nothing too dramatic has changed with my songwriting since Saxon came into our lives. We were finishing up an album literally the day before she was born, so since then I haven't felt the pressure of an album like I did during the lead up to her birth. I'll just have to adjust when we start working on another album. Saying that, I'm always writing, so it comes down to creating margin and time within your day or week to sit down and have the space to write.

Latest music obsession? 

To be honest I haven't really been digging into music like I was during the album process. I usually get more drawn towards other forms of creativity after a big few months of songwriting. I love house interiors and architecture, so I'm always hunting online and in magazines for houses I've never seen before.

Downtime consists of..... 

Hanging with Brea and Saxon, going to a cafe, having dinner with friends, or more recently sitting around the fire pit in my backyard.

Last movie you cried in? 

I've only cried in one movie. It wasn't even a movie. It was a short film about a guy who had to take his dog to the Vet's to have it put down. I love dogs more than most people so it pulled a big heart string. Haha.

Cross fit or weight training? 

Crossfit - I'm at "Rise and Conquer Crossfit", go check it out...

You are away in NYC this Mother's Day what would you love Brea to know? (Here's your chance :) ) 

I would like Brea to know that I love her even more now, as a mother, than I did before she was a mother. You're killing the mum game. Sorry I won't be there this Sunday... Love you xoxo

 

 

For more on Matt and Hillsong United head to:

Hillsongunited.com

Insta:

Hillsongunited

 

For more info on The First Hello - birth photography head to:

Thefirsthelloproject.com

or insta:

@thefirsthello