Stu Morley and his wife Chelsea started Tiny Disco from their living room in Melbourne, with their 10 month old son Arthur, a unique creative flare and a can-do attitude. The powerhouse duo and their team of incredible creatives have since grown the brand into one of Melbourne's most innovative creative agencies.
We are so thrilled to welcome Stu to our Father's Day Series and get a little insight into the delicate balance of owning a business and being a hands-on dad of two.
What does your family unit look like?
There is My wife Chelsea and I, and we have 2 kids: Arthur 7yo and Audrey 4yo.
What surprised you the most about becoming a parent?
I seem to remember that the surprisingly hardest thing about being a first time parent wasn’t the baby, it was the monumental change in your life and how you experience it. An example would be, before kids, how on Sunday we’d wake up and wonder what to have for breakfast… “Should we go out?” If you’ve had your first baby you’d laugh at those frivolous words because you’ve woken up at 10.30pm, 12.30am, 2am, 3.30am and the baby is fully awake at 5am therefore so are you! Nothing can ever get you ready for how your life will change so dramatically.
What has been your funniest moment as a parent so far?
Funniest moment, Can you rank them? Any time there is a poo in the bath… especially if you are not the one doing the bath (Closest one has to clean it up, right?). Yup… A surprise poo is usually funny. Unless it is on you… then it isn’t funny at all!
What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself as a parent, and are these the same three words your partner would use?
I would say: Empathetic, Teaching and Consistent. Hmmm probably not the same words… I hope Chelsea say something like: dad joke king
What advice would you give people about to embark on a similar journey to yours?
If you are doing it with a partner, make sure you look at them as often as you can because the kids can be all consuming at times and you must work as a team and try to remain connected.
Which of your own characteristics do you most want to pass on to your kids?
I would like to pass on my love of laughter. Life is better when you are giggling.
What is an experience you can’t wait to share with your kids?
Hmmm I just can’t wait to share their lives. I have a goal to try and keep up good communication with them throughout their teens (don’t ask me how!?) so that they are able to be level headed and good communicators through life. I also know I shouldn’t put too many expectations on them and really only thing I can hope for is that they are happy.
Can you run us through a standard day juggling work and being a Dad?
Depends on whether I have a shoot on or not. If I’m not shooting then will slip to the gym in the morning before they awake at 6am (we are lucky to be past them waking through the night). Afterwards, work together with Chelsea to get them fed, clothed, homeworked, toothbrushed and lunch packed before school and childcare. Do the drop offs when I sometimes squeeze in a sneaky babycino with Audrey. Off to the office which is really close by, then back to pick them up from 3.20pm where they are usually ravenously hungry. We quite often run at the park a little more if it’s good weather before hitting home and getting more snacks ready to tide them over for dinner. We’ve got a "one show each" screen time rule while I get the dinner ready. After trying to get them to stay at the table and eat their food (which is mindbogglingly hard) we do a bath, read them books, then they’re allowed to read a little bit before lights out. Audrey will have about 5 things to get her before sleep. “I’m thirsty” “Where’s Lola (stuffed toy)” “I’m hot” ”I’m hungry” etc. This is the point we try to squeeze in a tiny bit of childless TV if we aren’t too busy with extra work, then bed at 9.30pm (-ish)
How has having kids changed your outlook on work and life?
Our life has changed a lot since having kids. We started Tiny Disco when Artie was about 10 months old and as they’ve grown, so has our business. Luckily we did the most of the hard yards on the business while they were still young. Now we’ve been able to find a reasonable life balance to make sure that work doesn’t dominate and we prioritise spending quality time with Artie and Auds. We have busy periods as I am sure everyone with a business will understand, however when work takes more of our attention, the kids have a way of letting you know pretty quickly and snapping you back to what’s really important.
Which accessory or piece of jewellery would you never leave the house without?
My wedding ring is my most treasured possession. Given to me by the girl of my dreams.