No matter who you are, you’re not immune from new mama overwhelm.
At least that’s the message from Zoe Marshall, TV personality, model, wife of NRL superstar Benji Marshall and new mum to four-week-old Fox.
The Insta fave took to the ‘gram to share an honest and candid snapshot of her first weeks of motherhood. And, despite the surface glam of her picture-perfect life, it shows that being a new mum is not always pretty.
‘I just couldn’t handle any of it’
“This is me,” she captions her photo, which shows the exhausted looking new mum lying alone in bed, tears in her red-rimmed eyes and dark shadow underneath from a lack of sleep. “Overwhelmed, after crying in my room for an hour. Benj had been playing away and I just couldn’t handle any of it. I felt bad for wanting some space to breathe and weep.”
We’ve all been there mama. Those hazy, exhausting days of being a new mum? Yeah, they’re freaking hard.
Zoe continues; “I was so incredibly exhausted. Hungry. Depleted. Sad. Confused. Week 2 and 3 was so hard for me.. I hadn’t left the house in days. I couldn’t catch up with life. Couldn’t bare to see visitors. I wasn’t myself and wasn’t managing. Why didn’t parents talk about this phase? I felt so alone. Isolated.”
It can be very easy, especially on social media, to only show the glossy side of motherhood. The cute baby bums and teeny, tiny rompers. This is especially true for social media influencers and others who seem to lead ‘the glam life’.
‘I need to show you the realness’
And this is exactly what Zoe wants other new mums to know. That away from the spotlight, she’s struggling too.
“There’s going to be so many joyful times with baby Fox shared on social media. I need to show you the realness too, the days of not getting time to eat, of poo explosions (Fox’s not mine), of never ending laundry and dishes, of crying over nothing, of not being able to sleep when you get to have a sleep, of the sore neck, wrists, back, nipples, of butting heads with your partner and scrolling google for answers.. not to mention the healing your body is going through, pants that don’t fit, strength you no longer have in your body,” Zoe writes.
“I need to show you the realness too, the days of not getting time to eat, of poo explosions..”
“It’s a hard hard time. As glorious as having a little miracle is we need to acknowledge the transition into parenthood and how challenging that can be.. I’m having much better days now with a few of these thrown in for good measure (like the last two days- brutal). This isn’t post natal depression it’s transition and I wish I was forewarned.”
Surviving the first few weeks
The truth about what parenting in those early days can look like is a shock to the system regardless of who you are, what you do for a living or what size dress you wear. We spend so much time preparing for labour and birth, but surviving the first few weeks of being a new mum when sleep is minimal and anxiety escalated? We don’t think much about that.
There is plenty written about post natal depression (and rightly so!) but the adjustment to motherhood that most new mums go through? Not so much.
Support from her followers
Zoe’s honest post received over 3,000 ‘likes’ from her followers and thousands of comments, many of which applauded the model mama for her honesty.
“I felt this way too after having my baby. I was confused about the way I felt as nobody talks about this phase with out the PND diagnosis thrown at you.”
“Most real post ever!!! I went through the exact same emotional rollercoaster! I’m sure we all do, it is normal and it’ll all pass there is light.”
“Thank you for being so real!!! It is so important for us all to be honest so we don’t all go into this next chapter with unrealistic expectations.”
“Thank you for sharing the raw, emotional honesty of being a new mum. No one ever prepares you for the hard yards at the start, and many of times we see on social media “perfect mums with perfect newborns” and think to ourselves why is this not me?!?”
We love what you’ve shared Zoe!
Struggling with the transition into new motherhood? Check out our 12 super useful parenting tips (from a mum who has been there) and our article revealing the lies mums are told about life with a newborn.