Hi, my name’s Carla, and I’m a Canberran mum who wants to be your friend.
That might sound strange, and honestly, it’s pretty weird to write someone a public letter asking them to be your mate. But hear me out. I’m on your side.
I’m not talking about the relationship scandal that will never go away. You’re a part of Australian political history now, and nothing will change that.
But as a fellow mum, I’m on your side.
The other day, I was thinking about my mothers’ group back in my hometown of Sydney, and you were on my mind, too.
I mean, how could I avoid thinking about you? Your photo was splashed across every newspaper and website. And I got to thinking: what would it be like if Vikki Campion was in my mothers’ group?
What the hell is going on with Barnaby Joyce? Post continues.
You’re notorious. You’re infamous. And you’re also about to give birth to a baby. Oh man, morning tea catch-ups would be so fascinating with you around.
And then I realised that, as much as that fanfic idea amused me, a baby and mothers’ group and the whole damn thing was about to become your reality, and suddenly it wasn’t funny to me anymore.
What if you did show up to a local community health centre for a parents’ group, only to have the other mothers judge you? What if someone called you a “bad person”, like radio host Kate Langbroek did?
What if whispers of “homewrecker” fly around the hospital? What if all you need is help breastfeeding, or a caesarean dressing changed, or advice on how to ice your vagina after a vaginal birth, and no-one wants to talk to you?
Or, even worse, what if you’re so worried about being ignored and shamed and judged, that you isolate yourself?
New motherhood is one of those times when you really, truly need a friend. Never before had I hustled so obviously for friends than when I gave birth to my daughter, and then my son two and a half years later. Being a new mum was wonderful, but it also made me feel lonely and crazy.
And I suspect that your life is already lonely and crazy already. I worry that your partner, Barnaby Joyce, isn’t as ride-or-die as he should be. It bummed me out to hear that you were present when he told Fairfax Media that the identity of your baby’s father was a “grey area”.
If Barnaby isn’t properly there for you, and your parents are out of the picture, and former colleagues like Joe Hildebrand refer to your friendship in the past tense (“Vikki was a dear colleague of mine…she was the sort of friend I like,” he wrote for News.com.au) and add that the journalists you used to work with are “turning on” you, then I hope you have someone who will be your friend. Someone who will listen to everything about your new baby, and also someone who is good for a chat about anything that isn’t your baby.