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A woman tried to shame Zoe Marshall for 'having her tits out'. Now she has the best response.

It’s something every working parent knows to be true: returning to work after having a baby is a difficult process. There’s so much to consider, such as childcare, the logistics of how each day will go, and then, of course, the job itself.

But one of the hardest parts of returning to work can often by other people’s opinions, as Zoe Marshall recently shared on Mamamia‘s parenting podcast, The Baby Bubble.

Marshall, 32, who is co-host of the podcast with Sean Szeps, has 10-month-old Fox with NRL player husband Benji Marshall.

LISTEN: Zoe talks about returning to work on Mamamia’s latest podcast for new parents, The Baby Bubble:

Explaining that she loved returning to work on radio after having Fox, the mum-of-one noted that no matter how hard she tried to ensure it all went smoothly, she found that other people’s thoughts would interfere.

“The thing that made me not love [work] was other people’s opinions,” she said, because the implication is “that you don’t love your babies enough.”

Marshall further explained; “I went back to a work place with a lot of young, single people, a lot of men, a lot of people I couldn’t connect with.

“The feedback I got was ‘Oh my God you’re still fun.’ Or, ‘You’re still you’.

“That is also insulting because I don’t push a baby out of my fanny and then I become this old, dowdy thing.”

Watch Sean Szeps on a first date with Mamamia.

Motherhood changing the way others saw her was something the new mum hadn’t expected. She also didn’t expect people would directly comment about it.

Marshall used the example of a comment on one of her Instagram posts to explain how she felt about it:

“Someone said to me on Instagram the other day, ‘Your tits are always out. You just do it for attention’,” Marshall told her co-host.

It was of course a statement the new mum found deeply offensive, explaining the perfectly acceptable and brilliant reason for it:

“No. I do it to celebrate these glorious breasts because they’re only going to be here for another couple of months.

“They’re never going to look better than now. So of course, I would go topless everywhere if it was legal.”

Szeps, who has 16-month-old twins Stella and Cooper with husband, Josh, shared that his return-to-work when his twins were 10-months-old was also difficult.

“Transitioning back was horrifying,” he said. “I was so excited to get out of the house and leave the kids for a second. And shower every day.”

But Szeps said something happened at work that made him “cry in the bathroom for two hours.”

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“It’s my first day,” he explained.

“I’m walking in, nervous, do I even remember how to write emails,” he joked. But reassuringly, Szeps was introduced to other mums and dads who were not only parents, but parents of ‘multiples’.

“So there’s lots we can connect on.”

But later that day, Szeps had a conversation which made him anxious about speaking to other parents at work again.

“Someone said, ‘I could never have left my kids that early’. It hurt so bad,” Szeps said, recalling the sting of the unfair judgement, and noting it wasn’t an isolated incident at work.

“I actually think other working parents are way meaner than single people,” he added. “I felt like it was other mums who were most judgemental.”

Marshall agreed that such comments feel very personal, and that she has struggled to understand the motivation of other parents who do this.

“They are essentially attacking you as a human being,” she said.

“[It] makes you question yourself for the next six hours. Is that because they are so hard on themselves?

“Are they jealous because they want to work, too?”

You can hear the full discussion on Mamamia’s new parenting podcast, The Baby Bubble.

Have you been ‘boob shamed’ for breastfeeding? Tell us in the comments below.

If you’d like to hear more from Nama Winston, see her stories here, and subscribe to her weekly Mamamia Parents newsletter here.

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