Zoe Marshall: 'Becoming a parent made me realise how brave my mum was to leave my dad.'

Zoe Marshall, co-host on Mamamia‘s podcast The Baby Bubble, has developed a new appreciation for single mums since she entered motherhood.

Speaking to her co-host Sean Szeps, the 32-year-old, who shares one-year-old Fox with her NRL player husband Benji Marshall, was discussing what it feels like when your partner is away from work.

Szeps, who is dad to 19-month-old twins Stella and Cooper, with husband Josh, Marshall explained that he was in the first week of a month of caring for his children whilst Josh is away for work.

“He wants to follow his dreams and make money for the family,” he told Marshall in mock anger, adding that Josh is performing a comedy show for four weeks with no respite, in Melbourne.

LISTEN: Zoe Marshall and Sean Szeps discuss how it feels to be a ‘single parent’ when their partner is away. Post continues after.

Marshall then shared there’s a part of her that appreciates when her husband is away for work.

“There’s so much less mess. There’s just not as much washing and clutter and dishes,” she said. “There’s just less work.”

But Marshall’s words were caveated.

“The flip side is there’s so much more work with the baby.”

Szeps immediately agreed, observing, “You realise right away how much more work single parents do. Not just for a month, not just for a week, but for a lifetime.”

Marshall, explaining that her mother, who passed away thirteen years ago from Cancer, was a single mum who worked two jobs, could speak from personal experience.

“I was thinking when I was alone with my own child, in those moments of [being] overwhelmed and exhaustion, being done with it, being done with parenting and you have no one else to turn to in that moment… how brave her decision was to leave my father.”


Marshall also shared a message for any solo parent who was listening; that they were more brave and courageous than they knew.

“That to me is a true hero,” she said admiringly.

Szeps conceded that his situation of parenting alone whilst his husband is away is nothing compared to how hard single parents work.

“You don’t have somebody to support whatever has gone on for you that day,” Marshall agreed.

“If you’ve had a really tough time with the kids, you don’t even have someone to come home and hold the space for you.

“There is no respite except for a packet of Tim Tams. You have to find your joy and relief in other ways.

“I just really honour that.”

Listen to the full  latest episode of The Baby Bubble.