"I was a bad mum": Zoe Marshall on the guilt she felt after complaining about her child to a friend.

“Something bad happened,” Zoe Marshall, said on Mamamia‘s podcast The Baby Bubble. “I was a bad mum.”

The 32-year-old, who shares one-year-old Fox with her NRL player husband Benji Marshall, made the admission to her co-host Sean Szeps, explaining that she said something to someone which she had regretted instantly.

“I caught myself complaining about my child.”

LISTEN: Zoe and Sean talk about confession regret on this week’s podcast. Post continues after.

Acknowledging that not everyone would find her tale shocking, including Szeps, who is dad to 19-month-old twins Stella and Cooper, with husband Josh, Marshall explained what happened.

“[Fox] has been so clingy, on me, all the time; and it’s suffocating,” she said, describing her state of mind at the time.

Being a parent himself, Szeps understood that – but knew what the real cause of Marshall’s discomfort might be: the person whom she’d confided in.

“This is probably the worst part,” she continued. “It was someone that I didn’t even know well.”

Marshall said she wasn’t entirely sure why she confided in that person, and admitted she feels “guilty” about it.

“Then I tried to fix it, but I’d already said it. And then I just felt like a sh*t human. I feel guilty.”

But Szeps, who is a long-time personal friend of Marshall’s, noted that if the other person was a parent themselves, which they were, they would have completely understood.

“If you’re a parent, you immediately give every other parent the benefit of the doubt,” he reminded her.


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Being hard on herself as parents often are, Marshall explained to her co-host that she’s had time to examine why she confessed in such a spontaneous manner.

“Why do we have to find solace and unity in complaining? Do we need someone to hold our burden?”

The mum-of-one shared that the experience had taught her to perhaps re-frame the words she uses, too, explaining that in future she’ll talk more about how she’s exhausted, “rather than projecting on to the kid.”

“I think that’s a healthier way to frame it,” she said.

Szeps was keen to stress that Marshall shouldn’t feel guilty, and should be kinder to herself.

“I think complaining can be really cathartic,” he offered.

“Sharing, venting, expressing how you really feel to other people about the realities of parenting, even in a moment where you’re tired and cranky, is important.


“I don’t know what would happen if I couldn’t b*tch.”

And that’s something many parents can attest to.

Feature image supplied by Anna Simon.

Listen to this week’s full episode of The Baby Bubble, where Sean and Zoe talk about screen time, emotional labour, and finding the perfect baby name.


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