Eight times Zoe Hendrix got real about new-mum life

Zoe Hendrix with her baby, Harper Rose.
Zoe Hendrix with her baby, Harper Rose. Photo: Instagram/Zoe Hendrix

Australia watched Zoe Hendrix and her husband Alex Garner meet and fall in love on the reality tv show, Married at First Sight. Since then, the pair have welcomed a baby daughter Harper-Rose, born in November 2016.

Zoe's Instagram account, which is both a love letter to her daughter and expose of motherhood, has quickly become one of our favourites. Her posts are raw and candid, but they're also funny, wise and oh-so relatable. 

Join us as we revisit some of Zoe's most hell-to-the-yes moments:

1. Poonamis will happen - and they will be epic. 

When it comes to documenting her life as a new mum, Zoe took a "poop and all" approach from the very beginning.

If you're currently knee-deep in dirty nappies you'll probably be able to smell this photo. In fact, even if it's been a while since you faced a poo-mageddon, one look at this snap will take you all the way back to those messy, poopy days when running out of baby wipes was the worst thing that could possibly happen to you in the history of ever.

#babyyoureworthit, Zoe captions the moment. And ain't that the truth.

2. "Some days I feel like a complete and utter failure."

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For many new parents, the first 12 weeks with a newborn test you physically, psychologically, and as a couple, in ways you've never been tested before. There's love and pride, so much pride, but it's mixed with exhaustion and grief for your life pre-baby - and the guilt that often follows those thoughts.

In one of her rawest posts to date, Zoe opened up about the challenges of Harper's first three months, admitting that sometimes she felt like a failure.

"Some days I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for days on end," she writes, alongside a picture of herself, cradling her little girl.  

"Some days I feel guilty for not enjoying every moment of motherhood, remembering how much I wanted this little rainbow baby." And yet, along with the fatigue and the guilt, Zoe's admits that she's "intoxicated with love".

"I can't imagine anything more beautiful than her milk drunk smile (even at 3am)," she writes.

 "The happiest & most challenging 12 weeks of my life. That, my friends, is my truth."

And it's a truth so many of us can relate to.

3.  Motherhood gives you moments of magic - and ALL the glamour.

It's hard not to grin when you look at this photo of unbridled, new mama happiness.

"The joy of motherhood comes in moments," Zoe writes.

"There will be hard times and frustrating times. Just when you think you've got it sorted out, your baby will grow and you will face a new set of challenges. It's like the hunger games - but with leaking tits and active wear. And amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction. My ultimate happy face, with my darling Harper-Rose and a sexy ass shower cap."

4. Breastfeeding can be one big challenge:

When Zoe posted about feeling unwell and experiencing flu-like symptoms, her online village quickly - and correctly - diagnosed mastitis - and suggested she see a doctor straight away.

Since then, Zoe has been candid about her struggles with breastfeeding, (including husband, Alex, eating her entire supply of Boobie Biscuits), sharing that it has been a "bittersweet" experience.

"It can be exhausting, isolating, painful and cause incredible anxiety," she writes, adding that it can also be "incredibly rewarding".

5.  If you feel like you're not coping, get out of the house and start walking.

"I was mentally out of my depth," writes Zoe of her "initiation into motherhood".

"I was scared of my baby for the first week or so, scared that I would drop her, not hold her properly, not know what to do when she cried (screamed). My baby's cry made me so anxious and I was bloody terrified."  

Recognising that she needed to take action - and fast - Zoe laced up her shoes, grabbed the pram and started getting some exercise and fresh air.

"If you are at home, not coping or dealing with anxiety, depression, family problems etc, I encourage you to get out walking," she told her followers. "I know it was the best thing I did ..."

(But know that some days, best laid plans will end in chocolate instead. And that's OK too).

6. "Holidaying" with a baby is anything but a holiday.

"Being a mum doesn't come with holiday leave," Zoe writes. "I should have read the contract!"

We didn't read the fine print either, Zoe ...

7. Motherhood changes you - in the most wonderful ways.

"I looked into her eyes and became a different person," says Zoe of her baby girl.

8. What we see on social media is often only the highlights reel - and not the real.

"Bedore Harper was born I followed a few celebrity Mums of Insta ... Not a snot ball or dribble chin in sight and mama was always looking runway ready," Zoe writes.  And yet, when she became a mum, Zoe soon realised, "although it's nice - it's not real. And even if it's real it's not the full picture."

So, she vowed to share it all -  the battles, the scars, the fears, the failures as well as the highs.

And we're so grateful she does.