For most women, posting a photo of your newborn on Instagram garners a whole heap of likes and some heart-felt congratulations. But when you’re Constance Hall – Australia’s most famous mummy blogger – things are never so simple.
‘The trolls were all like:“I f****** hate Constance, but that’s a cute baby,”’ Constance laughs in an exclusive interview with New Idea, cradling her baby son, Raja, three weeks later.
When you’re brave enough to share candid details about your life, it’s clear everybody is happy to have a say on it.
A seemingly innocuous photo of newborn Raja, being doted on by his father Denim Cooke while Constance looked at her mobile phone in the background, soon caused the kind of troll storm the 34-year-old Perth mum is used to.
‘Obviously googling parenting advice,’ wrote one person, referring to the fact that Constance was looking at her phone, rather than at her baby.
Others suggested the photo revealed ‘poor parenting’.
‘I don’t care what they say about me,’ sighs Constance.
‘But I’m so sick of women being thrown under the bus.
‘They suck because they’re cheaters or bad mums. It’s time for people to shut up and focus on their own lives.’
Over the last 15 months, Constance has had it all. A public split from her husband of six years, Bill Mahon, followed swiftly by a new relationship with now husband, Denim, opened her up to the charge of having an affair, something Constance has denied.
She admits the stress of the divorce and two lawsuits she’s currently embroiled in have left her feeling suicidal.
‘But then I think about my friends with terminal cancer and I’m like: “Get a f****** grip, Con,”’ she says.
Constance is quick to describe Denim as the love of her life.
‘We’re so similar,’ she gushes.
‘If we meet someone new we walk away and have the same thoughts about them. And he ignores so much of the stuff I say. He’s not offended. I spent the whole first year asking if he was angry or p****d off with me, but now I know I don’t even have to ask. He’s brought my anxiety down so much.’
Despite already having six kids between them – Constance had Billie-Violet, nine, Arlo, six, Rumi and Snow, three, with her ex, while Denim is dad to Sunny, 17, and Zeyke, 13 – the couple wanted a child together.
‘We were sitting in a winery in Margs [Margaret River],’ Constance says, ‘and I said: “When we’re 70, and we’re looking down at all of our kids, we’ll always wonder what ours together would’ve looked like.’
It became the catalyst to try, and baby Raja was born on 28 May.
‘We liked the Indian name Raj, but Raja gave it a softness,’ she says. ‘If we’d had a girl, Denim is bird obsessed so maybe a bird name. Sparrow’s cute.’
Within the first few weeks Constance was wowed by how involved her new hubby was, talking of a potential power struggle for main parenting duties. But things have settled now and even if he’s being a perfect dad, Constance says he can still annoy her.
The controversial mum won’t be skipping off to bond with other women at mother’s groups though.
‘I think women have a preconceived idea of what I’ll be like,’ she says. ‘I don’t want to feel judged and I’d probably just say something stupid!’
Anyway, she’s got her hands full with seven kids, a new book and clothing range launches.
‘I make it work,’ she shrugs.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.