She recently opened up to New Idea about life, love and what it’s like to receive a lot of hate, and now we can share our exclusive photos of Constance Hall and Denim Cooke as they posed with their gorgeous new baby, Raja.
The stunning pictures – taken by photographer Frances Andrijich at Constance and Denim’s home in Western Australia – see them tenderly cradling their newborn son – joined by the rest of their much-loved, blended brood.
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.
Within the first few weeks of Constance's fifth child - baby Raja - being born, the blogger and author was wowed by how involved her new hubby was, talking of a potential power struggle for main parenting duties.
But things settled and even if he’s being a perfect dad, Constance says he can still annoy her.
‘I still find things to pick on,’ she tells New Idea. ‘I think women just get it more with a new baby. My mum, for example, doesn’t give the baby back if he’s crying and she’ll just give him a bath without being asked.’
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. ‘F*** the housework. You realise what’s important [with a new baby]. For the books and clothes the energy comes. It’s my ‘me time’. I don’t do stuff like yoga. I couldn’t think of anything worse.’
Initially, her time was taken up worrying about how the already blended family would bond around another baby.
‘It’s a stumbling block,’ Constance tells New Idea. ‘Denim’s kids are used to having him 100 per cent. Same with my kids. Now there’s this unit of three of us in the middle.’
It hit Constance’s six-year-old, Arlo, particularly hard.
‘Arlo’s teacher told me he was a bit sad,’ Constance remembers. ‘He’s usually so independent and it made me burst into tears.’
But what was a worry last week, isn’t so much of an issue the next.
‘Things are constantly evolving and what was a worry last week isn’t a worry now,’ Constance says.
‘The baby’s become part of the pack and my worry at the moment is the 2cm splinter stuck in Rumi’s foot. There’s always something.’
She jokes that instead of having one particular ‘problem child’ she has four.
‘Arlo’s the worst behaved, but the biggest mummy’s boy, Billie-Violet is such a pre-teen. She looks at me and says: “Wow, mum, just wow.” Rumi’s a bruiser and Snow has a speech delay, so she can be a bit sooky because she can’t verbalise.’
It must make having a newborn seem like a breeze and Constance agrees she’s a very different mum this time around.
‘I can take a step back and enjoy it,’ she says. ‘I’ve done it four times so there’s no stress. I’m just appreciating how lucky I am. We’re co-sleeping, which feels so natural.
‘There’s no getting up and rocking like I did before. As long as you aren’t drinking [alcohol], it’s fine,’ she shrugs, saying they’ve stopped using the co-sleeping aid as it gets in the way.
‘It’s different parenting techniques this time around. We followed all the ‘rules’ before, but I’m able to function like a normal human this time!’
On holiday she even let a stranger hold Raja. ‘She approached Denim and asked him if she could help,’ Constance says.
‘I’d have probably been the typical over-capable mum and said no, but he was like: “Hell yeah.”’
They got to eat a meal together for the first time since Raja was born and Constance posted a photo, which received over 32,000 likes on social media.
‘People love love,’ Constance smiles. ‘They like hearing about women being kind to women.’
The post she remembers having the most likes was nothing to do with her though.
‘A child therapist told me that it’s not the loud, badly behaved kids we have to worry about, it’s the silent ones. Kids who are in trouble withdraw. It took a weight off my shoulders and when I wrote about it I got 500,000 likes,’ she says.
‘Everyone whose kids had played up that day were just relieved they were well adjusted!’
So what’s next for Constance. More kids? More books?
‘No more babies,’ Constance shudders. ‘I’m not letting him anywhere near me,’ she nods towards Denim.
But no doubt her empire will continue to grow and, despite the haters, or perhaps because of them, Constance’s brand of straight-talking, drama-creating blogging will keep her and her family firmly in the spotlight.
Still A Queen by Constance Hall is available here