Married at First Sight star Zoe Hendrix has given a very honest insight into what it’s really like co-parenting her two-year-old daughter with ex-partner, Alex Garner.
Announcing their split last year, Zoe and Alex are now navigating these new co-parenting waters with their daughter, Harper-Rose.
In an interview with NW magazine, Zoe said their new way of life is “really hard”.
“I mean motherhood is hard, so I think single motherhood takes a real adjustment. I’m giving myself time to adjust to it,” she added.
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The longing for my mother sits like a heavy rock at the pit of my stomach. It hurls waves of anguish and despair up into my chest until they ignite into sharp cuts aching and racing into my face. Now and then they form a deep hot well in my eyes and stream out. Desperate for the release. Grief is so physical. It’s not limited to a feeling or a thought. It’s a pain felt in your bones, in your skin, in your jaw and in your spine. I feel it wedged in my throat and clawing in my stomach. As if my body can’t accept the message. She is gone. She is gone. She is gone. I repeat to myself, as if even after so many months I can’t believe the words to be true. I flew almost 22 hours to hear she is dead. But when will these words sink in? Mothering, whilst un-mothered is a complex and painful voyage. I long for her so much and I find myself becoming the lost child wondering through the shopping centre. Repeating quietly, I lost my mum. She is gone. This is a recurring dream. I want to call her and complain about my day, about Melbourne traffic, about my law lecturer who marks harshly, but who is incredibly inspiring. About anything and about everything. I want to be told to pull my head in, I need to hear how proud she is of me. I want her to tell me I’m not eating enough, that I spend too much on bed linen. I want those mundane, glorious simple things I’ve forever dreamt of from my mother. All of it laced with glorious unconditional love. I want to busy myself in the laundry whilst I catch glances of my mother on the ground playing and singing with Harper. I want to see my daughter receive the love and adoration of my mother; as much as I want it for myself. I want to argue with my mother and butt heads on things that matter and mundane things that don’t. I want to know about her experience of heartache, of motherhood. About love, lost and found. I want to share stories, recipes, jokes and shoes. I want to learn how to braid my daughter’s hair and how to make that ginger tea that will cure headaches, period pain and the flue . I want to look into my mother’s face and see my own, in the impending future. /Continued in comments..
“Doing our best”
The hardest part about co-parenting, according to Zoe, is still having to see Alex multiple times a week.
“We’re doing our best – the best that we can. It’s not perfect, but I don’t think anyone has the perfect co-parenting situation,” Zoe explained.
“It’s hard having to deal with a break-up when you have to see [your ex] three times a week. But we do put Harper first.”
Read more about co-parenting:
- How to handle co-parenting when you’re at war with your ex
- Co-parenting done right: Mum’s viral post about “more valuable than gold” dad
- What type of relationship should I have with my co-parent now we’re divorced?
This isn’t the first time Zoe has spoken out about the difficulties that come with co-parenting.
“When you break up with someone, you’re meant to go your separate ways. You’re meant to be out of each other’s lives. Like fully gone,” Zoe said in an interview last year. “It’s really almost like a cruel system to have to see that person so regularly. It’s not right … It has to happen but it’s cruel and unusual punishment.”
“I didn’t choose this path”
The pair announced their split on Instagram in April last year, with Zoe sharing a further heartbreaking post about their relationship.
“After the separation, a lot of women have contacted me privately asking ‘how do you know when it’s time leave your husband?’ The power of that question has weighed on me and I have thought long and hard for an adequate answer that these women deserve,” Zoe wrote.
“The unfortunate truth is, I didn’t choose this path. I never bought a ticket. I never thought that the man I loved so much would one day walk away. But he did.”
At the same time, the MAFS alumni remains focused on what’s most important: her daughter.
“That is how she was meant to come to me,” Zoe said. “She and I were meant to find each other in that way. Even though it hasn’t worked and we’re dealing with the heartache of separation … I’ve got my daughter.”
“I can’t look back and regret anything.”