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Canberra mum’s TV debut with a Thud

Emma Macdonald

Canberra’s own mum blogger Lauren Dubois is part of a new Mummy Time TV show that promises to become your virtual mothers group – only much funnier.

The former political journalist worked in TV and radio in the Federal Press Gallery before taking a break to have her children whom she fondly refers to as Thud and Pop. Having dealt with tantrums, meltdowns and hissy fits from the people who run our country, Lauren thought dealing with children would be a breeze. She was wrong. 

As she struggled to find her way in this new, isolating and confidence-crushing world, Lauren started to write: and people started to read. Her award-winning blog, The Thud shares her sometimes raw, sometimes hilarious, always foul-mouthed observations of surviving motherhood, warts and all.

Now we will be able to watch her lose her mind on our TV screens.

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Lauren with Thud and Pop.

How did Mummy Time TV find you?

Executive Producer Chezzi Denyer (wife of Family Feud host Grant Denyer) has been following me on Instagram for a while. She messaged me about her idea – a TV show based on a mother’s group and I was SO IN. 

How does it feel to #Canberrarepresent? 

I’m a Sydneysider originally but moved to Canberra about seven years ago and I love it. I’m a super proud Canberran and take it as my personal responsibility to show how kick-arse Canberra is. I love being the Canberra mum on the show and plan to drop the old Can, the Berra, the CBR, Das Kapital, in conversation as much as humanly possible. 

How and where will it run?

The first episode is due to be released online mid-September. We filmed three pilot episodes in Sydney last week and they’re being presented to the networks as we speak. Even before we started filming the show there was a lot of buzz around it which is so exciting. The next step is to see who’ll pick it up and then cross all fingers and toes they don’t want to completely change everything about it (including the cast!).

How do you film it? What sort of commitment is it?

All seven of us flew in to Sydney from all over to film the first three episodes over two days. We all stayed together on one floor of a hotel which was a bit like girls gone wild summer camp, except with no nudity and a decent bedtime. So actually nothing like girls gone wild… but it was the first time any of us had met in person and it was instant love. 

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The mums: Lisa Gibson, Jules Coffey, Chezzi Denyer, Lauren Dubois, Olivia White, Stephanie Hunt, and Tessa Nuku.

What appealed to you about being in it?

I truly think this sort of show has been a long time coming. It’s surprising to me that there’s never been a show specifically for mums. Being a mum, especially a new mum, can be really isolating. You’re home alone with your baby and you’re consumed with mum life and all you want to do is talk about mum stuff with other mums.

I always say the two most important words you can say to another mum are, “me too”. If a mum is sitting at home and thinking she’s the only one in the world who’s having a hard time it can send her down a spiral of negative thoughts. If another mum says to her, “Oh god, me too!” it’s like letting the air out of an overinflated tyre. 

What topics do you discuss?

We talk about EVERYTHING! Boobs, poo, vaginas, sleep, food, pregnancy, sex, body image… all of it. The film crew were all male and they stood there, bug-eyed through most of it. I think we terrified them with how much we spoke about and how honest we were. The format of the show revolves around a main panel chat but it’s interspersed with skits and comedy breaks so it’s a really light and fun show.

How is life as a mummy blogger?

I absolutely love being a mum blogger. I started my blog as a way to get some of the words out of my head because I’m a journalist and my brain is always filled with stories. What I didn’t anticipate was the love I now feel for the community of women who follow along with me and read my stories and share their lives with me.

I adore getting private messages from women telling me they’re three weeks pregnant and shitting themselves, or the messages from women who are struggling with PND and want to let me know I’m helping them with my silly words. It sounds so corny but it honestly gives so much meaning to my life to know that I’m connected with all of these women in such a special way. Plus they make me LAUGH!

I do get some nastiness now and then if I discuss a controversial topic like vaccination, racism or marriage equality but unfortunately the internet is free for bigots and morons as well as the rest of us so I guess it’s to be expected. 

What irritates you most about social media?

I love social media and all the opportunities it’s brought me but Lord it can make me feel inadequate. I think we all know what it’s like to see those perfectly stylised squares of mums with their flawlessly dressed children in their spotless homes with their artfully arranged home-made organic lunches.

The sad part is that I know it can take half a bloody day to take a photo like that and not only is it distorting reality but I’m not sure those women are really getting what they think they want from presenting that image. When you post a photo like that, you’re setting yourself apart from the crowd. You’re saying you’re better than most. It might get you some lovely comments from people who admire what you’ve achieved but it’s not quite the same as when you’re able to be honest and feel the support of your tribe.

There’s one thing that feels better than a pat on the back and that’s an embrace. I’ve posted photos and stories where I’m sure people will think I’m a massive loser, but all I’ve heard is, “thank you!!” or “I thought I was the only one!” and it’s the best feeling to know you can be honest and still feel the love. 

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What irritates you most about other mothers?

I hate that mums feel they need to compare everything they do with other mums to feel validated in the choices they make. We all do it and it never ends well. I think it comes from the fact that most of us have come from working full time in a team of people with supervisors and managers and all of a sudden we are home with a baby and have no one to give us feedback on how we’re performing.

We just have to come up with our own ways of appraising ourselves and that usually comes from comparing ourselves to everyone else. I hate that sense of competition. I mean, what do you even win? 

How awesome can other mothers be?

I wouldn’t have survived motherhood without the love and support of other mothers. They are the ONLY ones who know what it’s like. Dads don’t know. They can’t know, it’s not their fault, they’re just living a different experience. Only mums know what it’s like to pour your whole soul into these tiny people and worry every second of every day about doing the best job you can.

I’m eternally grateful to all the women who have felt safe enough to share their stories with me because they help me every day. I love feeling connected to women all over the world who are in this crazy job together. Mums have got each other’s back and I love that.

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author

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